Hi. I send the notes of the today BoF. Regards.


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Pushing Forward Debian Mobile BoF

-Openmoco experience
Difficulties to have again Debian on mobiles

armel? (Doesn't affect Pyra, does affect zerophone because its core is 
raspberry pi)

(going through the agenda from https://wiki.debian.org/Mobile/BoF201708):

* Motivation
  * Software Freedom
  * (Security) Updates
  * usability for little scripts (always needs a full app)
  * better flexibility (Android is not Java-or-nothing)
  * access to software body (but UI adaptability is a big issue); still no good 
ODF editor on Android

  Audience scope is an issue -- whatever we come up with might not be suitable 
for everyday users. Sandboxing of an Android might be a topic.

  Which form factors are we talking about? Just phones? Tablets? How can we get 
improvements in touch interfaces to convertibles? (By the way: how accessible 
are the graphics modules on ARM to Free Software? It's easy for Intel-based 

  Other use case: Devices for employees when companies have extensive security 

* Hardware
  * What is based on armel is doomed (probably won't be official release in 
Buster, maybe not even in debports). Affects zerophone, openmoko
  * Devices that work well and are armhf based:
    * PocketCHIP (a PDA?)
    * Pyra (a game console with possibility of phone calls; to be ready by 

      suffers from GUIs not being adapted to the input situation -- doesn't 
really need a "windowing" window manager or desktop environment

  An always-difficult topic is modems.

  * Android hardware has android kernels (old in terms of Linux) that were 
ported to it. Running pure debian (but with android kernel) can, in some 
situations, run X, but nothing radio-ish. (See Cascardo's work). Linaro is 
working on mainstream support for arm64 devices. Collabora has seen some parts 
of the Android graphics system into Linux.

    There is the PostMarketOS project; some work might be reusable between them 
and Debian.

  * Replicant, LineageOS

* Installation

  * Document how to get root / how to unlock? LineageOS and Replicant already 
have that.

* User Interfaces

  * DEs are pretty adaptable (Gnome 3, KDE), but applications are unadapted
  * Problem fields:
    * Small screen (usually easy, just use the keyboard, but sizes can be 
      * often it's just drop minimum window sizes / make scrollable
    * Touch (harder -- making buttons bigger is insufficient)

  * Openmoko apps are still available? Also from N900 era (QML), 

  * Talk to upstream for patching: Might need user base to argue; coming from 
Debian might help.

    Openmoko applications still being around shows that devs are still here.
  * Having a few devices that are affordable and current (like OpenMoko was) 
would give as a good start for devs to hack on it.

  * Kirigami is KDE's approach to building applications that run on 
touch/smallscreen as well.

  * Could we have a Debian-style project that produces a Lineage-like 

    Wouldn't even need to be out-of-Debian; wouldn't need to be Debian releases 
(Debian libhybris/Android in parallel to Debian GNU/Linux), work together w/ 

    Android applications can be used in Debian (??; pabs).

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