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On Sat, Aug 12, 2017 at 03:28:57PM -0500, jathan wrote:
> Pushing Forward Debian Mobile BoF

Even though I'm in Montreal now for a Collabora company meeting, I
unfortunately couldn't make it. Somehow Debconf always ends up being
in parallel to the big European hacker camps (i.e. SHA2017 this year).

> -Openmoco experience
> Difficulties to have again Debian on mobiles
> armel? (Doesn't affect Pyra, does affect zerophone because its core is 
> raspberry pi)

RPi2+ support armhf, but RPi Zero seems to be based on RPi1 SoC?

> (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.

chroot might become a problem with the next release, due to Android
using old kernels. Glibc from stretch needs 3.2, which is already
breaks support for some older devices. If that is increased in buster
sandboxing will get much harder.

>   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 GPUs)

If you are talking about acceleration:

 * Qualcomm Adreno         freedreno       good
 * Broadcom Videocore      vc4             good
 * Nvidia Tegra            nouveau         ?
 * ARM Mali                lima            needs lots of work
 * ImgTec PowerVR          -               incomple RE, no driver

Worth to be mentioned: On ARM the GPU is usually not taking
care of refreshing the screen. This is done by another hardware
components and most of those are supported mainline (so kernel
console and unaccelerated X work).

> Other use case: Devices for employees when companies have
> extensive security requirements.
> * 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 
> October)
>       suffers from GUIs not being adapted to the input situation -- doesn't 
> really need a "windowing" window manager or desktop environment

This should list Nokia N900 (mainline/debian kernel support is
really good. Basically only camera support is missing and that
is being worked on).

Also it might be worth pointing out Droid 4, which I'm currently
working on together with Tony Lindgren. It's progressing quite
nicely: https://www.elektranox.org/droid4/

>   An always-difficult topic is modems.

The defacto standard for modem support is ofono, which supports
quite a few of them.

>   * 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.

This won't work once we start to use kernel features, that are
not part of those old kernels.

-- Sebastian

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