This reminds me of something else. What would be the best model for a FOSS "app store" with mechanisms for compensation? Lowering the barrier for transactions to FOSS projects really helps their survival and sustenance by individuals who cannot contribute code.
Here's a very half-baked thought: One can imagine users supporting community servers (matrix, activitypub/mastodon, etc.) and applications through a cryptocurrency wallet that is loaded in the same way that people load their g--gle/a--le wallets. One can also imagine applications that can tie into this wallet to compensate publishers based on some model (a transaction API like g--gle/a--le or something like what brave is doing with the BAT). My question is what are the failure modes of such a model?
For example, this still wouldn't stop the perverse incentives of:
- Content publishers going for the types of bait that generate the most clicks. Clicks=compensation regardless of it's from ads or some sort of attention token.
- Application developers casing addiction mechanisms that go after whales. The same loot-box mechanisms can be implemented with a FOSS game that uses a crypto wallet API.
I don't have any concern about the type of currency used to pay.
A quick check of my screentime over the past few days shows only two apps which wouldn't benefit from this: DAVx and Syncthing. Both of these are essentially daemons I configured once, and ideally never see the app interface of ever again until I get a new phone. Otherwise, apps I benefit from are represented in the screentime of the past couple days.
Then I found that some apps, even though they were useful, didn't actually do much under the hood. Like say Frost for Facebook which is mostly a webview with few extensions. So I wanted to add a section for things that are mostly a "viewer". An additional example of such a thing is a media player: if you look 10h a day at videos, it's thanks to the content, not to the viewer.
And then, there are behaviours you maybe don't want to trigger, like getting people addicted. 2048 using the screentime metric would have gained a lot of money (and it does deserve a lot!), but IMO people who got addicted to it should give them less.
And what about apps that have paying variant on Google Play?
Which deserves more money, the app that is simply free on fdroid and Play Store, or the app that is free on fdroid, but paying (or free reduced) on Play Store.
So, I spent few days trying to make something fair, and at the moment I believe that the most fair I can do is to give equally among all apps that I've used in the last 7 days.
In fact, I would argue that some of the most useful apps might be ones that we use less - because they accomplished the required goal.
Subscriptions make sense for dynamic content, and service. Fantastical and 1Password are examples of subscription-based platforms which were once buy to play (term from games industry).
However if you self host the data (you probably can and should) or sell your soul to the devil (Google etc) you paid for hosting. So a subscription for the software doesn't make sense from customer PoV. You essentially don't pay for service, compared to Disney+, World of Warcraft, or Netflix.
My first pass would be to do it based on screentime.
My second pass would be to give the screentime ratios to the user, allowing them to tweak the ratios themselves.
Absolutely. Look at what Humble Bundle does, where you can tweak the proportion of your payment that goes to various things. That's still quite novel.
Screentime is a really, really bad proxy for usefulness though. Weather apps, email clients, maps (without turn-by-turn directions), the alternative app I use to control my Hue lights, ... will starve, while the Kindle app and social media will get showered in money. That alternative camera app, hardly any screentime at all. My to do app shows me lots of notifications but gets very little screentime. Netflix however...
I know that. I don't want it as I stated above.
> And those seconds will be dominated by the tens of minutes I spend in other apps per day.
That was just an easy to understand example. The real money will be in maxing out total screen time. Such examples exist as Facebook, Netflix, or advertising driven platforms that hyper-optimize for watch-time or "engagement" to our detriment.
apple music, spotify, netflix, audible, kindle unlimited, etc.
I don't think there's necessarily a need for projects to be funded or paid for - giving back to the mobile ecosystem the same way we give back to the desktop ecosystem seems like a pretty fair way to go.
"A Linux distribution ... is an operating system made from a software collection that is based upon the Linux kernel and, often, a package management system."
When I read that, I realized just how fundamental the package manager is and it makes sense.
How do we give back to the desktop ecosystem?
Sounds counterproductive, to pay someone to host something that is meant to be hosted by yourself, but most often, I just need the option to move to selfhosted when time arrives.
Sure, I can host my own piwik, or gitea, or nexcloud (I do) and even (painfully) manage my mailserver and DNS with mailinabox. Out of principle. But the TCO of that is mountainhigh, if I'm honest. Tucking someone €9.99 a month to deal with one of these for me, would save me a lot, in the grand scheme.
Edit: what I'm trying to say: I'm convinced there is a businesscase there. There's money to be made in this area of FLOSS, which can trickle down into the upstream projects or be a businesscase as funding for the projects themselves even.
What about FLOSS-mobile applications?
- FOSS is "Free + Open-Source"
- FLOSS is "FOSS + Libre"
My personal belief is that we need the discourse of both the OSI and FSF because they appeal to different segments, and we need both the business community and people care about user rights to be in the movement if we want FOSS to succeed.
Example of what can happen
There is nothing worse than working at a company without robust competition.
Work at a company that has to compete and it removes tons of management and mba bs employees have to deal with.
Not only doesn't it show many features or screenshots of apps, the things it does show are better at demonstrating its weaknesses than strengths.
For example, theres a link to a Video about running Firefox  that reads like a parody. At one point, the narrator says enthusiastically: "With the settings unusable in portrait, it's time to switch to landscape mode"
Thankfully, they also offer an optimised browser, but the fact that they mention Firefox at all, demonstrates a lack of understanding about what users want from a phone.
> The Purism Website failed to convince me that this project has even a chance of becoming an enjoyable alternative.
Maybe this could convince you: https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/community-wiki/-/wikis/Freque....
However, from my experience, I believe that Linux is simply not enjoyable to use. Other operating systems provide advanced features out of the box, such as clipboard-history, clipboard-sync, PiP, powerful search and more. In Linux, you may need to use the command line to arrange your screens .
The Website should have convinced me, that this project is built by a company that cares about usability just as much as they care about privacy and openness. Instead, I get the impression that it's only for the most determined of linux users - you know... the kind that would wan't desktop firefox on their phone even if it's almost unusable.
> There is no need to write new applications, just adapt the existing ones
Yes, in theory this is great. But in practice, on my Surface, it never worked. The Interface was laggy, buttons were hard to hit, the touch keyboard didn't appear when it was supposed to, smooth zooming in Firefox didn't work. The difference to an iPad was like night and day.
: Source: Watching a coworker use Linux for the first time. I don't remember the distro.
Open source projects works by targeting people who understand technology. When I first installed a linux distribution, maybe it wasn't what a user wants from a distro. A decade or so after that everyone and their aunt has a linux computer in their pocket.
Others have an Objective-C/Swift based computer that happens to use a mix of FreeBSD and mach hybrid kernel, but could pretty much use anything else POSIX based.
...but only because a company came along and ensured that development focuses on what the user wants.
What do you mean by this? I use Firefox on my LineageOS phone, and being able to run Firefox is a feature I would expect from any new phone I'd buy.
Having a touch-optimized version of Firefox with all the desktop features would of course be a great selling point.
Advantages is that they can start with a bunch of free apps (F-droid is nice!), do not get too far from what SoC vendors already have and can move to another distro (even running both them in parallel) once they sold a good number of devices and the business is sustainable. All while respecting user freedom even when they really need some proprietary stuff (e.g. bank apps).
But, well, that ship has sailed. Let's see what we can do.
The link addresses one point about apps: "With the Librem 5 phone you are running a full-blown desktop computer in a mobile form factor. If you plug it into a keyboard, mouse, and monitor you will have PureOS and the many thousands of applications available as you would from any desktop computer. This means that we are starting with many thousands of applications that “just work” as a desktop application"
Besides web apps and dedicated apps, you can also just run anbox if you want something from F-Droid.
Correct, but we have Android _distros_ not phones that support them well.
We need to get some expensive phone from a supported list, unlock it (losing warranty in the process) and flash the distro. Not a thing we can say to even technical users who are not really inclined to HW hacking. To say nothing about the non-technical people who are the ones more vulnerable to the current mobile environment.
LineageOS runs on a range of phones from very cheap to expensive. I have owned two Xiaomi phones on which I installed LineageOS that cost only about 100€. Later I upgraded to a Motorola phone that feels fancy in comparison, but still wasn’t more than about 200€.
But who actually wants this? Id rather want an enjoyable mobile experience. When I want a desktop, I will use a desktop; I dont need a half arsed experience in my pocket.
I've never seen any indication that it is a popular one. Let alone popular enough to justify prioritising desktop apps over mobile ones.
If it's been available for years I'd love to know to find it. There's some attempts in the android ecosystem to do this but they pale in comparison to a proper Linux desktop environment - the main problem being that you're running android apps designed for a mobile screen instead of responsive apps designed for both small touch screens and large desktops.
There's LineageOS (been around for sometime; even more if you count its earlier avatar) and they are usually one or two version behind Google. OEMs are catching up with Android release schedule now because they usually don't touch the core Google features and services (the privacy nightmare land) and usually just add to it and in some cases (unfortunately at that) tweak the UI (for the worse - Samsung has been at it since the day one).
One problem with Purism/PureOS I see is, it is too small and started alone. I hope I am wrong but it may end up not going anywhere other than remaining a vanity phone - that "other" phone - the "privacy" phone.
I may not agree with everything about the Librem 5 (in particular I care much less about hardware openness and would prefer better performance + battery life), but the whole point for me was to have "proper" GNU/Linux on a phone, none of the shenanigans that come with trying to use and Android smartphone as a general purpose computer.
Give them agency. The source will be open and it won't be affected even tangentially by whatever decisions google makes.
There will be a way to put android on this. Other purism machines come with pureos, but they also have qubes. (I use arch linux on my purism notebook)
For reference check out pine - their phone has many distributions.
The reason is that there will otherwise be important apps that never end on anything other than Apple or Google OSes, like (for example) bank applications, government apps (for taxes, alerts, covid tracking), perhaps things like netflix or perhaps the BBC news app.
Also, why would developers spend time developing for an open platform, when they can make 10X the amount of money on the closed platforms?
So effectively, we need the spirit of the web, but in the app stores.
(I know, this sounds a bit like embrace, extend and extinguish; but this time it's from the "good" side :)
The bigger challenge is the integration with the host OS - we need a common set of OS calls that can be made available to applications running in WebAssembly (eg, WASI).
Arguably this doesn't hold true for Electron/Cordova, so RN is probably comparable to that.
In some areas it succeeded e.g. form controls in other it's pretty poor e.g. navigation.
Yet, GNU/Linux distros exist with a ton of FOSS software.
That said, native app performance is still unmatched (but not by a long shot!) the react-native project (both by FB and MSFT) looks promising.
I think we should stick to our guns and make linux a platform.
It's actually surprising that a lot of companies actually have linux apps. There is a microsoft teams for linux for example.
They should have just wrote something like:
When the software you donated for is ready, rest assured your Librem will receive the update. Librem 5 is the only phone that gets better with age... (some marketing they've used in the past)
In my mind giving someone options isn't a bad thing.
What I miss: What is the developer story here? Their team , even though it had 2 additions recently, is not very big with 9 people who focus on software. Also they aren't particularily open as to what already works and does not work, which – as the Librem 5 is not widely available yet, nor thoroughly reviewed (still waiting myself, having a PinePhone though) – is a problem.
If you want to have an overview about which apps already exist, I maintain a list at https://linmobapps.frama.io.
It's not very good at monitoring the actual state of the apps and does not look to good. If you have ideas on how to (or want to help) improve it, please get in touch!
You can also try out recent images of the Librem 5 to see what apps work:
What I meant with "state" is stuff like: Does it crash? Is it "feature complete"? Most rating systems (including the one on MGLapps/LINMOBapps) seem to look at "does this fit the screen" more than these aspects, and it is virtually impossible to fit this all into one score.
I will probably mostly donate for battery life improvements, and other system wide improvements.
If anybody from Purism is reading this, I would suggest having "Software Keyboard" as an option - in particular I would love to see the keyboard become more suitable (than what I have seen in videos so far) for terminal usage/programming without an external keyboard. Think Hacker's Keyboard on Android, if you are familiar with that. Basically shrinking a full PC keyboard into a touch keyboard.
They announced the phone in august 2017 and I ordered in september. By october they had collected $1.3m in orders. and my ship date has always been a few months out. :)
Not outside the box, but FLOSS.
Does anyone know what they mean when they say that Apps will be sandboxed? It can't be similar if the phone is running a desktop OS masquerading as mobile OS.
The former is a lot more valuable to me than the latter.
Given that, it is clear that every free service they offer can be funded by data collection. Are your kids using google docs? Do your friends email you from gmail? do your coworkers use google sheets?
Ok, so purism doesn't make its money from data. It makes its money from selling you a phone. This is a lot less money than google makes, because you pay it directly to them. They can't turn around and get millions from advertisers.
On the other hand, because data is not their revenue stream, they don't care if you store your mail on their servers or on your own or where you get apps or even what OS you run. So there's no need for dark patterns to get you to interact with them.
Yes, you could have your own store. You could have your own OS. You can create and maintain and share your own maps or data or whatever. Actually linux people have been doing this for years and years. check out nextcloud.
Also see: https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/community-wiki/-/wikis/Freque...
I'd like to be proven wrong though.
(On Safari, MacOS, in case its just an anchor bug..)
Actually, we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If a license does not permit users to make copies and sell them, it is a nonfree license. If this seems surprising to you, please read on."
Selling open source software is one of the valid ways open source reaches end users. Users/Consumers want to buy polished, maintained, and supported things. That costs resources to provide.
From a user perspective, having a preference for FOSS software shouldn't limit your options to unsupported abandonware you couldn't pay for if you wanted.
Recall the F in FOSS is Free as in Free Speech, not Free Beer.