Let's crowdfund some development to get PureOS Crimson ready for L5!

Something needs to happen regarding code development to get PureOS Crimson ready to be used for Librem 5. There is this issue about it, without much activity lately:

I’m thinking that for those of us who have a Librem 5 and want to keep using it, the move to Crimson is really high priority since software versions are so old on Byzantium now. I don’t know what Purism is doing about it, but anyway I would like to try doing something from my end and I do have some money to spend on that. I did not put in all the time and effort I have so far just to see L5 stagnate and get stuck at PureOS Byzantium.

Hopefully @dcz and/or @dos and/or @guido.gunther could be willing to do some of the work needed to get Crimson ready if they get paid, and I guess it should be possible to sort out payment via Liberapay or something like that.

What do you think, can this be done? If someone were to setup a way to pay directly towards that development, would you also be willing to contribute some money?

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I am interested. How might interested parties make such a thing happen?

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Here you go.

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If so, then not guido.gunther - he is working a lot on Phosh and so we would just move resources around. Better to speed up things by someone else - if the plan will be realized.

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I’m not sure if they’re on the forums but evangelos.tzaras / devrtz is another viable contender for this, if they have the time.

I’d also be willing to add to the financial incentive pot to make this happen. I’ve been excited for Crimson for some time now…

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…but Phosh developers want to eat too :smile:

If the key is to stop development in order to make people think about how free software is written/tested/distributed to users then the incentive is the wrong way around. Interesting thought.

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That’s @evangelos.tzaras .

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I was not thinking this way around. :smile: It was more into the direction “who’s not payed by Purism” and at least I think you are. Correct me if I am wrong.

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Correct me if I am wrong.

You’re not correct here :smile: but let’s focus on crimson:

If someone really wants to pull off some crowdfunding I’d check who did uploads for crimson/landing using The Pureos-changes Archives over the last months to find potential candidates and check who could works/worked on the things mentioned in https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/OS-issues/-/issues/346 and bring try to bring these people into the discussion.

I’d have a discussion what could be left out initially if resources are really tight (e.g. crimson could stick with pulseaudio and do the pipewire switch later, it could also stick with wlroots 0.16.x (thus older phoc) and do the switch later (that adds to the technical debt but gets something usable sooner). Then do a rough estimation about the effort involved.

I don’t think it’s that much development work left, the large bit is QA and “debugging” of config files like alsa ucm config, etc which could be coordinated among more people which would also make this whole effort more community driven (which always was an implicit goal of PureOS). These things can basically be coordinated by anyone who’s used to tinker with Linux based systems. Transparency is key here so people can pick tiny tasks to help out (the toughest part is usually to get changes (doesn’t matter if config or code) reviewed when everyone is busy elsewhere.

The crimson label in gitlab can help here: Issues · Librem5 · GitLab

One aspect to take into account when thinking about funding is continued maintenance so once an initial release is there it needs continuous care (e.g. to keep backports up to date).

I won’t be able to help a lot myself but if there’s any questions the matrix channels are a good contact point.

Note that besides the Librem5 · GitLab gitlab space the PureOS space PureOS · GitLab is relevant as it carries many GNOME related packages nowadays.

(I have left the kernel out of the equation, best to check with martin on that)

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I apologize, now I feel bad. :scream:

What I’m curious about, does Purism pay no developer for software anymore? Not just that I don’t see much activity beside yours, you also say:

It sounds like there is no continuous care by Purism anymore. I guess it’s an important part to know for such funding idea.

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Hi @guido.gunther and thanks a lot for your input!

Is there a way to donate to phosh development and/or directly to your work?

I just looked through all months of 2024 and 2023 there and found the following candidates:

Dorota wrote in a matrix chat that she thought she was not the best person for the Crimson issues, she suggested to check with Evangelos so I will try that.

This sounds like the kind of thing I could try to help with, but I think to get started with that I would need a bit more guidance on what to test and how. Do you think you could help by adding some more explanations in some of those issues, to make them a bit easier to understand for someone who is not (yet) an expert? I understand that this would take time for you, time that you may not have, but I think if it’s possible then it could be worth a lot if it can open up the possibility for more people to help out. Somtimes a little more description, like one more sentence, can make a difference. Also, if there are some of the issues that you think would be easy to start with, then pointing out those could help also, just to get us started. With one issue done, the confidence from that might make the next one easier! :slight_smile:

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I certainly expect there to be maintenance by Purism (PureOS is at the core of Purism’s products and Crimson is already used on the L11). That said modernizing Crimson for a phone adds to the needed maintenance (e.g. by bringing in newer GTK4/libadwaita or switching to PW) as more packages need to be manually synced from Debian so I’d keep that in mind. (I’m sure @JCS follows along here and can fill in details).

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Take e.g. https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/debs/gnome-characters/-/issues/1 . It’s basically a matter of checking two things:

  1. are there any regressions in gnome-characters over the version in Byzantium when actually using it. If so file bugs for those.
  2. are the patches added to the Byzantium version (usually in debian/patches/pureos) all superfluous . An initial pass doesn’t need any deep understanding of the code. Looking at the (hopefully present) patch description should go a long way. The patches then usually fall into 3 categories:
    1.) yes
    2.) no
    3.) don’t know
    Having such a list per package already helps.

The other important bit is to just use crimson and file bugs for things that appear broken. That becomes a bit easier if there’s already someone at the other end processing these new reports and telling if one moves in the right direction.

Also trying to reproduce Evangelos image builds (https://source.puri.sm/pureos/infra/pureos-image-recipes/-/merge_requests/2) would likely help.

(note that I’m saying this as someone currently not working on crimson so those people that actually do might have different expectations)

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Purism has a “fund your app” campaign where funds can be earmarked directly/specifically for phosh, PureOS Crimson, etc, development. If a particular software or category is missing from this campaign, it could be created to direct use-of-funds for the task.

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@JCS While I always liked the idea of the campaign in general I also always wondered how to check what effect my donation would make / what the money was actually allocated for (like e.g. a blog post saying: this and that was made possible by donations via fund your app). Like how would I tell that my donation makes a difference towards getting Crimson stabilized for the L5?

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Just logged in after a longer time to ask: Does it only seem so or are there currently (nearly) zero developers working directly for/contracted or paid by Purism on the Librem 5?

Miss the times checking @dos and Librem.social for updates.

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Yes - I think the right thing to do here would be:

  1. Have a portion of the funding for software development on these initiatives include time to create release notes (of varying specificity based on the scope and depth of the task, of course) and inform marketing upon completion.
  2. Marketing then publishes periodic newsletters summarizing the resources consumed and the impact of development (the compiled release notes) of this campaign.
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I’d like to preface this by saying that I mean this constructively and with due respect:

As an outsider who has already contributed twice to Fund Your App, I don’t personally believe the Fund Your App campaign would be the appropriate place for this. My rationale is this:

  • There is no real transparency into how much money has been raised or is going to a specific cause. Beyond speculation by multiplying the number of votes by the most likely donation amounts, we don’t see how these funds are raised or allocated. How much is still in the coffers or has all that money been spent?
  • Three of the top apps that have been voted for do not belong to Purism (Firefox, Signal and Pure Maps). Of the top 10 apps, four of them do not belong to Purism/Gnome. The only efforts that I have seen to make Firefox or Signal more usable on the Librem 5 have been community efforts (Mobile-Config-Firefox by PostmarketOS or User0’s efforts in making a more mobile friendly experience / undef’s Signal flatpak). I haven’t seen news or blog posts or indications that money donated has actually landed where it was intended. I think this diminishes trust as a result.

Those are key reasons why I believe a Liberapay or similar campaign is better suited to this. Providing evidence to dispute my concerns would be very welcome as I think that would ease some issues of transparency and trust.

@JCS Are you able to provide more information or specific sources from parties who received funding to alleviate these concerns?

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And as second question, since it’s already 2 times asked without getting an answer: can you provide information how much and where Purism payed devs are working on software (maybe with git names to follow the work)? We may just look at the wrong places.

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This sounds like something Open Collective could address, though I’m mainly concerned about fragmentation of funding between individuals. Purism might still be the best way to fund L5 development to do more than just sell hardware – as an organization, they are responsible for scouting people, distributing funds to those devs, and providing general product direction and guidance. In other words, I believe that an organization to centralize resources for multiple devs would be more effective than to fund them individually and potentially not collaborate efforts.

Aside: I suspect the reason Purism is publicly raising money is so that they can regain capital to be able to pay for the development of PureOS among other things.

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