Librem 5 concern


+1 for a new thread or the end of this one. I thought there would be some insight to be gained from reading through all 260 posts but I was woefully mistaken. There be dragons here! Read at your own risk if there is really nothing else you would prefer to do with your time, because after 260 posts, many of them long-winded with several rounds of recriminations and then you finally reach the end, you will feel …empty. I would summarize for those who may come after me, but I feel the risk of offending someone and continuing this thread even further is too great.

This is really all ancient history at this point. Until yesterday that last post on this thread was from mid-July. There is an actual phone now, getting into people’s hands. Go watch a review of the actual device instead.


Nevermind, I just read where people are begging to end the hijack. I deleted what I wrote; if someone wants to delete this post I’m good with that.


i don’t hold my breath to use Blender on the L5 but since it was brought up i’ll link to it.

in terms of stability/speed the linux-kernel is king.

say you 3d-model then for clients you pay a server-farm running a linux-kernel based OS to do your compute for you. it’s a public service (some render farms are - not all are paid) thus it’s BETTER to be carried out on a free-software machine and it’s more efficient.

not going into GUIs and CAD/CAE here since that requires an LTS kernel with proprietary AMD/nVidia drivers to do a decent enough job for very-complex models.


Rec, Blender is built using Linux, and Linux is the primary target platform. It does not surprise me that Linux will see the best performance. Let’s also not forget that you can build Linux the way you want. Bloat is completely optional. This means that there is less overhead. Windows, by design, is trying to be a one size fits all operating system. My point here being that a piece of Linux software running on Linux is not a compelling argument of superiority. Performance was however not a point of contention, because today performance is relative. You’d be hard pressed to find a system that is not adequate in terms of performance.

My guess is, OS X would fair pretty similar to Linux in these tests.

But getting back on topic, blender running on the L5 is compelling for several reasons.

Even if the GUI is not made for the mobile form factor, it makes me wonder how convergence could be initially.

You can effectively install anything that has been compiled for the ARM platform, right? So install blender for example, but not for mobile use. When you’ve docked or have switched over to desktop mode, this is when you use it.

Which leads me to another question, it would be great if you can flip a toggle in the GUI to go into desktop mode. Then it would take the 720p screen (which isn’t a lot, but more than enough for a smaller desktop) and use it for PureOS desktop.

Yes it would be tiny. Being able to wireless mirror with another tablet or screen would be ideal here. Add a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard and viola.

There could be some software added that could be used to apply custom scaling to parts of the screen, or magnification.

For me this would be ideal. My phone being able to turn into a desktop even when I just have the phone, would mean I can use desktop apps, should they not have mobile versions.

Last question: How does the L5 handle electron based apps? Can it run them?


Other people have already stated the relevant arguments, but I will add a few more.

For operating system kernels, programming languages, web servers, domain name servers, email servers, plain text editors, command line tools, etc., FLOSS is better than proprietary software, but that is software is generally used by programmers and sys admins. For software which is primarily geared toward non-technical end users, proprietary software is often easier to use and has more features. There are some exceptions, such as Firefox/Chromium vs Internet Explorer/Edge, but as a general rule proprietary software is generally “better” for a non-technical user doing normal tasks in my opinion. I find this very frustrating, but I have to admit that I am very rarely able to convince my friends who are ordinary, non-technical users that they should switch to Mint over Windows, because for their tasks, Windows and proprietary applications are generally easier to use and have better features.

I would agree that MS Office is better than LibreOffice in terms of features (although LO is better in terms of a few things such as the way it uses styles and searching with regular expressions). Excel and Powerpoint have more features than Calc and Impress, but it isn’t really a fair comparison in terms of the developer resources available to LO vs Office.

Over the last year, there are only 24 developers who made over 100 commits to the LO code base. If LO is similar to the Linux kernel, then we can guesstimate that 2/3 of the people with high commit counts are being paid for their work, so only 14 are being paid for their work. Microsoft employs 50,000 engineers, so let’s guesstimate that 500 or 1% work on Office.

Of course, software that has 35 times more paid developers is going to be better. The question is how does LO manage to do so much with so few paid developers? I see the same pattern when I compare Inkscape to Corel Draw, Gimp to Photoshop, Scribus to MS Publisher or QuarkXPress. The proprietary software is generally considered “better,” but the FLOSS alternatives still manage to compete with very few paid developers, and it is amazing what they manage to do with so few resources. PostgreSQL only has 9 developers with over 100 commits in the last 12 months, but PostgreSQL is arguably a better database than Oracle in terms of performance and features. (It is hard to know for sure, because the Oracle license prohibits publishing benchmarks, but the fact that Oracle prohibits benchmarks is telling.)

It is clear to me that FLOSS is more economically efficient, in terms of the fact that it manages to develop comparable software on a much lower budget than proprietary software. Most comparisons of proprietary software vs FLOSS are looking at proprietary software which is an established incumbent with much larger user bases and more developers, so it isn’t a fair comparison of which development model is better. On the other hand, we have to keep in mind that FLOSS is generally going to have less revenue and fewer paid developers due to the fact that its business model usually generates less revenue for the core developers. FLOSS also receives code contributions from a whole ecosystem of independent developers and users, who use the software they are helping to develop to generate revenue.

I can’t find many examples where it is possible to compare proprietary software vs FLOSS on an equal playing field. Web browsers is one area where the playing field is somewhat equal, but Google clearly paid more developers to work on Chrome than Microsoft paid to work on Internet Explorer/Edge, so it isn’t surprising that Chrome is better, but Chrome is only partially free/open source and it didn’t use an open development model. Firefox is more properly FLOSS, and it is better than IE/Edge despite having fewer full-time developers.

Another example with roughly equivalent developer resources is the kernel of operating systems. The kernel of Linux has better performance and better features than the kernel of Windows. The Linux kernel has more developers than Windows, but that includes all the people contributing drivers for different hardware projects. If you look at Microsoft developers plus developers making Windows drivers in hardware companies, then there are probably more developers working on the Windows kernel vs the Linux kernel.

The only other comparison I can think of where the developer resources are roughly equal is MySQL/Maria DB vs SQL Server vs Oracle. At this point, I would argue that Maria DB is now “better” but it depends on what the DB is being used for.

What these examples show is that if FLOSS gets equal resources, then it does well, but most FLOSS for non-technical end users has few paid developers. Since very few companies make money on desktop Linux, there are almost no companies paying developers to work on desktop FLOSS applications for ordinary, non-technical end users, so people say that FLOSS isn’t as good as proprietary software.


well said …

in short … BIG tech proprietary hardware/software company - lots of funding/code-contributions with wide range support for most ”weird” hardware out-there vs the gnu/linux ecosystem - more reduced funding/more-diverse-code-contributions and quality commits due to auditability (making up words is fun :smiley: )

then the only question remains … where CAN the PUBLIC have ANY influence ? the private sector is out of the question since that is based on “this is what i offer pay up !” vs the copyleft that says “this is what i protect decide for yourself and choose your price and time of payment”

did i get it wrong ?


I think these discussions should move to a new topic (as Richard suggested above)


it SOUNDS good doesn’t it ?

the only issues remaining are 3d accelaration and heat-disipation i guess … that’s why i said i don’t hold my breath …