Purism Wiki & Communications


#1

There are quite a few posts here that either directly state a lack of information, or make it obvious that this lack exists. In other words, there seem to be two different kinds of lacking information:

  • a lack of status updates and
  • information that is available, but hard to find (*)

Now, the Purism team has a lot of my sympathy, and it’s my impression that most backers understand that it is mostly a question of man-power to release more status updates - but still, please try to improve that somehow. Resurrect the newsletter, monthly at least, and maybe try to get to a biweekly one. There was a time you did that weekly

However, I think there is a less man-power consuming way to improve the available information:
I have spend a lot of time reading old (blog and forum) posts and watching Todd’s interviews. Many questions would be unnecessary if this knowledge was accessible in a structured way. -
Also known as a WIKI :wink:

So please, @todd-weaver, @jeff, @mladen think about opening a wiki. You could set it up “hidden”, only granting access to a dozen of forum-users(**) you trust to create something valuable, and if you are content with the results, open it to the general public. This should be economic for you.

I’m currently thinking of four major categories:

  • Company (philosophy, roadmap, partnerships, …)
  • Products (Librem 5…15: history, revisions, details, blob-status, schematics, etc.)
  • Hardware (Librem components: Intel CPU/ME, i.MX6/8, graphic chips, separate baseband chip etc.)
  • Software (PureOS, Librem 5 software stack, APIs, me_cleaner, …)

(*) Some examples of information that exists, but you probably didn’t know:

(**) For example, I was thinking of you guys: @dharkael, @Dubstar_04, @HD-OZ, @KrisM, @maxzor, @mdt, @patch


#2

This is a good idea but this requires a review mechanism as someone malicious could cause damage to the image of the company. Some users may look legit but you don’t really know what they could do someday.

This would require an official wiki as it plays a representative role. An unofficial wiki would have a zero cost for Purism but it’s not a solution for the actual problem as it’s out of the control of Purism and therefore it’s not a reliable platform to spread their news.

Let’s see what Purism have to say about this as it’s up to them to decide what to do.


#3

I think at least mediawiki has this as a default feature.

True, but limiting it to people who have a good track record in the forums (plus reviews) should help a lot.
(Found some more who I thought might be valuable contributors: @ArloJamesBarnes, @DemBeesDoneStolenAll, @Dwaff, @FreeLove, @patata, @shagreen, @TungstenFilament)

Definitely! I dismissed the idea of an inofficial one, but I hope Purism creates one before others see the need.
An official wiki with trusted/reviewed writers will not be zero cost, but economic.


#4

That’s a good idea Caliga, but yes, there is the risk (effin likelyhood) of malicious actors. I personally went a few rounds with some absolute psychos helbent on killing the librem 5 on reddit during the campaign. Trust me, an open wiki is not a good idea.

However, speaking of reddit, each reddit sub does have a built in wiki (so it wouldn’t be much effort to run). It would be up to u/trai_dep and u/kulkke (moderators of the /r/purism sub) to first activate it and then approve contributors. Maybe PM them there. People who wish to contribute could list their reddit user names on their discord profile here (or make a throwaway reddit account for the specific purpose and list that).

So, there’s a wiki that already exists and there is a way to verify contributors; We just need an announcement inviting us to do so now. That was a great idea, Caliga :slight_smile:


#5

I would certainly be happy to work on development tutorials and guides to get community developers up and running.

Very little risk to Purism’s reputation but potentially a huge gain if the tutorials are good quality.


#6

thank you for the flowers, @Caliga :slight_smile:

but i dont follow this one. it’s a common assessment (seen in other projects as well) which i assume is wrong. i think that revealing information early will enable outside people to help which in turn will reduce required manpower.


#7

i agree, there is alot of information hard to find

+1 for the wiki, maybe not open, because of trolls
+1 for improve the communication, too much topics about “when i will receive my laptop/lack of communication for delayed orders” agree with man-power problem for a small company, and i really appreciate alot of them write on forum, i hope the librem5 campaign will help them to have more money to use for the company itself because we really love what you do, but some improvement are needed


#8

+1 on a community wiki for all the valuable info out there. The forums is often too difficult to search and screen.

Some ideas as to how to get legit information onto the Wiki:

  • information that is found to be useful on the forum thread could have a vote button to notify the Wiki maintainers. Top vote post would go in first.
  • Wiki pages could be authored/edited by set of forum users approved by Purism, however, the final information would need to be approved by Purism. A Wiki page could have a clear msg at the top of the page to clearly identify if the information on the page has been vetted by Purism or not.
  • Wiki page could simply link relevant information to specific posts in the forums, again until a final vetted version is inserted into the wiki itself.
  • Wiki pages could also highlight questions/issues which have been discussed/raised in forums threads but still haven’t got conclusive answers, therefore broadcasting the need for more contributions.

very true, like that employee of twitter on his last day of work, so even Purism employees cannot be completely trusted, but this ain’t a reason for not moving fwd.


#9

Maybe I was not clear enough with that point, so just to clarify:
I always meant to only have selected authors for the wiki.
Trusted forum users, paying customers.
When I wrote “open it to the general public”, I meant giving read permission to the world.
Before that, have those selected authors create a basic structure and important articles, have it reviewed.
Also, as said, there is forum software available that only makes reviewed updates public.

@DemBeesDoneStolenAll, maybe it’s just me, but I’m not a reddit guy, it never clicked with me. The least I can say, it wouldn’t look official to me. I’d prefer having it on the puri.sm site.


#10

the wiki just solves the problem of “hard to find” information. but that is a secondary one. the primary “lack of status” is not solved this way and must be adressed by purism.

i assume purism has a project plan and team meetings discussing the status. why no having a excerpt of what is discussed there to know where they are going? @purism: what do you think?


#11

Yup, you can restrict who can edit on a subreddit wiki yet allow all to see it. I’m a woman with self esteem so the reddit culture doesn’t click for me either. Regardless , there’s a purism branded wiki just sitting there.


#12

Damn it’s been a week since this post… let’s crowdfund a plane ticket to go to San Francisco and wake Purism up :slight_smile:


#13

This is a great idea. A wiki can be very usefull such as this one: http://thinkwiki.de/Hauptseite


#14

Hi, I fully agree! I was planning on writing some topic in this forum asking what the proper place is to read about updates on the project because I found almost none. I backed both the librem 5 dev-kit and the phone, am still really enthousiastic about it, maybe I can help out in places, would like to investigate proper VoLTE support besides the Matrix client? But am a bit disappointed with the lack of communication so far! I can imagine you’re very busy, but if you want an active community around your products then I think this has to change. For me I’d like to read more updates in blog form, or what is available in “News and events” section on the site. But more frequent and more technical than a ringtones contest update.

Thanks!


#15

A hardware reference wiki has been on my wishlist for a long time. I need to whip our sysadmin again/harder for this deployment to happen. You folks raise valid points about how to manage it (to prevent vandalism or phishing) though, that’s the social/policy aspect I was wondering about. My past experiences is that open-registration wikis are unmanageable due to spam, and the potential for subversion/vandalism especially as we would be a prime target… and even when we deploy such a thing, it will take a fair amount of time to populate it as you can imagine, so y’all will have to be patient :wink: but constructive feedback would be welcomed of course.

Newsletter: what, you weren’t sick of us spamming your mailboxes with news during the past few months? :wink:

About the news updates and tech writing frequency in general:

  • Sometimes the info just isn’t yet available (ex. while we’re negotiating the specs and such, or while we’re doing long R&D projects).
  • Researching and writing takes time. A lot of time.

You’ll see an example tomorrow with @kakaroto’s newest blog post about reverse engineering, it illustrates why such things can take a long time.

Also, we realize we’re vastly underrepresenting PureOS work being done (those who work on it typically don’t take the time to write about their day…). To help a bit, we’re looking (no promises yet) into getting some additional help with documentation research work to supplement the communications and increase the pace.


#16

harhar, yes, i saw that as well and thought it’s a typical marketing action to keep the people happy.

i would prefere a contest of test suite - the one detecting most bugs wins or the like. that would fit better in the picture.

but maybe that’s the case: while many technical people are interested in the project you (purism) need(s) just all people to buy, even those that are interested very high level only.


#17

@jeff thanks a lot for taking the time to answer this. I appreciate it a lot.
The long (perceived) days of silence can erode trust of supportes quickly.
For example, the campaign page says there will be “a community area to participate in PureOS mobile development”.
You seem to think that we expect more “results” and long, in-depth articels like @kakaroto 's excellent masterpiece on reverse-engineering. That is awesome, but a simple (weekly?) ten-line status update would be appreciated at least as much by many people (I think).
The simplest way to do that would be to have an “status update” category in the forums and let us know what is going on without a lot of chitchat. It could look like

  • Shipping of Librem Xyz should start next week
  • We’re still waiting for the promised iMX.8 samples, NXP delayed it to next easter
  • Notable PureOS updates: PureBrowser now based on FF57
  • We began working on the mobile developer community area for pureos.net - more details soon
  • Wiki is in the making
  • We took note of an increased interest in non-US keyboard layouts and hope to open preordering for German layouts soon.

On the wiki:
If you take the presented approach, neither vandalism nor initial population should be a problem:

  • Let active community members help with the population while it is not publicly accessible for initial population.
  • Write access is invitation only, for backers/customers/forum users
  • Wiki software supports mandatory reviews

#18

+1 from me, so you can already change the ‘I’ to ‘We’ :slight_smile:


#19

wow, what an article, so well explained and I love the section ‘Other stories from strange lands’ which really illustrates the surrealism of some of this work. Hats off to @kakaroto for the work and the write up as well. It reminds me of my PhD in cosmology and the computer models written in c++ to trace the evolutions of galaxies in the universe :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: :- surreal to outsiders and yet exhilarating when one gets actual results that work!

The precious IDA tool that is mentioned in the article is ironically closed source and very dear. I wonder if such a tool will one day be available under the GPL.

However, I am curious, One of the difficulties highlighted with reverse-engineering is the tracing of errors/mistakes made in the decoding. @kakaroto explains how he adopts a side-by-side process of decoding ASM on one screen and updating ‘C’ code on another. So Is it not possible to compile the C code and compare the ASM compiled with the original ASM code? Wouldn’t the 2 only differ if the decoded instructions were not correct? Or is it that the allocation of registers/memory changes each time the C code is compiled?


#20

Well, now we’re going very off-topic… but okay :wink:
I guess that is possible, but only partially. Try it out yourself interactively at godbolt.org. Add the option -Os and be surprised how different a multiplication can look. Or switch the compiler. Very minor changes can result in completely different code, if the compiler changes the way the registers are used.