Sailfish OS, open source collaboration meetings on IRC
Since the beginning of Jolla, there has been periodic meetings going on between the community and sailors. But many of you might be not familiar with them since they haven’t been promoted by us in a great scale.
If you have followed our forum, together.jolla.com, we have been actively accepting and discussing new entries and topics for the said meetings while having them on IRC, mostly once a month and now on a bi-weekly basis, depending on the amount of topics and entries we get. If you don’t know what IRC is, scroll to the bottom of this post.
This has been going on since the beginning…
We have had these meetings with the community since the beginning of Jolla. The truth is that a text based meeting especially in an environment like IRC can be intimidating at first but not so difficult to get used to – I’m talking also from my personal experience. There is also the fact that not everyone uses IRC or knows how to use it, can be the reason behind it.
What we are planning to do is to fix that and talk more openly about our Sailfish OS, open source collaboration meetings, blog about what has been going on during those meetings and encourage people to propose more topics so that our community can get more involved with the sailors.
What’s going on in the meetings?
This time, we are going to bring the second to last meeting up and talk about what has been said during that meeting. The reason we are not talking about the very last meeting is that there were no topics announced for that meeting and we got to do a rather short general discussion only. Anyhow, let’s cut to the chase:
Okay, before we do that, let’s have a quick tutorial to the most common IRC commands used during meetings:
Firstly, IRC commands start with a “hash” – #
#startmeeting: Used once in every meeting for starting the meeting so that the IRC bot starts logging.
#info : This command is, as it implies, used for tagging important information in meetings, as you shall see later on this blog post, #info is mostly used if a Sailor has said something that is an answer (or information) regarding a topic, which brings us to the next command.
#topic : This command is obviously used to change topics.
#action: Is used when there is an action point for someone, usually a Sailor.
#undo: As the name gives it away, it’s for undoing the last action taken by the meeting chairperson. Example: If the chairperson writes an #info down and then commands #undo, the bot will delete that #info from the final log.
#endmeeting: Used to tell the bot to stop logging the meeting.
Sailfish OS community collaboration meetings (referred to as SFOS IRC meetings from now on) always begin with a brief introduction so we get to know who’s nickname is what which allows us to properly tag people who we directly want to talk to. Tagging people on IRC is as simple as writing down their nicknames (no @ or + needed!) or, if you are tagged by someone who has a hard nickname, just press the “Tab” button on your keyboard which should work on most IRC clients (In some cases you will need to press it more than once) and the nickname will be tagged automatically. Fairly easy, right?
This last meeting was no exception and we got 17 registries during the introduction (Although there always are late comers who won’t announce their presence during the intro.)
Topics and discussions:
After the intro, we get straight to the topics and we discuss them between Sailors and our dear community members. Each topic has its own duration and extra information decided by the creator. It is truly simple to create a topic. The hard part being actually thinking of one, which is on its own extremely easy if you are involved into the development of Sailfish OS. All you need to do to create a topic on TJC is to edit the page and add your topic to the list using the sample that can be found under “Template for topic proposal” area.
We had three topics up for discussion last time and only two of them were thoroughly discussed. The third one was cancelled since the main author wasn’t present, therefore we will only brief you on the two discussed topics.
Possibility to enable 802.11r support in wpa_supplicant
As described by the author, Support for 802.11r is disabled at compilation time in package wpa_supplicant. As explained in TJC, it is relatively easy to enable this feature without any abnormal behaviour.
This was a topic which we discussed very briefly as the answer to it by our Sailor, Marko Saukko, was that “There is no reason why it could not be enabled other than testing and making sure nothing breaks if it is enabled“. That brought us to an action point where the author of the topic were assigned to test the matter on Mer project and see what outcome it results.
Project Halium, collaboration on common android base
This is effectively a topic that marks the birth of a new open source project called “Project Halium”. The description, according to the creators who were the authors of the topic is as followed:
Currently Ubuntu Touch, Sailfish OS/Mer, Plasma Mobile and others have different Android source trees and methods on how our stacks are built even though much of the underlying technologies are the same. There is a lot of unneeded fragmentation. Project Halium aims solve this by the having common Android base and middleware between different projects so that we could collaborate and distribute each of our resources more efficiently. More details about this project was sent to Sailfish OS developer mailing list.
This topic went on discussing the birth of this new project and mostly were focused on getting comments from Sailors which was like this: “We need to remember here one important thing, what works with the ODM’s? It does not really matter what we think is the best if it doesn’t work with the ODM’s. Also things like merging to same codebase things like kernel or drivers or using same caf tag is basically going back to MeeGo times and the issues that were already existing there that we have been working quite hard to get working with Sailfish OS and our ODM partners.”
Since a lot of information was crammed into this topic, I recommend anyone who would like to get the whole picture to visit this link and read from “08:18:22” until “08:52:36” which marks the whole discussion line after line.
What happens after all of the topics are answered, is a 10-15 minute general discussion. Usually, if there is a leftover discussion from the topics above that has gone over time, or simply anyting else will be said and discussed here in the general discussion part of the meeting.
This time, the main discussion was the Sony Xperia project which is progressing steadily.
Next Meeting Date
This is obviously the last part of the meeting and it includes the chairman suggesting a time and the others either accept or deny. Usually end with gathering votes for a particular time and date.
Please leave your topics and questions here before joining.
(*) What is IRC? And why IRC?
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is one of the first chat services on the internet that is still being used by many people around the globe. IRC fits well in our open source culture, it is secure and open and we use it also internally. It provides something called bots which makes gathering meeting information and meeting “minutes” in one place easy.
When we have these periodic meetings with our community, we use IRC bots to divide different topics from one another so that we can later on go back to the given questions and answers and find them in the meeting minutes provided by the bot after the meeting is done.
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