Re: creating and maintaining accessible Linux distros
I thought the Cathedral represented proprietary software and FOSS was
the Bazaar in that old metaphor...
Considering Debian's policy on only including FOSS in the main distro,
targeting devices that target Linux might be the only sane option
Mobian has at their disposal... though I'm not sure Debian loosening
their stance on non-free software would help as much in the mobile
arena as it would with PCs...
XP was still the current "good" version of Windows when I last used
Windows with any regularity, and I haven't used a smartphone for about
9 years, but my understanding is that it is still standard practice
for Hardware vendors in the PC world to offer stand-alone downloads of
their drivers, so even if they stop updating a driver and refuse to
opensource it, you can at least download it and see if it works with
the latest Windows or Linux Kernel and if it doesn't hackers at least
have a smaller target for figuring out why, and worse come to worse,
the modularity of Desktops means you might be able to replace the
component with the dead driver without having to replace the whole
machine... With smartphone hardware, I understand it's practically
unheard of for drivers to be available in any form other than baked
into images for full system upgrades, and that between said images
usually being encrypted and most devices not allowing user access to
the parts of internal storage that hold system software, there's no
easy way of extracting the drivers from the last official software
update for a device and install them on a generic copy of a newer
version of Android, much less see if they'll work on a more
traditional Linux setup... And because most Smartphone makers have
small as a terminal design/engineering goal, modularity is almost
never a consideration... hell, some would probably build the whole
phone from a single wafer of silicon if the technology was there to
make such practical(Oh, dear Turing, if this happens in my lifetime,
let it be proceeded by the tech that goes into modular phones
becoming cheap enough a modular phone is actually affordable... or
that modular phones are available through major carriers so there's a
convenient means of financing one).
I haven't really kept track of such things, but I suspect there's a
lot of overlap between "phones that that someone has slapped Linux on
without it being officially supported" and "phones someone has
released an unofficial Android image newer than the official ones for"
on account of extracting drivers from official android images being
the biggest hurdle to accomplishing either.
Of course, the maybe ironic part here is that, if smartphone vendors
made community support of older phones easier by making the drivers
readily available, old phonesmight not have such lousy resell value.