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Jolla Mobile Set To Launch Its Sailfish OS Today, Signs Deal with Finnish Telco 74

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the getting-crowded-in-here dept.
New submitter zzats writes "The Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Jolla, started by ex-Nokia Meego engineers, is showing it's Linux-based Sailfish OS for the public for the first time today. The first keynote speech aired at 9:15 GMT, with an UI-focused presentation starting later, 15:00 GMT. In addition to using the OS on their own devices, Jolla is planning to license it to third party manufacturers. The company has previously stated their initial focus for creating an ecosystem is in the Chinese market." sfcrazy adds: "Jolla has signed a deal with Finland's 3rd largest mobile operator DNA to market the MeeGo based smartphones in the Finnish market."
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Jolla Mobile Set To Launch Its Sailfish OS Today, Signs Deal with Finnish Telco

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  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @10:46AM (#42054923)

    ...is awesome looking. Having only part bought into Microsoft marketing of a third smartphone OS [no its not an ecosystem]. This is the the first time. I have been sold on an OS on first impressions. I'm not overwhelmed with the swipe-down menu...or self customising...but the lock-screen; Multitasking widgets? both great looking and functional features.

  • Does anyone know if this operating system will be made open or if it will remain closed? Would really like if there was a good open alternative to Android.

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      Sailfish being based on Linux as well, it will at least have an open kernel.

    • by gmuslera (3436) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @11:12AM (#42055271) Homepage Journal
      Based on Mer [merproject.org] if it gives you a hint. Looks like it will be pretty open.
    • by Volanin (935080)

      No, it won't be open source.
      From the wikipedia page:

      Jolla said that mobile phone manufacturers (e.g. Nokia, Samsung etc.) will be able to license and use Sailfish on a phone, just like Android. Similar to Windows Phone, it is also not open source.

    • by Keruo (771880)
      It's just a gui for Mer, which you can fork [merproject.org] already.
      • by kthreadd (1558445)

        That looks very interesting. Thanks.

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        It's just a gui for Mer

        You say it as if the GUI doesn't matter. In a consumer device. Where all the user gets to see, is the GUI.

        It's the underlying OS that actually doesn't matter, it's all about the UI.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Does anyone know if this operating system will be made open or if it will remain closed?

      Presumably, if it's "Linux based" they'll be required under the terms of the GPL to release their changes.

      The stuff they write on top probably not so much. And then I'm sure they'll have some stuff they say is patented or licensed they can't tell you about.

      I don't think I'd count on getting something which can provide a usable OS on other phones without a lot of work by someone.

      • by kthreadd (1558445)

        They would only have to release the kernel sources, which is far from the entire operating system. So while it sounds great that they are using Linux it doesn't really say anything about the rest of it.

    • Re:Will it be open? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ryzvonusef (1151717) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:30PM (#42056407) Journal

      https://sailfishos.org/wiki/QA [sailfishos.org]

      Will Sailfish SDK be available for Linux and Windows?

      Yes Sailfish SDK is based on QtCreator and will be available in Windows, Linux and OSX.

      When will Sailfish SDK be available?

      The version presented at Slush will be available very soon. In the meantime you can follow the steps on the merproject.org page and build most of the SDK yourself.

      Will you support HTML5?

      Yes we are studying Cordova Qt which is an open source version of PhoneGap.

      Will you support DRM

      No.

      What APIs (application programming interface) will Jolla / Sailfish provide from device platform?

      Qt APIs (QtQuick, QtMobility, QtWebkit and more) should be used by typical Sailfish OS applications. Also standard Linux APIs within reason for mobile usage will be available.

      Do you use in-house patched Qt version with Jolla specific modifications?

      We use the fully open version of Qt delivered by Mer; like many distributions this carries small patches to fix bugs, enhance performance or backport features. Mer tracks upstream Qt very closely.

      What is the relationship of Sailfish OS and Nemo Mobile project?

      We are using parts of Nemo Mobile in Sailfish OS. Specifically Nemo Mobile has a UI and a set of applications that we won't use in the final Jolla product nor in Sailfish OS. We are contributing to Nemo Mobile and our intention is to keep Sailfish OS compatible with Nemo Mobile and vice versa.

      Will you have a developer program and if, what are the benefits for a developer?

      We will disclose more information regarding this during next year.

      What is your open source contribution model?

      Sailfish OS is based on Mer and Qt which are already existing and known open-source projects with good contribution policies.

      What do the Android app developers need to do get their apps run on Jolla devices / devices based on the Sailfish OS?

      Many Android(TM) applications will run on Jolla devices unchanged (Android is a trademark of Google Inc.). If you want to take advantage of all UI and other features of Sailfish OS and make your applications fast, you can port your applications to native QT/QML. There are extensive guides available on how to do that.

      What does Sailfish OS have on top of Mer?

      Mer provides a functional core Linux stack that boots up to the screen. Mer does not provide HW adaptation nor a functional UI. There is where Sailfish fills the gap and provide you with a productized mobile OS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @10:58AM (#42055101)

    And it's closed source... What a great way to alienate 99% of your prospective early adopters.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Only Jolla GUI is closed source I guess - if the rest is open source and the userland is 'linux like' thats enough for me.

      • by kthreadd (1558445)

        Only Jolla GUI is closed source I guess - if the rest is open source and the userland is 'linux like' thats enough for me.

        And if the system itself is fairly modular AND the hardware is open then there should be no stopping you from replacing the closed bits. But that's a big if.

        • by zzats (891574)

          And if the system itself is fairly modular AND the hardware is open then there should be no stopping you from replacing the closed bits. But that's a big if.

          There's three parts to this puzzle here. Mer, which is the core distribution. Nemo UX, an open source UI for phones built on top of Mer. Lastly, there's the Sailfish UI, which is the proprietary, Nemo-compatible Jolla-look&feel UX.

          It's currently possible to build Mer along with Nemo for N900/N950/N9 (along with several non-Nokia devices), but as far as I understand, the Nemo UI is not usable for the former device. The Mer wiki [merproject.org] has quite a lot of relevant information on the topic.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Whether it is closed or open source is totally irrelevant for probably >99% of the buyers. Most buyers don't even know whether it's open or closed source, and if they do, they don't care. They want a nice phone, one that works, and that has lots of apps available. That is far more important than whether the source to the OS is open or closed.

      • by 21mhz (443080)

        Whether it is closed or open source is totally irrelevant for probably >99% of the buyers. Most buyers don't even know whether it's open or closed source, and if they do, they don't care. They want a nice phone, one that works, and that has lots of apps available.

        So those buyers will likely choose something running iOS, Android, or Windows Phone?

    • by da_matta (854422)
      Jolla could be the true third (or fourth) ecosystem by using Open Source to the full extent. Include a slightly curated collection of open source repositories to get their phone full of content. I.e. it should be free to signup and they should just make sure there is a semi-respectable community behind the repo (with access cut if turns to piratism, child porn, etc). The only chance of success they have IMO is to get the best of FOSS software (and content) ported to them. They will never attract developers
  • on the Nokia N9?
    • by gmuslera (3436)
      The demo runs in the N950, so odds are high that it will run in the N9. But Jolla also said some time ago that it won't be supported. So will be up to you (or the community) to make it run it there, won't be an i.e. official Nokia upgrade to it.
      • by KiloByte (825081)

        Screw the OS, gimme a J950, quickly!

        N900, even after all these years, is worlds better than any competition, in terms of hackability and input method. Sorry, but the keyboard is not optional -- with one, you lay down and start coding, noticing you could have been sitting at your big computer only after a few hours. You need to beat some sense into the keyboard layout, but after some customization it ends up on par with a small laptop when it comes to typing efficiency. And unlike a laptop, it fits into a

    • by zzats (891574)

      Yes it will. They even demoed the OS on N9s, but the good question is, whether they'll actually release it for the N9.

      In any case, the N9 will benefit a free operating system from Mer and Nemo UX - which will be application compatible with Sailfish.

      • In any case, the N9 will benefit a free operating system from Mer and Nemo UX - which will be application compatible with Sailfish.

        This. The N9 app store is pretty much dead and it's quite understandable why. If Sailfish has some success then we'll see more apps developed.

  • Their CEO seems like kind of a tool with that haircut... and the marketing campaign makes me feel like they're trying to be more of a hipster brand than iOS is. The UI looks like the bastard child of Metro and Android, too.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's nice to see a man criticized for how ridiculous he's made himself look. Usually it's just women who get picked on for their looks.

  • Hehe... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Iniamyen (2440798)
    I read that as "Selfish OS," and I was like, "I'm already using one of those!"
    • Actually, for me it is a selfish OS. I want a phone where I can open up a root bash shell and putz around, and find some trouble to get myself into. And I want a free SDK where I can download Linux source tarballs, and compile them for the phone. I could do all that with Nokia's former Maemo/MeeGo/Harmattan thingies.

      If I can do that with Sailfish, I, at least, will be a very happy camper. It's not what your average user will need. But I am being very selfish here, indeed.

  • by jbolden (176878) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:02PM (#42055947) Homepage

    One thing that is worth mentioning here is that Apple in court, during the Samsung hearings, indicated they believed MeeGo was independently developed and thus didn't infringe on their patents. So one of the advantages of Sailfish will be that it doesn't carry with it all the patent issues that Android had from the Apple side. Microsoft might still sue like they did with Android, but given Microsoft's problems in Europe from a PR perspective going after European handset makers could be totally not worth the backlash. hard to tell.

    At the very least Apple's comments would do a lot to help indemnify this OS, "Even Apple has statements made under penalty of perjury that this OS was developed independently..."

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      afaik/iirc one of the points about meego was that the companies involved agreed that it's free from patent burdens at least as far as they can tell(iirc you can't release something in gpl and then later assert patent rights to it anyways - of course totally unrelated 3rd parties could assert their patent rights on it. some evil dude might say that's why some patents from some manufacturer were spun off into a 3rd party company).

      • by jbolden (176878)

        The Nokia patents that were spun off AFAIK are mainly for the phone portion, that would mainly be a hardware issue.

        And yeah I'd assume lots of evil dudes will step forward. But one won't be Apple and being able to site Apple in their defense...

  • That's just what I was looking for! Now if I want to write a cross-platform application I not only need to develop for OS X, Windows XP/Vista/7 and Windows 8/Metro, GNU/Linux and the mobile OSes iOS, Android, and Windows RT, I also should develop my apps for ChromeOS, FirefoxOS, WebOS, and last but not least "Jolla."

    Let me guess...additionally the makers of these operating systems have no particular reason to ease interoperability and also want me to put my applications on their personal app store, each wit

    • It can run android apks and supports qt/qml and html5, so actually will be one of the easiest devices for developers to target. If they get this OS running on devices other than phones, that's a nice bonus for developers too! I'd say it's already a developers dream since that UI demo was shown on an n950, a devkit thousands of developers already have.

    • That's just what I was looking for! Now if I want to write a cross-platform application I not only need to develop for OS X, Windows XP/Vista/7 and Windows 8/Metro, GNU/Linux and the mobile OSes iOS, Android, and Windows RT, I also should develop my apps for ChromeOS, FirefoxOS, WebOS, and last but not least "Jolla."

      You can develop for all of those platforms with the toolkit that is native to Jolla, Qt.

      You'll still have issues with app stores though.

      • by 21mhz (443080)

        You can develop for all of those platforms with the toolkit that is native to Jolla, Qt.

        Can you? A Qt port for Android, Necessitas, is a non-mainstream effort and it's currently in alpha. A Qt port to WinRT has been investigated, lack of OpenGL support seen as a major obstacle. Chrome and Firefox... good luck merging that with the browser environment.

        From the looks of it, PhoneGap (AKA Apache Cordova) has better promise at the moment, but it's a rather cumbersome programming environment, and you are often out of luck if you need third-party plugins depending on what platforms you want to targe

    • by gmuslera (3436)
      If your application/game is popular enough, you will develop it for even more platforms. Ask Rovio about it.
  • Jolla means "Fucking" (adjective) in Korean. I wonder how they would debut in Korean market.

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