A plea
#1
Dear All,

There isn't a subforum for general Pinephone software topics, so I hope it's OK to post this here.

I've had my Pinephone for a couple of months now, and I'm enjoying playing with it.  But from a couple of recent chats I've had on Reddit, it seems I'm not alone in being irritated by the poor quality of some of the distro releases for the Pinephone.  Over recent days I've tried:
  • Manjaro Plasma.  Used to boot fine.  But now, if I flash it to SD then the phone just boots to whatever is on emmc.  And if I flash to emmc, it doesn't boot at all.
  • KDE Neon.  Again this used to be OK-ish but now, although it boots OK, when I try to launch an app, the app launches but then the whole system immediately crashes.  Happens every time and for every app.  Other people on Reddit have found the same.
  • Ubuntu Touch.  Again this used to work pretty well, but now when I try to boot it, it gets as far as the Pine64 logo and just hangs there. 
I realise that developers have day jobs and are working in their spare time, so they can't do very extensive testing.  But could they at least make sure that the release a) boots correctly and b) can actually run some apps without crashing?

The honourable exception to this that I've so far found is Mobian.  It seems to be well maintained, and just about everything I need works.

I'm sorry if this comes over as unduly negative, but I (and, it seems, others) find all this annoying.
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#2
This is the General Pinephone software sub forum: https://forum.pine64.org/forumdisplay.php?fid=121 (scroll down to find the topics)
Pinephone Manjaro CE 3/32Gb
Pinephone Mobian CE 3/32Gb
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#3
Plasma Mobile is very unusable at the moment, which is why I stay with Phosh for now.
I really hope to be able to use Plasma Mobile.

Especially given the KDE edition being shipped to customers this month, it's really no good sign if they'd ship Plasma Mobile in the state it currently is in.
It's meant for developers, but it doesn't stop casual users from buying one, and complaints from both of them.

Walled garden, forced contact tracing, device fingerprinting, etc are my reasons to change to a Linux phone, but I'm a developer too, so I'm willing to provide a helping hand wherever I possibly can.
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#4
@MarkF 

This 'Note' is posted prominently on the Pine phone webpage,

  Did you read this ? 

NOTE :Community Limited Edition PinePhones are aimed solely for developer and early adopter. More specifically, only intend for these units to find their way into the hands of users with extensive Linux experience.


Where does it even imply it is "consumer ready"  ?
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#5
(12-01-2020, 06:28 PM)bcnaz Wrote: @MarkF 

This 'Note' is posted prominently on the Pine phone webpage,

  Did you read this ? 

NOTE :Community Limited Edition PinePhones are aimed solely for developer and early adopter. More specifically, only intend for these units to find their way into the hands of users with extensive Linux experience.


Where does it even imply it is "consumer ready"  ?
To be entirely fair, it says "developers and early adopters", not just "developers who can fix their devices themselves".

It also elaborates: "More specifically, only intend for these units to find their way into the hands of users with extensive Linux experience." But extensive Linux experience won't really help if the release image doesn't boot. And "early adopters" don't have much to adopt if their phone hangs on the startup logo.

So while you're not wrong, that warning can also be read optimistically as "some stuff may not work great, and you may need to tinker". Aka expect to have trouble with e.g. bluetooth headphones. And be prepared to manually edit config files for system services. This kind of interpretation is perfectly consistent with the "developers and early adopters, with extensive Linux experience" description.

So while you're not wrong, the warning doesn't say either "this is intended solely for developers able to fix their own phones; don't expect it to work out of the box, at all, unless you're lucky". That kind of stuff was present for Braveheart preorders; the warning got toned down for the "release" version.
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#6
The above 'Note' is a direct 'copy & paste' from the current Pine phone webpage,  not an 'approximation'.
******************

I was there and purchased my Brave Heart in the first minutes they went up for sale in November of 2019.

I am in no way a "Developer"  I cannot even use the terminal, but I do spend a lot of time reading the posts on this forum.

I have managed to use my Brave Heart phone  'most of the time'  since I started using it, there were a few days, or even weeks back in the early months
of this year, where some or all functions had 'problems'.

  There was the longest period from when UBPorts quit,   until the early 'Debian with Phosh'  (before Mobian)  where only sms text was working.

Since the arrival of "the" Mobian operating system there has always been one or more systems that do 'work'  but that can require changing from one 
 operating system,  to another...  
The Pine phone hardware has been usable,  even if not perfect,  just some effort finding a working O.S.  sometimes.

There are hundreds,  maybe thousands of forum members here much more skilled at using Linux than myself. 

BUT, Never Once have I Cryed,   Whah  Whah    My cell phone does not work !

Maybe I am LUCKIER than the average Pine phone user.?     maybe,    but I am not smarter than average.

"OH, but it just stops at this screen"     WHAH   WHAH       
                                                                         You sit there Crying/complaining ?       WTF ...   seriously  ?

Try re-flashing your sd card or try a different release, maybe try a different Distro.    (So many choices) !

*  AND  There are a lot of friendly forum members here,   who will try their best to "help" you have a good experience.

    but    "Whah  Whah   it don't work"     is Not something that anyone can help you with.


  (Currently I do have my original Brave Heart phone, 3 Post market Convergent, 1 Manjaro Convergent phone,  They DO work.)
      LINUX = CHOICES
         **BCnAZ**
               Idea
   Donate to $upport
your favorite OS Team
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#7
It's so easy to boot off an SD card to check out something else I don't see it as a show-stopper if the factory-installed OS isn't that great. On my Manjaro Edition phone the pre-installed OS was very unstable, pretty much unusable. Now I have the phone running stably with core functions operational by booting off an SD card with a different operating system. The Pinephone is obviously not a product for the typical iPhone user but it seems fine for people experienced with Linux that don't mind tinkering.
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#8
(12-01-2020, 09:45 PM)bcnaz Wrote: BUT, Never Once have I Cryed,   Whah  Whah    My cell phone does not work !

Maybe I am LUCKIER than the average Pine phone user.?     maybe,    but I am not smarter than average.

"OH, but it just stops at this screen"     WHAH   WHAH       
                                                                         You sit there Crying/complaining ?       WTF ...   seriously  ?

Try re-flashing your sd card or try a different release, maybe try a different Distro.    (So many choices) !

*  AND  There are a lot of friendly forum members here,   who will try their best to "help" you have a good experience.

    but    "Whah  Whah   it don't work"     is Not something that anyone can help you with.

There is quite some interval between what they actually wrote and your characterization of it.

Anyway, I am in sympathy with what the OP wrote because developers are very bad at recognizing that, once they have users, they have some degree of responsibility toward them.
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#9
This is why I quit bothering to give free software to people who could use it. They always seemed to end up thinking I owed them something more. My favourite is that I should just give them the source code because they could do do much better. Well if you could do so much better, you don't need my source. It took me two years, it should only take you a month. Even then, I probably would've just given it to you had to asked. But no, you went on a forum and posted "does anyone know where I can get the source code?" My current email address was one of the first things in the documentation. Very likely you wouldn't know what to do with the source code anyway, being that you're a C programmer.
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#10
(12-01-2020, 03:50 PM)MarkF Wrote: Dear All,

There isn't a subforum for general Pinephone software topics, so I hope it's OK to post this here.

I've had my Pinephone for a couple of months now, and I'm enjoying playing with it.  But from a couple of recent chats I've had on Reddit, it seems I'm not alone in being irritated by the poor quality of some of the distro releases for the Pinephone.  Over recent days I've tried:
  • Manjaro Plasma.  Used to boot fine.  But now, if I flash it to SD then the phone just boots to whatever is on emmc.  And if I flash to emmc, it doesn't boot at all.
  • KDE Neon.  Again this used to be OK-ish but now, although it boots OK, when I try to launch an app, the app launches but then the whole system immediately crashes.  Happens every time and for every app.  Other people on Reddit have found the same.
  • Ubuntu Touch.  Again this used to work pretty well, but now when I try to boot it, it gets as far as the Pine64 logo and just hangs there. 
I realise that developers have day jobs and are working in their spare time, so they can't do very extensive testing.  But could they at least make sure that the release a) boots correctly and b) can actually run some apps without crashing?

The honourable exception to this that I've so far found is Mobian.  It seems to be well maintained, and just about everything I need works.

I'm sorry if this comes over as unduly negative, but I (and, it seems, others) find all this annoying.

In regarding to testing, you can also help Smile but it will be better if you can focus on a specific distro, so you can thoroughly test it - then there are places where you can post your bug reports, and the developers will read and review them, to make sure the next releases are better and more stable.

Things can get better much faster if we as a community can contribute by simply reporting bugs that we find, as a developer I can tell you that in huge code repos it is hard to find all bugs by your self - the more testing is done, the more "issues" or bugs are found and being reported back to the developers which will deal with them, and as a result the next releases are becoming better and more mature.

Here for an example is the testing / bug reporting thread for the latest beta3 release of Manjaro-arm with Phosh for PinePhone:  https://forum.manjaro.org/t/manjaro-arm-...-pinephone where you can also find a GitLab link for where you can open an issue in their official bug tracker.
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