Thursday, December 14, 2023

[fedora-arm] Re: State of the mibility SIG, dec 2023

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the update. Comments inline.

Firstly I'd like to apologise for my lack of public participation in
the SIG, the last year or two has proven quite problematic for me
personally, I've had a lot of "higher priorities" which has reduced my
available hacking time, and that seems to quickly get gobbled up with
things like RPi regressions and release blocker bugs. Throw in a whole
bunch of mental health issues and something had to give.

That being said, in the last few weeks I have been actually back to
some hacking projects... more on that below.

> This will be a bit long, but I hope it will explain the current unfortunate state
> of the mobility sig.
> First a bit of history. The mobility sig was originally formed back in 2010.
> The goal then was "… a group of Fedora contributors that are interested in
> Fedora on small devices. Initially aimed at supporting NetBooks, Mobile Internet devices"
> A good deal of progress on small devices like netbooks and tablets was made,
> but then the members of the SIG moved on to other concerns. Then, in 2020 the
> most recent version of the SIG formed. The goal was focused on getting Fedora
> working well on the new pine64 pinephone, and then later when announced the new
> pine64 pinephone pro.
> In the last 3 years we have accomplished a lot:
> The phosh stack has been packaged up
> We have been producing Fedora Remixes with 3rd party kernels to provide support
> for pinephone and pinephone pro.
> a Phosh spin has been created and officially produced
> There was a effort to get a remix working for the oneplus 6, but
> still requiring a lot of manual tweaking.
> Unfortunately, the active members of the sig are not able to move things forward right now.
> The pinephone and pinephone pro are both old devices at this point. They were slow
> when released, and thats not improved. Worse, upstreaming of patches to get either
> of them working with a Fedora/Mainline kernel seems unlikely to us for a lot
> of reasons, including that many of the 3rd party patches aren't in a state that
> upstream would accept and many authors of them have no particular desire to
> upstream them.
> The phosh spin is largely not useful in the current situation as the
> Fedora mainline kernel barely boots on the pinephone pro (not at all on the
> pinephone) and has no wireless or display. The image could be of use to
> other aarch64 single board style devices, but since they usually don't have
> displays or modems, the phosh interface isn't of particular insterest.

So I have been booting the original Pinephone on Fedora 39, display
works so I'd be interested in the issues you're seeing there. I'm
booting the original PP because of the Wireless, I've been looking at
some of the realtek modules for another project but hoping the side
effect is actually the rtl8723 series devices should be upstream
soon(ish). This should also resolve the issue on the original PineTab
although I don't remember who has that as I don't (the people that do
please reach out if you want to help testing).

The PPP is also on my list to look at again soon, initially it'll be
around U-Boot due to the F-39 blocker issues as I'm working to resolve
that upstream for once so I'll be testing that on my PPP, I thought we
had the wireless and screen there, I do need to circle back more to
this one though TBH.

> Until the advent of some performant mobile device to target or more
> contributors who wish to drive things forward, I think we should just
> mark the Mobility sig inactive at this point, including:

I think marking the SIG as inactive probably makes sense.

> Retire the Phosh spin in f40

What's currently produced here?

> Hopefully find new maintainers for the phosh stack if there's folks that want to keep them alive.

How much work is this? How many packages?

> Mark the sig inactive on wiki and matrix.

Just as I actually get the energy to setup matrix :-P although I am
yet to find the SIG there

> respins will move to against a stable fedora release once a week or so, instead of against rawhide and more often.

What's in the respins? Is that basically Fedora and custom kernel?

> Hopefully there is someday a brighter day for Fedora mobile devices.
> Folks that want to try and revive the SIG and/or are able to see a good
> path forward are invited to join

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