Am I a mobile developer? (staceee SXMO co-maintenership)
I bought the Pinephone almost a year ago. The only real environment I wanted to use was SXMO. It was, and still is, the OS that fit the more with my idea of an ideal phone exploitation system. In the first place it was really unpleasant to use. The virtual keyboard caused me a lot of missclicks. The phone was not configured to wake up from suspension on incoming call or incoming sms messages. The UI was not scaled to be readable. The application lacked lot of shortcuts or dedicated configuration to be pleasant to use.
SXMO: Simple X Mobile
Anyway, I felt that the core concept was right:
- Use existing softs and make them easier to use on a phone. No devide dedicated Android like "applications".
- Use simple scripts and programs. This is inspired from suckless softwares.
- Be a Linux phone. We target powerusers that want the terminal not far away.
- Be easy to develop, to maintain, to share.
I rapidly took the code in hand and started to code and fix issues I uncoutered. I started to send patches to the SourceHut mailing list. It was my first, real life conditions, contributions with this brillant forge (I love you drew…). The patches started to pile up as Miles (~mil), the initial developer, had other things to take care.
Some months later, other contributors contacted Miles to know if co-maintainership was something doable. Miles decided that Marteen (~proycon) and Anjandev (~anjan) will be given access to the repositories to co-maintain the project.
This was a relief, the patches now was unstacking themselves in the mailing list. As months passed, majors features, required reworks, and solved issues was merged in the main repos.
I continued to contribute a lot and to answer questions in the irc channel and the mailing list.
The main noteable works I remember:
- Svkbd, the virtual keyboard, was enhanced. The layout was reworked to be easier to use. It looks way better and offer cool features needed for daily usage.
- Crust, the thing that make the phone wake from suspension on modem notice, was now working. The modem monitoring script was fetching sms and incoming calls correctly. The phone could be used as a phone!
- Xorg HiDPI was configured. All main components (menus, status bar, terminal) was now customizable. Our phone was now sexy (mine is pink).
- Sone core components as dmenu (menus) and St (terminal) was now able to react to gestures.
- The incoming call pickup behavior has been rework to make it easier to do.
The time passed, SXMO was better and better! It was so exciting to contribute with this crew.
The saturday 15 May 2021, ~proycon and ~anjan gave a talk to the Alpine Conf about SXMO. They covered the main features and answered a lot of questions. The project really is starting to bring attention (I hope).
Video of SXMO at Alpine Conf 2021
Some weeks ago, I received a mail from ~proycon and ~anjan. They asked me if I was interested to co-maintain SXMO with them.
Of course, I replied yes :D
So I'll continue to be present in #sxmo (moved to oftc). To reply to mails, requiring patches to be improved. To bring this project to the skies.