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Community Intro Series: Topias Vainio

Our latest addition to the fairly recent tradition of introducing key community members to the public via our official blog. Today we have Topias Vainio, a fairly helpful and rather awesome personality in our community who is the pioneer of Sailfish OS Fan Club, Sailfish OS News Network and Sailfish Hack Club Helsinki which is moderated by the help of other community members such as Aleksi Suomalainen and Eetu Kahelin on a communication platform and social media called Telegram. They hold monthly Sailfish OS related meetups in Helsinki which I recommend everyone to join if you happen to live in Helsinki!

Topias, alongside a few other community members will be joining us this year at MWC. It will be his first experience and we are extremely excited to be able to share it with him. It was only fitting to publish this interview right before MWC for people who already don’t know Topias and aren’t a member of his channels.

Let’s get to the interview and get to know Topias!


James Noori: Hi Topias! Please introduce yourself to the community, even though the audience might have a pretty clear picture by now after reading the introductory part of this post, but you could maybe go into more details!

Topias Vainio: Hello James and hello to the wonderful Jolla and Sailfish OS community! I’m Topias Vainio, turning 26 years old soon and living in the Jolla homeland, Finland, near Helsinki in a small town called Kirkkonummi. I’m a long time Sailfish OS fan all the way from the early days and been with Jolla through the ups and downs. Been always interested in tech, computers and smartphones since I got my hands on N-Gage QD running Symbian S60. I’m also working as a Full Stack Developer at Poplatek Oy developing web applications and finishing my bachelor’s degree in information technology. Besides programming, my hobbies include gaming and learning Japanese, Korean and Mandarin Chinese.


James: How did you get into Jolla and Sailfish OS? Tell us about your background with Jolla/Sailfish OS and the reason you chose to start supporting us?

Topias: I was very fascinated by the N9 running MeeGo Harmattan and was sad to see it being dead before release but nevertheless it left a strong impression on me. Being an Symbian S60 heavy user and then moved to Android, what really left me stumped about Android was the lack of control over running processes. What I truly loved about MeeGo was the great multitasking feature it offered coupled with a fantastic gesture based UI that provided natural way to interact with a touch screen. Later when I heard about Jolla making a phone running a MeeGo-based Sailfish OS, I got excited about it. I wasn’t brave enough to preorder a Jolla phone but after a month or so reading news about it I decided to get myself one. Ever since I’ve been a supporter of Jolla and Sailfish OS and loved all the energy, effort and hard work put into Sailfish OS, which I truly believe is a fantastic product!


James: You were also one of the attendees at International Sailfish Community Event! Was that your first time meeting the sailors? Tell us a little about your experience and how it went at the event.

Topias: The first time I met the Jolla guys was when I helped them move to another office in Helsinki when they had a lack of manpower because of the layoffs related to the end of 2015 financial problems. I was thrilled to be able to help and meet the Jolla guys so I grabbed the chance. Later I also participated their party where all the movers were invited and got to know the people behind Jolla a lot better. The Sailfish Community Event was an absolute blast and it was nice to see and get to know sailors even more and not forget about the fantastic Jolla C I was so expecting to lay my hands on! I really loved all the great stories, development tips etc Jolla guys presented at the event as well as meeting more of the community from all over the world.


James: Why did you consider Telegram [LINK] instead of any other platform to show your support?

Topias: Telegram in my opinion offers the best and most feature rich platform for open and modern group chat compared to other chat platforms. After many problems with third party Whatsapp clients for Sailfish OS and the closed nature of the Whatsapp platform, a lot of effort had been done to bring a native Sailfish OS client for the direct competitor and open alternative Telegram. A big shout out to Davide Trogu aka Dax89 [link here] for the amazing Telegram client Sailorgram! Telegram is independent and not backed by big corporations like Facebook or Google which really matches the Jolla company ethos as well. Also Telegram channel was a natural choice for the Sailfish News Network since the community was already formed in Telegram. It has proved to be a very good choice thanks to the link invites, high user cap and bot support, which also enabled us to setup an IRC bridge, which in turn enabled us to connect to Matrix chat platform.


James: How active are the groups you own?

Topias: Sailfish OS Fanclub is currently standing around 218 members plus about 17 people connected through IRC and Matrix so in total 225 members. We have around 15 users writing daily and about 50 writing something weekly. Sailfish News Network has 101 members and Sailfish Hackclub Helsinki 18 members. Sailfish OS Fanclub is a very active group sometimes peaked over a 1000 messages in one day. Sailfish News Network about 2 news articles a month and Sailfish Hackclub Helsinki meets once a month.


James: What topics are usually discussed there?

Topias: Pretty much everything from tech to cats is discussed on the Sailfish OS Fan Club but naturally the discussion is centered around Jolla stuff, Sailfish OS and it’s close relatives Nemo, Maemo, MeeGo and Asteroid OS — mostly tech oriented. We have a very free and open policy so we haven’t limited the conversation topic to just around Sailfish OS. We want to be open and friendly towards each other just like you, the great sailors at Jolla. I wanted to create Sailfish OS Fanclub so we could have a common discussion platform to deepen our relations towards one another and towards Jolla and I believe we have achieved that goal. We are a group of friends united across the globe sharing our love towards Sailfish OS. Sailfish News Network is a news channel about anything with the word Sailfish OS and Jolla. It also serves as an announcement tool about the happenings in the Sailfish OS Fan Club. Sailfish Hackclub Helsinki is mostly just centered on organizing meetups for our hackclub and aims to teach people about Sailfish OS programming in the Helsinki metropolitan area.


James: Please tell us how would you improve Jolla? What would be the key thing for Jolla to do in order to improve what we do considering the resources we currently have?

Topias: Transparency has certainly improved so that’s on a very good standing now. I would like to see Jolla embrace Open Source more on the UI side or at least have better ways for direct collaboration by the talented community. Many members of the community are able coders and would actually be able to provide direct code contributions for Sailfish OS apps and UI. There are a long list of different patches for Sailfish OS UI some of which improve the user experience immensely or fix some problems here and there. We have seen many other ways to contribute but many of the pain points lie in the apps or UI elements which are not open for contributions. Many of us just love the OS so much that we would be willing to contribute to code just because of our love towards Sailfish OS. It could be a huge boon for the Sailfish OS development and would further deepen the ties between the community and Jolla company.


James: How many Jolla devices have you owned? How do you like the experience on different hardware?

Topias: I have all the Jolla branded devices, Jolla 1, Jolla Tablet and Jolla C as well as all the official other halves for the Jolla 1, except nadeshiko pink and stella, plus three 3D printed ones from shapeways. Love all of them and even the Jolla 1 still runs Sailfish OS perfectly! I’m still surprised how sturdy the Jolla 1 feels despite its age, much more than the Jolla C that I’m using as a daily driver. Despite the cheap build quality of the Jolla C, it totally rocks with Sailfish OS and I still get many surprised faces when they see me navigate it so fast and smoothly! The build quality is very good on the Jolla Tablet and excellent hardware, the best of the best! Sadly the most anticipated feature split screen multitasking got cancelled along with the tablet. Hopefully Sailfish OS can continue to be optimized for the tablet in the future.


James: How do you feel about joining us this year for MWC? We know that it is your first time and I personally remember my own first experience at MWC, it was surreal! Tell us about your expectations!

Topias: I’ve always been following MWC closely since I got my first Android phone and even more closely since I hopped on the Jolla boat. I can’t express the excitement I have with words and I feel absolutely honored to have received this invitation to join you sailors! I bet my experience will be nothing short of surreal either and I’m looking forward to see you guys in Barcelona and see what you guys have in store for this event. I can’t wait to meet you guys!


James: Any words to the readers of Jolla blog?

Topias: Continue being awesome like you’ve been up until now. Be nice to each other and to the sailors and have faith in this wonderful little company. Jolla has delivered a fantastic OS against all the odds and continues to battle against the big guys. Thanks to you community members, Jolla is where it is today so please continue showing Jolla the support they deserve!


James: Thank you Topias, for supporting us throughout the thick and thin and thank you for sailing with us! Last but not least thank you for taking part in this interview, I wish you a safe trip to Barcelona! See you there.


James Noori

Community Manager at Jolla. Gadget geek. Open source supporter and advocate. Long time Jolla blogger in a third party blog. Ready to change the world with unique and unusual alternatives!


  1. Avatar

    GL&HF @MWC Topias!

    Good read, james.

    Jolla refund club

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        The more I wait for my Jolla device the more awkward I am, so I will read this whatever it says when my Sailfish OS device will come.

        Anyway: congrats.

        The Awaiting for Sailfish OS Device to Come Club of Awkward Users Worldwide Global Association 2016-2017 (CC)

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          I’ve read it. And what makes difference it that Topias Vainio have all possible devices while I have none at all. Nice reading, new Jolla partnerships and still we can’t buy Sailfish device NORMALLY like in civilised world customers do. And that more and more reminds me how Nokia N9 was (non)distributed all over the world by Nokia under CEO Elop. That was sarcasm, which is intended to make you think it over. Because if ppl will not have devices then Jolla will never succeed.

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            Well if you haven’t seen or heard already, check out Jolla’s latest announcements from MWC17. That should give you some relief for that itch quite soon! These guys are working hard every day and it’s finally paying off. And me having all the devices is just because I’m such a huge fan and believe in the OS. So guys, please be patient since Jolla’s future looks brighter than ever!

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              That is not quite “good-enough-relief” point, even when I understand your good faith. I am with MeeGo/Sailfish since before MeeGo 1.1 times so before the N9 launch, so before Jolla has even been established. I am not less huge fan then you are. I believe in the OS not less then you since times mentioned above. I have none of device because I had no chance to get any. Even being among bakers, very early supported, viral news-sharers, contributing to “people powered” or taking part in “what is second-half?” event, etc.etc. and also doing some other actions/things which had influence (e.g. this I have informed Indian producer about Sailfish possibility), positive, on achieving current position of the things. I am patient since times before N9, only difference is that that time I was to be patient waiting for N9, now I am to be patient waiting for something else, after not receiving/having Jolla1, Jolla tablet and Jolla C. Why should I remain still patient and quiet? I am not worse fan then you are and I don’t like things goes this way any-more. Simply don’t want, even being patient in my bitterness, just don’t care. And at the end of a day counts for me not any brighter future but only weather I have or not have Sailfish device in my pocket for daily use. Which I don’t have currently. And this is like tasting ice-cream through a glass of the window.

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    Thank you, I am honored to be featured on your blog! 🙂

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      Thank YOU for taking the time and answering our questions!

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    Very nice read, boys!

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    Excellent and interesting blog post, thank you both!

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    Let’s go on like this!

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    So awesome!! Can’t wait to meet you dude! 😀

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      Was a total blast! Nice meeting you too mate!

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    I just need to know when to expect an actual Jolla device be it through Jolla, Sony, Turing etc

    Having missed out on the tablet & then the crazily limited Jolla C if feels like forever since a user was able to purchase a brand new device with Sailfish

    Its getting quite annoying now for users who have been dedicated to this platform over the years.

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    People whats is going on with the second round of the refund?? UPDATE please!

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      you should have gone along to the MWC to ask in person!

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    Beleive or not, but I want answers to exactly the same question!

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      Anyone who’s ever read one of your posts would be surprised if you somehow weren’t interested in that seeing how you’ve never posted a comment here that didn’t moan about not getting your second refund.

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    @James Noori @toxip
    Hi, despite my bitterness (still yet) there are questions to be asked as still I am at Sailfish side of the Force.
    1) VoLTE when will be and when ASAP it will be? I am not asking about any plans or smart answers, I am asking about date and/or will it be in the nearest oncoming update or at which (by number) of following?
    Why – just because that seems to be ATM the most needed feature which is not where it should be = built in Sailfish OS. So: date? number of oncoming upgrade? This is “must be ASAP”.
    2) Vectorisation (of displaying). Any OS can be vectorised and this would allow for many features now are either absent or hard or to hard simply, even when they are. what are plans in this area?
    3) When will we see again a device “by Jolla” I mean both a smartphone and a tablet? (yes, angry people I remember – refund has not been done yet, but with Jolla growth you will have it sooner then later, even when not immediately) This is good Sailfish is licensed but I think Jolla (when it will be possible) ought to sell (directly or indirectly) even short series of own branded devices. eg. I really doubt if Sony or INOI will show us anything interesting like TOH. I would even like to see a tablet in old or new version. That is low priority question knowing 3rd party devices are expected, but I think IMHO that area should not be left behind completely.

    So when VoLTE? (Or is it already but I have missed info?)

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      Despite the fact that I don’t need VoLTE, I fully agree that it should be added ASAP. You kinda could see it coming when you targeted Indian market.

      In fact, pushing Sailfish in India and not even planning to add VoLTE support was a yet another horrible management decision on Jolla side (on par with blowing all money on SFOS2.0 and not keeping some on the tablet hardware).

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        Exactly. Counting on future and unsure income from whoever it was an investor and not securing resources for payments for produced tablets which were sold already best sellers – it was epic failure of meritocracy in management IMHO, risk above possibility to pay for it, if it would monetised, what has happened. Even when I suppose that might be planned as try either to close or to take over company, and Sailfish as such and as an asset.

        VoLTE however is the most needed by Indian customers, is not only there needed. But indeed in India people will resign from Sailfish from Intex in favour to anything else with VoLTE, just because payments for calling are significantly lower. Perhaps you don’t recognise ppl prefer to pay less then more, and will not do it for OS only. Don’t you afraid it will have negative influence on Intex future planning? I would be.

        Anyway, in most European countries VoLTE is either a normal service already or beta-tested as service. When tested this often means calling using it is for free or cost 1% of normal fees or something similar which is compensation for eventual failures for beta-testers in fact. Whatever – this is cheaper! Why users are to be punished with higher costs? That is almost like a sabotage IMHO.

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          Ok so its VoLTE or reFUND.

          What about spliscreen? What happend with that. Its was in roadmap for Q3 2016.

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            you must be high son!

            I for one am happy that someone other than Jolla is making the new hardware as it should be mean:
            1) we will get something decent hardware wise
            2) someone else is in charge of the hardware (no more tablet fiasco!)

            This is a win-win!

            the only thing Jolla have now is OS, we cant rely on Jolla for hardware anymore

            The website has been refreshed to show new customers that Sailfish is available on many devices when in reality its only on the original Jolla phone

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              I am afraid that those “others then Jolla” will not be as creative as Jolla is. I suppose they will take an existing fresh Android HW and will download a Sailfish only – and that will be all they will do.

              It will be better then now, as now is only Sailfish but without any hardware.

              But it will not assure further progress and growth for Sailfish OS. e.g. I doubt Sony will continue the TOH for accessories and extensions.

              If Jolla will not provide new prototypes with innovations will not be adequate progress I am afraid. So I think Jolla should not abandon building prototypes, even in relatively small series for community, even when manufacturing for mass market will be by 3rd side manufacturer.

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            No, Dave999 you can’t make such a supposition: either VoLTE or refund. Among other staff it is VoLTE which will let Jolla to earn money for refund – I hope you don’t believe money for refund will happen automatically from nowhere?

            I am also for split screen, and in general to back to the tablet by all means. Don’t know what is currently in roadmap.

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              Ok, whats the fastest way to refund?

              Jolla left the roadmaps years ago. So dont think roadmap Will implemented ever.

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                I think: the fastest growth of Jolla and (unfortunately) constant demanding of refund.

                I don’t have any automagical way how to do it. I only hope that when they declared “this year Jolla will be profitable”, they were meaning profitable after finished refund.

                But I am not there and I am not in power to promise you anything – I hope you understand it, and understand that without Jolla’s growth and incomes your refund will not happen – ever. So Jolla success is also good for your refund IMHO.

                Abandon of roadmap is never good. I suppose it is still used but not shown publicly for everybody in the net.

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                  My silent hope is with China consortium they will reanimate tablet project.

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