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Introducing The Sailfish OS Wiki

In this blog post, we’d like to introduce you to the Sailfish OS Wiki. Over the last few months, various sailors have been busy writing documentation and adding it to the wiki, and while there is much more work to be done, it is now complete enough that we consider it to be “beta” stage. This blog post intends to describe why we consider the wiki to be so important, what sort of information can be found in it, our plan for community contributions to the wiki, and to point out some specific sections of the wiki which might be of most interest to our community.

About The Wiki

The Sailfish OS Wiki is intended to be a comprehensive, evolving, living document which describes in detail the various components which make up the Sailfish OS platform, and the interactions between each of those components. Having extensive documentation for Sailfish OS is extremely important for its growth as an open platform, as it greatly lowers the barrier to entry for contributions. Furthermore, as the platform evolves, it is important that the documentation evolves along with it – and it is precisely this aspect of the wiki format which makes it ideal for Sailfish OS documentation. The eventual goal we have for the Sailfish OS Wiki is that as community members contribute to the Sailfish OS platform through code contributions, they simultaneously contribute to the Sailfish OS platform by updating the documentation in the wiki related to the software component they have modified.

Having comprehensive platform documentation is critically important, however it is also vital that the information it contains be easily accessible. This means that the information must be separated into logical categories, cross-linked with related information, formatted appropriately for the intended audience, and edited both for consistency of form and style, and to ensure that copyrighted content is not added without permission. In that respect, we see the Sailfish OS Wiki as being similar to a software repository hosted on the Mer Project GitLab or on GitHub: the wiki will have maintainers and every change should be subject to review and approval by various contributors. We haven’t yet finalised what sort of process could be used for this type of contribution review, or how different access rights will be granted to contributing members of the project (including corporate contributors and community contributors), and this is something we are looking to discuss further with the community in the near future.

Architecture And Collaborative Development Documentation

Recently, sailors from Jolla have been adding documentation to a variety of sections in the wiki relating to both application development (that is, how to develop on top of the Sailfish OS platform) and system development (that is, how to develop the Sailfish OS platform itself). In this blog post, we’d like to point out two areas in particular: the architecture documentation, and the collaboration and contribution documentation. After reading those sections of the Sailfish OS Wiki, a prospective contributor should feel like they have the information they need to contribute to the Sailfish OS platform, be it a bug report, a unit test, a documentation improvement, or a bug fix or a new feature in a software component.

The architecture documentation in the Sailfish OS Wiki contains an overview of the Sailfish OS platform architecture. It describes the various levels of software components which build upon each other to provide the final user experience, from the low-level components like the Hardware Abstraction Layer, to various middleware components providing system services and access APIs, and high-level applications and services providing user-experience on top of the UI subsystem. After reading through those pages, you should have an understanding of how the various components of Sailfish OS fit together, and which components you might like to contribute to.

The collaborative development documentation in the Sailfish OS Wiki describes how to contribute to Sailfish OS. It includes information about filing bug reports, cloning source code repositories, editing code and creating change requests to the repository, how changes get reviewed and accepted and finally released, and how the quality assurance process works. It also includes a step-by-step example of how to contribute a patch to the Sailfish OS Browser, and finally includes a list of various components of the Sailfish OS platforms along with some developers who have experience developing those components, with whom you can get in contact if you wish to contribute there too!

Next Steps

The next steps for us include allowing community members to create accounts and add content and make changes themselves. As noted above, since we wish to have some process whereby contributions to the wiki can be reviewed similarly to how code is reviewed before being accepted into the repositories, we aren’t quite ready to open it up to everyone just yet. We need to devise some proposals for what this process might look like and what form it might take, and then discuss those proposals with the community, before implementing the best one. We will organise a Sailfish OS Community Meeting on IRC to discuss this topic in great detail, at some point in the near future.

Until then, if you have suggestions or want to report issues like poor formatting or broken links in the wiki, please contact David Greaves or Jarkko Lehtoranta via email or IRC.

We look forward to collaborating with everyone more closely in the future, and to building a more open future!

 

Regards,
Sailfish OS Wiki Team

Sailfish OS Wiki Team

Jolla’s team of awesome engineers

 

15 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Great news but even bigger news is:
    “Sailfish currently uses Qt version 5.2, but is working on updating the stack to Qt 5.6”
    Yay!!!!
    Source: https://sailfishos.org/wiki/Qt

  2. Avatar

    Good effort all those concerned. Now, how about some devices actually running Sailfish OS so that the Wiki may one day be read by someone.

    • Avatar

      Intex Aqua Fish is out,
      Turing has started shipping
      There are JollaCs out there
      Jolla phones are still working
      There are also tablets out there as well. Not too many, admittedly.

      There definitely are devices 🙂

      • Avatar

        Speaking of Sailfish OS-running devices:

        How is the Fairphone2 coming ?
        There was a poll on twitter a couple of days ago about an official commercial full port of SFOS to it (beyond what was already done by the community port).

        Any news about this?
        (And will it get announced on this blog ?)

        Thank you very much for the nice work on SF.

        • Avatar

          Hi!

          Fairphone did that poll (as far as I know) to collect more data regarding an official Sailfish OS support for their FP2. They will surely get back to the fans with an answer soon enough!

          Cheers
          James

      • Avatar

        Yes, but where is the the second part refund…should on that list…

      • Avatar

        Hello,
        Great to hear fro mthe Intex Aqua Fish.
        Do You know if they plan to sell it also in Europe – an if Yes when ?

      • Avatar

        None of this devices is actually buyable.
        – Aqua Fish is India only
        – JollaPhoen is out of Stock
        – Jolla C too
        – Tablets? Seriously mentioning this disaster?
        – Turing phone -> still hard to get and TOO expensive (nearly $1000 for the version with enough internal memory)

        So it would be nice if I could buy a Sailfish OS device in western europe.

        • Avatar

          And that is the problem. No widely available hardware means little incentive for major developments. No software/apps means no incentive to buy the hardware. I’d like a Turing but there is no way I’ll buy one (even if they become widely available) because the apps I need don’t (and probable won’t) exist. I quite liked my original Jolla phone but had to bin it because in the cold light of day and the reality of life, it didn’t have the connectivity and functionality. There will always be the “hobby” and “indy” markets but breaking through into the wider community isn’t easy unless decent hardware and software can be delivered. More than “decent” – there has to be a real incentive to move away from the Apple/android ecosystems with all the implied connectivity and functionality. For me, TOH and all the spirit levels & calculator apps just didn’t fulfil the incentive.
          But it is easy to (re)state the problem! What is the solution?

          • Avatar

            @snowfun If you browse through talk.maemo.org (the archive section, I guess) you will find the exact same reasoning from the very beginning. Peopled thought the GNU/Linux based tablets (770, N800 etc.) were great, but “something should be done” to compete with the big ecosystems. That was more than 10 years ago, and yet here we are: The Jolla/Intex models run the grandchild of Nokias old maemo OS, and while still nothing actually has been done to close the gap between iOS/Android and the sweet little independent OS, there’s a lot of people who think SailfishOS is exactly what they need.

            What we mustn’t forget is that all the “implied connectivity and functionality” you seem to long for comes at a price. By using whatsapp/facebook/skype instead of IRC/mail/XMPP we sell ourseves, we usually give more than we get in return. The outstanding value of an OS like Sailfish is that it does *not* play by the rules set by the big guys.

            It’s not a very easy route for Jolla (and it wasn’t a successful one for Nokia), but actually I guess I’d leave the little boat as soon as Sailfish gets as “connected” as Andoid or iOS.

  3. Avatar

    Excellent!!! I am convinced that making it easier for the community to contribute will help ensure the future of Sailfish OS.

  4. Avatar

    At last there’s also a (short) chapter on how to find the source code for the various packages. Given the fact that SailfishOS is 80% free software, it’s still incredibly hard for newcomers to find the code (including the Sailfish specific patches) or even contribute.

    It was years ago that I suggested there should be a “Here’s the code”-portal, including help on how to contribute or even how to find the versions corresponding to a certain Software release.

    The chapter in the wiki is certainly better than nothing. Still, it could be easier I guess.

  5. Avatar

    It would be nice also to have it formatted for mobile devices.

  6. Avatar

    I agree, it would be great to receive the information regarding the mobile devices. And will it be like open source OS? I’m interested in some applications for it which will help me with smart term paper writing, so is there a chance if they will be available? Anyway, I guess we could get the answer only after the OS will be released. Thank you for the introducing by the way.

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