I am pleased to announce a significant change in Mer and Sailfish OS which will be implemented in phases. As many of you know Mer began many years ago as a way for the community to demonstrate “working in the open” to Nokia. This succeeded well enough that Mer eventually closed down and shifted support to MeeGo. When MeeGo stopped – thanks to its open nature – we, Carsten Munk and I, were able to reincarnate Mer as an open community project and continue to develop a core OS and a suite of open development tools around it. Over time a number of organisations used the Mer core as a base for their work. However, there was one that stood out: Jolla with Sailfish OS which started to use Mer core in its core and they have been by far the most consistent contributors and supporters of Mer.
Once again, Mer has served it’s purpose and can retire. To clarify that this will be the official ‘working in the open’ core of SailfishOS we’re going to gradually merge merproject.org and sailfishos.org.
What will this mean in practice?
I’d like to just say that the colours of the websites will change and we’ll be able to access the existing resources using new sailfishos.org links.
So whilst that summary is true, actually it’s more complex than that! Yes, the same hardware will run the same services and Jolla’s sailors will continue to push code to the same systems. There will be more time to keep the servers updated and to improve community contribution mechanisms.
However, there are a couple of areas we need to develop: User identities and an open workflow with community contributions and bug reports.
We want to allow users/community members registered at jolla.com to access sailfishos.org resources. To this end we’ll need to somehow merge the user bases. There are some important privacy and security issues that need to be handled so we’re being careful in how we handle this merge. We’ll start by just continuing to use the old Mer usernames and credentials. We will not be migrating accounts or any personal data from Mer to Jolla so switching to using the sailfishos.org user database managed by Jolla needs a little work. We will compare the databases to notify users of their options and allow them to register as sailfishos.org users with Jolla if they wish. Accounts with matching emails/usernames will be activated at once. Other accounts will be validated and activated manually by request. As a courtesy Jolla will also reserve all active usernames to ensure that ‘old’ Mer accounts cannot be hijacked or used where the email does not match.
At the end of all of this you’ll be able to manage your sailfishos.org account online, which also makes it easier for people to join and start contributing to the code.
In the meantime feel free to raise any questions on this dedicated discussion topic in together.jolla.com , in the Sailfish OS community meetings or with me in the #mer or #sailfishos irc channels on freenode.
David / lbt