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Replicant on Android 4.4+?

Added by Thomas Kitchin over 2 years ago

Howdy Paul,

I'm casting my vote. All things being equal, I want at least Android 4.4 in future replicant's versions.

Ahead of time compiling? Nice. I really only want it 'cause Cf.Lumen. :)


Replies (13)

RE: Replicant on Android 4.4+? - Added by Paul Kocialkowski over 2 years ago

I want at least Android 4.4 in future replicant's versions.

First off, you may sound a little rude here. So what I'm gonna say is: get involved and get some of that work done yourself!

The Replicant release cycle is actually pretty long. First, we want CyanogenMod to release a final and stable version, I have better to do than merging upstream commits on top of Replicant changes. When that happens for CM 11, we can start talking. All I see now are some M releases that don't look like stable releases. Then I already stated: http://blog.replicant.us/2014/09/replicant-homepage-and-roadmap-for-the-future/ that moving to a newer version won't bring any significant advantage for freedom and so it can seem like a waste of time. Because oh boy, does it take time! I have too many things going on now to even consider getting into it before at least six months.

Most certainly, I will take a closer look at it by next summer and it may happen if all the conditions are there. It could be fun to do a Replicant device bringup hackaton during the next RMLL, so this may happen then.

RE: Replicant on Android 4.4+? - Added by Benjamin Rochefort over 2 years ago

Hello Paul,

About "First, we want CyanogenMod to release a final and stable version, I have better to do than merging upstream commits on top of Replicant changes. When that happens for CM 11, we can start talking. All I see now are some M releases that don't look like stable releases":

Maybe this is not news to you, but there won't be any Stable releases anymore. The monthly releases are the stable releases. According to the Cyanogenmod team, "Don’t expect a build labelled ‘stable’. The ‘M’ builds have supplanted our need for such a release.". Please see the following blog post for more information:

http://www.cyanogenmod.org/blog/cyanogenmod-11-0-m6-release

RE: Replicant on Android 4.4+? - Added by Paul Kocialkowski over 2 years ago

Ah right, I forgot about that. Well, then we'll just wait until the development effort moves to CM 12 and pick the current state of the tree at a given date and just stick with it. That said, if anyone feels like maintaining all of this by regularly merging upstream, I'd be happy to have that, but I'm just not going to do it myself.

RE: Replicant on Android 4.4+? - Added by Paul Kocialkowski over 2 years ago

Quote from the latest CyanogenMod blog post:

CM11 M13 is still on our roadmap, and will be the final CM11 build before we code-freeze the 11 branch.

So what I want is for the code-freeze to happen before using it as a base for Replicant.

RE: Replicant on Android 4.4+? - Added by Daniel Kulesz over 2 years ago

I just wonder why Replicant is planning to build upon CM12 and not a different ROM, which

(1) is more concerned with open source aspects
(2) is closer to AOSP and less "customized" (see current CM12 porting issues of CM features)
(3) has at least plans to support 4.4 by means of "long term support" (and does not abandon older releases in favor of developing for the "latest and greatest" like we have seen it with previous releases of CM)

Personally, I suggest to consider OmniROM as an option for a upstream candidate for the next release.

RE: Replicant on Android 4.4+? - Added by Paul Kocialkowski over 2 years ago

I just wonder why Replicant is planning to build upon CM12 and not a different ROM, which

CM12 is based upon Android 5. We are not talking about it yet, the next target will be 4.4, not 5.0.

1. That's vague and doesn't refer to anything in particular. Also, we like to talk about free software around here. The various nasty anti-features of CyanogenMod are removed everytime and while it would be a little easier to not have any to deal with in the first place, it doesn't affect the end result. The way CyanogenMod is being directed has very little relevance regarding Replicant. We only take the code, mostly in a one-way fashion, so all the community-related aspects are mostly irrelevant.

2. Most people find that the CyanogenMod additions are something nice to have and provided that they already do the adaptation work, this doesn't add any more work for Replicant. Some of these changes are also directly necessary to support more devices than the Nexus: AOSP is not always a good fit for every device.

3. I'm fine with having something that doesn't evolve (I prefer it to be that way for reasons mentioned above). They usually still backport security fixes, so that's fine by me.

Personally, I suggest to consider OmniROM as an option for a upstream candidate for the next release.

Please read: http://www.replicant.us/about.php#replicant-based-omnirom

RE: Replicant on Android 4.4+? - Added by Daniel Kulesz over 2 years ago

CM12 is based upon Android 5. We are not talking about it yet, the next target will be 4.4, not 5.0.

Sorry, I confused CM11 M12 with CM12 - I meant the latest CM11 of course. I assume they will release M13 as the last "stable" version of CM11.

The way CyanogenMod is being directed has very little relevance regarding Replicant. We only take the code, mostly in a one-way fashion, so all the community-related aspects are mostly irrelevant.

Yes, but this was not my point. I primarily targeted the customizations, and you answered this already.

2. Most people find that the CyanogenMod additions are something nice to have and provided that they already do the adaptation work, this doesn't add any more work for Replicant. Some of these changes are also directly necessary to support more devices than the Nexus: AOSP is not always a good fit for every device.

Which features are this? Do you mean things like integrated kernel build?

3. I'm fine with having something that doesn't evolve (I prefer it to be that way for reasons mentioned above). They usually still backport security fixes, so that's fine by me.

As far as I can recall, they provided e.g. security fixes in 10.1.3 and 10.0.3, but did not backport them to 9.x or 7.x. Nowadays it seems that 10.x is not receiving updates anymore as well, although it's not that old. A problem here is that they do not state any "support levels" or how they plan to support a specific release. Another problem is that even with minor releases like 10.1.3 they used to introduce new features or support for more devices which goes far beyond a release meant to adress only security and stability issues.

The situation did not really improve with changing their versioning schema and not providing any "stable" releases anymore. Thus it is not clear, how long they are planning to support CM11, since they said that the next M-Snapshot will be the last one. One could assume, that this branch will be abandonded later on.

Please read: http://www.replicant.us/about.php#replicant-based-omnirom

Thanks for the hint, this was new to me! But to quote the FAQ:

we will seriously consider OmniROM as a base for the next major version of Replicant.

That's actually the point I am trying to make here. So you have given two arguments against OmniROM so far:

- some of the CM customizations are not included (but do Replicant users expect them?)
- some devices are not supported by OmniROM (I agree! But some are not supported in the latest CM11-snapshots as well, e.g. P31xx, P51xx, n7000...). Probably the worst exception for OmniROM is the lack of support for the Nexus S which seems to be one of the best targets to currently run Replicant on. Getting this to work in OmniROM should be quite easy though, also inofficial ports exist.

RE: Replicant on Android 4.4+? - Added by Paul Kocialkowski over 2 years ago

Which features are this? Do you mean things like integrated kernel build?

Exactly. Also, thing about the various apps that CyanogenMod people wrote to replace the ageing and deprecated ones from AOSP (Apollo for the music player) just as well as missing ones (file manager). They also add a good share of additional customization options to the settings and device-specific control, all of which is nice to have.

The situation did not really improve with changing their versioning schema and not providing any "stable" releases anymore. Thus it is not clear, how long they are planning to support CM11, since they said that the next M-Snapshot will be the last one. One could assume, that this branch will be abandonded later on.

I agree, but I'm not sure that either AOSP or Omni have a clear policy on this regard, even though Omni people stated they would still work on 4.4. There is a fine distinction between still working on 4.4, which is a pain for me because it involves merging upstream too often, but provides security fixes, having code maintained "with security fixes", which is what I'd love, and having an abandoned version.

Now since we're going to host all the Replicant code at gitorious, the first scenario may not be that big a deal. I could just merge upstream whenever I feel like doing it (or simply not do it at all) or include only the security fixes.

That's actually the point I am trying to make here. So you have given two arguments against OmniROM so far:

Sure, I'm open for discussing the matter, it was simply to avoid duplicating the reasons that are already there. It doesn't mean the matter is settled.

- some of the CM customizations are not included (but do Replicant users expect them?)

That is mostly an argument for "CM against AOSP", I suspect that Omni has equivalent features.

- some devices are not supported by OmniROM (I agree! But some are not supported in the latest CM11-snapshots as well, e.g. P31xx, P51xx, n7000...). Probably the worst exception for OmniROM is the lack of support for the Nexus S which seems to be one of the best targets to currently run Replicant on. Getting this to work in OmniROM should be quite easy though, also inofficial ports exist.

Even when CM people don't release their snapshots for a device, the code is still there and can be used right away as we always do. In the case of Omni, there is no code at all when the device is not supported. I really don't have any time nor will to put into porting a device to Omni, that's no good use of my time. As for unofficial ports, I don't really know what to think: why are those simply not part of Omni? Perhaps the people doing the port don't feel like becoming a maintainer (hence, they're not that reliable) or simply are not relevant enough to take it seriously. I really don't understand that attitude and to me, it screams "I don't know what I'm doing, do not take this work seriously, it's not good quality". Perhaps I'm a bit harsh here, but that's really the feeling I get. Of course, each situation is different and there may be times when using an unofficial port would look perfectly reasonable.

For the record, the Nexus S is about one of the worst targets we support in terms of privacy/security.

RE: Replicant on Android 4.4+? - Added by My Self about 2 years ago

IMHO, the best thing what could happen for now, would be a soon release of CM11 M13
[Source: http://redmine.replicant.us/boards/9/topics/8325?r=8565#message-8565]

The time has come: http://www.cyanogenmod.org/blog/releases-11-12-final

So my question is, wouldn't it be better to concentrate on the CM12.0-final (based on AOSP 5.0.2), instead of the CM11-final (based on AOSP 4.4.4)?
Not least for security related reasons. 【ツ】

RE: Replicant on Android 4.4+? - Added by Paul Kocialkowski about 2 years ago

So my question is, wouldn't it be better to concentrate on the CM12.0-final (based on AOSP 5.0.2), instead of the CM11-final (based on AOSP 4.4.4)?

The problem seems to be that CM dropped some devices in 11, and even more in 12. It may be less effort to work on 4.4, since 5 is still a moving target and isn't that stable anyways.

RE: Replicant on Android 4.4+? - Added by My Self about 2 years ago

OK, I would be (more or less) satisfied with 4.4.4 because:

I really stay tuned for any updates in this context.

RE: Replicant on Android 4.4+? - Added by Thomas Kitchin over 1 year ago

I have no idea how version management works on git-based repositories with upstream code (like Replicant with CyanogenMod). What needs to be done? I mean, what do we have ro do to get Replicant on CM-11 final?

RE: Replicant on Android 4.4+? - Added by Paul Kocialkowski over 1 year ago

Looking at the commits added on top of the CM repos (the ones we currently host at git.replicant.us) gives an idea of the works that needs to be done.

At this point, it might be faster to just move forward to 5.0. I'm starting to think about how to do this, but it seems pretty obvious that we cannot keep using 4.2 at this point.

    (1-13/13)