1

Topic: The sad story about Purism and the Librem?

Hello Community,

do you know Purism? The company being focussed on privacy-respecting devices? Especially their freedom-respecting mobile phone Librem 5 is in the news when looking onto libre soft- and hardware. But when looking around there were many bad news within the last month regarding the device and internals of the company not being honest to the community, the employees and their customers.

You all can read it yourself:

The Sad Saga of Purism and the Librem 5 : Part 1
The Sad Saga of Purism and the Librem 5 : Part 2
The Sad Saga of Purism and the Librem 5 : Part 3

Last but not least there is also an interview with the former CTO of Purism Zlatan Todoric available on Phoronix - besides my personal concerns about Phoronix and their handlings regarding free, libre soft- and hardware.

Human being in favor with clear principles and so also for freedom in soft- and hardware!

2 (edited by throgh 2019-11-03 21:58:39)

Re: The sad story about Purism and the Librem?

Just as a personal addition: A real mobile device with phone-capabilities running GNU/Linux sounds great. But what is the price for running? And how could the fight go on regarding real free hard- and software? Yes, there is room for speculation, because there are just so many points being intransparent at all and even though the writer of the blog-posts is just clear by himself: It is his personal opinion and handling, not a complete fact.

I think Purism is not honest about the concurrent situation and instead of clear facts and information we've just got big wordings. So what is the price of a marketing-lie? Getting a device, respecting privacy but without the chance of further possibilites getting rid of proprietary firmware-blobs? If Purism would have been honest from the very beginning this would be no further big deal, because it would have been known from my point of view. But it seems the same as with the notebook / laptop before, just to remember their roadmap. When Purism disappears for example, we are just again at the starting point. For me speaking: I won't support that and the fight for freedom, privacy and user-respecting hard- and software is too important! Besides that: There is always the freedom of choice and nobody has to reject the offer from Purism. But I doubt we could get closer to real open, libre hardware with this while the notebook / laptop will never reach the goal of Purism Purist Standard! Neither the Librem will be on that road at all. And in comparison I'll take a closer look onto other projects, but this is another story.

Human being in favor with clear principles and so also for freedom in soft- and hardware!

3 (edited by throgh 2019-11-04 20:26:49)

Re: The sad story about Purism and the Librem?

And now a last annotation from myself. after reading throughout forums, comments and so on: This controversy about Purism won't end. There are opinions about ignoring the events, besides there are facts named within the blog-posting, further links with information for example and no backer has received any mobile device until now. Coming is also much whataboutism: When criticizing Purism, one should already use free alternatives like Replicant otherwise there seems no right to criticize. That's just a distraction from the major issues we have here, because Purism is not honest about the concurrent status and even if they could bring up this device: Is there a way to get rid of elementary firmware-blobs?

Yes, I'm using Replicant and I also make usage of LineageOS without proprietary services and as free as it could be with F-Droid - sidenote even there are applications / programs with proprietary interfaces, of course marked before installation. What's next? Am I worthy now to criticize Purism? Let's face the problem: The mobile sector won't become free. Purism is one thing, the others are patents and the companies behind holding the rights onto chips, drivers and interface-routines. Intel called out for Purism to delete a blogpost with information about reverse-engineering the FSP: Remember the roadmap? Look also here. Yes, seems the question was done "politely" but it doesn't mask the major issue I have named earlier. To quote:

2018-05-10 UPDATE: Intel politely asked Purism to remove this document which Intel believes may conflict with a licensing term. Since this post was informational only and has no impact on the future goals of Purism, we have complied. If you would like the repository link of the Intel FSP provided from Intel, please visit their publicly available code on the subject.

2018-04-23 UPDATE: after receiving a courtesy request from Intel’s Director of Software Infrastructure, we have decided to remove this post’s technical contents while we investigate our options. You are still welcome to learn about reverse engineering in general with my introductory post on the matter, Introduction to Reverse Engineering: A Primer Guide.

You've got it? Purism even tells us about the problem, but in the end it's always about devices with privacy, big wordings for "customers", not human beings with the view on free, libre hard- and software and the (perhaps utopian) hope for a "better tomorrow". So it's about "believing" and whenever this is brought up humans tend to react more or less harsh. My point being stays: Companies like Purism use the believe, making up a marketing about it. Their first release of the Librem-notebooks? Full proprietary hardware. Afterwards coreboot-port came up this got better. That's the contrary of being honest at all but even though: We could believe and the question stays. What is the price of believing? A price for a lie and self-deception? It is becoming clear for me that I better wait for another round of Replicant, even LineageOS is not my way to go. But I have to live with compromises because the x86-platform is full of freedom-issues as the mobile platform is also same here. But those marketing-lies are even worse. And just having a device being "a little bit more free" is not better as I'm ignoring possible vendor-lockins for now. What about applications pre-installed? As nobody reviewed the Librem-device in the "wild" we doesn't know anything and I'm not sure Purism will mark their so-called "social platform" as optional. Besides I also add that I hope Purism will change their course, being more honest and open to the people and that their idea could in one way be successful. Yeah, as the blog-posting itself notes at the end: Having the chance for GNU/Linux being on a mobile device with phone-capabilities could be helpful for others to come. I'm not trusting the mentioned company, but I'm with hope for the basic idea itself. Strange, isn't it? I don't need a copy of "Apple" within free, libre soft- and hardware - mentioned within the article on Phoronix. What I want is just this: A device which I can handle as mine, where I am in charge respecting my whishes for a companion not spying onto my data and files. The ideal would be even fair handled, really free hardware, not causing harm / damage onto others and the environment itself - as I've said earlier in this posting, an "utopian" whish which is not made up as "marketing-lie" as I'm not believing in capitalistic values and system schemes (I don't even care about names and patents as they also do more harm than being useful). That's all for now!

Human being in favor with clear principles and so also for freedom in soft- and hardware!

4 (edited by zapper 2019-11-05 00:15:29)

Re: The sad story about Purism and the Librem?

throgh wrote:

And now a last annotation from myself. after reading throughout forums, comments and so on: This controversy about Purism won't end. There are opinions about ignoring the events, besides there are facts named within the blog-posting, further links with information for example and no backer has received any mobile device until now. Coming is also much whataboutism: When criticizing Purism, one should already use free alternatives like Replicant otherwise there seems no right to criticize. That's just a distraction from the major issues we have here, because Purism is not honest about the concurrent status and even if they could bring up this device: Is there a way to get rid of elementary firmware-blobs?

Yes, I'm using Replicant and I also make usage of LineageOS without proprietary services and as free as it could be with F-Droid - sidenote even there are applications / programs with proprietary interfaces, of course marked before installation. What's next? Am I worthy now to criticize Purism? Let's face the problem: The mobile sector won't become free. Purism is one thing, the others are patents and the companies behind holding the rights onto chips, drivers and interface-routines. Intel called out for Purism to delete a blogpost with information about reverse-engineering the FSP: Remember the roadmap? Look also here. Yes, seems the question was done "politely" but it doesn't mask the major issue I have named earlier. To quote:

2018-05-10 UPDATE: Intel politely asked Purism to remove this document which Intel believes may conflict with a licensing term. Since this post was informational only and has no impact on the future goals of Purism, we have complied. If you would like the repository link of the Intel FSP provided from Intel, please visit their publicly available code on the subject.

2018-04-23 UPDATE: after receiving a courtesy request from Intel’s Director of Software Infrastructure, we have decided to remove this post’s technical contents while we investigate our options. You are still welcome to learn about reverse engineering in general with my introductory post on the matter, Introduction to Reverse Engineering: A Primer Guide.

You've got it? Purism even tells us about the problem, but in the end it's always about devices with privacy, big wordings for "customers", not human beings with the view on free, libre hard- and software and the (perhaps utopian) hope for a "better tomorrow". So it's about "believing" and whenever this is brought up humans tend to react more or less harsh. My point being stays: Companies like Purism use the believe, making up a marketing about it. Their first release of the Librem-notebooks? Full proprietary hardware. Afterwards coreboot-port came up this got better. That's the contrary of being honest at all but even though: We could believe and the question stays. What is the price of believing? A price for a lie and self-deception? It is becoming clear for me that I better wait for another round of Replicant, even LineageOS is not my way to go. But I have to live with compromises because the x86-platform is full of freedom-issues as the mobile platform is also same here. But those marketing-lies are even worse. And just having a device being "a little bit more free" is not better as I'm ignoring possible vendor-lockins for now. What about applications pre-installed? As nobody reviewed the Librem-device in the "wild" we doesn't know anything and I'm not sure Purism will mark their so-called "social platform" as optional. Besides I also add that I hope Purism will change their course, being more honest and open to the people and that their idea could in one way be successful. Yeah, as the blog-posting itself notes at the end: Having the chance for GNU/Linux being on a mobile device with phone-capabilities could be helpful for others to come. I'm not trusting the mentioned company, but I'm with hope for the basic idea itself. Strange, isn't it? I don't need a copy of "Apple" within free, libre soft- and hardware - mentioned within the article on Phoronix. What I want is just this: A device which I can handle as mine, where I am in charge respecting my whishes for a companion not spying onto my data and files. The ideal would be even fair handled, really free hardware, not causing harm / damage onto others and the environment itself - as I've said earlier in this posting, an "utopian" whish which is not made up as "marketing-lie" as I'm not believing in capitalistic values and system schemes (I don't even care about names and patents as they also do more harm than being useful). That's all for now!

Alas, modem will never be freed, and I think even half of the android device can't be freed easily.  That would take a friggin miracle. ;/

That being said, my issue with purism is their credibility and integrity/honesty. 

I myself have a phone, but I will not be spending money on a lie, ever...

Anywho,  mobile phones won't change till our world governments force them to change.   Which as we know, is a strict impossibility at this time and probably for a long time to come.  It may never change to be honest. ;/

Though I wish at the very least they would forbid corporations from selling information especially to each other.

Hyperbola:

The Stable Secure Libre Arch!

5 (edited by throgh 2019-11-05 21:26:34)

Re: The sad story about Purism and the Librem?

zapper wrote:

Alas, modem will never be freed, and I think even half of the android device can't be freed easily.  That would take a friggin miracle. ;/

That being said, my issue with purism is their credibility and integrity/honesty. 

I myself have a phone, but I will not be spending money on a lie, ever...

Anywho,  mobile phones won't change till our world governments force them to change.   Which as we know, is a strict impossibility at this time and probably for a long time to come.  It may never change to be honest. ;/

Though I wish at the very least they would forbid corporations from selling information especially to each other.

The politics could start over with a first step just using more free, libre software (not open-source) within public departments instead of proprietary environments. People pay for services, so all people have the right to get a look onto the used soft- and hardware. When using free, libre software the departments could recognize the basic problems and then there is this little chance for other ways.

But this is just an utopian view: In our world there are capitalistic rules with a whole bunch of neoliberal self-deception. Just running for the carrot never to reach in a hamster wheel keeps going and going. It's even more sinister and dark as I was called "radical" just a few days ago for calling out those principles in another forum regarding Linux (without GNU). Instead of getting the image people tend to be aggressive and getting abusive calling some really smear arguments and rhetorical really bad tricks. So this was just a small example, the bigger ones would be even more ignoring the major issues: Patents, big wordings with big lies and so on. And just "a little bit more free" from a company like Purism is not the way to go in the end. Whenever this device is ready, this is just a helper for others to come. The question is: Is there really interest? Because that's the major point and having GNU/Linux on mobile devices with phone-capabilities (those are not telephones from my point of view, instead complex, little computer systems with also possible risks) is a view being helpful but unknown because Purism do as always shady marketing-tricks instead of being honest with people - which is also reducing the interest in a whole besides the common ignorance demonstrated (there are "Android" and "Apple", why others? common poor question).

Annotation: I don't want to generalize but some participants within the global Linux-community seem to have serious issues with distributions like Hyperbola, Parabola, Trisquel, Dragora and gNewSense. They never get tired to emphasize that those distributions don't have anything got on their own for example building packages and projects, just take from "others", no "own contribution". And showing them the progress here, meaning the replacement with Xenocara and LibreSSL, the inclusion of sndio, doesn't count. They just ignore this! And so any further criticism towards Purism will be ignored as most further problems within the "open-source"-endorsement itself is ignored and "free, libre software" is made more or less irrelevant just for believing this marketing-lies and cheap promises - only giving some insight what I've got as answers in summary. Thing is: If "we" really take software freedom seriously there has to be a combination and only having some kind of progress in regard to privacy is just terribly wrong. Afterwards you've got some mobile computer-system with no chance of being free in the manner of the whole definition of software-freedom, a very cheap compromise. And I have no understatement for this as I have no further understatement for this endless debate ongoing about only one init-systems, only one audio-service, only one major X-server for implementation. Just making the people some kind of free and directly dependent from other sources, just they ignore it again and again as some kind of story to being repeated, even in other distributions focussed in software-freedom.

Human being in favor with clear principles and so also for freedom in soft- and hardware!

6

Re: The sad story about Purism and the Librem?

throgh wrote:
zapper wrote:

Alas, modem will never be freed, and I think even half of the android device can't be freed easily.  That would take a friggin miracle. ;/

That being said, my issue with purism is their credibility and integrity/honesty. 

I myself have a phone, but I will not be spending money on a lie, ever...

Anywho,  mobile phones won't change till our world governments force them to change.   Which as we know, is a strict impossibility at this time and probably for a long time to come.  It may never change to be honest. ;/

Though I wish at the very least they would forbid corporations from selling information especially to each other.

The politics could start over with a first step just using more free, libre software (not open-source) within public departments instead of proprietary environments. People pay for services, so all people have the right to get a look onto the used soft- and hardware. When using free, libre software the departments could recognize the basic problems and then there is this little chance for other ways.

But this is just an utopian view: In our world there are capitalistic rules with a whole bunch of neoliberal self-deception. Just running for the carrot never to reach in a hamster wheel keeps going and going. It's even more sinister and dark as I was called "radical" just a few days ago for calling out those principles in another forum regarding Linux (without GNU). Instead of getting the image people tend to be aggressive and getting abusive calling some really smear arguments and rhetorical really bad tricks. So this was just a small example, the bigger ones would be even more ignoring the major issues: Patents, big wordings with big lies and so on. And just "a little bit more free" from a company like Purism is not the way to go in the end. Whenever this device is ready, this is just a helper for others to come. The question is: Is there really interest? Because that's the major point and having GNU/Linux on mobile devices with phone-capabilities (those are not telephones from my point of view, instead complex, little computer systems with also possible risks) is a view being helpful but unknown because Purism do as always shady marketing-tricks instead of being honest with people - which is also reducing the interest in a whole besides the common ignorance demonstrated (there are "Android" and "Apple", why others? common poor question).

Annotation: I don't want to generalize but some participants within the global Linux-community seem to have serious issues with distributions like Hyperbola, Parabola, Trisquel, Dragora and gNewSense. They never get tired to emphasize that those distributions don't have anything got on their own for example building packages and projects, just take from "others", no "own contribution". And showing them the progress here, meaning the replacement with Xenocara and LibreSSL, the inclusion of sndio, doesn't count. They just ignore this! And so any further criticism towards Purism will be ignored as most further problems within the "open-source"-endorsement itself is ignored and "free, libre software" is made more or less irrelevant just for believing this marketing-lies and cheap promises - only giving some insight what I've got as answers in summary. Thing is: If "we" really take software freedom seriously there has to be a combination and only having some kind of progress in regard to privacy is just terribly wrong. Afterwards you've got some mobile computer-system with no chance of being free in the manner of the whole definition of software-freedom, a very cheap compromise. And I have no understatement for this as I have no further understatement for this endless debate ongoing about only one init-systems, only one audio-service, only one major X-server for implementation. Just making the people some kind of free and directly dependent from other sources, just they ignore it again and again as some kind of story to being repeated, even in other distributions focussed in software-freedom.

So many problems to discuss:

You are not at all radical, they are just plain dumb.

Hyperbola is a vast change from Arch. that's number 2:

Dragora might is an independent project number 3,

Trisquel, Parabola and Gnewsense are crap for multiple reasons one of which being poettering garbage is embedding in a lot of it.

the other thing though, is they are just purely a fork.  There are no big changes made to them except removing the non-free parts.

As for everything else, progress is progress.  Those people who don't count Xenocara, Sndio and LibreSSL changes have no understanding of what they are talking about and they are just downright dumb.

I bet some of them are system dumb supporters or worse, poettering supporters.

People who support Lennart poettering's method of changing gnu/linux so drasticly have no right to speak. Plain and simple. hmm

Hyperbola:

The Stable Secure Libre Arch!

7 (edited by throgh 2019-11-06 10:18:53)

Re: The sad story about Purism and the Librem?

Well, at all Mr. Poettering and some of us have different views onto how to handle GNU/Linux and therefore: Yes. smile
It is this concept of ignoring everything which annoys me. Instead of letting different views and approaches exist, using the phrase Live and let live!, everything is talked down under the table and therefore all the fine work done and reached is nevertheless right out of the view, because of the fast living of information.

I have no further problem with the existance of systemd, but I don't want to use it and I don't see any further usecase for such a big package. Another point also within the Librem-discussion because from my concurrent knowledge PureOS makes usage of systemd and is also using Gnome as basic for the mobile device and no further information about other ports like PostmarketOS here besides the already known marketing: You are free to install other operating systems!

Good joke at all, Purism! But perhaps they have a further demonstration about when the device is ready? wink
I hope all my criticism is just wrong, because otherwise we have another environment existing - when they are ready - with vendor-lockin. Because how is the guarantee when another system is installed and something is malfunctional or even worse? Most known: Delivered with PureOS and only therefore a guarantee and support. Everything else outside or perhaps community-support. And getting back to the blog-posts and articles: Not a round picture, even worse regarding freedom.

Human being in favor with clear principles and so also for freedom in soft- and hardware!