[Grants] Grant Application from Russell Coker for FOSS on Mobile Phones
Linux Australia Website
admin-team at linux.org.au
Sat Apr 29 19:33:44 AEST 2023
Your Email Address: russell at coker.com.au
Project name: FOSS on Mobile Phones
Grant Type: Project Grant
Aim of the project: The aim of this project is to advance the use of FOSS on phones. The particular areas of interest are the use of a free software and open hardware platform as a "daily driver" phone and for the advancement of LORA (LOng RAnge) radio data communications over license-free frequencies (see the LORA Wikipedia page). The chosen platform is the PinePhone because it is reasonably affordable and has capable hardware. Most of the work will be dedicated to getting changes included in major free software projects such as Debian so that they can be used on other phone platforms.
There are a number of areas we are looking at improving, this includes application hardening, security systems (most likely SE Linux), and configuration of application restrictions in a manner similar to Android. This won't be limited to just the mobile phone platform, getting desktop Linux to have some of the same security features as mobile Linux is part of the plan too. Also supporting convergence by having a PinePhone usable as a desktop PC is part of the plan. Yifei is particularly interested in supporting FOSS OSs other than Linux and in working on i18n.
One of the aims of this project is to try and develop a community of developers for mobile FOSS in Australia. So while Russell and Yifei have quite different interests there is an aim of doing more interesting and exciting things on phones that attract other people to such development.
The description of the work is not as precise as it might be because of the scope of the results we aim to achieve. The work needed to achieve the aim of making the PinePhone work well as a regular use mobile phone depends on what areas it has problems with. Some Google searches suggest that testing of telephony software and tweaking of battery life and phone responsiveness settings are important things that need work, at this time we aren't sure what else is needed.
Estimated cost breakdown of the project: This grant application is only for hardware needed to work on the software development. Considerable time will be invested but that is our hobby time.
2*Latest PinePhone $800
Extras for Russell:
Soft phone case $10
PINEPHONE Pro USB-C Docking Bar $27
Extras for Yifei:
2*USB lora $30
Lora add-on case $20
Serial Cable in case we need dealing with kernel/bootloader/anything low level $7
I2O break-out board $1
Total: $US945 + postage + currency conversion fees. Postage of phones to Australia is $32US each and the postage of the rest is probably another $32 (or maybe more). Therefore the total is $US1,041
The current conversion rate according to visa.com.au for $US1,041 is $1,616 Australian. While the rate varies it will probably be close to that amount. If it's more we are prepared to pay that, if it's less then there's always more useful hardware that we need. So we are asking for $1,616 Australian.
Project team details: Russell Coker - has spoken at LCA about Linux development and presented a paper at OLS about porting SE Linux to the iPaQ using the Familiar distribution of Linux. Based in Melbourne and a long time member of Linux Australia and of LUV (now an LA subcommittee). Also the founder of the Flounder group which is also an LA subcommittee.
Yifei Zhan - Ported and maintained the fcitx input framework on OpenBSD and ported BSD system to devices with uncommon CPU architecture, worked on low level circuit design and soldering. Licensed amateur radio operator with a focus on software-defined radio. Based in Melbourne Australia and a member of LUV for 7 years.
First Name: Russell
Last Name: Coker
Email Address: russell at coker.com.au
A statement including a willingness to provide regular project updates on the project: We both plan to give regular updates via email, blog posts, and any other method requested. Offering a presentation about it at a future Everything Open conference is a possibility too. We will also cover the work at Flounder meetings and accept invitations to speak at any other online event that has an interested audience. Part of the aim of this work is to spread knowledge about these technologies and get others interested in contributing, so we will tell everyone who is interested all about it.
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