This is my first post here! I was reading an interesting thread regarding /e/ over on the Fairphone forum and was wondering what people thought about some of the points made there. A lot of it went over my head to be honest but what I did understand seemed worth discussing.
I’d just like to point out that I use and donate to /e/, this is not an attack.
Mainly according to his experience and what he is using (lineage without gapps, his own nextcloud etc), it makes sense he is not tempted, /e/ is targeting especially non tech people.
Even though his critics about the lastest apps version can be easily solved by uninstalling /e/ default apps and installing them from fdroid, exactly how he did for lineageos. No difference.
But it makes no difference to me to use and customise either lineageos, /e/, mokee etc and still have the latest apps versions as soon as they are published
He is not completely off either though and /e/ is not beyond criticism and has its issues obviously
I acknowledge that my way is not for everyone and a easy plug&play solution is tempting, Compared to other choices it can be a alternative. I don’t think they are /evil/ and don’t criticize anyone’s decision to use it.
But there are still no independent audits, only reviews made by others and not all of them very technical. This is also one of the things that I would really love to see, an official audit of the service assessing if it’s fully un-Googled and also how secure it is.
Overall I agee there are many downsides to /e/ to this day, as with any project, but nothing that I personally find a deal breaker. There are many things to improve, but it works and is fully usable. It’s still a very young project and as far as I’m aware none has tried to do this before (bring the whole ecosystem experience out of the box) so kudos for that.
Thank you for the links. The problem for me, using the post on the security of ecloud.global as an example, is that I don’t really understand what is being said. So an official “for dummies” style document regarding this would be ideal.
I trust /e/ primarily through their partnership with Fairphone but greater transparency regarding app sourcing, MicroG, security etc through official idiot-proof explainers of the type suggested above, in addition to the independent audits you suggested, would solve some issues with the naysayers and hopefully persuade others to join in.
The other thing people tend to complain about is the repackaging of opensource community driven projects to turn a profit, yet /e/ is a non-profit. Support at an organisational level of some of the projects whose work underpins /e/ does seem fair though, despite the fact that there is probably considerable crossover within the community.
With regards to the repackaged default apps, I think it is logical for an OS that it provides its own repackaged LTS versions of the apps. The reason for this is that if the developers of the default apps make a change, and it automatically is pushed to all /e/ phones, that it might break the OS or something else in the /e/ecosystem (cloud sync etc). So while I agree fast patches would be good, it is logical imo that any OS has its own default apps with longer support /testing cycles .
An infographic would be good. A phone in the centre with a flow chart describing how /e/ gives users control over their data; where their data goes and how it is secured if they use the /e/ cloud; how apps are chosen and updated etc. I would happily write copy if someone explained all the ins and outs to me. I don’t really have time to learn about said ins and outs myself, that is why /e/ is appealing, but I am quite good at summarising and explaining things to others if given the specifics.
Unfortunately, playing well with others and transparency are e foundation weaknesses.
Unfortunately, /e/ never replied to any of our e-mails and we didn’t want to create an account on their GitLab instance, so we didn’t communicate with /e/ directly. Therefore, some findings were “closed” by them without really being fixed from our perspective.
Oof! That last one is a bit unsettling. Can we put that down to a bad day? It’s a somewhat disproportionate response. Surely this is the exact space for such discussion, someone might have a solution or at least a step towards a solution. This is a community project after all. And I’m not sure I follow the logic of transparency being a form of totalitarianism, I would have said the opposite…
The goal is not just about being Google free, is also about bringing the whole “smartphone experience” out of the box so that it’s easy to use for all users. Most people expect a store of some sort to install apps, including popular ones such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Youtube, etc.
But I agree that providing an easy way to customize and choose whatever apps you want installed in your phone. This is the reason LineageOS and other ROM exists, same as with Linux distros. It’s just that none of them are actually focused on the average user as /e/ tries to be.
For users that the app store bothers they can surely do this anyway no? I read somewhere about flashing f-droid during the install such that it is the default. For the average user, I think most are content to consider the app store a work in progress. I think it would be good if someone could just say exactly how the app store works, where the apps are sourced etc because that seems to be the font of most of the bad will against this project.
The idea is that Apps also contains all f-droid apps. I think the “only” problem is Apps, does not work as it should, missing a lot of apps (banking), that’s why people go to F-droid and Aurora. The main reason is for missing apps is probably legal stuff.