Having the kernel sources is of course only part of the problem. I did not spend time on replacing the kernel on a device but it indeed might be a little harder to replace the main kernel because there are more dependencies (loadable kernel modules) and things (ramdisks etc) that need to take place when booting. I am currently not even sure in what partition we can find the kernel. I agree that the choice for a non Open Source friendly provider (mediatek) has been a bad one. Other companies, google included, made such "wrong" decisions.
Please keep in mind that Fairphone is a project. The way I look at it is the following: The second batch is there to fulfill a need (Open Source was apparently not the primary one) and provide some sustainability to the company. Do not buy this phone if you want to own a phone where you have access to the source and can install "custom roms". While I do not give up it is not a risk a paying customer needs to take. Fixing this mistake is high on the agenda and I, as software developer, would never have joined a company with no "source code" without the conviction that we can fix this issue, possibly with different hardware, in the future.
It would be nice to "fix" the problem for Fairphone owners who bought the device expecting it to be open source any suggestions?
Open source still will not be the primary goals of the project and other things on the software side like security and privacy might have an impact on how hackable the phones will be. I personally want a "N900" like developer friendly phone with proper security.
I would like to know what you expect in terms of this xda community(I am quite new to xda and forums in general). How does one support the developer's community?
thanks for your response. I appreciate the fairphone project as such and their primary goals. That's why I bought one.
Just release the proper kernel sources and write a few lines doc how to build them properly. That's not asked too much: this is in fact an obligation by GPL. Otherwise you could just release any sources and claim that they are "the" sources. Again: I am not saying that fairphone violate GPL or anything else. I just think that they should do an effort in that direction. Maybe I just made a building mistake and the stuff works fine?
EDIT: And concerning your question how else can you help devs:
- Serial Console: Is there a way to enable serial console on the fairphone? This is extremly helpful when people will try to write/upgrade/debug the kernel and it doesn't boot up.
- Bootloader: is it possible to add fastboot? There are MTK 6589 devices that have fastboot (e.g. wiko stairway). That's __very__ handy.