First of all: if you are reading this and you were an old user of this forum, you may find it shocking that it is up and running again after 3 years of it being dead. Apparently there were a missing module/update that broke it internally, and Pierre was able to fix it. Just before becoming broken I disabled the account creation, and deleted almost all users without any message to fight spam (which I though was the reason of it 'dissapearing', apparently not). I'm going to keep it that way, at least for now, but if you do want to create an account just contact me (correo--correo (at) hotmail (dot) com) and I'll create one for you.
Second, and most important of all, as you read in the previous paragraph I was able to contact Pierre. He is 'in good health' but is 'not in the Android ecosystem anymore'. This conversation allowed me to ask about something that some of us, specially myself, had in mind for a very long time: open-sourcing Lightning Launcher.
And I can confirm that Pierre is 'OK' with it, although he doesn't 'have a clear idea of what could be the future for such a project' 'what would be my role in this move and beyond' and 'know whether this would benefit a lot of people or not'. As I already explained to him, even if it doesn't, I personally want really hard to do it, to archive it, but most importantly to allow future users to have the opportunity, will they use it or not. In any case I'm willing to do it all by myself, and I'll only ask him for help or questions about things like license and platform, for example.
My current plan of action is as follows:
- Open source the code. I personally already have access to it, so even if it can be seen as simple as 'putting the zip in a public folder' I would prefer to do it more carefully and in a git-related platform (most probably GitHub). This may take some time in order to prepare everything, but if for some reason it is very hard or with unexpected issues, I'm preparing the 'zip solution'. --> DONE. The source code is now public on https://github.com/pierrehebert/LightningLauncher
- Once it is published, if I (or other users) have time (and this is a very big if), the next step is to build the app up-to-date with newer Android versions and sdk. I'm still using LL as my main launcher on an Android 12 phone, so even if it's for personal purpose I think I can try to spend some time on it. I can't promise it unfortunately.
- If it is correctly updated (and this is a bigger if) the idea is to try to publish the app, either with the same id on Play Store or a different one, and maybe on other stores like F-droid. This step is to have it available for non-tech users that doesn't know how to build and compile the project from the sources.
- If all the previous steps are a success, and if users are interested (this is the biggest if), start developing new bugfixes and features. Not sure if this step will ever be executed, but it's nice to have a goal.
I don't know how useful this whole process will be, I don't even know how many users would like to go back to a 3-year old launcher, but as I already explained: I would like future users to, at least, have the opportunity to try. Step 1 is the only one that will happend one way or another, steps 2-3-4 depends on us as a community.
In any case, as Pierre said: 'The only reasons to publish it for me is to let long time users of LL a chance to use this tool in the future, and maybe spark some ideas in other innovative minds.'
[note: this is a post, not an email, feel free to comment below, if you wish]