The MMS lost story

  • Hi,

    As you know, since the beginning of UT, when Cellular Data is off or if any issue regarding the MMS download, the MMS will be lost, no way to retrieve it later and moreover no notification is sent to the user.

    The complete feature need some skills that i don't have but as a quick fix, i managed to forward any issues as a normal MMS but empty so that user is at least notified something went wrong.
    It works!

    My question is: should i spent effort to continue doing that "work around" or is someone ready/available to do a more complete scenario (when MMS error: retry or notify, implement deferred download, only download if user allowed to, etc... ) ?

    In case it is a better than nothing solution , what would be a good message to display to user ? ( note that it will be received as a sms )

    Or if any simpler solution, like just displaying a notification( only one place to maintain )

    Related doc:
    See Canonical's specification for the MMS (partly implemented today):

    [Edit]: UI follow up

  • @lduboeuf Hello, like you said better a workaround than nothing. Many thanks for the time you spend with this issue.

  • We loose MMS sometimes, others don´t even have it:
    (Its about if Librem5 will have MMS support 🙂 )

  • @Flohack Yeah MMS is a big story, definitely need someone full time on it

  • @lduboeuf thanks a lot for that fix. I guess it won't be merged in this OTA ?

  • @Emphrath yes not possible as OTA-14 is feature freezed

  • So i did the "quick" (not so quick) work around.
    To have notification of an issue with MMS while receiving, you need to install:

    sudo ubports-qa install PR_nuntium_3
    sudo ubports-qa install PR_telephony-service_13 (if you want to have the notification )
    sudo ubports-qa install PR_messaging-app_248 (if you want to have it displayed in the messaging-app)

    A quick test:
    Turn off cellular-data, send a MMS to your device, you should be notified something went wrong.


  • @lduboeuf

    I have to agree something is better than nothing... I'm hoping the efforts to update ofono bear fruit for this long standing issue.

    Does anyone know why fixing this rather basic feature has been so long without resolution?

    As for the error text, I feel the wording should properly place blame on the OS as opposed to making it sound as if the sender is at fault 😁

    Something like:

    Oops, there has been an error with the MMS system and this message could not be retrieved.
    Please ensure Cellular Data is ON and MMS settings are correct, then ask the sender to try again.

  • @Giiba well bad news first, the version of ofono that Canonical decided to use and that we continued using is now rather a fork than a downstream. So current ofono version were heavily refactored, but our patches do not apply anymore. Theree had to be a lot of fiddling to make ofono even possible for Android back then.

    So we are bascially stuck with that ofono, and thats it.

    But, for MMS thats not a problem of ofono at all. MMS is such a weird feature that we need 2 or 3 backend services to handle them. So the "rather basic feature" is in fact a very complex interaction with a lot of state-keeping between retries, eventual reboots etc. You need to track incoming informational SMS correctly, track the download of the actual MMS and store the media somewhere. Its rather like a small web service client that needs to be brought up, with a database that persists all the inner state variables.

    I personally hope MMS will die one day, its subpar to every messenger you can have, even email is better. Why? Because its so fragile and not even all carriers support it properly. Then you need the frickin´ APN settings for MMS which can be different to internet. The standardization is a joke. You can´t send an MMS to me for example since my contract does not include them. Its a very very ancient thing compared to Telegram Signal etc.

  • @Flohack
    Thanks for the insight, it makes more sense now and would seem to justify @lduboeuf 's solution. A person should at least know something was missed.

  • @Flohack said in The MMS lost story:

    Its a very very ancient thing compared to Telegram Signal etc.

    Yeah another aborted standardisation. Will RCS take off one day ?
    Here in France MMS is still wildly used, especially for "basic" phone users.

  • @Giiba Thanks for the proposition

  • @lduboeuf
    MMS is extremely common in Canada too. I've switch a device back to Android for the next few weeks because I need to reliably recieve some MMS's.

    By basic I mean expected minimum feature set for a simple user. In Canada it would be GSM/LTE, SMS, MMS, and a camera. No one in my sphere is interested in UT simply because they use MMS too much.

    I certainly don't intend to imply anything is 'simple' to implement. Reminds me of the Captive Portal issue, where I've gotten good at figuring out the right address but sure have no idea how other systems guess at this... but they do get it right all the time.

  • @Giiba BTW captive portal solution is much simpler and still no ine stepped up to do it 😉

  • Just a notification to say that MMS is the main pain for me when using UT as it has a deep impact, people expecting me to know / do something when I don't have the info.
    I'm willing to pay 100euros to anyone allowing me to know that I received a MMS when I don't have internet turned on and with a link to actually download it.

  • @lduboeuf said in The MMS lost story:,,

    I read your modification and read a bit of code around by curiosity.
    I noticed this possible error line 490:
    attachmentCount = imageCount + videoCount + contactCount;
    It should be:
    attachmentCount = imageCount + audioCount + videoCount + contactCount;

    I didn't get deep in the code, but I if I'm correct, a message with only audio will trigger the error message.

  • @Fla said in The MMS lost story:

    ...allowing me to now that I received a MMS when I don't have internet turned on and with a link to actually download it.

    In my country, this service is covered by operator. I seldom turn on mobile data. Without it I can't receive MMS, as you stated, too. But after a day an SMS from my operator comes, with text that I missed an MMS and it provides me an link (with password) where I can download it.

    Edit: typo

  • @jezek I saw that you like the go lang on your profile, do you know nuntium ( the mms agent) is written in go ?

  • @lduboeuf said in The MMS lost story:

    @jezek I saw that you like the go lang on your profile, do you know nuntium ( the mms agent) is written in go ?

    No, I didn't know. I have no firm comprehension how the message stack works. But, maybe I can help, if you point me in the right direction. What problem do you want to solve?

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