Discussion:
what is the difference between openMoko and windows mobile based phones
(too old to reply)
hank williams
2007-01-18 11:39:08 UTC
Permalink
What I mean by this is that it seems everyone is saying that the big
difference is that you can get 3rd party *real apps* on the phone. And this
is said as if windows mobile phones like moto q, blackjack and pocket PC
phones wont allow this.

Now I am not saying open source isnt great. But from your *average* users
perspective I would love to hear the advantages of the open source for these
devices. Is this just a geek issue? It seems like most of the apps described
on this list could be done with any of the windows mobile phones. I'd just
love, for my own edification, to hear why this is wrong.

Hank
Robert Michel
2007-01-18 12:05:49 UTC
Permalink
Salve hank!
Post by hank williams
What I mean by this is that it seems everyone is saying that the big
difference is that you can get 3rd party *real apps* on the phone. And this
is said as if windows mobile phones like moto q, blackjack and pocket PC
phones wont allow this.
Now I am not saying open source isnt great. But from your *average* users
perspective I would love to hear the advantages of the open source for these
devices. Is this just a geek issue? It seems like most of the apps described
on this list could be done with any of the windows mobile phones. I'd just
love, for my own edification, to hear why this is wrong.
Ok I will try to anwer in 3 minutes. Your question is a good one and
worth a better answer - but to convince *average* users it needs some
real examples and solutions, so convincing *average* users is not *yet*
the time. Or?

Security - the Neo1973 will offer a trustworthy environemt
- linux-vserver will offer jails/sandboxes for different
processes/aplications
- VPN and SMS/Email/Telefonieencryption will be possible

Non-Networkprovider dominated, user-orientated design:
- white/black list for incomming calls/sms
- answering machine on your phone
- voice menues for anknown or anonymous caller

and much more will be possible. So please listen more to this list,
and you will see that it isn't about "you can get 3rd party *real apps*
on the phone"

Beside the point that an *average* user doesn't see the potential of
open source on a mobile - what are your experiances and demands on
a smart phone?

When you look at the devices that you know or use(d):
- What does you miss most?
- What does you hate most?
- What does you like/used most?

And please feel free and very welcome to chare your ideas/questions
on this list - your question is a very good one and I hope that others
could spend a little more time to anwer you now.

Greetings
Rob
hank williams
2007-01-18 12:59:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Michel
Beside the point that an *average* user doesn't see the potential of
open source on a mobile - what are your experiances and demands on
a smart phone?
- What does you miss most?
- What does you hate most?
- What does you like/used most?
well honestly my biggest issue with phones in general is not features but
execution. The iPhone is a good example of executing well on features that
have been around for years. My one concern with open source is that it is
great at delivering features, but historically not great at UI. This is
because big open source projects are often done by teams where everyone can
do what they want. This tends to mean there is no singular unified design
vision. This is fine for features for the most part because we can all more
or less agree on how to implement wifi or an encryption scheme or whatever.
Or if we disagree we can implement five different ways as APIs and let the
market decide. But good UI doesn't work that way.

So the iPhone has a design czar - jobs - and that means that forward
thinking design gets done in a unified way. This issue may not effect
OpenMoko, at least in the beginning, since a private company is doing the
design. But when the design process becomes public, the features and design
by committee thing might be an issue.

But the bottom line is that my biggest problem with phones is that they are
just not designed well. The pretty much all suck!

And please feel free and very welcome to chare your ideas/questions
Post by Robert Michel
on this list - your question is a very good one and I hope that others
could spend a little more time to anwer you now.
Thanks for the welcome! But I have been here for months, and even made a
comment or two :).


Regards,
Hank
Andreas Kostyrka
2007-01-18 13:14:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Michel
Beside the point that an *average* user doesn't see the potential of
open source on a mobile - what are your experiances and demands on
a smart phone?
- What does you miss most?
- What does you hate most?
- What does you like/used most?
well honestly my biggest issue with phones in general is not features but
execution. The iPhone is a good example of executing well on features
that have been around for years. My one concern with open source is that
it is great at delivering features, but historically not great at UI. This
is because big open source projects are often done by teams where everyone
can do what they want. This tends to mean there is no singular unified
design vision. This is fine for features for the most part because we can
That's technically speaking an out-of-date vision of opensource
develepment. I wouldn't consider KDE inconsistent. actually, one might
argue that KDE does better then Windows based environments on this
score.
Post by Robert Michel
all more or less agree on how to implement wifi or an encryption scheme or
whatever. Or if we disagree we can implement five different ways as APIs
and let the market decide. But good UI doesn't work that way.
I guess you haven't used the embedded Linux UIs. They are more
consistent then some commercial phones.
Post by Robert Michel
So the iPhone has a design czar - jobs - and that means that forward
thinking design gets done in a unified way. This issue may not effect
nope. You are assuming that it will be executed well. nobody has seen
an iphone for long enough to fool around with it.
hank williams
2007-01-18 13:42:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by hank williams
Post by Robert Michel
Beside the point that an *average* user doesn't see the potential
of
Post by Robert Michel
open source on a mobile - what are your experiances and demands on
a smart phone?
- What does you miss most?
- What does you hate most?
- What does you like/used most?
well honestly my biggest issue with phones in general is not features
but
Post by Robert Michel
execution. The iPhone is a good example of executing well on
features
Post by Robert Michel
that have been around for years. My one concern with open source is
that
Post by Robert Michel
it is great at delivering features, but historically not great at UI.
This
Post by Robert Michel
is because big open source projects are often done by teams where
everyone
Post by Robert Michel
can do what they want. This tends to mean there is no singular
unified
Post by Robert Michel
design vision. This is fine for features for the most part because we
can
That's technically speaking an out-of-date vision of opensource
develepment. I wouldn't consider KDE inconsistent. actually, one might
argue that KDE does better then Windows based environments on this
score.
uh... sure. I dont want to open a windows vs osx vs linux/kde debate here
so i'll leave it at that.
Post by hank williams
all more or less agree on how to implement wifi or an encryption scheme or
Post by Robert Michel
whatever. Or if we disagree we can implement five different ways as
APIs
Post by Robert Michel
and let the market decide. But good UI doesn't work that way.
I guess you haven't used the embedded Linux UIs. They are more
consistent then some commercial phones.
I dont know what this means. What are you talking about... TiVo? Linux UIs
and open source UIs is not the same thing. Lots of people (like TiVo and
hundreds of other companies) build proprietary apps/UIs on top of linux.
That doesn't make them open source. And even if something is open source, if
its not done by an "open source committee" it will generally be better.
Post by hank williams
Post by Robert Michel
So the iPhone has a design czar - jobs - and that means that forward
thinking design gets done in a unified way. This issue may not effect
nope. You are assuming that it will be executed well. nobody has seen
an iphone for long enough to fool around with it.
Andreas Kostyrka
2007-01-18 14:47:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by hank williams
I dont know what this means. What are you talking about... TiVo? Linux
Nope, I had once an Ipaq with GPE, and it's UI was quite ok. The
Qtopia thing is also quite fine.

And I had phones that had obvious bugs in it. (Don't remember which
phone it was, but I had once a phone where one could enter a time
of day where the phone should power off. Well, but it seems the
developers forgot an option to delete the poweroff time.)
Post by hank williams
UIs and open source UIs is not the same thing. Lots of people (like TiVo
and hundreds of other companies) build proprietary apps/UIs on top of
linux. That doesn't make them open source. And even if something is open
source, if its not done by an "open source committee" it will generally be
better.
How do you arrive at this assertion? UI design is something that can
be done well by committee and done badly by committee.
Post by hank williams
Well, your mileage may vary, but obviously lots of people, press,
analysts, etc think its pretty significant. Perhaps it will just be one of
The press and analysts have not seen much yet of the phone. They have
basically been given a presentation, given press release that Apple (a
company known for lifestyle products) claims to have revolutized the
phone market. And they (perhaps, not all of them), were allowed to
play around with a prototype.

Some error clear here? How can have Apple done something in the past
tense, with something that is not yet and will not be available till
Summer?

You know, they even found many journalists and analyst that did
believe SCO's claims about Linux & IBM.

Basically, many "analysts" and "journalists" today tend to "copy &
paste" press releases. It's clearly not a black & white thing, because
there are journalists and analysts knowing about stuff they write
about. And the "copy & paste" is sometimes verbatim, more often it's a
rewording of the stuff they get supplied.

So sorry, what I've read and seen, the iPhone is completly
underwhelming. Time will show if users will pay a premium because it's
an Apple product. (Because there have been a number of "premium"
design phones, sometimes with better technology than the iPhone, that
have made no impression on the market.)
Post by hank williams
many - only time will tell. But somehow I doubt it. Slashdot has certainly
gotten a lot of humorous mileage out of the prediction that the iPod
wasn't going anywhere.
It has a huge benefit for iPod users => they can have a phone and an
iPod in one piece. OTOH, there are people that don't buy an iPod
because it's so closed already. ;)

And because of it's closed nature, the phone powerusers will be better
off with a WinMobile. (If not the Neo.)
Post by hank williams
It's the Linux-will-fork story all over. Empirical evidence suggests
that your fear won't happen.
Nope. I don't have any fears and wasn't talking about forking. I am just
saying that often, too many cooks spoil the stew.
Not really. What you are refering to is that not all software is
UI-wise enduser ready. Yeah, these packages will be on the Neo too.
But OTOH, I've seen many enduser friendly packages happening in the
Linux space, so only time will show.
Post by hank williams
I'm not trying to help. I am not intending to be a phone designer. I was
asked a question, and so I am stating my honest opinion about phones.
Ideally, what I want is a good UI. This is of course, subjective, and so
there is no single answer. I can only say that the current phone
marketplace has not focused on UI at all. Motorola's UI is inexcusable.
Motorola is bad. SonyEriccson is a little bit better, Nokia is workable.
Post by hank williams
Palm apps look the same as they did in 2000 - and still no multi-tasking.
Guess what, they did look the same even earlier :)
Post by hank williams
Windows mobile is ugly, and looks like they tried to transplant a desktop
into a phone. For me to suggest specific fixes is a little like asking why
I dont want to date a pot bellied pig. You know, what if we put a little
I think the Neo will surprise you positivly.
Post by hank williams
lipstick on it. wouldnt it be good enough then? Phones need to be
re-thought. Perhaps OpenMoko is a solution - haven't seen a demo so I
don't know - which is why I asked my initial question. But since no one
here other than Sean has seen it, perhaps I wont get anything other than
generic linux fan responses.
It's not that I'm a fan ;) It usually sucks less on average than most
alternatives.

Andreas
hank williams
2007-01-18 15:24:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by hank williams
Post by hank williams
It's the Linux-will-fork story all over. Empirical evidence
suggests
Post by hank williams
that your fear won't happen.
Nope. I don't have any fears and wasn't talking about forking. I am
just
Post by hank williams
saying that often, too many cooks spoil the stew.
Not really. What you are refering to is that not all software is
UI-wise enduser ready. Yeah, these packages will be on the Neo too.
But OTOH, I've seen many enduser friendly packages happening in the
Linux space, so only time will show.
You are entitled to your opinion but not mine. Please don't tell me what I
was saying or should be saying. I was not referring to anything other than
what I said. I believe too many cooks spoil the stew, which is often a
problem in open source, in my opinion. Its also often also a problem inside
corporate development efforts. When there is no clear and absolute
leadership, product design suffers. This is of course my opinion, based on
my 30 years of software development. It is, nevertheless an opinion. Your
mileage may vary.

Regards,
Hank
Richard Franks
2007-01-18 16:26:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by hank williams
I believe too many cooks spoil the stew, which is often a
problem in open source, in my opinion. Its also often also a problem inside
corporate development efforts. When there is no clear and absolute
leadership, product design suffers. This is of course my opinion, based on
my 30 years of software development. It is, nevertheless an opinion. Your
mileage may vary.
I see this being true for monolithic projects such as a kernel, or an
office productivity suite.. I would say that it's debatable whether
the same holds true for the types of micro-application which are going
to be created using the OpenMoko API (which as a foundation does
appear to have clear leadership).

Monolithic product design I believe arose from distribution and OS
layer limitations - when you simply couldn't download weekly updates
or patches, the product had to get it right the first time. It didn't
always happen that way of course, but there was no real alternative as
the network infrastructure hadn't been built up yet.

Communication accelerates standardisation, and standardisation paves
the way for smaller tighter applications. Given the diversity of
interests shown on this list, I don't think we'll run into the
too-many-cooks issue any time soon.

Out of interest, which Open Source projects have fallen victim to the
too-many-cooks problem?

Richard
hank williams
2007-01-18 18:15:25 UTC
Permalink
I should clarify and say the issue that I am refering to specifically
relates to UI/design. There are very few people that are good at it, so when
those "good" people are not in absolute control and overly influnenced by
committees, the design suffers. The good news about most open source
products that have been successful is that they are more often API driven.
Linux, the apache stuff, languages, etc, etc. Honestly, I havent yet seen an
open source product whose UI I really like except firefox which is darned
near commercial in the way that it is run.

Graphics programs, Interface shells, video programs... I am not going to
name names because then someone will either get upset or start
misinterpreting. But I have yet to see something that I thought lived up to
the best proprietary interface/UI designs. I cant say I have seen
everything, but I have seen a lot. I think Open Source kills when it comes
to creating high quality maintainable code. But I personally dont think the
community process works as well for design and UI. I know people will
disagree, and I really dont want to get into a back and forth with people
getting upset and trying to prove me wrong. Its just my opinion. And of
course there are always exceptions.

Oh and by the way, I am not saying OpenMoko will have this problem. It
specifically relates to the community process of development. But satisfying
everyone's requests/demands in a UI is a sure sign of trouble and is much
more prevalent in a more democratic process. Depending on how they manage
the process and the form of the leadership it may not be an issue at all.
They just have to be good designers themselves, and be willing to say "no"
when warranted.

Regards,
Hank

p.s. These are just my opinions. I have said it before, but many people have
different perspectives on what it takes to make great products. I am not
sure why anyone would care about my views on this subject.
Post by hank williams
Post by hank williams
I believe too many cooks spoil the stew, which is often a
problem in open source, in my opinion. Its also often also a problem
inside
Post by hank williams
corporate development efforts. When there is no clear and absolute
leadership, product design suffers. This is of course my opinion, based
on
Post by hank williams
my 30 years of software development. It is, nevertheless an opinion.
Your
Post by hank williams
mileage may vary.
I see this being true for monolithic projects such as a kernel, or an
office productivity suite.. I would say that it's debatable whether
the same holds true for the types of micro-application which are going
to be created using the OpenMoko API (which as a foundation does
appear to have clear leadership).
Monolithic product design I believe arose from distribution and OS
layer limitations - when you simply couldn't download weekly updates
or patches, the product had to get it right the first time. It didn't
always happen that way of course, but there was no real alternative as
the network infrastructure hadn't been built up yet.
Communication accelerates standardisation, and standardisation paves
the way for smaller tighter applications. Given the diversity of
interests shown on this list, I don't think we'll run into the
too-many-cooks issue any time soon.
Out of interest, which Open Source projects have fallen victim to the
too-many-cooks problem?
Richard
_______________________________________________
OpenMoko community mailing list
https://lists.openmoko.org/mailman/listinfo/community
Jacob Peterson
2007-01-19 08:43:59 UTC
Permalink
Hank,

I want to thank you for stimulating such a great discussion.

I think I have an understanding of where your trying to go with this and I
understand that having such a free and democratic process of creating an UI
for a mobile platform would be very difficult. However, looking at other
open source projects that I perceive as having decent UI's, from what I can
tell it seems their success usually stems from the fact the project leaders
are talented graphical designers along with programmers who can decide on a
common graphical interface and build following that. The enlightenment
project <http://enlightenment.org> seems to be a great example of this along
with the more recent versions of gnome <http://www.gnome.org/start/2.16/>.
Dare I suggest contacting people who are skilled at graphical design, and
would be willing to donate time, to help led the development of the UI?
They could be our "elected officials" to help moderate down all the
different ideas and requests to make them fit into a common vision and
hopefully a great UI.

--Jacob
Post by hank williams
I should clarify and say the issue that I am refering to specifically
relates to UI/design. There are very few people that are good at it, so when
those "good" people are not in absolute control and overly influnenced by
committees, the design suffers. The good news about most open source
products that have been successful is that they are more often API driven.
Linux, the apache stuff, languages, etc, etc. Honestly, I havent yet seen an
open source product whose UI I really like except firefox which is darned
near commercial in the way that it is run.
Graphics programs, Interface shells, video programs... I am not going to
name names because then someone will either get upset or start
misinterpreting. But I have yet to see something that I thought lived up to
the best proprietary interface/UI designs. I cant say I have seen
everything, but I have seen a lot. I think Open Source kills when it comes
to creating high quality maintainable code. But I personally dont think the
community process works as well for design and UI. I know people will
disagree, and I really dont want to get into a back and forth with people
getting upset and trying to prove me wrong. Its just my opinion. And of
course there are always exceptions.
Oh and by the way, I am not saying OpenMoko will have this problem. It
specifically relates to the community process of development. But satisfying
everyone's requests/demands in a UI is a sure sign of trouble and is much
more prevalent in a more democratic process. Depending on how they manage
the process and the form of the leadership it may not be an issue at all.
They just have to be good designers themselves, and be willing to say "no"
when warranted.
Regards,
Hank
p.s. These are just my opinions. I have said it before, but many people
have different perspectives on what it takes to make great products. I am
not sure why anyone would care about my views on this subject.
Post by hank williams
Post by hank williams
I believe too many cooks spoil the stew, which is often a
problem in open source, in my opinion. Its also often also a problem
inside
Post by hank williams
corporate development efforts. When there is no clear and absolute
leadership, product design suffers. This is of course my opinion,
based on
Post by hank williams
my 30 years of software development. It is, nevertheless an opinion.
Your
Post by hank williams
mileage may vary.
I see this being true for monolithic projects such as a kernel, or an
office productivity suite.. I would say that it's debatable whether
the same holds true for the types of micro-application which are going
to be created using the OpenMoko API (which as a foundation does
appear to have clear leadership).
Monolithic product design I believe arose from distribution and OS
layer limitations - when you simply couldn't download weekly updates
or patches, the product had to get it right the first time. It didn't
always happen that way of course, but there was no real alternative as
the network infrastructure hadn't been built up yet.
Communication accelerates standardisation, and standardisation paves
the way for smaller tighter applications. Given the diversity of
interests shown on this list, I don't think we'll run into the
too-many-cooks issue any time soon.
Out of interest, which Open Source projects have fallen victim to the
too-many-cooks problem?
Richard
_______________________________________________
OpenMoko community mailing list
https://lists.openmoko.org/mailman/listinfo/community
_______________________________________________
OpenMoko community mailing list
https://lists.openmoko.org/mailman/listinfo/community
Gervais Mulongoy
2007-01-19 14:05:59 UTC
Permalink
Jacob Peterson
2007-01-19 16:35:13 UTC
Permalink
On 1/19/07, Gervais Mulongoy <***@gmail.com> wrote:
Jesse Ross
2007-01-19 15:58:49 UTC
Permalink
Hello!

My name is Jesse Ross and I've just been kind of lurking for the past
month and a half or so. I'm a web designer/graphic designer/
illustrator by trade, and have been contributing to a few open source
projects for the past couple of years. Right now I'm primarily
involved with the Etoile and GNUstep projects, doing icon design,
interface design and theming.
Post by Jacob Peterson
Dare I suggest contacting people who are skilled at graphical
design, and would be willing to donate time, to help led the
development of the UI? They could be our "elected officials" to
help moderate down all the different ideas and requests to make
them fit into a common vision and hopefully a great UI.
I'm really excited about this project, and would love to help with
the UI. Below is a collection of various work I've done:


GNUstep icons: http://jesseross.com/clients/gnustep/icons/apps/

GNUstep theme: http://jesseross.com/clients/gnustep/ui/concepts/

GNUstep menu concept: http://jesseross.com/clients/gnustep/ui/menu/

Interaction mockups (Flash): http://jesseross.com/clients/etoile/ui/
project_based/

Etoile logo concepts: http://jesseross.com/clients/etoile/logo/

Jython logo: http://jesseross.com/clients/jython/



Thanks again to everyone who is working on the project! I can't wait
to get one and contribute!

J.
Sergio Bessa
2007-01-19 20:19:34 UTC
Permalink
Congratulations,

Your work proves that there are good open-source designs ;)
Hope you can bring some good ideas to this project also.

Regards,

Sérgio Bessa
Post by Jesse Ross
Hello!
My name is Jesse Ross and I've just been kind of lurking for the past
month and a half or so. I'm a web designer/graphic
designer/illustrator by trade, and have been contributing to a few
open source projects for the past couple of years. Right now I'm
primarily involved with the Etoile and GNUstep projects, doing icon
design, interface design and theming.
Post by Jacob Peterson
Dare I suggest contacting people who are skilled at graphical design,
and would be willing to donate time, to help led the development of
the UI? They could be our "elected officials" to help moderate down
all the different ideas and requests to make them fit into a common
vision and hopefully a great UI.
I'm really excited about this project, and would love to help with the
GNUstep icons: http://jesseross.com/clients/gnustep/icons/apps/
GNUstep theme: http://jesseross.com/clients/gnustep/ui/concepts/
GNUstep menu concept: http://jesseross.com/clients/gnustep/ui/menu/
http://jesseross.com/clients/etoile/ui/project_based/
Etoile logo concepts: http://jesseross.com/clients/etoile/logo/
Jython logo: http://jesseross.com/clients/jython/
Thanks again to everyone who is working on the project! I can't wait
to get one and contribute!
J.
_______________________________________________
OpenMoko community mailing list
https://lists.openmoko.org/mailman/listinfo/community
Jean-Philippe Monteiro
2007-01-19 03:06:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andreas Kostyrka
OTOH, there are people that don't buy an iPod
because it's so closed already.
Hmm... some "can-opener" can be found here & there...

http://www.rockbox.org (4G & 5G, Nano, Mini)
http://ipodlinux.sourceforge.net (1-2-3G)

My wife is running RockBox on her iPod 5G 30Gb: bought two days ago, was
reluctant to connect to both SuSE93 & Ubuntu 6.06 so I turned it overnight to
RockBox. A breeze, and cheer fun, and customisable, and full of addons, and
truly drag'n'drop)

Off-topic, I know.

Jean-Philippe.
--
SuSE93 Linux Kernell 2.6.11.4-21.14 KDE 3.4.0 Kontact 1.1 Kmail 1.8
PHNOM PENH - CAMBODIA
Rok Ruzic
2007-01-18 15:38:59 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 18 Jan 2007 13:05:49 +0100
Post by Robert Michel
- white/black list for incomming calls/sms
- answering machine on your phone
- voice menues for anknown or anonymous caller
Robert, you are mentioning black/white listing. Do you know for fact, that somebody is already working on it?

Kindly,
Rox
Robert Michel
2007-01-18 19:23:36 UTC
Permalink
Salve Rok!
Post by Rok Ruzic
Post by Robert Michel
- white/black list for incomming calls/sms
- answering machine on your phone
- voice menues for anknown or anonymous caller
Robert, you are mentioning black/white listing. Do you know for fact,
that somebody is already working on it?
No, but I'm shure that asterisk will run on the Neo1973 and
this will give all asterisk users the power to play with
dial plans (extentions.conf and more) on the mobile.

Even when asterisk will not be the smart (embedded) phone solution
for the mass market - it is a great tool to develop stategies
how to answer or non-answer a call.

For everybody who like to create new ways of dail plans
(time/location/mood/... dependent dail plans), black/white listing
will be my advice to play with asterisk before the Neo1973 is out.

Parallel to answer you I'm just started
***@robins:/home/rob# apt-get install upslug2
:)
this NSLU2 box is new - I desided to buy a NSLU2 because it is also ARM
powered like the Neo1973 :) and it is supported by the Debian installer.
BTW I found a souce for a Linux compatible USB2 10/100Mbit/s adapter
with the Realtek RTL8150L chip for 8,49 Euro plus shipping: tinxi.com
And of course I will run asterisk there as well :)
I'm convinced that the Debian-NSLU2 is a very good partner for the
NEO1973 :)))

So back to your question - I'm sorry that I do not know for fact that
somebody is already working in detail, but I'm shure that people are
starting to think what freedom for handling calls they will get with
an open phone.

Think about the power to hide call back or call through funktions,
maybe GPRS powered, with a good integration on your mobile....
Asterisk is inspiring what all new sloutions will become possible
with OpenMoko/Neo1973 and OpenMoko/Neo1973 together with an asterisk
server - maybe on a NSLU2....

Have you additional ideas about core phone funtions to those we
posted on this list?

Happy hacking....
rob
Marcin Juszkiewicz
2007-01-18 19:55:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Michel
this NSLU2 box is new - I desided to buy a NSLU2 because it is also ARM
powered like the Neo1973 :)
Your NSLU2 is/will be also powered by distro built with usage of the same
buildsystem as Neo1973 - OpenEmbedded.
Post by Robert Michel
and it is supported by the Debian installer.
Because NSLU2 hackers create own project, then joined OE to improve it (OE
and nslu2-linux project) and finally they helped Debian. Due to their
work ARM is not 3rd architecture in Debian and NSLU2 is iirc most popular
ARM machine in Debian.
--
JID: hrw-jabber.org
OpenEmbedded developer/consultant

No processes were killed during production of this e-mail
Rod Whitby
2007-01-18 21:21:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marcin Juszkiewicz
Post by Robert Michel
this NSLU2 box is new - I desided to buy a NSLU2 because it is also ARM
powered like the Neo1973 :)
Your NSLU2 is/will be also powered by distro built with usage of the same
buildsystem as Neo1973 - OpenEmbedded.
Post by Robert Michel
and it is supported by the Debian installer.
Because NSLU2 hackers create own project, then joined OE to improve it (OE
and nslu2-linux project) and finally they helped Debian.
and OpenWRT, and Gentoo, ... nslu2-linux is distribution agnostic :-)
Post by Marcin Juszkiewicz
Due to their
work ARM is not 3rd architecture in Debian and NSLU2 is iirc most popular
^^^ now
Post by Marcin Juszkiewicz
ARM machine in Debian.
Indeed. See http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS3535328630.html

Perhaps we can do the same for the Neo, and make it the third most
popular mobile phone ... ;-)

I am expecting to get a developer device so I can ensure that the NSLU2
SlugOS distribution (which is built using OpenEmbedded, and shares lots
of basic infrastructure applications with OpenMoko) has all the
capabilities to fully network/sync/etc with the Neo via bluetooth and
USB. All you will need is a USD$80 NSLU2 and a USD$20 USB bluetooth
dongle (although I recommend the Linksys USBBT100 which will set you
back USD$40) for your home server. You can even add a USB disk drive
and do lots of other stuff too.

[Yes, this *is* a blatant attempt to make sure that I am on the
developer device early-access list :-)]

-- Rod Whitby
-- NSLU2-Linux Project Lead
Marnix Klooster
2007-01-18 12:30:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by hank williams
What I mean by this is that it seems everyone is saying that the big
difference is that you can get 3rd party *real apps* on the phone. And this
is said as if windows mobile phones like moto q, blackjack and pocket PC
phones wont allow this.
In my mind, it's not just the *additional* applications. It's the
kernel and all low-level stuff that you (or others for you) can hack
and replace. The dialer application and the bluetooth driver that
comes with it, and any other software, can be adapted and/or replaced.
And it can be done legally, with all the hardware specs available
(excepting of the GPS part perhaps).

I'm not an expert, but my understanding is that that would be more
difficult or impossible on a Windows mobile phone.

Groetjes,
<><
Marnix
Andreas Kostyrka
2007-01-18 14:48:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marnix Klooster
Post by hank williams
What I mean by this is that it seems everyone is saying that the big
difference is that you can get 3rd party *real apps* on the phone. And this
is said as if windows mobile phones like moto q, blackjack and pocket PC
phones wont allow this.
In my mind, it's not just the *additional* applications. It's the
kernel and all low-level stuff that you (or others for you) can hack
and replace. The dialer application and the bluetooth driver that
comes with it, and any other software, can be adapted and/or replaced.
And it can be done legally, with all the hardware specs available
(excepting of the GPS part perhaps).
I'm not an expert, but my understanding is that that would be more
difficult or impossible on a Windows mobile phone.
See the Linux on HTC smartphones projects. Painful is the word.

Andreas
Sencer
2007-01-18 13:21:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by hank williams
What I mean by this is that it seems everyone is saying that the big
difference is that you can get 3rd party *real apps* on the phone.
Actually I think most people are saying, that you have full access to
a) the hardware and b) to the sources of all applications that run on
it. And not only do you have access to the source, but the freedom to
change and redistribute the changed application. That's the deciding
factor. "3rd party apps" in general have been a distinct feature of
every smartphone so far, the only reason it's being discussed today at
all, is because Apple is disallowing it.
Post by hank williams
Now I am not saying open source isnt great. But from your *average* users
perspective I would love to hear the advantages of the open source for these
devices.
By "average" user, I assume you mean those people that do not program
or administer complex software. Well, let me try it with an analogy:
What benefit does somebody have from "freedom", when he is not
interested in making use of it (i.e. working the same job all his
life, voting the same party no matter what, etc.) because his main
objectives - feeding his family, doing X or doing Y - are equally
possible under a repressive regime and in a free country? It's simple,
you'll likely still be better of in the free country, because the
freedom enables improvements that you will eventually benefit from,
even if you never specifically worked (in a hands-on way) towards
those specific interests. Now that doesn't mean that as soon as there
is freedom, you automatically and directly are better of if you don't
make use of it; it's merely the beginning of a process. So today, and
for the 1st generation devices that run openmoko, you may (as an
average user) not reap immediate benefits, but you will help enable a
success through freedom, in that the other people that do have the
interest and/or skill necessary to turn that freedom into a benefit
for everybody.
Post by hank williams
Is this just a geek issue? It seems like most of the apps described
on this list could be done with any of the windows mobile phones. I'd just
love, for my own edification, to hear why this is wrong.
For example the PIM/Messaging applications (which areguably are the
core of a smaratphone) are not limited by what the device-makers are
able and willing to develop. You could add sending SMS over HTTP,
sending voice-mails via E-Mail, automatically sending notifications
that you are delayed for appointments and for how long (by checking
the calendar, the GPS coordinates, and the average speed of your
movement). Now the point is not only, that it is possible to write
these applications, but that the functionality can be seamlessly
integrated into the existing base-applications, and everybody is able
to benefit from it. With bluetooth and usb on board, there is a very
real possibility of expanding the possibilites in a way that is simply
not possible on windows mobile or symbian, because you simply cannot
access certain aspects of the phone. As a simple example: Many older
wifi-cards that can do WEP but can't do WPA are limited due to
software, not hardware reasons. But given that you already paid for
them there is no incentive to do that work. Similar with bluetooth
functionality, many early phones (looks at nokia) only had a very
limited support for certain bluetooth functionality ("profiles"), and
that limitation was due to sotware reasons, not hardware reasons. And
interested people that had the time and skill still couldn't do
anything about it. People were simply stuck with a castrated phone.

[Quoting from a later mail:]
Post by hank williams
This is because big open source projects are often done by teams where everyone can do
what they want. This tends to mean there is no singular unified design vision.
That's not necessarily the case. In fact I know plenty of counter
examples. Open source does not dictate _how_ the software is to be
Post by hank williams
But good UI doesn't work that way.
that is correct, but it's not necessarily a statement about open
source in general.
Post by hank williams
But the bottom line is that my biggest problem with phones is that they are just not
designed well. The pretty much all suck!
Well, I do not think that open source is a huge enabled in that
respect either. So while it doesn't necessarily have to be better or
worse than closed source, the code-licence simply isn't a good
indicator to judge the likely quality of the UI.


Regards

Sencer
hank williams
2007-01-18 13:45:46 UTC
Permalink
Thanks. Great, very helpful answer!

Hank
Post by Sencer
Post by hank williams
What I mean by this is that it seems everyone is saying that the big
difference is that you can get 3rd party *real apps* on the phone.
Actually I think most people are saying, that you have full access to
a) the hardware and b) to the sources of all applications that run on
it. And not only do you have access to the source, but the freedom to
change and redistribute the changed application. That's the deciding
factor. "3rd party apps" in general have been a distinct feature of
every smartphone so far, the only reason it's being discussed today at
all, is because Apple is disallowing it.
Post by hank williams
Now I am not saying open source isnt great. But from your *average*
users
Post by hank williams
perspective I would love to hear the advantages of the open source for
these
Post by hank williams
devices.
By "average" user, I assume you mean those people that do not program
What benefit does somebody have from "freedom", when he is not
interested in making use of it (i.e. working the same job all his
life, voting the same party no matter what, etc.) because his main
objectives - feeding his family, doing X or doing Y - are equally
possible under a repressive regime and in a free country? It's simple,
you'll likely still be better of in the free country, because the
freedom enables improvements that you will eventually benefit from,
even if you never specifically worked (in a hands-on way) towards
those specific interests. Now that doesn't mean that as soon as there
is freedom, you automatically and directly are better of if you don't
make use of it; it's merely the beginning of a process. So today, and
for the 1st generation devices that run openmoko, you may (as an
average user) not reap immediate benefits, but you will help enable a
success through freedom, in that the other people that do have the
interest and/or skill necessary to turn that freedom into a benefit
for everybody.
Post by hank williams
Is this just a geek issue? It seems like most of the apps described
on this list could be done with any of the windows mobile phones. I'd
just
Post by hank williams
love, for my own edification, to hear why this is wrong.
For example the PIM/Messaging applications (which areguably are the
core of a smaratphone) are not limited by what the device-makers are
able and willing to develop. You could add sending SMS over HTTP,
sending voice-mails via E-Mail, automatically sending notifications
that you are delayed for appointments and for how long (by checking
the calendar, the GPS coordinates, and the average speed of your
movement). Now the point is not only, that it is possible to write
these applications, but that the functionality can be seamlessly
integrated into the existing base-applications, and everybody is able
to benefit from it. With bluetooth and usb on board, there is a very
real possibility of expanding the possibilites in a way that is simply
not possible on windows mobile or symbian, because you simply cannot
access certain aspects of the phone. As a simple example: Many older
wifi-cards that can do WEP but can't do WPA are limited due to
software, not hardware reasons. But given that you already paid for
them there is no incentive to do that work. Similar with bluetooth
functionality, many early phones (looks at nokia) only had a very
limited support for certain bluetooth functionality ("profiles"), and
that limitation was due to sotware reasons, not hardware reasons. And
interested people that had the time and skill still couldn't do
anything about it. People were simply stuck with a castrated phone.
[Quoting from a later mail:]
Post by hank williams
This is because big open source projects are often done by teams where
everyone can do
Post by hank williams
what they want. This tends to mean there is no singular unified design
vision.
That's not necessarily the case. In fact I know plenty of counter
examples. Open source does not dictate _how_ the software is to be
Post by hank williams
But good UI doesn't work that way.
that is correct, but it's not necessarily a statement about open
source in general.
Post by hank williams
But the bottom line is that my biggest problem with phones is that they
are just not
Post by hank williams
designed well. The pretty much all suck!
Well, I do not think that open source is a huge enabled in that
respect either. So while it doesn't necessarily have to be better or
worse than closed source, the code-licence simply isn't a good
indicator to judge the likely quality of the UI.
Regards
Sencer
Richard Bennett
2007-01-18 13:47:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by hank williams
What I mean by this is that it seems everyone is saying that the big
difference is that you can get 3rd party *real apps* on the phone. And this
is said as if windows mobile phones like moto q, blackjack and pocket PC
phones wont allow this.
You are buying freedom, but this comes at a cost:
I'm prepared to pay more for a phone that might offer less out of the box, to
get freedom.
I'm prepared to invest time learning how to improve my phone, purely because I
enjoy that.
I'm prepared to pay upfront, pay more than the market price, or re-purchase
the same (improved) device a year later, to support a company that gives me
freedom.
I'm prepared not to buy a phone - however good it is - that would make
Microsoft any money, because they control our freedom and it is important
that manufacturers see they can make money without pre-loading each and every
device with monopolistic software that restricts user's freedom.
You cannot believe how hard it is to purchase a laptop that doesn't
automatically include paying Microsoft or Apple some $50 or so in license
fees, even if you'll never use their software.
(And many companies are even paying for windows twice, once at purchase time
and once with their corporate licensing models)

What freedom? Last year my son bought a cheap MP3 player. He was surprised
that on a windows computer he could only put songs on it, not get them off
again. Why? Microsoft wants to give the impression this will prevent people
copying songs, so their partner's in the music business are happy. At the
same time the memory-stick people are happy, as MS protect their market too.
The only person who gets screwed-over is the customer.
Plug the same MP3 player into a Linux PC, and you can do what you want with
it, even use it as a memory stick for file-transfer.
Post by hank williams
Now I am not saying open source isnt great. But from your *average* users
perspective I would love to hear the advantages of the open source for
these devices. Is this just a geek issue?
I think the free and open movement is based around people who are prepared to
make sacrifices to uphold their convictions, and they will often be referred
to as geeks. It is starting to creep into the mainstream though, with more
and more people realizing that the restrictions they thought were inherent to
a device or technology were actually artificially put in place to restrict
them, and to get them to keep paying for upgrades and extra options when this
is not really necessary.
Post by hank williams
It seems like most of the apps
described on this list could be done with any of the windows mobile phones.
I'd just love, for my own edification, to hear why this is wrong.
Most could, but not always executed in your best interest but often in the
interest of the service providers and the manufacturers, often buggy and
shoddy (ref lots of Nokia apps), and often not free or opensource.
Now if I wanted to load 4 SIM cards into memory, and switch between them when
making outgoing calls to avoid roaming charges, which platform would have any
chance of allowing this to work?
Or if I wanted to backup all my phone's settings and then clone them onto a
new phone... ideal for distributing phones within a company.
Or if I want to have a command-line operated phone...
user>sms -ufred 'How are you?'
Or if the phone does not support a bluetooth keyboard? Research it and build
the driver/profile yourself, or float the idea and wait for someone else to
do it, or search the net and find out someone already has.

You basically asked what is better, Windows or Linux, and the above is my take
on that.

Cheers,

Richard.
Richard Franks
2007-01-18 15:57:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by hank williams
Now I am not saying open source isnt great. But from your *average* users
perspective I would love to hear the advantages of the open source for these
devices. Is this just a geek issue? It seems like most of the apps described
on this list could be done with any of the windows mobile phones. I'd just
love, for my own edification, to hear why this is wrong.
I don't think it's simple enough to categorise neatly right now.. but
think of it in terms of computer evolution - warehouse sized
computers, mainframes, desktop, laptop.. the next stage of that
evolution is a computer you can carry around in your pocket that does
everything you want/need it to. Mobile phones have flirted with that
category for a while now, but their closed nature - artificial limits
placed upon development and software functionality - seriously impede
their potential.

So what I'm banking upon is that mysterious future potential that
comes from fully realising the next stage of computer evolution, and
being a small part of that coming revolution.

You are right in that technically a windows mobile phone could run the
same applications - the source will be open, after all... but that is
then a game of catch-up and if some of the wacky ideas we've collected
so far turns out to be extremely useful and more difficult for large
companies to negotiate, administer and incorporate into their business
models.. then Open platforms will gain market lead purely due to their
agility.

So right now it is a geek issue, which in my opinion will become a
user issue when we start seeing the next generation of mobile
applications.

Richard
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