Recently I had the luck to be able to play with the three currently most dominant commercially available Linux mobile phone platforms: Android, Maemo5 and WebOS. The devices I had were Android on HTC G1 aka Dream, Maemo the Nokia N900 and WebOS on the PalmPre.
It is a hard choice to make if you want to decide for a platform today...
Recently I tried to think of a way to create actual mobile applications for actually available Linux mobile phones. Then I looked at the current situation from an application developer's point of view. The first question that came up, when you are only looking for commercially available Linux based mobiles, which one to choose:
Android: first to be widely available
Palm Pre: now shipping in most western countries
Nokia N900: hopefully coming soon
Next is, how do I develop for those?
Android: Java with a nice SDK based on Eclipse
For the time being LiMo quite cleverly marketed almost any Linux based device by their members as "devices based on LiMo technologies" but actually there were no real LiMo compliant devices available.
According to LinuxDevices http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/News/Vodafone-360-H1/ this is going to change and first real LiMo spec compliant devices seem to emerge.
They also announced the availability of an app-SDK with it - it will be interesting to see how "open" those devices will actually be.
The LinuxToGo main server has moved to a new hosting location on a much more powerful machine. We assume that this will have some positive impact on the overall performance and reliability of LinuxTogGo platform. We are running on a new machine with an Intel i7-920 Quad-Core CPU and 8 GB of RAM. We have a 100MBit uplink in a large computing center in Germany. Expecially for services like GIT and SVN we ecpect a major performance boost.
Apart from the updated hardware we are working on major software updates as well. The old GForge installation gets migrated to FusionForge and several other services got updated. We have introduced a spam filter for all email traffic as well.
Not all services are availabe already and it will take some more time to get everything running smoothly again.
Not available right now are:
- Bugzilla (fixed now)
- Angström Website (fixed now)
- Project groups (should work, needs some more care)
- Downloads (fixed)
- Wiki (fixed now)
If something does not work like expected please drop me a mail to email@example.com.
One of the biggest issues in mobile devices today is power management. On the one hand we expect that the device is always responsive, to user input and network events, on the other hand we want all subsystems to be powered (almost) off to save power.
I just got my hands on a Android HTC Dream aka T-mobile G1. Originally I did not want to get any of those "unfree" Linux devices but a customer wanted me to buy and configure it for him so I thought that might be a good opportunity to play with it and accepted the deal. So here comes my report about it...
Looking at GPE and Angström it looks a little bit like application development and cross compilation has been neglected a little bit in the past. Now that people are improving the toolchain targets in OE I decided to start a small project to build some toolchains for Angström based filesystem images on a few devices.
Now we have the first one available: An ARMv4t one, updated to the latest OE standards and basically tested. It is available from kc labs. You can read about some interesting target devices there as well.
The LiMo foundation just announced their new version R2 of their platform specification, though they are not yet available for public consumption from their technical documents download page.
Widgets versus Bling aka rich GUIs
Recently, mostly inspired by the iPhone(tm) GUI, a discussion in user
interface design and the roadmap to new graphical user interfaces burned up
and starts to divide the user and developer communities.
Some think that the rich user interfaces with new user interaction methods
are the one and only new way of user interface presentation and interaction.
This goes along with animations, three demensional effects, transisitons,
object interaction, physical models for realising this kind of interfaces,
Good news for LinuxToGo: We have gained new sponsor! Bytemark Hosting sponsors a virtual server for us. Now we finally have the chance to distribute the load among two devices. Many thanks to Nick Thomas (lupine_85) for the idea and approaching us and his boss Matthew Bloch!