Thursday, May 22, 2008

My two cents on the Openmoko April Software Update

I have been involved in this project with the goal to create the April Software Update (ASU). Just by the name Update one can guess that the stuff shipped (factory image) on the image is not the April Software Update. The default factory image, for what I know, is the Gtk+ based stack as you know it.

So why did we start to create the ASU? We wanted to have a working phone on a short time frame and some of us believed that the current stack, specially the gsmd, is not close to be working properly. The most promising alternative was the Qtopia stack. So we started marching into this direction by porting it to Qt/X11. When I say Qtopia we mean the prediction of the keyboard, the dialer, the sms program, the various other phone apps. So I'm using my ASU powered gta02 as my primary phone and fix the issues I encounter where ever they are. There are quite some things left but it is looking promising. So guys, be happy that you will getting working hardware and working telephony software. If you are bored with stuff just working (tm) the Gtk+ based stack is awaiting your patches.

So how does it fit into the platform strategy? This is not changing anything in regard to GNOME Mobile and Embedded (GMAE). Our SDK will support you in creating GMAE based applications. Our framework initiative will make sure that you can access the functionality you need. Due technical issues (before it would get political) our SDK will not contain Qtopia headers, libraries. The Gtk+ stack remains supported, patches are welcome.

So happy hacking and enjoy a working phone and more on how great EFL later.



Stecchino said...

Yeah for sanity. And for a working release.

Being a Qt fan myself the new OpenMoko platform support convinces me to purchase a gta02 and possibly even use it as my main phone. I hope to use it mainly for development though.

I do like the look of the Gtk+ based apps and I guess they are developed specifically for touch input. Best tool for the job, in any case.

deviceguy said...

Why not just take the already working nicely on the Neo Qtopia-as-it-is and run with that? Far less work than trying to shoehorn Qtopia into something it's not supposed to be.

Openmoko could have already shipped something that actually works well.

/me shrugs

Anonymous said...

Awesome post! That should clear it up.

@deviceguy: Qtopia out-of-the-box is unusable on the FreeRunner (no accellerated framebuffer for a start). Besides, locking people into one UI toolkit (Qt) would pretty much take the "Free" out of the FreeRunner :D

deviceguy said...


Quite actually, Qtopia as it is, runs quite well on the gta02. In fact, it is still faster than what they are working on with the X11. Qtopia is quite usable even on the "un accelerated" framebuffer.

zecke said...

I hate to argue with you. Just look at the git commits. 75.54% of all commits are general bugfixes and would have to be done anyway....

deviceguy said...

No one said Qtopia on X11 was finished or supported by Trolltech. The truth is that Trolltech did the actual porting to X11. They did it as a proof of concept.

I believe that 75% of your 'bug fixes' are only because you don't like that way things are done and do not really fix anything.

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