Juli 2007

Back from Guadec

This year’s GUADEC was very successful for me. I managed to attend to a lot of talks while still having time to perform several business meetings. OpenMoko Inc. was present in the GMAE meeting and contributed a tiny little bit to the discussions. GUADEC refreshed and renewed my interest and confidence in many GNOME technologies.

My talk about OpenMoko and the Neo1973 was very well received and although I called for flames by stating that GTK+ as the heart technology of GNOME is also its weakest spot, I hardly received any. To the contrary — other talks and discussions pointed out the same.

The Gnome Mobile Platform is progressing nicely and I’m looking forward to integrating the best libraries and frameworks into OpenMoko.

On to some personal notes… I really enjoyed the 4 days, spending some time with Stefan Schmidt and Daniel Willmann and my OE buddies, however both the Formule1 Hotel and (some of) Birmingham’s taxi drivers (not to mention the public transportation system) were quite suboptimal…

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Neo 1973 Phase 1 started

So we are finally selling hardware now. This is mainly a good thing, since we show that this device is not just vapourware. However, it is also a dangerous thing, since now people may buy this under false assumptions, being very disappointed because it (more or less) doesn’t do anything… To put this very straight:

THIS IS NOT AN END-USER DEVICE!
IT IS NOT (YET) THE IPHONE KILLER WE ALL ARE WAITING FOR!
THIS IS A DEVELOPER RELEASE, NOT A CONSUMER PRODUCT!

It may not even always be a phone — since thanks to all the distracting hoops and roadblockers we had to jump through, the result is a software that’s really not up to par yet — everything is in an amazingly unsatisfying and rough state and I won’t bet on its ability to make or receive calls all of the time.

However, this doesn’t prevent it from being a revolutionary device — it is a canvas that will enable you developers to draw your own ideas upon — thus shaping the future of mobile communications and being a part of a great community. And it won’t be alone, there will be many more canvases to follow.

The really good thing is that not only are we super-committed to making this hardware and software platform a rocking success, but we also got some big guys standing behind us and supporting us. It may take a while for OpenMoko to really get off, but we already seem to scare some of the big players 😀

If you ask me how long we will take to get to a device that is end-user friendly, then I will answer you: At least 6 months from now, perhaps even more. But don’t forget — this is more of an open source project than anything else. We release early and we release often — now go and flame us for that, because it doesn’t live up to your expectations. Or see it as the developer board it is and join us in developing a mobile platform based on openness, freedom and virtually endless possibilities.

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EFL related work

While I was in Taipei, I revamped the EFL recipes in OpenEmbedded. They suffered from a lot of hackish workarounds that were necessary while EFL didn’t use pkgconfig and had some bogus autotools usage. This is now history and so we have a more or less clean set of EFL recipes in OpenEmbedded!

Related to that, I have recently been contacted by Andreas ‚audifahrer‘ Volz who’s going to work with me on refreshing my C++ bindings to the EFL that have unfortunately been stalled since many months. As a first step towards more visibility, we agreed to autoconfigize them (they were using my beloved qmake :-)) and put them into the Enlightenment CVS. Over the next months, we plan to catch up with recent changes in the EFL and enhance them. Lots of cool things forthcoming for ya C++ lovers.

This — of course — also has some relevance to OpenMoko.

By the way, Aaron Bockover joins me with a rant about Gtk+ theming.

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Back to DefCon 4

We finally switched off the dryer on saturday and almost all of my stuff has been placed into the office again. I’m now fully operational again and can (finally) continue to work as usual *phew*

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