Juli 2009

FSO founds BGB company

We just released the following statement to various mailing lists:

Braunschweig, Germany, 2009-07-29. For immediate release.

The freesmartphone.org core-team founds a BGB company to facilitate the further development of free and open source middleware for Linux-based mobile systems: „Lauer, Lübbe, Schmidt, Willmann, freesmartphone.org GbR“.

The core-team members of the freesmartphone.org project today announced the founding of a legal entity offering consulting, training, and implementation services around the freesmartphone.org middleware platform, also known as FSO.

„We now have a single point of contact for both commercial and non-commercial parties who want to use our services to create compelling solutions. This is of interest for groups or individuals creating new devices or freeing existing devices („anti-vendor-ports“) and who decided to incorporate the FSO middleware“, says Dr. Michael Lauer, founder of the FSO project. „If you care about the further development of this platform or if you need guidance for tailoring or customizing the FSO middleware, contact us via E-Mail at coreteam@freesmartphone.org“.

With todays‘ smartphones evolving into ubiquituous companions, a gap has emerged between widely used FOSS components like the Linux kernel and core system libraries on one side, and end-user applications on the other side. The lack of a complete free mobile software stack hinders innovation and leads to reinventing proprietary solutions for services middleware.

FSO’s mission is to close this gap by designing and developing solid middleware for mobile systems in an open fashion; this refers to not only publishing source code under open source licenses, but also to sharing the whole design and development process with the community and giving both commercial and non-commercial entities a way to co-drive and steer the process.

Built on top of the Linux kernel, FSO implements high level services for mobile application development, accessible via the DBus interprocess communication standard. Leveraging the FSO APIs allows the developer to concentrate on solving application domain problems, such as business logic and presentation of data, without having to worry about the device specifics and low level details, such as how to access resources, telephony, location awareness, data storage, etc.

About freesmartphone.org: Previously funded by Openmoko Inc, freesmartphone.org is a collaboration platform for open source and open discussion software projects working on interoperability and shared technology for Linux-based smartphones. freesmartphone.org operates on the services layer (middleware) and offers APIs and reference implementations that support modern interconnected mobile devices. To provide reference solutions, freesmartphone.org works closely together with various device-specific communities such as the Openmoko, OpenEZX, and HTC-Linux groups. The FSO team honours and bases on specifications and software created by the freedesktop.org community.

This means you can hire us (or donate money), if you want to support the FSO middleware development.

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Dreambox 8000

After the sudden death of my Dreambox 7025, the new OE-based device in the living room is a Dreambox 8000 — simply the best set top box money can buy these days. Yes, it’s quite expensive, but the hardware is fully loaded (heck, there’s even WiFi) and the freedom to install what you want is invaluable.

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Updating the Recording Studio

Although I kept working on my instrument skills, I neglected my recording studio for about a decade now. I guess the root of the problem is that I never got the hang of the modern computer based sequencers. The moment when I sold my KORG 01/W workstation (almost a decade ago) was the moment I more or less quit recording anything.

While I’m working with computers for a living, I don’t like software instruments much — with one exception which is the reason for this post. I just acquired a Native Instruments MASCHINE — which is a dedicated hardware controller for a software instruments (a groovebox, actually). This is slowly bringing back my motivation to do some recordings.

As part of this motivation, I sold some of the gear that only gathered dust, namely an Akai MPC 2500, a Roland JD990 w/ VintageKeys extensions, and a BitStream WaveIdea controller. Less is more and keyboardwise, I’m feeling very confident with only a Roland V-Synth GT and a Roland V-Piano now.

Stay tuned for some releases… after so many years 🙂

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Openmoko Workshop in Munich

I’ll be present at the first Openmoko Workshop in Munich, gracefully organized by Dr. N. Schaller (Goldelico) hosted at the University of applied science in Munich. Topics will be developer-oriented, but beginners are also invited. There are only few seats left, so please contact Dr. Schaller via the freeyourphone.de forum, if you want to be on board.

I’ll be talking mainly about freesmartphone.org — the beginning (2002-2008, from handhelds.org to openmoko.org), the present (2009, how to program with FSO), the future (2010-, what the Vala rewrite will bring and how we get FSO to more hardware).

This is just a loose gathering to get started. If there is sufficient interest, we will consider turning this into a more formal (professional) training course in the future. Hope to see you there!

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