Betavine and GPL software

Vodafone’s Betavine has launched a serie of updates, including a section for the development of open-source, much like SourceForge.
To kick-start the site they have included some libraries that Vodafone is releasing as open-source. I am especially happy about the GPL release of the drivers for the Mobile Connect Card. It’s for linux at this time, but one of the big issue for non-Windows users and getting on internet while on the move has certainly been the lack of drivers for proprietary PCMCIA cards. I think that the raise of the USB modems for mobile networks is a sign that more and more customers wanted non-Windows support, now that the drivers for a PCMCIA card are available I expect developers to take it and extend it.

Good move, Vodafone.

LiMo Foundation launched

Motorola, NEC, Panasonic, Samsung, NTT DoCoMo and Vodafone have launched the LiMo Foundation, to stimulate the development of Linux for mobile devices and most of all unite forces to make a common effort.

It looks like Vodafone lately is part of any possible alliance, .mobi, LiMo, the operators teaming to make mobile search engines

Anyway, I had already posted about linux on mobile devices (Mobile Linux, ever taking off?) and they still have to convince me that the manufacturers really want linux on the mobiles.
Apple, in my opinion, is demonstrating once again that if they want to take an open-source OS and make a solid product, they can do it. They did it when originally launched OS X bringing a GUI that *nix systems had never seen and they are doing it again bringing their BSD/OS X to the iPhone.
OEM’s like Motorola have been producing linux-based devices for years, but never brought it to the mainstream devices.

Is the LiMo going to change this?
Can a foundation like this change anything? Where is Savaje Technologies? Wasn’t it a company built with a similar spirit? Name 5 mobile devices that run their operating system.

Sorry, I’m skeptical.

Mobile Linux, ever taking off?

I was reading this not-so-new post on Mobile Open Source entitled Mobile Linux going up the stack with Trolltech Greensuite.

The Greensuite Initiative should ease the development of linux-based devices. This should speed-up the development and lower the costs. Fabrizio Capobianco is very confident that this is the way to go and that Linux will eventually win the race against Symbian and Microsoft.

I think this is a very optimistic view. I have been looking for a linux device to be successful for quite a few years now and all those devices have been selling very low numbers to a very tiny slice of the market (think of the Zaurus, so cool, but so little devices sold).
Seeing Linux become a player in this space would be really great, but I think that it needs a lot of money and the development costs of a mobile device, today, are still too high to open the doors to this. I am always amazed at how Apple could take freeBSD and Mach kernel and build such as great GUI on top of it, while the open-source community has been developing X11 and other Window managers for so many years with so little success.

I really hope that someone puts some serious money and development time on Linux for mobile devices and make it real. I am just not sure that this is the event (or initiative) that will change things drastically.

Motorola has launched quite a few devices running Linux, but actually the latest smartphone/PDA that was lunched with lots of commercials and hype is the Q and is Windows-based, not Linux.

IM in text

It’s been a long time since I last started an operating system in text-mode only.
Even servers today have a GUI.

Anyway here it seems like someone needs to use instant messaging in text mode, which makes me think that the GUI is not available. Take a look at this summer of Code called gaim-text. It looks like the author really needed it to work on a terminal.
From the screenshots it seems like it actually works pretty well, with buddy list, message windows and so on.

Impressive work, I’d say!