Open Moko - GPL?

Sean Moss-Pultz sean_mosko at
Wed Nov 29 02:57:49 CET 2006

On 11/28/06 4:34 AM, "Steve Salazar" <eagsalazar at> wrote:

(snip software Mickey answered those wonderfully)

> Hardware:
> --------------------------
> 1. This is sort of a rhetorical question:  Why innovate? Why not just make
> semi-knockoffs of very popular existing phones but with hardware that is
> supported by linux.

WOW. Let me just bite my tongue on that one ;-)

> 2. MicroSD:  Why?  Is the area used by full SD that much larger?   To me
> this seems like a huge tradeoff because for full size SD there are so many
> amazing cards available, not just storage and they are fully compatible with
> the form factor of many other devices without requiring an adapter.  I won't
> be able to put a wifi adaptor in my openmoko phone just to save a couple mm
> of card space?  I don't know if it is that simple, that is why I am asking.

It's really not that simple. We're using a SD/SIM combo card to save space.
It as design decision make very early on in our development cycle. Largely,
based on the idea that we thought mini-SD was going to be a bump in the road
to micro-SD. At this point the vendors making micro-SD cards are not pushing
the size limits as fast as we had predicted. So for our second generation
device, we will review this again.
> 3. Miniheadphone:  I know you don't have headphone output (or do you) but I
> will just comment because my HTC Wizard made this mistake.  Do not use
> mini-headphone jacks because it severely limits compatibility with other
> headphones.  

You might want to consider asking questions instead of stating your opinions
as fact. There are a lot of people reading this list now. I know you're
sincerely interested in what we are doing. For that we are thankful. But
comments like these just mean we risk being misquoted.

I'm more than happy to take the time to answer specific questions.

We will have a headphone support. And yes it's mini. Mobile phones have
small form factors and lower power usage requirements. All of these
contribute to what hardware we select. Again, we are very open to feedback.
If enough of you guys want a 3.5mm headphone jack instead of the (mobile
standard) 2.5mm, we will definitely take this into consideration for v2.
> 4. How open will the hardware platform itself be?  I know that many hardware
> manufacturers are actively closing the platform via bios white-lists, no
> specs or diagrams or part numbers, etc.  Will openmoko's hardware be the
> same or go in the same direction as the software, open.   I think an open
> development model for the hardware could be very  beneficial for the same
> reasons that open works for software.  You would get a lot of enthusiasts
> very excited and they would help you out for free by reviewing and even
> implementing features.  I, for example, am a seasoned asic designer.  I can
> program but that is not my main expertise so I don't contribute much to OSS
> software.  Maybe that would be different if there were a cool open hardware
> platform I could hack on??

We're still deciding on how open we can be with the hardware. Please keep in
mind this is a legal mine field. Every single component we use (expert
perhaps the CPU) needs an NDA just to read the datasheet. I would love to
see open hardware. But this is _far_ more difficult that open software.

...we're working on it though.

> 5. What about CDMA2000 or other cellular infrastructures?

CDMA (outside of Asia) uses programmed handsets not SIM cards. This was a
no-starter for us. We hope this will change.
> If openmoko fully embraces the OSS way of doing things, is totally open,
> builds and encourages community, and allows for any usage, then the leverage
> you hope to gain from the OSS community will be fully realized.

Up until this point, I never had doubts that people would think we are
sincere about doing things the OSS way. What makes you think otherwise?

I really want to know.


More information about the community mailing list