Please no crossposting! Re: Information regarding theMessaging Support in OpenMoko

Sean Moss-Pultz sean_mosko at
Thu Feb 1 12:18:10 CET 2007

On 2/1/07 11:15 AM, "jsuggs at" <jsuggs at> wrote:

> Sean Moss-Pultz wrote:
>> You might be right. But I personally feel that MMS is fundamentally
>> flawed.  Costs aside, it's just not the way I think media should be
>> transferred. The benefits are just too low for the end user. We're
>> trying to fix this.
> I agree.  I have never used MMS, and very rarely use SMS.  I use email for
> just about any correspondence that I have (including to/from my phone).
> Now, that doesn't mean that I am a representation of the *average* user,
> but despite its drawbacks email is a much better means of transmitting
> written communication.
> Now, MMS and SMS are *very* popular.  However, I think that is also due
> largely to the fact that you can only do some basic things with them...and
> most of the phones these days are only capable of doing basic things.  So,
> Sean is correct that MMS is flawed and limited, but lets not shun the
> platforms.
> One thing to consider) is that even if we can do amazing things, we are
> still going to have to interact with people using "normal/whatever"
> phones.  So even if SMS/MMS isn't going to be the ideal platform for
> sending messages we still need to be able to send/receive them.  A
> *better* way to approach the situation is to be able to do something new
> and cool that "other" phones can't and then use that as a selling point
> for the OpenMoko/Neo.

Agreed. Really what I would like to see is one messages program that will
handle messages as (more or less) generic objects. I never understood why
every phone I had thinks that emails, SMS, and MMS are different animals.

Even better, the type of message should be determined by the recipients
capabilities / sender's network. For example if I'm sending a message to a
friend who happens to be online, and I have a data connection, why not try
IM instead of SMS?

We have the start of a draft spec in place for this now...but we've yet to
start on coding it. Anyways, messaging is _huge_ for mobile devices. Perhaps
even more important than voice for many people (*cough* Harald ;-)

Once we get NEOs out into the wild, this will be a huge priority for us.
>> Really guys, we're trying to rethink lots of things with OpenMoko.
>> I don't want to do the same things just running under FOSS. We'd be
>> missing out on a huge invitation to innovate both as a company and
>> a community. Why not use the flexibility and rethink how we want
>> these devices to work -- as end users -- not just for geeks but
>> for everyone? I'm not saying we'll get things right the first time.
>> Just that we're going to try our best ;-)
>> _This_ opportunity is what makes me excited about OpenMoko. Not
>> (simply) the fact that it's FOSS based.
> True, but lets not get carried away either.  FOSS doesn't make good
> software by default.  A good user community behind the platform has a
> chance at making good hardware/software.  But it is going to take time and
> a lot of effort to make great software, and Sean is right that we may not
> get it right the first time around...
> What I mean by not getting carried away is.  I don't think that there will
> be many situations where you can "walk into a room full of people all
> using the Neo's and...[insert cool idea]."  There were over a billion
> mobile phones shipped out in 2006, and there will be many more in 2007.
> So even if we get a million of these devices in people's hands we are
> still at less than 1 percent market penetration.  So, we can't create a
> self contained community that only looks to our selves for ideas.  We
> *must* be able to easily/effectively communicate with those other %99+ of
> devices out there...even if they are inferior.  Example: video calling
> could be sweet, but if you can't talk to anyone, then whats the point?
> All that to say, we've got to innovate within our realm, but we must also
> be conscious of how things are done outside of the project as well.

Ah...I see your point and concern. Don't worry, we will make sure NEOs won't
live on an island. In fact, most of our motivation for this project comes
from the fact that current mobile phones _are_ so removed from the devices
and networks we spend most of our time working under. We're trying to extend
the possibilities of communication. Help turn the mobile industry into a
more open environment for everyone. Naturally we must be self-aware of other
"closed" handsets. ;-)

Thanks for voicing your concerns and comments.


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