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

Knight Walker moko at
Thu Feb 1 17:48:44 CET 2007

On Thu, Feb 01, 2007 at 08:48:15AM -0600, Jonathon Suggs wrote:
> That sounds very interesting.  I very much like the concept and look
> forward to seeing how it is implemented.  Although it is an overall
> travesty, Windows Mobile has a single messaging program that you can
> configure all of your different "inboxes" in (SMS, MMS, POP, IMAP, etc)
> but they are all separate entities.  When sending, you still have to
> choose which account you are sending from (but that is not a bad thing
> IMHO).

After reading this e-mail list, it seems to me that no one here wants a
different inbox or handler interface for each type of message (I know it
annoys me), so having something that unifies all text-based communications
protocols would be a good idea.  And from what I've seen, on other phone
platforms, unless they're trying to up-sell you on particular
communications mediums (e.g. e-mail is an add-on), they like to keep their
messaging in one app.

As for sending messages, I would think it would only need to prompt you
when you're sending a new message (Maybe in the recipient lookup window,
when you select a recipient, it displays all the ways it knows of to send
the message to that person and you pick one).  If you're replying to an
existing message, it should be able to discern what communications
"channel" to use based on the one that the incoming message arrived through
(I know some e-mail clients do this now; replying with the e-mail address
the original sender used, so long as it is configured as an account in the

But personally, I would like an option to switch a reply to a different
communication channel (e.g. switch to MMS if receiver supports it and I
don't want my message split every 160 chars; or switch to e-mail or IM if I
have that capability on the phone/plan and the appropriate contact info
listed for the recipient), but for most users, just replying on the same
channel that the message came in on would be sufficient.

> On the other hand, I see some very big hurdles.  First, you would have
> to know a lot (not really, but just follow) about your contact as SMS,
> IM and email are different protocols "owned/managed" by different
> entities (SMS/MMS=carrier, IM=aim,yahoo,google,etc, email=email
> provider).  Also, this messaging client would have to know how to "talk"
> over all of the IM protocols, SMS/MMS (has standards, but different
> carriers sometimes do different things), and email (pretty standard
> protocol, so no biggie).

As someone pointed out to me this morning, half of that is taken care of,
though it may still require some adaption.  There is a
project called Telepathy ( which aims "provide a
unified framework for all forms of real time conversations, including
instant messaging, IRC, voice calls and video calls."  It uses DBus to
provide that framework, and back-ends to talk to each communications
"channel".  It is at least theoretically possible to write an SMS and/or
MMS module, and possibly an e-mail module to provide the back-haul

> This isn't to say that it can't be done, and I'm sure that it has all
> been thought through, but it ain't going to be easy to get people
> (especially carriers) to work with you.

Agreed, which is why I would make the OpenMoKo messaging program as flexible
as possible, so as to provide as much choice to the user and accomodate the
carriers as much as possible (be a good sport).

> Not overly worried, but it is easy to get caught up in the excitement. 
> I've seen quite a few posts about ideas that evolve around "everyone"
> all having a Neo... And that just isn't going to happen (especially in
> the near term).  Just thought I would give a quick reality check.

Neither am I, as at the end of the day, this IS an Open Source project, so
anything can be changed if necessary, but (Like a lot of other people on
this mailing list, I imagine), I want things to be designed RIGHT, so as to
minimize the number of re-writes we have to go through before we get
something that can work for the wide variety of people who WILL have a

Yes, if/when we get to a situation where there are a lot of MoKo devices
running around, it can open a lot more possibilities, but there is no way
in the foreseeable future that I will be able to get most of the people who
are important to me to buy a Neo (Either because they're not on a GSM
network and don't want to switch, or they don't want to pay that much for
"a phone").

> Getting the mobile industry to be a more open environment for everyone
> is a great idea and one that I support, but as they say "Rome wasn't
> built in a day."  In general, mobile carriers are some of the biggest
> control freaks, so needless to say, they aren't going to welcome these
> type of projects with open arms.

As do I, but I see this as more difficult than trying to convince my family
to switch carriers.  As it is, even with a phone that is entirely supported
by my carrier's network (But not purchased from them), they will not lift a
finger to help me with anything.  Their website even makes me re-select my
phone each time I login, because they "do not recognize" it.  Fortunately
for me, they do sell a phone which is 99.9% the same, so selecting that
allows me to choose the features I want (for the most part).  As near as I
can imagine, there will have to be a lot of customer demand before a
carrier will help us with anything, meaning we'll have to do all the work
of getting a MoKo phone to work on the network.

> All that aside, I'm looking forward to seeing how this all plays out.

As am I.  More so than any other phone/platform I've ever looked at.


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