Various questions & ideas: Maemo porting, package management...

Michael 'Mickey' Lauer mickey at
Thu Feb 8 15:33:41 CET 2007

Hi Florent,

please send text-only E-Mail to this list.

> - how hard will it be possible to port maemo apps to OpenMoko (if possible)?

This question is two-fold -- it has a build level and an UI level.
Build level: You would need to change the Maemo specific application and widget classes to OpenMoko specific application and widget classes. 
UI level: You would need to change the layout of your application from 800x480 landscape to 480x640 portrait.

> - what about package management? apt-get like mecanism? Do you
> consider using mkezx ? An official binary repository?... 

for phase 1 we will use ipkg. For phase 2 we either would like to see an sqlite backend in ipkg (because the default one is really slow) or something written from scratch. dpkg/apt is very heavy -- I'm not sure whether we can strip it down to be feasible on a smartphone.

> - will the AP's filesystem be read-write ?

Yes, the filesystem will be jffs2.

> - already thought of using handsignature for biometric
> identification? I don't know if there are any free software
> available, i saw a prototype last year on a pda, and it works very
> well. PIN codes are old-fashioned ;) 

No plans yet, sounds fascinating!

> - although a lot of people didn't realize it, apple's iPhone killer
> feature is really the multitouch screen, which IMHO is the key
> component to all these physical-model-based interface effects and
> novel input types; is it certain that the first neo can't have such a screen?

Yes. The hardware of the Neo1973 is "unitouch".

> - about accelerometer questions, i saw a cellphone videogame that
> used the phone camera to detect movement, rotation.... How hard
> would it be to add a standard camera on the neo (1 MP max)? In terms
> of price and technical feasability? I'm not sure it's more expensive
> than a full-features accelerometer, is it? 

Begin a software guy, I can't comment on that. I would imagine it is very costly and time-consuming to do hardware changes to a basically finished product.

> - i really think a universal infrared remote feature would be a
> killer app (with integration of tv programs); domotics is a great
> area, but is still very expensive; what about porting X10 control
> apps to the neo? :)

Might make not much sense without an IR port or would it? ;)

>  There are tons of great apps feasible : perfect
> waker, playing music, lighting lights gradually on etc... 
> - i don't get how a 2.5 G GSM is not EDGE: i thought 2.5 G was
> EDGE... Could please anybody clarify that?

The G terms are somewhat fuzzy. To my knowledge, 2.5G is GPRS and EDGE is generally classified as 2.75G technology.

> - i'd like to get an opinion of somebody who actually owns (or sam)
> a neo about the lcd screen. Sooo small, and such a huge
> resolution... Please let us dream :) Is suitable for text reading? 

Sorry, I didn't have a chance to open a PDF yet :/

> - could the neo's usb port be used for usb gadgets? The more
> important would be mechanical input devices ( mini keyboards )
> - already considered an usb multi I/O companion device? Something
> like 
> (sorry, it's in french) This thing features a VGA/DVI connectivity,
> ethernet, ... If the neo had a small sized extension device,
> allowing external vga connectivity, it would be awesome... And serve as a dock station.

The Neo's USB port is switchable host/gadget, however host is unpowered, so you need a battery-powered hub.

> Anyway, openmoko is a great promising project, i'm waiting for it's
> availability ! I hope there will be enough devices for us to buy
> when it's ready for prime time... 


- Michael Lauer <mickey at>         
Software for the worlds' first truly open Free Software mobile phone

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