OpenMoko != Neo1973 (Was: Openness (was RE: Concern for usability and ergonomics))

Rod Whitby rod at
Wed Jun 13 04:18:10 CEST 2007

kenneth marken wrote:
> but the neo seems to be designed from day one to be made from virtually
> of the shelf parts. FIC is just the hired factory (like how apple do for
> their stuff or microsoft does for the xbox's), they hold no copyright or
> patent on the neo iirc. so if FIC comes up short, one can take the parts
> and find some other factory willing to have a go at it.

FIC owns the hardware design.  They are not just a hired factory.  You
can be sure that they very much *do* hold copyright and perhaps patents
on the hardware design.  And that has *nothing* to do with the openness
of OpenMoko.  OpenMoko is a software distribution, not a hardware design.

OpenMoko (the registered organisation, separate from FIC the company who
is creating the first piece of hardware designed for the OpenMoko
software) never promised open hardware.  They promised open software
(the OpenMoko software, which is being developed *completely* in the
open), and they gave some dates that they *expected* (not promised) FIC
(the hardware company) to be ready to sell some hardware (the Neo1973)
that the OpenMoko software runs on.

People on this list should remember that "OpenMoko" is a piece of
software which has been freely available and developed in the open for
months now, not an FIC hardware device (which may or may not be
delivered by the hardware company on a particular date).

When there are multiple devices available from multiple manufacturers,
this will all be much clearer.  But in the meantime, please keep the
distinction between OpenMoko (a piece of software) and the Neo1973 (just
one of the hardware platforms on which OpenMoko can run) clear.

If you want to complain about Neo1973 delays, then call them Neo1973
delays, not OpenMoko delays.

If you want to complain that FIC doesn't share the hardware circuit
diagrams with you, then tough - they never promised to, and I expect
they never will.

If you want complain about OpenMoko, then get your terminology correct
first, cause OpenMoko exists today in an SVN repository that anyone can
download and contribute to.

If you think you can get an openmoko-compatible hardware platform to
market quicker than FIC can, then please do so (either by
reverse-engineering an existing closed phone, or creating your own open
phone).  See if you can beat FIC to the punch!  OpenMoko is about the
software, not which hardware platform happens to appear first.

-- Rod (not employed by FIC or OpenMoko)

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