Musings on Android, OpenMoko and Linux on phones

Helge Hafting helge.hafting at
Fri Mar 6 10:48:21 CET 2009

Michael 'Mickey' Lauer wrote:
> Mikko, thanks for this posting. I almost agree with everything. Although
> in "the age of Android" it's kind of tough to motivate people working on
> a truly free GNU/Linux stack, I'm sure we (as in and
> Openmoko Inc.) are doing the right thing.
My impression is that android can't do precisely what I got the 
freerunner for - let me run my own stuff. I pick and choose apps I want. 
And I did my own screen keyboard because the english layout wasn't good 
enough for my use. Did that in a couple of hours, no need to get a SDK 
or anything. When I see a problem in an app that I can easily fix, I do 
so, and share the fix.  Others do so too, so there is improvement all 
the time.

This sort of thing it what keeps open source and linux going in general. 
I am sure it will work for openmoko too. Who cares if android gets 
bigger? There will always open distros too. And openmoko phones can run 
either system, so the maker don't have to "take sides".

> You might know I'm still actively working on OpenEZX support for FSO and
> just recently I aquired an HTC Touch Pro to help these guys getting a
> free GNU/Linux stack as well. Sadly, 90% of these guys (same as MOTO
> hackers btw.) are just interested in what Android offers, so it's kind
> of hard for me to convince them to work on e.g. standard kernel
> interfaces. I won't give up though :)
Well, if android cannot be open due to DRM, then they can be outcompeted 
on features. They will likely have more polished mainstream stuff, we 
will have lots of special stuff they will never get.

Helge Hafting

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