[Shr-User] SHR Stable Party (Questions for press release/ blog post)

Sebastian Krzyszkowiak seba.dos1 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 2 15:02:23 CET 2010

Answers inline.

On Sun, Feb 28, 2010 at 12:10, rakshat hooja <rakshat at gmail.com> wrote:
> Ok so I have my list of questions for SHR people. Please feel free to add
> questions and if you know  answers please answer!  (I know a most of the
> answers are on the two wikis. I am just trying to consolidate and update
> them so we can easily write about SHR :) I am hoping the consolidated
> answers will be moved to a wiki page soon
> 1. What is SHR?

SHR is a embedded distribution aimed to give users power of free
software in their smartphones. It's based on OpenEmbedded build system
and on FSO phone stack, which is the best approach to smartphone
middleware for us (well, at least in my opinion).

> 2. Can you tell a bit about the history of SHR? Why was the development of
> SHR started? What were the aims and objectives?

I joined SHR development a bit later, but AFAIK SHR was created after
announcement of ASU (later called Om2008) and its first goal was to
port 2007.2 applications to FSO stack and to use them in ASU
environment (that's why it's called Stable *Hybrid* Release).

> 3. What are the target platforms for SHR? Does SHR target only Openmoko
> phones or is it designed as a generic mobile communication/ PDA solution?

ATM we target only Openmoko phones, but only because they are the most
open and most of us have them. We're keeping our eyes on effort to
port FSO to HTC phones, Palm Pre and other devices and we're also
interested in running SHR on them. So our aim is to be generic
smartphone operating system and to run wherever FSO runs.

> 4. How does the development process of SHR work ( As in who/ who all decide
> what is to be doe at what priority)?

We try to always look on what community wants and to not decide
anything important without community acceptance. For organizational
reasons, there is SHR core team, which consists of the most active SHR
and FSO developers. Members of coreteam should be listed somewhere on
wiki, I won't write it now because I don't want to skip anyone :)

> 5. Who are the main developers working on SHR? What are their areas of
> interest wrt SHR and what are they working on these days?

I think TAsn and mrmoku (working mostly on libphone* libs, but not
only) and JaMa (OpenEmbedded) are the most active developers ATM.
Also, spaetz is maitaining shr-testing OE branch. I used to work on
shr-settings, shr-installer, opimd and few others - but recently I
didn't have time to do active development, so I don't know if I'm the
most active anymore :) Also, there are some people who are sending to
us patches to shr-devel maillist.

> 6. How far has the development of SHR progressed? Is the current SHR image
> usable out of the box?

It depends, but mostly - yes. Most of us is using their SHR based
Freerunners as primary, daily phones (me too).

> 7. Can you explain the structure of SHR (as in kernel, middleawre windows
> manager, data storage structure, application layer etc)?

Kernel - Linux. Actually 2.6.29, but we're looking forward newer
kernels (SHR supports them, but not out-of-box)
As window manager we're using Enlightenment with Illume module (but
there started first efforts to drop Illume and replace it with
Illume2). Middleware is obvious - freesmartphone.org :) As data
storage we're using one of FSO daemons - opimd. About applications -
they are different. Some of them comes from GPE project, some of them
were written by Openmoko community, and some of them were written by
us for us ;)

About architecture of SHR apps and libs - I think TAsn and mrmoku are
the ones who should talk about it :)

> 8. If a S/W developer wishes to contribute to SHR what should she/ he do?
> Does she/ he need to have any specific skill sets to contribute to SHR?

Of course no!  There are many different ways users can contribute to
SHR - code, API organization, distro mainternance, artwork, themes...
We have running patchwork system on our shr-devel maillist, so patches
are welcome and they won't be forgotten. Also, developers can just
hang on IRC - #openmoko-cdevel channel on freenode - in order to talk
about what they can do. Obtaining commit access to our git repos is
easy, just send few patches, be active - and then, when you'll ask for
access, you'll get it :)

> 9. How does a developer make sure her/ his application runs on SHR. Is there
> any centralised verification process or a repository where verified
> applications are stored?

Just send us one file - it's called "bitbake recipe" and has *.bb
extension. More about writing them you can read on OpenEmbedded
websites. After sending us this file, your app will be integrated in
our main repositiories and we will have to keep eye on package - if it
works, builds etc. - not app developer (and personally: that's why I
don't like opkg.org :P)

> 10. Can you list the main areas where you would appreciate help in the SHR
> development process and are looking for volunteers.

SHR testing and SHR stable maintainers with skills in OpenEmbedded.
Also, some new themes would be welcomed :)

> 11. What is the relationship of SHR with FSO ( A bit about FSO too). Is SHR
> an user interface on top of FSO or does it offer something more?

SHR is both user interface on top of FSO, and OE based distribution
containing FSO, SHR apps and some other utilities.

> 12. Can someone highlight the Short term, medium term and long term benefits
> of using SHR to Hardware hackers and hardware manufacturers?

For hardware hackers: it gives you a full access to hardware. It's
unlocked, full Linux, like on PC.

> 13. What milestones does SHR hope to hit in 2010?

I think SHR stable release. Also, we look forward to improvements in
opimd done by TAsn and polishing user interface of phone apps.

> 13. Where do I find all the code and documentation for SHR?


> 14. When will SHR/ Stable be available :)

When it'll be ready :)

(I know I didn't answer exhaustive to all questions, but I hope
answers from others will be complementary to mine ;))


Sebastian Krzyszkowiak

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