Discussion: what are your dreams for the Openmoko Community

Gerald A geraldablists at gmail.com
Mon Apr 30 04:19:26 CEST 2012

Hi all,

On Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 6:30 AM, Neil Jerram <neil at ossau.homelinux.net>wrote:

> My impression is that most people are impressed only by flashy whole
> systems, or by ideas associated with extreme(-ish) outdoor activities;
> and not much by
> - dreams/ideas that haven't been implemented at all yet
> - incremental developments and experiments in everyday OS or phone
>  usage, outside the "whole system" context.

There was some Open Source project that I was involved with that emphasized
"doing" over "brainstorming". It was said that they had warehoused full of
neat ideas, all neatly packed, row after row, all wanting some masterful
programmer to come and just implement them.

It's easy to dream, but it's a bit harder to make that dream reality.

The "whole system" idea has its merits. In my opinion, what is needed is a
good approach to the whole system, rather then a perfect whole system.

I think it's hard for non-tech people to get excited about something they
can't see, and for most experienced tech people they know too well about
vapourware. (I myself was patiently waiting just recently for a portable
hardware keyboard, whose site now redirects you to a far less able and
satisfying "clone" of another portable keyboard).

I see the Group tour struggling and it disheartens me, because I think this
is a very worthy project with a good goal. I've spent some time on
suggestions and ideas, and it looks like some of them might be gaining
traction (yay!). I hope that we see a GTA04 soon.

But, longer term, I am starting to think we have to look beyond phones.
There is a large market for phones, but like Ipods and E-book readers, I've
seen "libre" projects come and flounder as they don't have the traction or
brand recognition to gain sales and market share. Being several dollars
cheaper isn't a saving grace either. :S

If we had a community based "shell", which could be the platform for many
open source hardware devices, then I think there could be much more
traction. This would be a GTA05 or beyond device, of course, but could be
the basis of an MP3 player. Or a GPS. Or an e-book reader. The idea here is
that with one of the "child" devices being successful, it would drive down
costs for other devices (at least on the base platform) and allow for
further volume discounts. It's just a crazy thought, but maybe a good one.

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