Not supporitng GTA01? [Was: [openmoko-announce] Om 2008.12 & Beyond]

Craig Woodward woody at
Wed Dec 24 01:39:51 CET 2008

>---- Paul <paultsai at> wrote: 
>On Tue, Dec 23, 2008 at 11:30 AM, Markus Fischer <info at> wrote:
>> OpenMoko was and still is for developpers purpose.
>The Freerunner was marketed as  the Consumer Ready Version with the
>software to complete the readiness soon to follow. 

Bingo.  Because FIC/OM haven't been able to produce a working core, they've instead re-defined what the GTA02 is supposed to be.  The GTA01 was marketed as a base to start working from, and agreeably was never guaranteed to be a production level phone.  The GTA02 was marketed as _consumer_ready_, or really close to it with only battery life being an issue.  Yet the loadable cores can't sustain the phone as a phone, even if it's plugged into an outlet its whole life.

And we're being told the focus is now shifting to an as yet un-produced GTA03?  Who's going to buy it when it comes out?  You've already hit most in the market that want an open source phone, and disappointed them.  Most of them aren't going to buy a GTA03 when their previous version didn't get to a working point.  And the current 2 models are already spoken of poorly in open source circles because of the lack of functionality and support.  (Dropping GTA01 won't help that image, btw.)

I have several linux-based chip solutions that I work with all the time, personally and professionally, all of which cost less for the dev kit than the GTA02 did.  Most come with a CD or DVD that includes a *stable* base OS image and a snapshot of the source used to make that image.  The better ones come with a VMWare image that has a pre-built environment (usually debian based), with tool chains and pre-targeted source control.  Load up the environment, log in, setup a few variables and build. Most go from box to built in under an hour.

I was shocked when the GTA02 arrived and there was NO software with it outside of the installed image, which was months old, and crashed within minutes because of suspend issues.  It took me almost a week to figure out how to get a current snapshot of the source and properly setup the tool chain to do base development.  Part of that was a learning curve on using the rather non-obvious source control system chosen.  But as a developer that's worked on several open source projects, this one is hands down the hardest to get into even as a developer, yet alone as a newbie.

I'm also amazed with all the current focus on suspend mode and saving battery.  If the battery lasts all day, but I don't get my calls or SMS messages, or the phone crashes every 2 hours, how useful is that?  Can we get an image that sucks energy, but can at least reliably make and receive dozens calls and SMS messages?  Maybe one that can connect to more than one wifi point without a reboot?  With time running out on the GTA02 I'd much rather have a functioning phone that eats it's battery in two hours than have a non-functional toy device that runs for days on a charge.

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