Access relationships

David "Lefty" Schlesinger lefty at
Tue Jul 17 14:42:22 CEST 2007

Phil Schaffner wrote:
> So, Lefty;
> What can you share about Access and ALP and the relationship to OpenMoko and/or other open source efforts (realizing that you probably can't spill all the beans :-)?  Given your comments about former employer Apple, and activity on this list, seems open source software must be important to you personally.
OpenMoko and the ACCESS Linux Platform are essentially independent
efforts, although we have a lot of code--mostly GNOME-related stuff--in
common. This gives us a lot of common interests, and representatives
from both projects are involved, for instance, in the GNOME Mobile
Initiative. One of the reasons for the differences in approach is that
FIC sells hardware (and uses software to make those sales); ACCESS sells
software to companies that _make_ hardware. Very different business models.

In his presentation here at GUADEC today, Mickey Lauer expressed
interest in getting components from the Hiker Project
( into OpenMoko, something I'd certainly think
worthwhile for all of us, and which I'm encouraging.
> Will the Garnet/PalmOS emulator be likely to be available on OpenMoko?
Nope. The Garnet ROM is proprietary to ACCESS. I suppose if FIC/OpenMoko
wanted to come to some sort of business arrangement with us to make it
available, that's something we'd certainly be willing to discuss, but
Garnet VM is something we sell...
> The license certainly seems limiting:
Yup. A funny thing happened to me last Friday: I got paid.
> Access has lots of words about open source (e.g.
>  Can we
> expect to see real cooperation?  How open will Garnet OS be compared to
> OpenMoko?
Define "real cooperation". You seem to be operating off of some sort of
unspoken assumptions, and I'd be interested in hearing what they are;
I'm thinking they're well off the mark.

Garnet, a proprietary legacy OS, isn't comparable to OpenMoko. The
ACCESS Linux Platform is a mix of open source and proprietary
components. We currently _are_ really cooperating, in GNOME Mobile, for
starts. I've been strongly encouraging Sean to get OpenMoko involved in
other relevant groups, such as the Linux Phone Standards Forum
(, and the Linux Foundation, but that, sadly, hasn't
happened so far.

ACCESS is extremely active in industry and community initiatives in
order to ensure that mobile Linux platforms don't get fragmented. I'm
the chair of the Linux Foundation's Mobile Working Group, and vice-chair
of the LiPS Architectural Working Group.
> Don't see any "community" around Access of the vitality of OpenMoko.
Hm. I don't know what you consider to be "vitality". Crafting marketing
messages for a phone that won't be ready to be sold to anyone but
hackers--a point Mickey made quite clearly this morning--for six months
to a year...? I'm not sure, myself.
> The Access forums seem rather limited.  Some real two-way-street
> cooperation would seemingly be mutually beneficial to the two efforts,
> as well as to embedded/phone FOSS more generally.
ACCESS has an active developer program which anyone is welcome to join
and participate in. Our own main efforts, right now, are involved in
working with various hardware manufacturers (and no, I can't name them:
our customers don't like it much when I pre-announce their product plans
for them). Our main community activity right at the moment is the Hiker
Project (I'm presenting on this at GUADEC today, and I presented on it
at Ottawa Linux Symposium late last month). Feel free to join in there
if you like.

For more information on the ACCESS Developers' Network, see

As I mentioned above, ACCESS is very much involved in community efforts
on a number of levels: beyond our involvement in groups like GMAE, LiPS
and the Linux Foundation, we're sponsors of this year's GUADEC, and we
sponsored FOSTEL. There are lots of ways that companies can contribute
to the open source community. We're doing our share, I'd say.

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I feel as though I detect a tone in your
message here suggesting that you'd like to somehow pit ACCESS' efforts
against OpenMoko's. That surely doesn't seem like a way to encourage
"real cooperation", does it...?

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...

More information about the community mailing list