Hooks in Base Code

Jim McDonald Jim at devzero.net
Thu Jul 19 00:03:07 CEST 2007

[This may have been better to post to the development list but as people
are talking about it here I'll start here]

   A number of people have been talking about the cool things that they
would like their 'phone to do but after spending some time looking at
the information available so far I don't see anything that suggests the
current codebase will allow people the freedom that they need.  If I
take a simple example of an incoming call them some of the suggestions
that we have seen so far to handle it include different ring tones for
different people or groups of people, auto-handling of the call by
sending it to voicemail or letting it through, different responses
depending on the time of day, /etc.  /The point that I'm trying to make
is that there are a multitude of things that you /could/ do but each
person will have a limited number of things that they want the 'phone to
/actually/ do.  As such, building out all of these options in to a
single piece of code will not only be very hard to manage and maintain
but will severely limit the ability of people to scratch their itches
and develop code to make the 'phone do what they want it to.

   If the monolithic approach is out then some sort of modular approach
is required.  The most obvious example out there today is Firefox, which
comes in a relatively simple base configuration but provides any number
of hooks to allow people to write their own extensions on top of the
base code and as such to alter the functionality of the product very
extensively.  If we want this openmoko to be as free as possible then it
also needs to be as easy as possible for people to extend, and this is
the most likely way of doing it.

   I know that there are a lot of potential problems that need to be
addressed when building this out but if there is a vision from the start
as to how this would work then it would go a long way to making the
final product the 'phone that we are all dreaming of, regardless of the
fact that those dreams are often divergent from others if not totally
exclusive.  So my questions are there plans to include these hooks, and
if not can it be considered?

   Or is there another way to do this other than hooks?

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