Om2008.8 comments and questions

Nick Van Fossen stix213 at
Tue Aug 12 23:11:32 CEST 2008

I can't speak for the Openmoko developers, but it is fairly well known that the openmoko software is a work in progress with things breaking and being fixed very often.  I believe most people who have the Neo phones have them to be part of something new that hasn't been done before on a phone, test and play with something exciting yet still unfinished, and possibly even contribute to making the phone & software even better.  These people also understand that the software is a work in progress, and that nothing at this stage in the game is guaranteed not to break.  

If your needs actually are a solid and easy phone, with few hiccups, and good linux compatibility...  I'm guessing you purchased about a year too early in its development.  Remember that opensource development != proprietary development, as opensource software is often available to users/developers years in advance of it being stable enough to do the work expected of the final version... where proprietary software (like the iPhone you mention) is hidden from users for years during the stage of development openmoko is currently.  

This is like trying to use the iPhone a year before it was released to the public.  It would have been exciting, but few things would have worked perfectly, with regressions and inconsistencies between builds just the same.  

Be excited you are part of something new, but to expect solid performance today is a bit premature.  I can't wait for mine to arrive next week, working features be damned! :)


> Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 13:55:39 -0400
> From: ml at
> To: community at
> Subject: Om2008.8 comments and questions
> Hi Openmoko cummunity (and developmen team),
> I'm a little bit concerned about how priorities are set and handled and would 
> like to read your opinion.
> 2 weeks ago I got my Neo Freerunner with Om2007. I was able to get it up and 
> running, even importing my contacts from my old phone wasn't really an issue. 
> WiFi worked ok too.
> Then I flashed my phone with Om2008.8.
> Call me oldfashioned, but I'm one of the guys who wants to use his phone for the 
> reason it was actually built in the first place: making phone calls.
> I expect only 3 things from a phone (which are the most basic things a phone 
> should be able to accomplish):
> 1) making and receiving calls
> 2) managing contacts
> 3) alarm function
> I will go in more detail regarding these 3 points in a moment. I know that the 
> phone has overwhelming features and I would like to see them in action, but 
> first I should be able to use it as a phone. I don't care about GPS, games or a 
> graphical installer right now.
> ad 2) I was not able to migrate my phonebook from om2007 to om2008. I had a 
> backup from my home dir and I had the .vcf files on my sd card. Well, entering 
> my 500 contacts is not an option. The keyboard is more or less useless, since it 
> takes at least 'number of character' times 2 seconds to enter a word, which 
> cannot be guessed by the keyboard 'logic'.
> What about sending contacts via Bluetooth? What about importing vcf files?
> ad 3) this does not work either. sometimes I can see an alarm icon, but no alarm 
> tone. hmmm, not much of an alarm then.
> These are basic functions which do not work and people are talking about GTA03, 
> cameras, GPS mapping functions.
> I don't get it. First of all the phone should be able to do at least things that 
> a 50$ phone can do.
> I bought the openmoko phone, because I'm using Linux and I thought that it would 
> be easier to sync contact and calendar data with my workstation.
> I was definitely wrong. The data is not even compatible between Om releases.
> Furthermore it seems to me that a propriatary system is developed which makes it 
> even harder to communicate with standard Linux distros.
> In that case I could have bought the iPhone as well. At least that phone works.
> As long as the priorities are not focused on basic features as I described 
> above, this phone will not be useable for quite a while.
> Regards,
>    Helmut
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