gsmd/libgsm architecture

Harald Welte laforge at
Sat Jul 28 05:56:10 CEST 2007

On Thu, Jul 19, 2007 at 06:37:00PM -0400, Wally Ritchie wrote:
> I am concerned that the present architecture of gsmd/libgsm is not able
> to meet likely needs and will need to be re-factored sooner or later.
> If this is the case, it would be preferable to do this now (in P1 stage)
> before we start to accumulate legacies at the application level.
> I base this belief on what appears to be the inability of the present
> architecture to cleanly meet some very basic use cases.
> I am starting from the assumption that an openmoko device is a HANDSET.

I think this is the general difference in the point of view that you
have and I have.

To me it is a mobile communications device.  It is the device
terminating whatever outbound connection we might have, not some
intermediate interface.

> This creates the user-expectation that it does what handsets presently
> do, and hopefully a whole lot more. 

This is an expectation that we don't really try to fulfill.  We never
stated anywhere that it is our goal to emulate the behavior of current
consumer phones.

> For more than a decade users connect their laptops to a network through
> their gsm phone. 

this is true. you can still do that with the neo.  But our software will
implement this at a different layer.  You will have usb-ethernet,
bt-ethernet or wifi with IP on top, while your neo provides a DHCP
server for address configuration, etc.

we made a clear decision that we will not provide those serial-port
based / AT command based interfaces very early on in the project.

Your view of OpenMoko's architecture seems to resemble what traditional
smartphone manufacturers tend to do.  But we are not Motorola, nor HTC,
nor Nokia :)  We really don't try to build another cellphone.  That
would be a really boring, unexciting and time-consuming project.

I very much agree with your technical analysis, and even though I
definitely don't share the same background/experience with the
respective technologies, I also agree with the conclusion _IF_ we were
to build yet another phone.

- Harald Welte <laforge at>         
Software for the world's first truly open Free Software mobile phone

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