Openmoko to reveal Linux phone's inner workings
Adapt us, please
LinuxWorld Enterprising engineers will soon get the chance to find out how Openmoko's Linux-powered phones work and to modify them.
Barely a month after shipping the Neo FreeRunner, Openmoko has said it plans to make the schematics for this - and the Neo 1973 - publicly available under a Creative Commons (CC) license.
By publishing details of the phones' construction, OpenMoko will open the door to those wanting to adapt or adopt facets of the phone going beyond just changes to the Linux operating system. Openmoko said schematics would, for example, provide information for developers who want to "leverage the GPS functionality for new designs involving the Openmoko phones."
As ever, with open source, there's also the chance to help in debugging.
Openmoko architect Werner Almesberger said in a statement that releasing the schematics would let people "find out how the system works and how to improve it."
OpenMoko currently publishes the phones' CAD files under a CC license so designers can alter the look and feel of devices or employ different materials in construction for - say - verticals or improved ruggedness.
Neo FreeRunner: open to change
Releasing the schematics could be a further way to drive uptake of Neo FreeRunner in particular markets and build on early claimed success. Openmoko said the Neo FreeRunner sold out in less than a week following its launch on July 4. Openmoko didn't say how many devices it had in stock.
A timely release of schematics by the community driven Openmoko could capitalize on this early enthusiasm and help drive uptake against a bevy of promised phones running Linux from a range of bigger, better resourced and more focused handset providers supporting the LiMO Foundation and Google's Android through the Open Handset Alliance.®
Creative Commons is not necessariarly open-source
Creative Commons offer several licenses, and the majority of them are *not* open-source (http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd) because they forbid modifications and/or commercial use.
So, when "Openmoko has said it plans to make the schematics for this - and the Neo 1973 - publicly available under a Creative Commons (CC) license", you need to ask *which* CC license. Without knowing which CC license is going to be used, it is irresponsible of the article's author to claim that "Enterprising engineers will soon get the chance [...] to modify [Openmoko's Linux-powered phones]."
@heystoopid and @David Murrell
The OpenMoko was announced some months before the iPhone and the pre-production hardware has been available since the developer launch which was in early March 2007. HTC (the main sponsor) have not chosen to throw a bundle of money at the development of the hardware and software, hence the long gestation period between pre-production and production hardware.
And the CAD files have been available for months. If you visit openmoko.org you can even register your interest in one or more proposed alternative cases.
I do think the project has its problems, for example there is no over-arching look, feel and behaviour designed for the core applications - unlike the iPhone, which you can get to grips with inside 30 minutes.
A good number of carriers have them, providing eMail > SMS and SMS > eMail services free of charge. Great for when you want to send a quick message from a WiFi enabled device or a wired connection. It works out even better for me, since I have an unlimited (by which AT&T apparently means 5GB per month) mobile data plan, I can communicate with most of my contacts through my eMail application with no per message costs to me. Now as I said above, actually trying to tack out a message on the Centro's lilliputian keyboard is a completely different matter.
Evil Bill, because I still like my Palm better than his WMDs*
*Windows Mobile Devices*
*Very bad pun, I know.