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Old 30-12-2008
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,109
OpenMoko GTA02 Handset

OpenMoko's Linux-based open smartphone

OpenMoko, stalwarts of the open source gadget movement, have announced their intentions to develop an Android-compatible handset for release as early as November. According to AndroidGuys, the alleged Android phone will operate under the project name "GTA02" and resemble something like the Neo FreeRunner. The phone is said to have a 2.8-inch, 640x480 screen, Wi-Fi, 3 axis accelerometer, 400-500 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM, 256 MB NAND Flash, A-GPS and a "laser pen."

OpenMoko, a Linux-based open source handset platform developer, will be launching its second handset in the March-April period this year, according to company?s president Sean Moss-Pultz. In addition to pushing its own products, the Taiwan-based open source handset maker will also use its platform to engage in production of hardware devices in cooperation with other companies and even plans to make up to one-third of its overall revenues from such deals.

The GTK-based OpenMoko stack, which is referred to as om2007.2, offers a moderately conventional finger-oriented interface and a variety of standard productivity, Internet, and entertainment applications. It is a reasonably intuitive environment and it adheres to a very high level of visual consistency. There are a lot of similarities between om2007.2 and Nokia's Maemo platform?both are based on GTK+ and use OpenedHand's lightweight Matchbox window manager. OpenedHand also developed several other important pieces of the om2007.2 stack, including the personal information management suite, which is called Pimlico.

The om2007.2 web browser uses Apple's open source WebKit rendering engine. As many readers are already aware, I'm a big fan of the GTK+ WebKit port and I've been very impressed with its small footprint and excellent support for standards.

In addition to all of the standard applications one would expect to see on a smartphone, a terminal application that supports entering commands with an on-screen keyboard is also included. Users have full root access to a BusyBox shell with all of the standard scripting tools like sed and awk. The stack also comes with a multitude of games, a media player application, a calculator, a package manager for installing additional software, and other tools.

To build new applications for om2007.2, developers will need to set up a cross-compilation toolchain on a Linux system. The OpenMoko wiki offers detailed instructions for this process and also describes how to compile and package a program. Developers who want to go further and modify the underlying platform can use the OpenEmbeded infrastructure, which provides an elaborate build engine for generating package sets.
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