Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Feb 2013 15:42 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "Originally stemming from MeeGo, birthed under Nokia's watch, Sailfish has since gone its own way and is maturing into a mobile platform getting ready for launch. This week at the Mobile World Congress, we tracked down Jolla and Mosconi again, getting the opportunity in the process to check out a live Sailfish demo. We check out how notifications work, look at the Sailfish take on a status bar, and get to see the media player with all its gesture support." By far the most unique and interesting of the alternative mobile platforms. Very fancy.
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Looks nice, one question....
by PieterGen on Thu 28th Feb 2013 16:39 UTC
PieterGen
Member since:
2012-01-13

Nice! Two questions though.
1. Can you really SEE an Operating System? I always thought that I can can only see the interface: the Desktop Environment/ Window Manager. On a PC, I can for instance see "hey! this is a KDE, Gnome, XFCE, Unity, ....". But I cannot see what OS is underneith. Is it Gentoo Linux? Ubuntu, Fedora? Or FreeBSD? Why are new Desktop Environments sold to us as new Operating Systems?

2. Should we call Android, Meego, Sailfish, Tizen and BB10 "mobile Linux distributions" ?

So, should Sailfish be called new Operating System or new distro with it's own newdesktop environment...?

Edited 2013-02-28 16:41 UTC

Reply Score: 7

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Nice! Two questions though.
1. Can you really SEE an Operating System?


Yes. Because outside of the XWindows world, most desktop managers are unique to the OS (Windows, Mac OS, QNX Neutrino, OS/2 etc.)

2. Should we call Android, Meego, Sailfish, Tizen and BB10 "mobile Linux distributions" ?


Much like languages,when does a dialect stop and a language start? I'd say - listen to the manufacturer. If they call it a "OS", it's an OS, if they call it a "distro", well...

BB10 is nothing to do with LINUX also, it is based on QNX, which was its own OS long before LINUX grew to be popular.

For me, "Desktop environment" is very much an invention of the LINUX desktop. Before LINUX, I remember using SUNOS on Graphical terminals (1990's), but there was never a big deal made about the Desktop it ran. We had "Windows managers" and that was about it really.

Reply Parent Score: 5

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

There is "OS" in "SailfishOS", so it's ok to call it operating system. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Looks nice, one question....
by shmerl on Thu 28th Feb 2013 17:47 in reply to "Looks nice, one question...."
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

It's a composite distro. It uses Mer (https://wiki.merproject.org/wiki/Main_Page) and parts of Nemo (https://wiki.merproject.org/wiki/Nemo) together with Sailfish specific parts. It's fine to call it an operating system and it is a Linux distro in more senses than Android.

Edited 2013-02-28 17:47 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Looks nice, one question....
by tidux on Thu 28th Feb 2013 20:39 in reply to "Looks nice, one question...."
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

The GUI stuff is the only new part of the OS - and that's what's cool. The rest of it is the rock-solid GNU/Linux foundation we know and love. It even uses Xorg! With the right configuration, you could make it start a regular X window manager on the secondary display when the phone detects an HDMI output, and since it's GNU/Linux it will take about ten minutes to port a desktop or terminal application. This is real convergence, not the "let's jam Unity onto a Dalvik-less Cyanogenmod and call it Linux" crap that Ubuntu is doing.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

tidux,

"you could make it start a regular X window manager on the secondary display when the phone detects an HDMI output, and since it's GNU/Linux it will take about ten minutes to port a desktop or terminal application."

I asked this recently elsewhere but didn't get an answer. Do you know if the hardware that's used in tablets actually supports a secondary HDMI display or if it can only clone the primary display?

Reply Parent Score: 2

jayrulez Member since:
2011-10-17

Porting desktop apps to mobile devices usually involves rewriting the interface for the form factor. Many linux desktop apps are not written in a way where the UI is cleanly separated from the backend. So porting desktop apps to mobile may be more involved than you suggest. Also, most mobile linux distributions do not come with the libraries that are usually bundled on the desktop distributions. Getting those libraries on the mobile OS may be simple or tedious depending on the library.

I do not understand this popular claim that it is simple to port desktop apps to a mobile interface and form factor.

I do not agree with your opinion about the Ubuntu mobile effort but I will not get into that now.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I think the answers depend on what you call an operating system. Myself, I accept as an operating system any set of software which offers an interface between raw hardware, end users, and developers.

From this point of view, both the Linux kernel AND Linux distros qualify as OSs in their own right. Because one CAN operate a Linux kernel without any extra software through the standard shell if masochistic enough, whereas distros would be other OSs based on the Linux kernel.

Linux DEs taken separately, however, would not be OSs in their own right, since they require extra runtime support.

Edited 2013-02-28 23:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Actually you really can't do anything with just the Kernel. Sure you could have busybox, which provides a shell, but you still have GNU libraries, which is why the hardcore people always refer to distributions as GNU/Linux, because you really can't do much with out the libraries/software outside of just the kernel. Granted Android doesn't use the GNU part all that much, which is why Android is just a different Linux based distribution, but very dissimilar to other Linux Distributions.

For the record, I use "Just Linux" with a shell all the time, and it's awesome.

Reply Parent Score: 3