Home > Wireless > Is Linux Palm’s savior? Is Linux Palm’s savior? Submitted by jeanmarc 2005-05-25 Wireless 13 Comments The deliberately simple nature of the Palm operating system was so inspiring to Rick Broida that in 1997 he started a magazine, Tap, dedicated to devices using the handheld OS. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 13 Comments 2005-05-25 4:52 pm NO Linux isn’t Palms saviour, it has hardly helped Motorola and I’m not sure really where Linux saved anything? it’s just became another option but talking about savior is just silly. PalmOS is great, I’ve been looking forward to V6 and so I assume most others have to. The Palm market aims for businesspeople who don’t like fiddling around, Linux is therefor not an option. Besides, PalmOS has a small footprint, Linux has a huge one… 2005-05-25 5:04 pm Palm is dead becasue the usefulness of there devices has wained. Putting linux on them will not change that. 2005-05-25 5:06 pm The most it could do is a PalmOS GUI on top of Linux and tacke adavntage of the multitasking abilities of linux. Even so, doing it improperly can cause a disaster. I would hate to see something like a Qtopia. *shudder* 2005-05-25 5:27 pm Apple smartly went with an OS api that was BSD licensed instead of GPL or LGPL. If Palm* has a clue, they’d go with NetBSD (I don’t use NetBSD, I use Windows 2000, Debian Sarge, and FreeBSD). NetBSD makes the most sense for Palm. If Palm goes Linux, then software vendors that link to the LGPL runtimes need to deal with LGPL Section 5 Paragraph 3. It states that if material from LGPL header files are used to link to the LGPL lib, the resulting binaries must allow reverse-engineering and modifications by the end user. Think of all the trial software and shareware that can be patched to become fully functional…and how the software vendors will wonder why their sales on Palm is 30+% less than PocketPC on a relative scale. If you don’t believe this requirement about LGPL, please ask David M. Turner of FSF or your IP attorney instead of simply flaming useful information. David is very helpful at explaining the obligations of LGPL and the differences between it and GPL. His resume is at: http://web.novalis.org/resume.html 2005-05-25 5:45 pm Here’s some ideas: Create a LifeDrive with a 20G drive, real RAM and USER REPLACEABLE BATTERIES!! Include some kind of Media Sync/Conversion utility with Video/Audio/Picture management and they could go for iPod’s throat. Make a tablet about the size of an A6 sheet of paper for a wireless client/server database app. Sell it to hospitals and anyone else that needs semi-mobile terminal access. Create a PalmBIOS for PC’s with disc management, file recovery and virus scanning tools built into the BIOS. Put a USB port in their handhelds so that people can use the millions of USB Flash chips floating around on their Palms for extra storage. Heck, a little extra software and you could even use USB Hard Disk Drives. Palm Home Media Center. 2005-05-25 7:28 pm Yes, chainging the GUI would be a terible mistake for palm’s, but making it easier to develop using linux would be good. Developing connectivity to other system’s may be easier with (cifs access via samba, built in IPSEC/L2TP/PPTP). It may be easier to port apps to them too (Zenworks for Linux/PalmOS anyone? Imagine being able to role-out pre-configured wireless devices across a company with phone/PIM built in? 🙂 2005-05-25 9:25 pm You get much more freedom with the BSD code. 2005-05-25 10:51 pm Palm is going to think their next move from a developer standpoint, ie what will make the ideal product. Such ridiculous rants about the politiks of Linux, GPL and Palm are pointless. 2005-05-26 1:46 am but that is a tough one to crack since you the consortium prefer their own product…symbian. 2005-05-26 2:58 am Your argument is based on the faulty assumption that Palm is in the business of selling software. It isn’t. There’s enough free software out there to let a PDA serve its purpose, and then some. And really, who cares if you can reverse-engineer apps? In the balance between the profit margins of the relatively young software industry and the age-old freedom to understand how thing works (and improve on them), I’ll take the latter any day. But then again, I value the individual rights of real persons more than those of corporations. Go figure. That said, I’m not sure if Linux will help Palm survive. Overall, it’s a good strategic decision IMO, but it might not be enough. 2005-05-26 11:32 am palmsource sells software not hardware. palmone sells hardware … 2005-05-26 11:45 am but, more generally, interoperability is what matters. 2005-05-26 3:46 pm Considering its a whole lot easier to have the manufacturer of the cell phone/hand held/whatever to write their Linux drivers and then just add on a compatible application layer (Palm interface) that will simplify development on both sides. At least that was the logic when they first announced it. Personally I’m all for it. Especially if someone does something like Sony CLIÉ PEG-UX50 or the Sharp SL-C series. As long as it has Wi-Fi then it would perfect little laptop replacement. Oh to dream…. Regardless I don’t know if it will save the company but I hate to see Microsoft be left as the only player on the block and I prefer Palm OS to WinCE anyway.