NewsForge reports that PalmSource Vice President of Engineering Mike Kelley has published an open letter to the Linux community. IN essence, the end result will be the ability to run PalmOs and (bits of Beos integrated in PalmOs) on Linux. It will be a software layer that runs on top of Linux, and won’t be open source.
More Details on PalmSource’s Linux Plans
Submitted by Sean Melendy, digitalboy 2005-01-04 Wireless 22 Comments
Dear FOS/S Community,
PalmSource is soon going to be making a lot of money off of your collective works. If we can help it, we plan to do so with as little effort as possible and with as little contribution to the community as possible. You should be happy that we are leeching because more companies may decide to leech as well now that our good name has been put next to your product.
If we happen to find any code lying around our office that does not fit into our business strategy we may consider allowing you to use it.
Nuts to you,
I am learning so maybe I have this wrong… but I thought applications running on Linux could be closed source, but anything touching the kernel had to be made open source. Is it possible to cut up the kernel how ever it suits me, add my thing, a new X11 or what ever and sell all of what ever I made as closed sorce.. There is something wrong here as in Freedom. The cut up kernel is of no value cause it needs the what ever it is I added to function. In the end the the new thing is closed source, what use to be open and Free is nothing.. does not work without the new closed source that I have added… making in reality the whole thing closed source… and forsure NOT Free as in Freedom. Is this possible?
Is this how Apple took Konqueror base to make their own closed source web browser? Or just how is it possible to take something open source… and convert it into something closed source?
It would be interesting if palm went the Trolltech route and dual-licensed the API under GPL and a commercial license.
GPL is a bit restrictive for commercial use so PalmSource will still get their money from commercial developers and the Linux community will be happy.
BTW, reading the article I did not find anything about the “bits of Beos integrated in PalmOs”
KHTML is licensed under the lgpl i believe, that is how Apple did it. from the looks of it palm is doing a application level emulator, it’s not like it needs tons of performace, and if they cross map the functoinality9aka wine) speed won’t be to bad.
What companies are going to ahve to learn, that they won’t be able to keep this up for long. it creates way to much work for them. Trying to keep code seperate, and yet intergrated will lead them to more probelms. Well live and learn.
The Safari front end is closed source and is created, owned and copyright Apple. Everything underneath the front end is open source and can be downloaded and modified as much as you want, more information can be found here:
On top of this, Apple also contribute any improvements back into KHTML.
Safari is a good example of how a closed source application using open source parts should work.
Will there be a Linux implementation? Didn’t see mention of such in TFA.
In particular, how about interfaces in <your scripting language here>
“(bits of Beos integrated in PalmOs)”
It doesnt even seem to mention BeOS in the article. What was the point of buying BeOS if they are going to use Linux? Why don’t they just open source BeOS? They will build up some good will with the oss community, which they want to get involved in due to linux, i think.
The point of buying Be, Inc. was to get the intellectual property of Be, Inc. as well as the programming expertise. Palm knew the BeIA was/could have been 300% amazing, but the timing was 500% wrong.
Yeah, this really sux, buying BeOS for 10M and than waste it.
Thank you so very much PS, at least you could opensource this thing so Haiku devs don’t have to have sucha hard time recreating R5!
This just feels plain BITTER! Angry I am.
Is any company releasing a closed-source application on an open-source platform “leeching?”
“On top of this, Apple also contribute any improvements back into KHTML.”
If I remember well, even YellowTAB will use a porting of WebCore (or something like WebCore takes from KHTML in an Apple style) for a new own browser for Zeta in future.
“Is any company releasing a closed-source application on an open-source platform “leeching?””
In mind of many “open gurus”: yes.
In the real world: no, it’s simply business.
From what I understand, PalmSource is porting its Cobalt API’s from their own proprietary OS to run on top of mLinux (the Chinal MobileSoft version of Linux). These API’s include some of the BeOS code (mostly the multimedia features of Cobalt).
Be it opened or closed, what PalmSource really needs is a PDA manufacturer to actually buy into their plans with a first-class wireless device. palmOne hasn’t. It doesn’t matter if it’s open or closed source if it never sees the light of day (like Cobalt).
It’s not quite so simple. PalmSource isn’t releasing a stand-alone product that runs on Linux. Rather, it is ditching it’s proprietory OS, and using Linux as the substrate for the overall PDA software stack. Is it legal? Completely. Is it unethical? Depending on your outlook, possibly. Is it friendly to the open source community? Certainly not. The GPL allows you to take in this way without giving anything back, but it’s not very nice. It’s like always taking a penny from the change tray at a store, but never leaving one.
well big business is supporting free labor yet again, what a surprise. Plus they get some free adverstising due to press coverage for supporting free labor (linux). Fun, Fun, Fun.
Palm become part of a major movement as well which is quite important but this entire idea of free labor worries me as corporations might become attached to it a bit much.
Well said JohnOne !
If the mantra for the Linux is … any app that runs on top of Linux (or other open source sw layer) *must* be open source then I suggest ordering the grave stone now, and moving on.
As far as PalmSource leeching & not giving anything back … well I bet that after they have ported Cobalt across, have proved that its feasible (from a business perspectice) they’ll support Linux development more, either with $$, people or whatever because they’ll have become stakeholders in it.
There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding and confusion here, so this article I wrote for another site might help:
One comment I’d like to make — for all the people who think this announcement means PalmSource is stealing from the OpenSource community, you are free to your opinion. Just make sure you also hold the same opinion of Apple, which is basically doing the exact same thing with Mac OS X.
I want to reply to this separately, just personally as a software engineer:
“well big business is supporting free labor yet again, what a surprise.”
There are a lot of ways at looking at this. Personally, I see things quite differently: as far as I am concerned, when a software engineer sits down and works on something without getting paid, THEY are sitting the value of their work at “free”. To me that is potentially much more damaging to the industry as a whole than some company coming along and taking advantage of the great price.
Dear F/OSS Community,
We are simply delighted that you won’t have access to the user interface code of Palm’s OS. Some of us were dumb enough to actually buy PDA’s like the Zaurus that ran linux, only to find that you paid no attention at all to the necessary usability design for mobile devices. We suffered through one linux PDA UI after the other that was nothing more than a desktop GUI you tried to shoehorn into a small thing with a 320×240 screen.
When we tried to seek redress of our legimate grievances with things like Qtopia widgets that took up frightening amounts of screen real-estate, you called us “whiners”. When we tried to explain why it was a problem that your mobile applications took twice as many stylus taps to accomplish the same task as a Palm, whose designers took great effort to minimize them, you claimed there was no usability problem and it was merely that “you’re used to Palm, that’s all”.
To add final insult to injury, when we decided not to adopt your devices because they were just too damn difficult and lacked the necessary ergonomics required to take down our incredibly valuable names and phone numbers in a small amount of time, you did not own up to your mistake. Instead, you chose to blame proprietary PDA makers like Palm and Microsoft for the lack of mass adoption that was really due to your own basic incompetance, arrogance, and stupidity.
While we probably would appreciate the wonderful extensibilty that a totally open codebase might present, you have so mistreated us and violated our trust that we could never in good conscience allow you to have access to any element of the source code that effects the user experience of the device. We see no need to give you total freedom of code when you have done nothing but totally oppress us with bad design.
You have no one but yourselves to blame. Marketshare comes only to those who deserve it.
PDA users around the world.
This appeared on Slashdot on December the 8th. http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/12/08/1435259&tid=100&t…
Not that i’m really that worried.
they are using an OSS base and NOT opensourcing their other stuff. This is a horrible crime to humanity. they are all going to hell. we blame M$ for this somehow and then we bring skyOS into it. WORSHIP STALLMAN