[maemo-users] Hacker Edition (was Re: Is OS2006 still supported?)

From: Kevin T. Neely ktneely at astroturfgarden.com
Date: Fri Apr 25 16:52:29 EEST 2008
On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 07:49:54AM -0400, hendrik at topoi.pooq.com wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 10:43:59AM +0300, Eero Tamminen wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > ext Andrew Flegg wrote:
> > > On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 1:14 PM, Quim Gil <quim.gil at nokia.com> wrote:
> > >>  My personal opinion (and I insist in the "personal" bit) is that a
> > >>  requisite to continue any Hacker Edition model is to have the community
> > >>  hackers not only involved but driving.
> > > 
> > > Agreed. But Nokia need to do some more work to make this viable. As I
> > > outline in my "maemo.org: what next?" post[1], I'm afraid you can't
> > > get this for free.
> > > 
> > > The community *could* maintain the Hacker Editions, but currently the
> > > level of work involved would be too great to make it worthwhile. For
> > > example (and I've not tried any of this myself, since I no longer have
> > > a 770, so please forgive any errors):
> > > 
> > >   * How can the community create an easy to install FIASCO image?
> > >   * How can the community easily recompile large numbers of source packages
> > >     from Maemo 3.x and 4.x with 770-compatible optimisations?
> > >   * Are the changes which were necessary to build the existing HEs integrated
> > >     upstream; is the series of patches applyable and maintainable over a
> > >     given codebase?
> > >   * Is it clear which bits of an N800 firmware image need to be extracted and
> > >    reused wholesale, and which bits of an existing 770 firmware image need to
> > >    copied verbatim as they are binary blobs?
> > >   * Can the kernel be updated and still maintain user-expected
> > > functionality such
> > >     as wifi, BT and power management?
> > >   * If all the above is possible, can the community actually
> > > redistribute the images
> > >     in compliance with the click-through EULA on ITOS firmware downloads, which
> > >     prohibits redistribution?
> > 
> > And:
> > * Which of the 3rd party binary blobs (flashplayer[1], fonts etc) in
> >    the newer release would require users to buy extra licensees to
> >    legally use it on another product.  And for which they can actually
> >    do this
> > 
> > [1] For example, you need to buy a license for using Flashplayer on
> >      an embedded device:
> > "Usage of Adobe Web Players is only permitted for supported
> >   platforms; usage rights on non-PC devices or embedded systems
> >   are not granted by this license."
> >      see: http://www.adobe.com/licensing/distribution/
> It's not clear whether the n800 is an "embedded device".  It's very 
> similar to some of the hard-disk-free laptops that are appearing these 
> days, except for form factor.

Although the exact nature of the tablets is certainly up for debate, it looks like Adobe has done a pretty decent job of excluding the tablets.

Licensee may not distribute, download or embed the Software on any non-PC
device or with any embedded or device version of any operating system. For the
avoidance of doubt, and by example only, Licensee may not distribute the
Software for use on any (A) mobile devices, set top boxes (STB), handhelds,
phones, web pads, tablets and Tablet PCs (that are not running Windows XP or
Windows Vista Tablet PC Edition),

Going (very briefly, and using w3m to do so) through their licensing information, it looks like they take an inclusive approach to the platforms.  If it is not explcitly included, then it is not covered by the license.  The above exclusions appear to be examples for mobile products that are not included.

That licensing will certainly cause some inconsistency with licensing as convergent devices are released.  The thinkpad tablet running full ubuntu comes to mind.  I am sure you can download and run the linux flash player, but you may unwittingly be in violation of the license.

Another funny quirk of licensing is Apple's recent "only for devices with an Apple logo" specification.  Can you slap a sticker on the device and say it is logo'd?  Probably not, but a strict reading of the license language might support that.

In any case, this certainly demonstrates we cannot simply "blame Nokia" as some people seem to want to do.  There are many factors to this problem.  I have my 770 sitting around.  I'm thinking of using Canola to turn it into a web-enabled picture frame.  I would love to extend its usefulness with a hacker edition, or I would install something compeltely different on it (android, maybe?  Or something from that Poky platform builder?), but it certainly plays second fiddle to my 800.


In Vino Veritas

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