[maemo-users] Where is telnet?

From: Peter Flynn peter.flynn at mars.ucc.ie
Date: Thu May 14 23:30:23 EEST 2009
Alberto Garcia wrote:
> On Thu, May 14, 2009 at 11:25:18AM -0600, Mark wrote:
>>> telnet belongs on an "Interner Tablet", and claiming otherwise is
>>> akin to claiming that the WWW is the internet.
>> Misnomenclature aside, making claims about a device's abilities that
>> can only be attained by installing additional or 3rd party apps or
>> developing/porting them yourself amounts to false advertising. If it
>> doesn't have a capability out of the box, then don't advertise it...
> Sorry guys, but I don't get this.
> People have already ported software that is much more complex than
> telnet, such as OpenOffice, KDE or Pidgin.

I think what it meant was that it doesn't have this capability out of 
the box. Sure, anyone can port anything, given enough time and patience; 
the error was at the marketing level in Nokia in misunderstanding the 
market it was aimed at, and thus failing to include the necessary ports.

> If no one ever realised that telnet was so essential until May 2009
> being such a trivial program to port then it probably wasn't that
> important after all.

I realised it immediately, as I use Telnet frequently from my desktop 
for checking access, as Graham described. But finding the toolchain and 
compiling a version myself proved so forbidding at the time that I gave up.

> Sure, there are dozens of small command-line tools that some of us use
> everyday, but that doesn't mean that the tablet has to come with all
> of them installed. The root filesystem is already quite full as it is
> now.
> Are we going to have the same thread when someone misses nmap and
> netcat?

Quite possibly. But they certainly don't all have to be installed as of 
day one -- they just need to be available as add-ons. My gut feeling is 
that the vast majority of the stock commandline apps ought to compile 
as-is from Debian sources, but I'm happy to accept a developer's better 
judgment on that.

I *did* manage to compile one little (200-line) specialist commandline C 
tool on my Ubuntu desktop for the Arm, which works perfectly (although I 
can't remember the incantation I used now)...but I do remember finding 
out how to do it was *really* hard; at one stage I downloaded and 
installed some monstrous "development environment" which everyone said 
was essential (to compile 200 lines of C?) which appeared to be an 
entire N800 emulator and which nearly killed my desktop system.

It's sad that there is no evidence that Nokia marketing even understand 
that the problem exists, let alone understand the problem itself. Joe 
and Jill User will never in a million years buy a "web tablet" that 
looks and smells anything different from Windows, complete with all 
faults and bugs. On the other hand there are millions of developers, 
hackers, programmers, students, os-savvy businesspeople (yes, they do 
exist), and academics who will happily buy a pocket Linux system that 
has the same power that their desktop had only a few years ago, 
particularly from a well-known and trusted name like Nokia, but it needs 
to be similarly configurable. Don't get me wrong, I love my N800 and 
wouldn't trade it for anything else except its successor[s], but I just 
feel there is a badly-missed market segment there, and I find that 
surprising from a company with Nokia's rep and resources. I'm just 
grateful to all the people who have done so much to extend the software 
base as they have.


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