[maemo-developers] Support to non-Linux developers (was Re: GeneralMaemo/Scratchbox/N800 help)

From: Kalle Vahlman kalle.vahlman at gmail.com
Date: Tue Aug 28 11:51:57 EEST 2007
Warning: this message is about splitting hairs for the sake of splitting hairs.
Please ignore this message if you value your time and wish to use it
for meaningful purposes.

2007/8/28, david.hazel at enchaine.com <david.hazel at enchaine.com>:
> It would also be useful to have a list of areas where the Scratchbox emulator
> currently does not implement all of the features on the N800. I'm finding, for
> example, that my Scratchbox doesn't provide the full set of applications that are
> present on my N800 (e.g. there is no Connection Manager, and no File
> Manager).

Those are mainly just decisions on the Nokia side to keep them from
the SDK. You don't need either to build your own application, so I
would guess that's a valid decision. There's nothing technical that
prevents that AFAIK (though I guess they could have non-optional
device-specific stuff or something like that).

> (By the way, on the question of semantics, the Scratchbox thingy IS an
> emulator, even though it is running the same software as the N800. It doesn't
> have the same hardware environment as the latter, so it has no choice but to
> simulate this in software.

The one emulating the hardware is actually the cpu transparency method
you are using, most commonly Qemu. Scratchbox itself makes no effort
to provide you the features of any hardware. For x86 environments,
Scratchbox does not need to even abstract the CPU so are those really

If simply by providing some environment is emulation, then the likes
of chroot are "emulators" too. I don't think so.

> This kind of environment is universally referred to as an
> emulator, or a simulator, in software engineering circles.)

I'd define this so that qemu/whatever is the emulator, and scratchbox
is simply a tool to provide a convenient environment to use that
emulation in. Neither would I call Scratchbox a simulator, as it
_itself_ doesn't try to imitate anything. The targets created in it
might pretend to be similar to the ITOS running on N800, but that's
not really Scratchbox doing it. Scratchbox is simply a build
environment tool.

P.S. Hopefully nobody cares enough to answer this :)

Kalle Vahlman, zuh at iki.fi
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