[maemo-users] Is OS2006 still supported?

From: Mark wolfmane at gmail.com
Date: Mon Apr 21 20:25:45 EEST 2008
On Mon, Apr 21, 2008 at 4:29 AM, Quim Gil <quim.gil at nokia.com> wrote:
>  You keep talking about the quite stable desktop architecture. The
>  relevant comparison for this discussion are Linux distros or whatever OS
>  installed in devices fitting in your pocket offering long term support
>  (say 3 years) in 2005 (or today).
Not really true. This is just a weak excuse for continuing current
(bad) practice. Desktop hardware is changing just as fast, and just
because a subsystem performs the same apparent function doesn't mean
the same drivers will work, and in fact the opposite is true. Have you
tried finding OS and app support for multi-core cpus? Even 64-bit
support is scarce, and it's been around for several years.

>  1. From a strictly engineering point of view: look at the desktop
>  hardware in 2003 and now, look at the mobile hardware evolution in the
>  same time frame. The fact is that mobile hardware architectures are far
>  more unstable and this create extra hassle for platform development,
>  leave alone stable APIs.

Sorry, but this simply isn't true. The majority of the mobile hardware
has been around for a long time now, in the same way as desktop
hardware. Making changes to desktops is easier not because the
hardware is older, but because the hardware is better supported by its
manufacturers than mobile hardware. Swapping out a desktop video card
is easy because full-featured drivers come with the new card, not
because the drivers are the same as for the old card. For example, GSM
modems haven't changed any more than desktop subsystems, and neither
have WiFi or bluetooth etc. Most of the changes have been in software
and form factor.

The real difference is that mobile hardware were allowed to get away
with being more closed from the beginning, and are fighting tooth and
nail to keep it that way. Fortunately, it looks like they may be
beginning to lose their advantage.

>  2. Repeat exercise 1, now looking at top use cases in the desktop and in
>  mobile devices. Most computer use cases are same or similar, just deeper
>  and faster - requiring more memory or clock speed - but that's it. In
>  mobile devices the usage is quite different, getting all kinds of new
>  hardware pieces, APIs and performance issues.

See above.

>  3. The Nokia tablets don't have planned obsolescence. The
>  online/multi/media context and the consumer expectations make them
>  obsolete faster, just like most mobile products. Online video, full AJAX
>  and long etc can't be easily fulfilled with old mobile hardware. You can
>  do some miracles on the software engineering side but at what cost and
>  in exchange of what.

*ALL* consumer products have built-in planned obsolescence. The trick
is in figuring out whether it's both necessary and acceptable due to
changing needs, or artificial and premature due to the manufacturer's
desire to force customers into otherwise unnecessary purchases.

This is the case in the USA with digital TV. Consumers weren't buying
new, extremely expensive hardware fast enough to suit the TV
manufacturers, so they finally made analog TVs obsolete.

HDTV is great for home theaters, but in most real-world situations
it's extreme overkill. (Yeah, like I really need 1080p - or even 720i
- for that 20", 12" or 7" TV, never mind hand-held devices...) The
other aspect is that the standards deliberately further limit one's
ability to view legally purchased content in one's own devices. It's
all about making people pay many times for the same thing.

>  4. If what you have is working for you now then it should just be enough
>  to keep using your device like the day you bought it. However, what
>  happens in most cases is that a new device in a new category (like the
>  770 was) gets new use cases from the people who bought them than
>  established products.
That's just naive. Like I said before, the N800 has the exact
functionality that I want, and the N810 has little attraction for me.
However, I'm speaking specifically of the hardware *possibilities*,
which can only be realized with software, much of which does not ship
with the device, and much of which still isn't even available from the
community. The potential of the device has barely been tapped much
less completely fulfilled.

Yes, first-generation devices often are more limited than later
generations, because you have to start *somewhere*, and you learn with
each generation. Meanwhile, technology marches on and new hardware
becomes available. That doesn't mean that the old hardware is no
longer useful.
>  > The last time I looked at Maemo, I found that there were a lot of
>  > programs that I couldn't even think of adding to my N770.
>  http://maemo.org/downloads/OS2006/ reports 249 third party applications
>  for the 770's original OS2006. Note that this is more than the number of
>  applications found there for the N800/N810.
The number of apps is not really relevant. What's relevant is the
specific applications that individuals want or need. As long as
certain older apps aren't being updated for the newer models, and
newer apps aren't being backported for the older, you're comparing
apples with oranges, and *nobody's* needs are really being met.

>  > Has the OS changed so much that backporting it to the 770 would be that
>  > hard?
>  Yes, specially if you need to respond to the performance requirements of
>  a sales product.

It seems to me that that is as much a development environment issue as
anything else.

>  > If so, how do I know that if I buy an 800 or 810 that we won't
>  > be having this same conversation when a 820 or 900 comes out?
Unfortunately, you are guaranteed that sooner or later that will in
fact be the case. That's the nature of capitalism. As with many things
in life, though, you just have to decide if whatever you're getting
involved with is worth the investment (time, money, whatever) to you.
You're the only one who can make that decision.


More information about the maemo-users mailing list