Mobile computing now an open-source driver

Open Source Convention highlights mobile open source efforts along with Linux, Web computing, and languages.

Mobile computing has become a dominant focus in the open source arena, a theme on prominent display at a major open source technology convention last week.

The O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) in the US highlighted mobile efforts along with Linux, Web computing, and languages. Mention of various mobile efforts abounded, including LiMo (Linux Mobile), Intel's Moblin, and the Google-backed Android platform.

"We've seen some amazing things happening in the Linux development process that's really going to impact the mobile world," said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, in a presentation at the Open Mobile Exchange portion of the conference. Zemlin explained that datacenter innovations pertaining to power consumption in Linux can be applied to the mobile world, translating to longer battery life. Real-time technology also is pertinent, he said.

Intel's Dirk Hohndel, chief Linux and open source technologist, touted the Moblin platform championed by the company as well as Intel's open source push. "Open source is something that we believe really helps change the game," Hohndel said.

The Android platform also attracted attention, although not all of it positive. "I like the idea of Android. I've been really disappointed in the progress of the project," Tim Bray, director of Web technologies at Sun, said in an interview on the OSCON show floor. There has not been any Android hardware out and not much has been offered as far as new releases, Bray noted. Also, the project has lacked transparency, he said.

Google released a statement affirming its Android plans. "We remain on schedule to deliver the first Android-based handset in the second half of 2008 and we're very excited to see the momentum continuing to build behind the Android platform among carriers, handset manufacturers, developers and consumers," the company said.

A Java developer conducted an evening "birds of a feather" session at OSCON to familiarize attendees with Android. "I think [Android] will be successful," said Sean Sullivan, an independent developer, in an interview. "I think [there are] going to be many mobile phone platforms. It's not going to converge quickly." He is building an Android application to help people in Portland use the local bus system.Â

Bray expressed disappointment with the overall mobile market.

"The only mobile platform that's widely used to access the Net is the iPhone and it's a totally controlled ecosystem where you're only allowed to write the programs Apple says you're allowed to write," Bray said.

The iPhone attracted attention at the conference. An audience member during a morning keynote presentation event asked why the open source world has not done anything as "insanely great" as iPhone.

Bray held out hope that Sun's JavaFX Mobile platform now in development could serve as an open source, encumbrance-free, mobile platform for the industry to adopt. Openmoko technology also could succeed, according to Bray.

Aside from mobile computing, OSCON also featured calls by Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu Linux, for a Linux desktop to exceed what Apple has accomplished and development of free software business models. He advocated a services-based model.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?