[Gta04-owner] GTA04 manual already available ?

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Sat May 7 11:31:08 CEST 2011

Hi Nik,

Am 07.05.2011 um 09:42 schrieb tango at riseup.net:

> Hi,
> to reduce the awful long wating time :-) : 
> Is there any GTA4 manual available ? 

A draft manual is currently a little hidden but you can find
a link at the end of the first post of this list in the archive:


> I read some details on the gta04.org website, but I'm especially
> interested in the Debian/LXDE applications, planned PIM interfaces etc.

We plan to provide a working u-boot/kernel/debian/LXDE image as the
basis for further development (in fact that is what we already have).

Starting from that point, there are several options to provide a fully working and useable
smartphone software. There are several projects aiming at that goal. At least

* QtMoko (which is a Qt based GUI and application suite sitting on top of Debian)
* Maemo port
* Android port (e.g. from the RowBoat project)

Each of these projects has its own PIM applications and interfaces.

I know that some of the members here on the list are working for these projects
and can give more comments.

Since the goal of our team is to provide a robust, stable, flexible and well documented
platform, we will be happy to see different OS distributions out there.

> You write about the QuantumStep technology as a possible frontend? but
> it looks a litlebit outdated ?

Yes, it is a quite old project initiated by me, long before Apple did think and talk about
iPhones. I simply felt in love with Objective-C and OpenSTEP and always thought
that it would be the most flexible and powerful GUI toolkit for a future Smartphone.
So I started some work in 2003. Therefore it is not as old as GNUstep (which IMHO
started 1992) but it shares some code. But it is older than the iPhone :)

But such a concept needs really open hardware. Originally I thought that porting
to the Zaurus would suffice. Then, other projects came up to open commercial
smartphones (e.g. OpenEZX). Usually, these candidates disappeared
from the market before a fully working Linux basis became available. Then, Openmoko
started the GTA series. QuantumSTEP was ported (at least partially) and we did
demonstrate that it works (e.g. on LinuxTag 2008). Well, the feedback was the
same as from you that it looks a little bit outdated. So the next idea was to improve
especially on the graphics and appearance.

But in the past two years my project management focus was fully on getting the
GTA04 hardware on the road. Therefore there was little (visible) progress in QuantumSTEP.

So let's see how we can push QuantumSTEP in the future as another alternative
for GUI toolkit and application suite. It may have some technological benefits over
the others. Some may be:

* lightweight (since it was originally designed for a NeXT machine with 8MByte RAM)
* well documented and mature APIs
* source code compatible to Apple Xcode and Cocoa (well, at least 80%) and
   to some extent to iPhone source code (approx. 50%)
* good separation of subsystems so that there is a low number of
   interdependencies which should help to avoid regression if bugs are fixed

But it is still a long path to polish it and make it really useable. So currently it is
sort of a "hobby". The priority is clearly on the GTA platform.


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