[Gta04-owner] Software plans

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Tue Sep 27 19:00:17 CEST 2011

Am 22.09.2011 um 13:44 schrieb Klaus 'mrmoku' Kurzmann:

> On Thu, 22 Sep 2011, Neil Jerram wrote:
>> It seems like the EA boards are getting excitingly close now.  So I

Very close...

>> thought it might be interesting to ask what people's software plans
>> are.
>> Obviously there will be an initial phase before any software work,
>> with everyone installing their board and discussing any hardware
>> issues.  Presumably we will use Nikolaus's Debian squeeze rootfs to
>> validate that that phase is successful.
> It will hopefully not take long until we have working  gta04 
> SHR images. Probably the biggest part is integrating it into FSO - 
> though mickey once told me that the modem part should be straight 
> forward. Looking forward to hack on it :-)
>> (Will that rootfs already be in NAND when the EA boards are shipped?

Most likely no. We have 2 Gbit (512 MByte) on board and some part is
required for Xloader, U-Boot and the Kernel. This is not enough for the
full Debain Squeeze we have. I am sure that some parts can be removed,
bu we haven't done.

>> Or do we just download and unpack onto an SD card, and then GTA04 will
>> automatically boot from SD?)

Yes. You can take the 'makesd' script and adapt it to your needs:


>> I guess it will then be nice to have a set of tests, based on that
>> initial rootfs, to validate hardware function that isn't already
>> tested just by booting.  Perhaps people can post such tests to the
>> mailing lists, and then they can be collated later if that's useful.

That would be nice!

>> (I don't think we should expect Golden Delicious to do all this for
>> us.)

Well, we try to do our best for testing (see the Video), but we simply can't
imagine every test case. So we will be listening carefully to your results.

And our philosophy is to provide the low level stuff, but be agnostic to
the user space. But provide one working image (Debian based) to
allow demonstrators and testing.

>> And what then?  Look at adding telephony support to the initial
>> rootfs?  Or switch to one of the other established distros and work on
>> porting its telephony support to GTA04?
>> Personally I don't have a clear plan yet; to begin with I will just
>> follow along and try to test things and help where I can.  But I'd be
>> interested to hear what others are thinking.

I think there will be several activities in parallel.

* David is already working on a Linux 3.1-Kernel.
* Mickey is eager to adapt FSO.
* Others will adapt/port SHR.
* The QtMoko rootfs appears to boot out of the box but needs
  some tweaking.
* Maybe, some group will also pick up the Rowboat for BeagleBoard
  activities and we will see some Android. 
* Maemo / Meego is also an option.
* Bada and/or PalmOS may become (more) open source.
* Non-Smart-Phone OS is becoming popular.

And many more options. I believe in the creativity of this community :)

Our goal is just to enable this process, and it is up to you to make
something out of it that wasn't possible before.

Well, this is not really the full truth. We are working in the background on
some GNUstep based GUI system. I.e. Objective-C based, which is in
my opinion and experience the most powerful language (together with
the right frameworks) to develop stable and robust GUI applications.

But there are no releases yet, since it is still in the alpha phase. In fact
it is longer in the alpha phase than we did develop on the GTA04
hardware... So it will stay there for some more time - and maybe stay


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