[Gta04-owner] GNOME on Smartphone

H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Thu Oct 26 15:26:40 CEST 2017


> Am 26.10.2017 um 15:12 schrieb Jonas Smedegaard <jonas at jones.dk>:
> 
> Quoting H. Nikolaus Schaller (2017-10-26 14:38:09)
>> there is currently a lot of hype around running Gnome on a smartphone 
>> which seems to need new hardware to be possible.
>> 
>> This made me curious. Therefore I took a fresh µSD card and did [...] 
>> apt-get install gnome-core
> 
> Yes, that is the easy part.
> 
> Challenging parts are these:
> 
> a) get GPU drivers for hardware-backed OpenGL working for the particular 
> device (since GNOME depend on OpenGL and software-only emulation is 
> likely too power hungry even if fast enough).

Does it? At least the apt-get install on Debian 9.1 didn't ask for such dependencies.

A more fundamental question is why everyone wants to require OpenGL. Apple did the
same step with Mavericks - and didn't provide updated 64 bit drivers for all graphic
cards. On the other hand I still have a MacMini running with OS X 10.5.8 for
a special application. PowerPC with 1 GB RAM and 1 GHz single-core. Still snappy
and smooth...

Another example is Replicant 4.2. It runs snappy and smooth on the GTA04 without
help of the GPU. There was also work with Replicant 6 but besides a demo there
was never a release (lack of manpower - hint: http://shop.goldelico.com/wiki.php?page=Product&product=9606)

> 
> b) fix UI to more sensibly work on a phone (which implies getting GTK+4
> finalized and packaged for Debian and applications rewritten to use it).

Yes, different screen formats/orientation and finger/pen operation are challenging
and must be solved in the graphics toolkits.

> 
> Might make sense to faster reach a usable state by doing b) without 
> waiting for GTK+4.  But that has a real risk of repeating QtMoko which 
> didn't want to wait for Qt to properly cover phones.

Seems to be a big hen&egg situation.

BR,
Nikolaus



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