Re: Debian Mobile -- Debian GNU/Linux for mobile devices
On 17/02/10 05:34 PM, Andreas Tille wrote:
I wonder whether we really need to "start" or whether we are able to
continue what just exist: There is a Debian Eee PC project  which -
as far as I know - is not reduced to this specific hardware despite the
very specific name.
Actually, our project is limited to the Eee PC platform. We don't even
support similar systems by the same vendor like the Eee Box. Although
it might be possible to broaden the scope to encompass more hardware
without killing the project, I have my doubts. We've managed to stay
cohesive, productive and relevant for the past two years using this
approach and I'd be reluctant to do anything to upset the balance.
I also have my doubts about whether or not we even have similar goals.
The Debian Eee PC project has one purpose only, to ensure that Debian
works well on this hardware. While other projects with an Eee focus
want to write and support special applets to control the hardware or
slap on a special UI, we're quietly working to ensure that the drivers
work, are free, and any patches merged upstream to ensure that no matter
how you make Debian *look* on an Eee, it will all just work.
While there may be a small amount of overlap, a portion of the user
population who will find a "mobile OS" appealing, (and maybe my
perception of how many people are interested in such a thing is skewed a
bit because Debian simply doesn't offer anything like this at this time,
driving people away from it and towards the alternatives,) I really
can't see a whole lot in common between handheld device owners' needs
and those of netbook owners.
In the end, a netbook is an inexpensive, smaller, but essentially -- a
laptop, and that is not very different from a desktop system. That is,
it's a general purpose system. It just also happens to be highly
portable. People with netbooks do similar things on them that they
would do on their desktop systems. They just do it on the go. They
don't need a radically different UI to make that happen. Just using a
familiar desktop or WM that they already use elsewhere and are
comfortable with is usually the best approach.
When Asus entered the market with this system, they wanted it to look
different, and they wanted to reach a different market. Thus, they
introduced it with a UI with big, friendly buttons more reminiscent of a
PDA or cell phone than a conventional desktop. That wasn't what caught
my eye. What excited me about the Eee was that here, at last, was a
general purpose system that met both my usability and portability needs
at once, and at a decent price. Nothing more than that. I didn't share
whatever the Asus execs' vision was for this. I get the sense that not
many of the people who work with and enjoy the products of our project
All of that being said, Debian Mobile sounds like a great idea, and I
hope it is a resounding success. And if it happens to work well on an
Eee, too, then super! It's always nice to have choices.