Re: Palm says no Symbian Treo - Scion

This is a discussion on Re: Palm says no Symbian Treo - Scion ; Captain's log. On StarDate Fri, 4 Nov 2005 12:02:58 +0100 received comm from wbbfgqraqennvwre@kf4nyy.ay (Joost den Draaijer) on channel comp.sys.palmtops.pilot: : From an article on Ars technica, today: : : "(...) Palm CEO Ed Colligan has said that the company ...

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Thread: Re: Palm says no Symbian Treo

  1. Re: Palm says no Symbian Treo

    Captain's log. On StarDate Fri, 4 Nov 2005 12:02:58 +0100 received comm from
    wbbfgqraqennvwre@kf4nyy.ay (Joost den Draaijer) on channel
    comp.sys.palmtops.pilot:

    : From an article on Ars technica, today:
    :
    : "(...) Palm CEO Ed Colligan has said that the company isn't planning on
    : supporting Symbian anytime soon. Why?
    :
    : "We could not afford to support three operating systems," he said. But
    : it seems it is not just about cost because Colligan also noted that,
    : "Nokia owns Symbian," (...)"
    :
    :

    Another, perhaps even bigger, question mark is about Nokia dumping Symbian OS
    and (just like PalmOS) move over to a Linux core instead.

    martin

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    Martin Törnsten - http://martin.tornsten.com/


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  2. Re: Palm says no Symbian Treo

    Martin T wrote:
    > Another, perhaps even bigger, question mark is about Nokia dumping Symbian OS
    > and (just like PalmOS) move over to a Linux core instead.



    When you look at the original itents of EPOC32 (Symbian OS), it was to
    provide a common core OS so that handset manufactuers didn't need to
    re-invent the wheel, and allow each manufacturer to then add their own
    look and feel and applications.

    As long as the handset manufacturer doesn't need to create its own
    multitasking OS, that is what really counts. To this end, Linux is
    probably just as good as Symbian.


    "Re-invent the wheel" is the grey line here. Is the operating system
    just the process/memory/device management, or does it also include all
    sorts of anciliary software such as image format parsing (Jpeg, GIF, PNF
    TIFF etc) ? Does it include the TCPIP stack ? Does it include GSM
    applications interfaces (for SMS, MMS, GPRS/EDGE etc) ?

    Another aspect is developper environment.

    This is where Symbian may still have an edge over Linux. It comes with a
    rich set of services that handset manufactyurers can use to build their
    applications more quickly and not have to bother porting other software.

    Also, if the anciliary software (such as JPEG decompressor) on Symbian
    is designed to be more efficient (in terms of memory and CPU
    requirement) compared to the available software on Linux which is
    generally designed to run on big computers, then Symbian may still have
    an advantage.


    Nokia , as majority shareholder of Symbian, could do a few things:

    Get Symbian to port all the anciliary software to Linux and sell that.
    Get Symbian to shut down. And Nokia then owns the anciliary software
    which it ports to Linux for itself.


    Unless all manufacturers agree to use the same version of Linux with the
    same user interface, then applications for a handset will still be very
    proprietary. Java can be used for a few apps like games, but interfacing
    with the phone itself may not be standard enough for a vanilla JAVA app
    to run on any linux based handset.


    Also, Linux may be great on paper, but in practice, woudl it cost as
    much for Nokia to tailor the linux kernel to fit handset characteristics
    versus maintaining the EPOC32 core ?

    EPOC32 was designed when C++ was the fad-du-jour and was designed with
    onlty C++ in mind. Linux has wider language support, including C. So if
    C language application exists on Linux, it wouldn't port easily to
    EPOC32. This is perhaps where going to Linux might help Nokia et All
    since it would give them greater freedom on development platforms/languages.


    Personally, I think that Symbian/EPOC32 may be better for closed
    architecture handsets. But for handsets that have true PDA in them,
    having a more open architecture is a must, and allowing people to easily
    write apps and import apps into the handset is also a must, no matter
    what the app is.

  3. Re: Palm says no Symbian Treo

    Captain's log. On StarDate Sat, 05 Nov 2005 19:35:15 -0500 received comm from JF
    Mezei on channel comp.sys.psion.misc:

    : Martin T wrote:
    : > Another, perhaps even bigger, question mark is about Nokia dumping Symbian OS
    : > and (just like PalmOS) move over to a Linux core instead.
    :
    :
    : When you look at the original itents of EPOC32 (Symbian OS), it was to
    : provide a common core OS so that handset manufactuers didn't need to
    : re-invent the wheel, and allow each manufacturer to then add their own
    : look and feel and applications.

    I agree it makes it easier for the hardware manufacturers.

    : As long as the handset manufacturer doesn't need to create its own
    : multitasking OS, that is what really counts. To this end, Linux is
    : probably just as good as Symbian.

    Yes, that's the "problem" here.

    : "Re-invent the wheel" is the grey line here. Is the operating system
    : just the process/memory/device management, or does it also include all
    : sorts of anciliary software such as image format parsing (Jpeg, GIF, PNF
    : TIFF etc) ? Does it include the TCPIP stack ? Does it include GSM
    : applications interfaces (for SMS, MMS, GPRS/EDGE etc) ?

    The most problematic thing is that Symbian OS isn't any more standardized than
    Linux. They both provide a common set of core OS services, like you exactly note
    here, but can come in totally different distributions. Each seems to have it's
    own layer of GUI and window manager code. On desktop Linux you have at least
    some common API like X, but not on mobiles with Linux or Symbian.

    This is probably why Nokia has made their own "Series XX" of OS releases, and
    not cared to go with Symbian UIQ user interface (the GUI used on SE phones for
    example).

    Now developers have to port and address very different releases and
    distributions of the Symbian OS packages, and that makes it 1. more costly for
    them to support different manufacturers devices, and 2. difficult for the users
    of Symbian OS to find software that work for their devices.

    It's not a good situation if you ask me.

    : Another aspect is developper environment.
    :
    : This is where Symbian may still have an edge over Linux. It comes with a
    : rich set of services that handset manufactyurers can use to build their
    : applications more quickly and not have to bother porting other software.

    Here I think Microsoft has a real edge over Symbian, as I think their Visual
    Studio development environment absolutely provides a much better solution for
    software development than anything you can get for Symbian.

    : Also, if the anciliary software (such as JPEG decompressor) on Symbian
    : is designed to be more efficient (in terms of memory and CPU
    : requirement) compared to the available software on Linux which is
    : generally designed to run on big computers, then Symbian may still have
    : an advantage.

    Yes, I can agree that things like that can be an advantage (even if it's
    difficult to say how really big in the long run and larger picture).

    : Nokia , as majority shareholder of Symbian, could do a few things:
    :
    : Get Symbian to port all the anciliary software to Linux and sell that.
    : Get Symbian to shut down. And Nokia then owns the anciliary software
    : which it ports to Linux for itself.

    They could also:

    Port all their software to Linux, and sell off it shares in Symbian, or let it
    die a slow death in the hands of the other minority share holders and customers.

    I wouldn't be too surprised if they go with this less drastic option (port their
    software and user interface to Linux in more or less secret, and not publicly do
    any drastic changes with regards to the Symbian company).

    : Unless all manufacturers agree to use the same version of Linux with the
    : same user interface, then applications for a handset will still be very
    : proprietary. Java can be used for a few apps like games, but interfacing
    : with the phone itself may not be standard enough for a vanilla JAVA app
    : to run on any linux based handset.

    I think Nokia will go on their own (they are the absolutely biggest both share
    holder and also customer of Symbian today), and continue to create their own
    Linux OS packages (pretty much like they do with Symbian today). Nokia is so big
    that they can probably continue to set their own standards (even Microsoft is
    really small and not as powerful in this market, even if they gain slowly).

    : Also, Linux may be great on paper, but in practice, woudl it cost as
    : much for Nokia to tailor the linux kernel to fit handset characteristics
    : versus maintaining the EPOC32 core ?

    I think Nokia will probably buy a ready made Linux kernel who already has been
    optimized for mobiles or embedded usage (like for example MonteVista's Linux),
    and just port their own middleware, GUI and applications to it.

    martin

    --
    Martin Törnsten - http://martin.tornsten.com/


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