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  1.    #1  
    Can someone please explain Linux to me? Why is everyone talking about a Linux-based treo like it is the next coming or something? What can a Linux OS do that the current one can not? I want to believe in Linux too! Help me understand!!
  2. #2  
    As I understand it. . . . a Palm over Linux OS would have backwards compatibility to many PalmOS applictations but would be able to multi-task and implement other new abilities that the PalmOS could/can not (and remain simple, efficient and unbloated).
    Last edited by gtwo; 03/16/2007 at 11:40 AM.
  3. #3  
    ... and facilitate the continuation of the active 3rd party developer community for Palms.
  4. ion++'s Avatar
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    #4  
    People are probably talking about Linux because it is beginning to emerge as a competitor to windows mobile (and Symbian). Palms own OS is beginning to die, so Palm has to either go with windows mobile (or symbian), or make their own. It is probably faster and cheaper to choose Linux rather than start all over, but there are other choices, the most obvious are one of {Free,Open,Net}BSD.

    I dont think Symbian is a real alternative to windows mobile because Palm does not own a part of Symbian, and the corporate customers uses windows, so they want windows mobile.
  5. cgk
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    #5  
    Linux is interesting to people because they can pretend palm is doing something and go "honest guv, something great JUST around the corner!"

    A better tomorrow for all!
  6. #6  
    A Linux core OS would provide a robust base which would handle multitasking, memory protection, and error handling better than Palm OS currently does. I think we'll see effeciency go down slightly, but with faster CPUs and ram using less power and cost less today than the slower ones did a few years ago I think this will not be an issue.

    Think about it.. When Blazer crashes... and crashes, and, crap, there, crashed again....... it'll just end the process, maybe throw up some "here's what happened" dialog. Maybe a restart button, whatever.

    Right now such a crash takes the whole Palm OS with it. It's not that Palm OS is causing the crash, it just can't handle ugly memory situations and has no memory protection. So if an application runs out of heap, dbcache, or blows its own memory allocations and tries to stomp around in places it shouldn't, Palm OS can't control it.

    Sure, you hear of the Linux on Palm projects, most of them are just for fun, hacking, experimenting. I've yet to hear of a useful one. I hope that the Linux core will be available to play with, cross-compile to, etc, but to me, I'll (hopefully!?) still be running Palm apps, but I'll be running them the way I want to and without fear of the slightest burp causing a reboot of the OS.

    Hopefully all of this will lay on top and be completely transparent to the user. I'm sure just as OS4->OS5 broke some poorly written applications, a switch to a Linux core will too (and probably more so, depends on how the Palm OS layer is handled by the Linux core) but it'll help take back some of the technological advantage that some other mobile OSes have over PalmOS currently.

    I look forward to streaming music, bringing my ssh client to the front, checking out a link IMed to me, then going back to looking at something else in Blazer seamlessly.
  7. spotter's Avatar
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    #7  
    You can run linux on palm today. As the palm emulator runs on Linux

    That's the main reason why Linux is of such interest, they can run all the old palm apps on Linux today, that's the easy part. The hard part is what type of applications you let them write for the "new" OS and how it interacts w/ old applications.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by thetoad View Post
    You can run linux on palm today. As the palm emulator runs on Linux

    That's the main reason why Linux is of such interest, they can run all the old palm apps on Linux today, that's the easy part. The hard part is what type of applications you let them write for the "new" OS and how it interacts w/ old applications.
    Because POSE runs in Linux does not mean Linux will run on the Palm.

    And perhaps you missed this part:

    Sure, you hear of the Linux on Palm projects, most of them are just for fun, hacking, experimenting. I've yet to hear of a useful one.

    Not sure what you mean by being able to run all the old Palm apps on Linux, but as I understand it Access is writing an abstraction layer for that which should make it that basically true.
  9. spotter's Avatar
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    #9  
    ok, I wasn't paying attention when I wrote teh above. I meant you can run "palm apps on Linux" today (not linux on palm as I wrote). Which is my point about why there is interest, the emulator is basically full baked, linux has proven to be usable on self phones (motorolla being the primary example).

    So the backwards compatibility layer is mostly there (how it integrates with the current would be the main issue there), the underlying OS is mostly there (but of course the last 5-10% always takes the same amount of time as the preceding amount), the main engineering issue is what one provides for current apps and how.

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