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Trolltech GPLs Qtopia Phone Edition 78

Provataki writes "Trolltech has announced that they are releasing the new version of Qtopia Phone Edition under the GPL along with a port on the FIC Neo1973 smartphone. Trolltech also continues to support Greenphone as a reference platform for mobile development within the company and through its partners. Benoit Schillings, CTO of Trolltech (also of BeOS fame as one of the original Be, Inc. engineers) commented on the news."
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Trolltech GPLs Qtopia Phone Edition

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  • The viability of these phones as a platform depends on whether they manage to attract a large enough user and developer base to have a sustainable "ecosystem" of application development. Time will tell...
  • because i read this article [] on a blog, and googled after it around to get news about it, so my question is, that polling stuff, will that be resolved, too?
    or how accurate is the blogpost from zecke? (was posted on may 27 i know, dont bash me about that, its just, it is one of the first articles if you google after "qtopia for moko")
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The polling issue described in that blog is not a restriction in Qtopia, but a workaround for 2.4 kernels because inotify support is missing. The kernel from OpenMoko is a 2.6 kernel so if your toolchain is configured properly, this will be detected and you get the inotify implementation instead of the polling implementation.
  • QTopia vs OpenMoko (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @08:59AM (#20650395)
    So... At this point, QTopia runs on several phones while OpenMoko only runs on the one they designed. I have to say, I've been planning to buy a neo9173 for a while now, but I'm starting to seriously thinking about re-flashing it with QTopia or just buying a green phone with QTopia. In terms of how many apps will be ported to it, I think QTopia already has a huge advantage since it works on multiple phones already.

    As I stated in the other news topic, I want a phone that has Skype and will let me answer with Skype or via cell tower when both ring at once. I use Grand Central to ring both numbers at the same time, and I'd rather have just a single phone to do it with. I think QTopia is likely to offer that more quickly than OpenMoko.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Directrix1 ( 157787 )
      OpenMoko runs on other phones already. They designed it to run on anything the user wants it to run on.
      • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
        Oh, name a few?

        Or perhaps you actually meant that it COULD be ported, should anyone take the time and effort. That's quite a bit different from running on other phones.
        • Well, despite the fact that OpenMoko is using OpenEmbedded which is designed to run on everything it can (Zaurus, Compaq, etc.). I remember reading about people who have put OpenMoko on their phones. Its not selling on any other phones at the moment. And most of the work is going into the FIC Neo 1973, but the OpenMoko platform is a platform designed to be run on other phones. I lurk in the #openmoko IRC channel, and I can't find specific instances of other people using it at the moment. So, I guess I'
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by mrslacker ( 1122161 )
          And a little bit of research is a little different to posting to Slashdot, isn't it?

          FWIW []. Of course, on any platform, it's clearly WIP.

          In any case, the Greenphone is way too expensive to purchase for personal use:

 [] ($695)

          The user version of the Neo will be around $450 or so - still pricey - but I might be able to justify it. I'm still considering one of the iPhone clones (Cect P168 et al at $1
    • by AVee ( 557523 ) <> on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @10:36AM (#20652015) Homepage
      Why Skype? You're buying an opensource phone, you want choice when it comes to who delivers you calls to you, yet you choose to use a closed source VOIP provider?
      Seems kind of strange to me. I can understand what you want, I want functionality like that, but I want it useing standard open SIP. Otherwise your just trading one lock-in for the other.
      • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
        Because I have, and use, a Skype account.

        You know of some cheap service with unlimited calling via a SIP phone? Preferably one that works with clients on all major OSs including Linux, Windows, and OSX?

        Or were you just saying that only open source zealots should support open source, and they would never buy a commercial product?

        I only care what fulfills my needs, and I'm willing to pay to get it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by AVee ( 557523 )
          1 seconds of google usage brought me a list [] of 670 voip provider in the USA. There are plenty (if not most) of Voip providers which are cheaper then skype. There is also is a far wider variety of hard and software which can be used with SIP, you can even set up your own PBX [] if you like.
          There really is no good reason to use a totally closed Voip protocol over SIP. There are a whole lot of reasons not to promote closed communication protocols. I don't even care if you choose to use closed source software, bu
          • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
            I realize that, however, I don't have all day to sort through that many and try to find one that will allow me unlimited calls to the US and Canada for under $9/mo, and unlimited net calls for free. The first one I looked at is $15/mo for 500 calls max or $30/mo unlimited. That's not even close.

            By the way, did you notice that site uses Skype for their tech support calls? They obviously don't find SIP to be cheaper.

            I could indeed set up my own Asterisk system (I have in fact) but I don't feel like keeping
        • There are standard SIP clients for all the major OSs. It's a standard, after all. There are also standard SIP hardware devices, from ATAs (analog telephone adaptors) in both end device and router versions, to Ethernet based SIPPhones (including PoE, power over Ethernet, so single cord) to cordless wifi devices, to computer card phone adaptors, available from several different manufacturers and multiple vendors. There are also both open (Asterisk) and proprietary (Cisco, among others) VoIP/PBX implementat
          • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
            Thanks for the info, but Skype is cheaper. I pay $9/mo for unlimited in and out to real phone numbers (in the US and Canada) and of course internet contacts are free to anywhere.

            For $150, I could get a phone that'll work anywhere I have a wifi connection. That's just work and home, but it's not intended to replace my cell, just to supplement it. At the moment I'm just using my n800 for Skype, though... It wasn't doing much else anyhow.
        • It is called Asterisk. The GPLed PBX. Anyone can call in via standard SIP protocol. No problems. Not even a need for any central anything, if you desire. If you want, you can connect it to SIP termination or origination providers so you can connect it to PSTN. Lost of those around. Sorry, only one Skype. That goes down, and have nothing.

          I use SIP Asterisk together with Grandstream phones. Yes, proprietary SIP phones. At least if Grandstream goes out of business, I can continue to use the phone with ANY SIP
          • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
            Can you say that your way costs $9/mo or less? A PSTN line here would be $25/mo minimum. Setting up a PC here to run 24/7 and take care of my Asterisk would cost at least $9/mo in power.

            So on the theory that Skype might die some day, I'm supposed to pay $25+/mo extra? That'd buy the Skype phone in 6 months. If they died in 6 months (which I seriously doubt) I could throw the phone away and be no worse off.
      • People don't know what they are doing. Skype is more of a lock-in than a proprietary SIP phone (wired or wireless).

        An open-source Skype phone is useless unless one can find reliable SIP software for it. On the other hand, a proprietary phone (eg. Grandstream) can be connected to a free PBX -- full control of the service. It is NOT the free software that is important here. It is the free PROTOCOL that is important.
    • I know OpenMoko "runs" on the neo1973, and I assume QTopia "runs" on the Greenphone and whatever else, but are either of them actually usable to make calls yet, in the same way my current proprietary cellphone is?

      • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
        Last I heard on the OpenMoko/neo1973, it was usable but unstable, since only the developer phones are out yet. It was not recommended for general use.
      • Of course, Qtopia has been around for a long time. From wikipedia: As of 2006, there were 11 different models of mobile phone, and 30 other devices, with several million devices running this software.
    • Can someone explain how I, the cell phone user, would choose a cell phone service provider myself? Suppose I get some sort of open phone that runs either OpenMoko or QtPhones-a-lot or something. Is there a C library that includes the function dial_this(int phonenum)? Do I stick a SIM card in and just do what I want, treating the open phone like a computer and the SIM card like a modem?

      For reference: I bought an unlocked Treo 650 (none of the more advanced models were not available unlocked). Treos are o
      • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
        Assuming the phone uses the same network type, it's as simple as just sticking your sim card in. For instance, I bought a Cingular phone a while back that had been unlocked, and I just use it on my T-Mobile account with my sim card. I didn't call them or anything. They don't actually care.

        In fact, in europe, locking a phone to a provider is illegal. The last phone I bought was the european version so I didn't have to bother unlocking it. It works just find in the US.
    • So... At this point, QTopia runs on several phones while OpenMoko only runs on the one they designed.
      ummm... not quite... [] the end user phone isn't even out yet, and there are still other phones it work (sorta) on.
    • OpenMoko is based on GTK+.

      Qtopia is (obviously) based on Qt.

      I like KDE and Qt. I don't like GNOME and GTK+. So, other considerations aside, I already want to like Qtopia.

      (I'll be the first to admit that not all of the above are based on rational thoughts.)
      • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
        While I love KDE, GTK is 'free'er and I have to respect that. If I had to pick a graphics toolkit for commercial use, it wouldn't be Qt. If I wanted to make a commercial app for the Greenphone and Qtopia, I'd have to pay trolltech. If I wanted to make it for OpenMoko, I only have to give back any upgrades I make to GTK.

        Since I'm both a user and developer, I can see the good in both toolkits... It's actually an ugly decision. I would like to eventually write some commercial games that use the accelerome
        • While I love KDE, GTK is 'free'er and I have to respect that. If I had to pick a graphics toolkit for commercial use, it wouldn't be Qt.

          If it was a one-man killer app kind of project, yeah, I'd go for LGPL.

          If it was open, I'd probably use Qt. Conversely, if it was a large, commercial project, I'd probably use Qt, just to have the commercial support from Trolltech, and also because I figure the more people actually pay for Qt, the more they can afford to improve it, proprietary and open versions.

        • Qt Open Source Edition is licensed under the GPL from a long time ago. []
          • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
            Only for open source apps that are NOT on Windows. If you were working on Windows, you couldn't use the open source Qt. This is a new development with Qt4.

            I don't consider 'non-commercial' licenses to be 'free' anyhow. You have to purchase a commercial license to use Qt commercially, when most GPL'd software can be used commercially if you abide byt he GPL.
            • by Santana ( 103744 )

              As you already said, you don't have to buy a Qt commercial license to develop Qt commercial software, if you abide by the GPL (you have to make your changes available when distributing), which is a good thing, isn't it? There is your freedom.

              I'm sure we agree that if your interest is on developing commercial closed source software then you don't care about freedom (FSF definition). Not wanting to pay for developing Qt closed source software speaks more about a cheap person than a person caring about fr

  • GPLv2 (Score:4, Informative)

    by samkass ( 174571 ) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @09:09AM (#20650495) Homepage Journal
    For those too lazy to go read the press release, it's GPLv2, not GPLv3.

    • And that's a bad thing? GPLv2 may not be as militant, but it's served us quite nicely for years now. I'd think many engineers would appreciate the "don't fix it if it ain't broke" mentality many groups are approaching GPLv3 with.
      • Besides, on embedded devices like phones, you're likely to run across the occasional patent. There is a lot of industry confusion about the GPLv3 and a lot of companies are deliberately avoiding it.
      • by samkass ( 174571 )
        No, actually, I think it's a very good thing. I just wanted to point it out, since it's an important distinction. There is no longer "GPL-ed" code-- all code is either GPLv2, GPLv3, or both, all of which have extremely different implications and ideologies (despite what the FSF claims).

  • I'm curious... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) <> on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @09:50AM (#20651079) Homepage Journal
    ...if any open source developers will start making Open Hardware phones. With the rise of the cell phone as a complete multimedia platform (a wave to Apple in particular here), the market is ripe for sophisticated embedded hardware of the type that OSS developers have been toying with [] for some time now.

    Obviously, the biggest hurdle is FCC regulations. You can't actually install and run the radio without an FCC license and/or a shielded area to test radio communications from. I don't know what's involved in being licensed for public airwaves (especially for development purposes), but even finding a mini-tower to install in your "Faraday garage" that you're sure properly emulates a true cell tower could be difficult.

    Hmm... unless someone OSSed that first? An OSS cell network? (Yeah, right.) ;-)
    • Re:I'm curious... (Score:4, Informative)

      by richlv ( 778496 ) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @10:23AM (#20651767)
      hmm. actually, the device the article is about - Neo1973 - is pretty much open. []

      few things are closed for quite valid reasons, but hopefully with time this will have a chance to improve.
      • I haven't actually read TFA, but it seems that while there are open source drivers for everything, and probably open specs for everything, I'm not sure that you can actually plug it into a chip fab and make your own just yet.

        I also remember the OpenMoko guys actually refusing to support certain features because they couldn't obtain an open driver for them.
    • by Mulder3 ( 867389 )
      Whats the problem with the FCC? I dont see any problem... I dont live in US... Why americans seem to think that the whole world is US?
    • Well, your best bet if you are putting together your own cell phone design would be to grab one of those GM862 GSM modules they have at You address them via a standard rs232 interface (I think some of them have usb also), and issue standard GSM AT commands for communications; ie. open a serial connection, issue "ATDphone-number" and the cellular connection is then made, routing the audio in/out to seperate audio pins on the module. These audio pins you then connect to the line in / line out
  • I bought a FIC Neo1973 for 450$, I'm not here to complain about the phone, I think I got what I paid for. But until they fix its brokenness (GSM850 doesn't work. That's broken) it's going to be a barely useful PDA sitting on my desk. It's not my fault I live in a state where I'd have to drive 4+ hours to get anything other than GSM850. Right now I can see the cell tower from my desk. Unfortunately I have to use my free prepaid phone to talk with anyone. FIC is a great company with great ideas but they are s

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) *

      If you already have the phone, it meant you bought a phase 1 device, about which the site clearly states (in bold, on the front page) that "currently it is not suitable for users" []. I'm sorry, but your complaints are entirely your own fault.

      • to prevent grandparent's FUD from confusing the issue
      • by g4sy ( 694060 )

        I read the site thanks. I'm a developer and I'm fully capable of using, flashing and otherwise hacking my Neo1973. I'm also capable of developing software. That still doesn't make this piece of hardware any more than an expensive PDA. Whether I'm a developer or a lowly "user" in your mind, this thing doesn't work as a cell phone, doesn't work as advertised and shouldn't make claims to quad-band functionality. If M$ did such a thing, you would be suing them for false advertising.

        Oh and for the record, sinc

        • doesn't work as advertised

          Okay, you're just an idiot now. How the fuck did you read "this device isn't ready for people to use" and manage to come to the conclusion "hey, this device is ready for me to use?!" I'm sure this will be a revelation to you, and I'll put it in bold despite the fact that you obviously can't fucking see it anyway: THEY DID NOT ADVERTISE THAT THE THING WOULD WORK. PERIOD. AT ALL. LET ALONE AS A PHONE! THAT'S WHAT "NOT SUITABLE FOR USERS" MEANS!

          Note that they didn't even say "end

          • by g4sy ( 694060 )

            Great good to meet a future (fellow) GTA02 user. I don't see the point in lambasting me for having $450 more in disposable income than you do. (BTW that was just me chirping, don't let it offend you). I read everything before I ordered. I'm not disappointed with the product, I just don't see any reason why the quad-band receiver would have one of those 4 bands disabled on purpose. That's the kind of genius I'm familiar with, only from Palm and Apple.

            I'm sure we can agree that we both hope the future versi

    • As mrchaotica (681592) says the v1 is "currently it is not suitable for users", and I would personally add "and for high level application developers who need functional and stable stacks to work on". This is why I wait for the V2, and perhaps a little more for USB2 & multi touch screen. I have a lot of ideas for this phone/plateform, but I don't want to fight with unstable APIs and to make a stable phone call :) (Actually I don't want to struggle with the telephony part of the phone except from the poi
  • They should be right at home on /. then.
  • Just downloaded and tried out Qtopia (I am one of the lucky few who got a Neo1973 before they ran out of the developer edition). It ALMOST works. It can make and receive calls seamlessly, and does power management. In this respect, they are way out in front of OpenMoko (the system developed for the Neo by FIC). However, once in one of those calls, sound doesn't work. Any attempt to set the volume above 0 fails. Also, Qtopia was developed originally for the greenphone, which has a keypad. The Neo uses
    • Qtopia does not assume there is a keypad, nor was Qtopia originally developed for the Greenphone.

      To get the numbers, sybmpls or caps in the keyboard, slide your finger up or down on the right or left hand edge of the software keyboard.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming