maemo Chinook approaches

17Sep07

Chinook wind

Today we have released the maemo 4.0 beta Chinook SDK, and it feels good.

Chinook will be a major release with several enhancements, new features and an API break to get a better alignment with the contemporary GNU/Linux desktop (details). This beta still misses some components but it is good enough to port applications from maemo Bora.

We have chosen to release this beta SDK as soon as it has been technically possible in order to give more time to developers. We still can’t compromise to a final release date, but you will know it with a decent margin of time.

maemo developers will find a modular installer bringing some flexibility to your development environment. Try it out and tell us what you think, we have still time to improve it for the final release. This is a first step towards a next generation SDK to be developed during the Diablo and Elephanta release cycles, but this is another story.

I hope you enjoy Chinook’s fresh air!



17 Responses to “maemo Chinook approaches”

  1. 1 Mathew

    Will Maemo 4.0 include support for the 770? Or is this n800 only?

  2. The last maemo release supporting the 770 hardware was 2.2 Gregale.

    The way to get newer software to the 770 is by using the IT OS 2006 Hacker Edition. Currently supports maemo 3.x Bora applications and there are plans to keep supporting 4.0 Chinook apps.

    See

    New Internet Tablet OS 2007 Hacker Edition released
    http://maemo.org/news/announcements/view/1189171468.html

  3. 3 Finite

    I think you should seriously reconsider the 770, everyone knows you (Nokia) could run Chinook on it if you wanted, so if you don’t you will be continuing to perpetrate the wrong that has already been committed with Maemo 3.x.

    You could potentially win customers back for the N900 or whatever, too. I certainly won’t buy one if 770 remains dead!

  4. Frankly, I don’t see Nokia reactivating the development for the 770. Ari Jaaksi has made this clear in his blog.

    Besides, making the full Chinook and the corresponding apps work on the 770 at a sales quality is a quite complex task at this point.

  5. 5 James Sparenberg

    One request would be to have mppe built into the kernel by default. This gives the IT the ability to interface with the MS VPN (all other needed components are already there.)

  6. Thank you for being frank, I will be also. I do not believe that it is so complex that Nokia couldn’t do it, I think they just decided not to (in fairness, before you were hired iirc).

    As I’m sure you know, Maemo’s upstream, Debian, runs on 11+ architectures and supports an amazing variety of hardware. The high quality of that body of software which made Maemo possible is in no small part due to benefits that stem from Debian’s policy that everything in it be portable if at all possible.

    So it is difficult to imagine what Nokia could have done, starting with the famously portable Debian system, to make it so difficult as to be not worth it to support the 770 anymore. I can only conclude that Nokia carefully decided not to, and that the primary reason was to capitalize on a slowly growing body of 770-incompatible software (both Nokia’s and 3rd parties’) to help turn 770 customers into N800 customers.

    The current arm and upcoming armel ports of Debian both can already run in a chroot on both 770 and N800, as well as countless other machines, and hopefully it will eventually become bootable on Nokia tablets without ITOS. Without cooperation from Nokia regarding the proprietary hardware parts, though, it might take a while.

    How many 770s did Nokia sell? (No, I don’t really expect an answer to that)
    What OSes do you expect they should run two or three years from now? I hope it is not ITOS-2006!

    And right now, before Debian or Ubuntu are really viable options, do you recommend that we either (a) keep using the 770 with outdated software full of unpatched security issues (see the link in my name for a sampling), or (b) stop using the 770? Keep in mind this is a product many people are still buying new.

    Especially in light of the many reasons enumerated by those various security advisories, I really hope that Nokia will reconsider continuing to support the 770. The old software is getting… older.

  7. James, noted but… Since it is not directly developed to *development* platform but platform itself, would you mind filing an enhancement request. New kernel modules is something that escapes from my (direct) hands and I want to make sure the idea gets recorded.

    Finite, for Nokia “reconsider” would mean not only doing the development work you have in mind but also backporting all the stuff going on, going back to the licensing agreements with third parties, testing and quality assurance programs, support channels and etc.

    This is what makes the big difference between an official release, a hacker edition or any ARM progress you would do on top of a Debian/Ubuntu distro.

    About your a) b) question I think there are two types of users, mainly: those that are more or less happy about the device and its software available and those that are more or less happy following the HE path. The Hacker Edition is going to be pushed to Chinook compatibility as well, meaning that people are going to be able to have a system more or less decently updated.

    Not a perfect solution? Not cutting edge? Yes, I know. As Ari Jaaksi said a mistake was done, and now it’s too late to go back. One of my responsibilities is to make sure that we don’t repeat mistakes.

  8. 8 Finite

    “a system more or less decently updated”

    The latest HE is still using the 2006 kernel which has well known remote exploitable bugs (including some bluetooth related). Does anyone at Nokia read upstream’s security advisories?

    What hacker wants to walk around with a more-than-a-year-old remote exploitable OS in their pocket?! And, if you asked them, what non-hacker user would want to?!

    Nokia has a grave responsibility to their customers here that they are failing to fulfill.

    I could believe it is too late to change in bora, but with chinook I’m sure it is not yet too late if Nokia wanted to do it right this time.

  9. > Does anyone at Nokia read upstream’s security advisories?

    Yes.

    Finite, I’m not trying to convince you about anything. As I said above (and as Ari Jaaksi said months ago) Nokia hasn’t got any plan for reactivating the development for the 770, nor I think there will be any in the future. We can keep discussing but this is the fact and we (you/me) won’t change it.

    I still see an interesting future for the 770 but in the unofficial context, similar to the context of most PCs and laptops having Linux inside after replacing the original OS.

    We (Nokia) rather concentrate our energies “to do it right” with the N800 and the new releases.

    This thread got no comments about Chinook-Chinook so far. I just hope developers are using the beta SDK to port their applications, now that they still have plenty of time.

  10. 10 Finite

    > We can keep discussing but this is the fact and we (you/me) won’t change it.

    Ok, so can you direct me to the blog of the person who could change it? I like you, but I’d much rather discuss this with them!

    > I still see an interesting future for the 770 but in the unofficial context, similar to
    > the context of most PCs and laptops having Linux inside after replacing the original
    > OS.

    But, this is actually very unlike that context. Most PCs and laptops can already run many different OSes, and can function well without any proprietary software. The 770 cannot. And, when I buy a laptop with Linux pre-installed, I generally will not need to replace the original OS to keep up to date a year later. Especially when it is an APT based system!

    > This thread got no comments about Chinook-Chinook so far. I just hope developers
    > are using the beta SDK to port their applications, now that they still have plenty of
    > time.

    Here is a comment about Chinook: The reason I am not testing it is because I felt extremely burned after I beta tested sardine (bora) in 2006 only to find out Nokia wouldn’t release the final version for my device. I considered trying Chinook on an N800, but I’m not interested in making an app that works only on N800s or maintaining two versions. So if the 2006 version of my app doesn’t already work in Chinook, too bad, but I’m done developing for Maemo anyway. (I’m not going to say what my app is because I’m trying to be pseudonymous here, but it got several thousand downloads and still mostly works in bora.)

    > One of my responsibilities is to make sure that we don’t repeat mistakes.

    Shipping another major release without 770 support would be a repeat of the biggest mistake in the story of Maemo, wouldn’t it? Or were there bigger mistakes that I’m unaware of?

    Again, I still hope the people who’s decision this is will reconsider. If they don’t have a blog, could you please direct them my comments here?

    Thank you for your time, and your blog.

  11. When Nokia makes a decision, makes a decision. The Hacker Edition was already a rather unusual exception. I don’t know how to tell you more clearly that there will not be more official Nokia development for the 770.

    However: http://jaaksi.blogspot.com/

    I recommend you to read past entries & comments about the 770. Good luck. 🙂

  12. 12 Rotund

    Finite, I’m in the same boat you are. I bought a 770 shortly before the n800 came out. I was incredibly bummed that it was basically killed about 1-2 months after I bought it.

    I looked into what it would take, and I think it’s a bigger undertaking than you think. The big difference is just in the processors. The 770 is a different revision of the ARM processor. It also has a different DSP and does video entirely differently (if you want some level of HW accelerated… which is needed for video and audio codecs, Flash, etc).

    I recently switched to the HE and have thus far been fairly impressed. I’d say it’s more stable (and usable) than 2006’s last release was. I actually stumbled onto this site to find out whether the HE would be updated for Chinook and was happy that it will be.

    My personal opinion, assume everyone will be at Chinook and HE w/ Chinook compat. Make sure your compiler flags don’t use the advanced instruction set of the n800/810. If it runs on 770, it should run on the others. That should get you 1 version.

    qgil, thanks for trying not to make the same mistake again.

  13. 13 Smithkowski

    Been reading with some interest being a 770 owner – just for completeness though/does some one know… isn’t the disadvantage of the HE that the closed-source components (Opera, Flash) can’t be integrated for licensing reasons? I’d love to see an updated OS, but stuck with the official Nokia releases thinking the hacker editions weren’t suitable (or even really intended) as a primary, day-to-day-use OS?

    (posted from my N810 btw – great device/love it, but damn, these keys are hard to press!🙂

  14. 14 Simon

    Smithkowski: sort of, yes. Opera _was_ integrated into the HE until the latest version, which bundles the Gecko engine instead of Opera. Flash was never licensed for any supported software on the 770, and the HE had no flash support. Other than that, I found that I preferred the HE over the latest OS2006 release, except for the weird way the image viewer made a unilateral decision to rotate long images sideways without giving me a choice in the matter! Hmm, maybe I should go file a bug for that..

  15. 15 Gauntlet_KI

    >The current arm and upcoming armel ports of Debian both can already run in a chroot on both 770 and N800, as well as countless other machines, and hopefully it will eventually become bootable on Nokia tablets without ITOS. Without cooperation from Nokia regarding the proprietary hardware parts, though, it might take a while.

    Is there anyway to get cooperation from Nokia to take the ITOS and finalize it as a somewhat viable option for the end user?, unofficial, “official*”, what ever.


  1. 1 maemo improvements: ideas for Diablo and Elephanta « flors
  2. 2 Nokia’s new internet tablet - N800 + GPS? - Bullroarer

%d bloggers like this: