FIC Neo 1973 open mobile phone

FIC Neo 1973

The FIC Neo 1973 is one of the first, (quite) open cellular phones to create custom Linux software for (there also is the Road Handy PC, there was the Trolltech Greenhone, and some others not so well known).

While FIC employees started to create an OpenEmbedded based software stack promoted as "OpenMoko", it has some shortcomming.

First of all OpenEmbedded based systems are in our opinion harder to build, due to the dependency of monotone and the properitary (OE-only) bitbake, though even been prettified in the OpenMoko project by another MokoMakefile build wrapper.

OpenMoko also is glibc and sysvinit based (at least at the time of writing), which in our opinion are not suited for a slim and quickly booting systems targeting a 266MHz phone with 128M RAM and 64MB ROM. uClibC is a drop in replacement that is significantly smaller with retaining a very high API compatibility. Software ususually just builds against the uClibC without any extra effort.

Forthermore OpenMoko comes with custom Gtk+ widgets and custom Moko libraries and applications, where Gtk+ PDA / phone applications are already available - e.g. from the GPE project. In other words we think the creation of yet another Gtk+ PDA / phone application stack equals reinventing the wheel and just serves one company and not the Free- and Open-Source movement as a whole.. After all, Open Source is about re-using software, not about rewriting everything all the time. It's about colaboration and community evolution.

We therefore started to create a smaller T2 based target - dedicated to the Neo hardware platform. However, please note that this is not a commercial product, this just reflects our ideas & impressions and we just do this in our free time on rainy weekends for the fun of it.

Differences between OpenMoko and the T2/Neo1973 target

  • T2 based, no bitbake, hopefully easier to read and follow package meta-data and scripts, less dependencies on the build host, etc. (read the T2 site and/or handbook for more details)
  • uClibC based, frees your phone's memory for useful applications
  • not sysvinit, bootup in less than 2 minutes (the last tested OE firmware often even takes longer), starting the UI early on
  • GPE based GUI, to re-use existing applications - later probably E17/EFL/Evas, for eye-candy graphics
  • focus on basic functionality early, finish a whole first-frafting pass and get the phone and messaging functionality going first
  • use the fast and conforming KHTML rendering library: KHTML/WebKit

See also

External links

Primary developer:
-none- We have other daily jobs and just prepared the basic framework - contributors welcome!