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Old 07-07-2008, 04:30 PM   #1
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Linux for e-readers: OpenInkpot progress *IS* being made...

Right now, Ondrej, as part of Google Summer of Code (GSoC), has been hard at work porting Open Inkpot (a distro of Linux 2.6.x) to the Cybook Gen3. Clearly, work needs to be done to understand how the SD card and the USB port interface to the S3C2410 ARM CPU, but here's a photo of the OI kernel happily running. Note that the Cybook is now showing it's true colors!



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Old 07-08-2008, 04:38 AM   #2
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wow, impressive! Or is this like the Windows on the Iliad thing?
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:33 AM   #3
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Wowww! Very Cool! Is it kind of redevelopment on Cybook hardware?

I am expecting this, a open-source kernel and develop environment for Cybook Gen3! By the way how do you plan to continue for the graphics part? You are not considering X-windows, or do you?
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Hanselda View Post
Wowww! Very Cool! Is it kind of redevelopment on Cybook hardware?

I am expecting this, a open-source kernel and develop environment for Cybook Gen3! By the way how do you plan to continue for the graphics part? You are not considering X-windows, or do you?
We do (and yes, we also hate bloated monsters, such as KDE or GNOME - there are alternatives).

It's not the redevelopment of hardware, Ondřej just removed the cover to attach the serial console.
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hanselda View Post
I am expecting this, a open-source kernel and develop environment for Cybook Gen3! By the way how do you plan to continue for the graphics part? You are not considering X-windows, or do you?
As far I can tell they are exactly using (planning to use) X:
http://openinkpot.org/roadmap

Would you have any better suggestions available?

BTW: framebuffer is an answer to the hardware part only...
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:44 AM   #6
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Would you have any better suggestions available?
Aenea ported Qtopia 4 to the iLiad, see Nice little "make people curious" message!. I don't know if this is a viable option without a touchscreen though.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:46 AM   #7
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Why Qutopia is better?

/me is pretty bored from all the Qtopia/FBdev/etc suggestions.

If you want to see $your_favorite_gui then go ahead and do it. All source code is available.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:20 AM   #8
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Why Qutopia is better?
One potential reason is that it is closer to the device (Qt -> framebuffer vs GTK+/Qt/?? -> X11 -> framebuffer), and has been designed specifically for small resource limited devices. Also, the iLiad can run relatively few applications, because the apps it likes were developed 10-15 years ago before computers got fast and APIs got heavy. Going with Qt limits choices too, but there is a selection of small device apps available and they are all more modern (and maintained) than the ones running on the iLiad. If a device is only an ebook reader, then all this may not matter - since all you need is a file manager (?) and an ebook reader (FBReader).

I am following OpenInkpot's progress with interest, and I agree that it opens up the possibility of multiple solutions on top of the same kernel.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:29 AM   #9
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One potential reason is that it is closer to the device (Qt -> framebuffer vs GTK+/Qt/?? -> X11 -> framebuffer)
This is meaningless. You can't just count the number of layers and predict ANYTHING.

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and has been designed specifically for small resource limited devices.
kdrive - embedded X.org configuration - has been designed specifically for small resource limited devices.

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Also, the iLiad can run relatively few applications, because the apps it likes were developed 10-15 years ago before computers got fast and APIs got heavy.
I have no idea why iLiad can run only those apps. It has nothing to do with X.org.

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I am following OpenInkpot's progress with interest, and I agree that it opens up the possibility of multiple solutions on top of the same kernel.
Please read about the X.org developments and especially kdrive a bit. Every single person complaining about X.org had NFI about kdrive before I pointed to it.

Damn, people associate X.org with behemothic KDE and GNOME nowadays. I hate it.

Please, please.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
One potential reason is that it is closer to the device (Qt -> framebuffer vs GTK+/Qt/?? -> X11 -> framebuffer), and has been designed specifically for small resource limited devices. Also, the iLiad can run relatively few applications, because the apps it likes were developed 10-15 years ago before computers got fast and APIs got heavy. Going with Qt limits choices too, but there is a selection of small device apps available and they are all more modern (and maintained) than the ones running on the iLiad. If a device is only an ebook reader, then all this may not matter - since all you need is a file manager (?) and an ebook reader (FBReader).

I am following OpenInkpot's progress with interest, and I agree that it opens up the possibility of multiple solutions on top of the same kernel.
Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) works either directly with FrameBuffer, or through X11, QT, QTopia, DirectFB, OpenGL, etc. That gives a pretty decent set of widgets and canvas for lightweight windows management. Given that many of the older devices have 64MB to play with, lightweight is better.

One of the OI people has thrown together a bare-bones library bookshelf called MadShelf, I believe using EFL, and it may well turn out to be the library manager. But from what I can see, it's still early stages.

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Old 07-08-2008, 10:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanselda View Post
Wowww! Very Cool! Is it kind of redevelopment on Cybook hardware?

I am expecting this, a open-source kernel and develop environment for Cybook Gen3! By the way how do you plan to continue for the graphics part? You are not considering X-windows, or do you?

Nano-X and Nano-GTK are both lightweight. So X-Windows has always been a viable option.

Derek
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:38 AM   #12
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Nano-X and Nano-GTK are both lightweight. So X-Windows has always been a viable option.

Derek
Nano-GTK is more like Qtopia, but Nano-X is lightweight X11 implementation - you're right.

However, as LunohoD measured, font rendering in Nano-X is way slower than kdrive + freetype. kdrive is quite fast.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:41 AM   #13
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wow, impressive! Or is this like the Windows on the Iliad thing?
Pieter,

This is going to be a complete replacement of the OS. (Okay, the Cybook already runs Linux - my older version runs 2.4.x and the newer versions should be running 2.6.x.) OI will be 2.6.x-based and will have the feature that it *IS* completely open-source for all supported devices. That means Sony, Hanlin Jinke, Netronix, Iliad and all the rest of the e-ink readers should, eventually, get the same version. And the distro will include the library manager (whichever is developed) and the ebook reading app (FBReader right now - but maybe in a year or two something else could come along.). Now, as with the iLiad, the open-source nature of OI will allow developers to create other apps. (And if you want a calendar app for the Cybook, why aren't you developing one??? )

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Old 07-08-2008, 10:42 AM   #14
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Nano-GTK is more like Qtopia, but Nano-X is lightweight X11 implementation - you're right.

However, as LunohoD measured, font rendering in Nano-X is way slower than kdrive + freetype. kdrive is quite fast.

Granted. I was just pointing out that X-Windows is not unreasonable for an embedded device.

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Old 07-08-2008, 10:52 AM   #15
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Enlightenment. Man I haven't used that windows manager in ages. Back in the day when the only developer for the WM was rasterman. I pretty much stopped using it when he stopped developing it.

Have you looked into BlackBox not as nice as Enlightenment, but it is very light weight. I was very skeptical about this WM when it first came out but it has proven itself. Over the years is has built a large community as well as widgets for the BB.

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