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Old 07-26-2006, 08:53 AM   #1
arivero
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It is iReX turn to open the machine

OK, I have been trapped into 2.5 and most users will. The first set of developing hacks do not work anymore.

Now, we know that the machine is designed around a dispatched and that a single resource/configuration file let one to install new readers. Again, OK, if this is the standard way, we can follow it. Give us an option to install a shell dispatcher, or even to install arbitrary applications.

In ten days, the iReX user community has shown knowledge of the machine. We have shown working examples of utilities currently lacking. Between them

-playing of MP3 audio
-rotation of the display
-WWW navigation

Other users had already setup compilation environments, and even executed the iLiad system inside the standard emulator "scratchbox". We were ready to do open source development in paralell to iRex efforts. There was a .djvu reading and some image manipulation things alreasy in the queue. And perhaps USB keyboards and some bluetooth thingies.

We could try to crack again 2.5, and then 2.6 and then... But it could be easier if simply an access to the instalation of "readers" were provided.

So, is iRex hearing?
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:20 AM   #2
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They are, I have reason to believe. But do they care? I don't know.
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Old 07-26-2006, 10:34 AM   #3
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Well, they will offer a free SDK. In the announcement they wrote, that everyody can install software created with that SDK.

So I would say:

Don't worry! Wait for the SDk and everything will be fine.

Quote:
In order to become a ‘private’ developer for the iLiad platform, below procedure needs to be followed in order to setup the iLiad development environment:

developers visit this web-site to register themselves as a developer;
after registration, the iDS will send a file to your iLiad that will install the development environment automatically;
by connecting the iLiad to your PC using the network connection you can logon to the developer environment; tools and an example of existing viewers can be downloaded from this web-site;
all functions including communication, file access, touch screen input and display access are made available for the developer.

When a viewer is developed, several possibilities exist:

The viewer can be installed by any iLiad user (even non-developers) on the iLiad internal memory, that can be accessed using the USB connection to the PC, allowing developers to distribute their viewer to all iLiad users. iRex may decide to formally support the viewer as a default viewer for a specific document type. If an iLiad user tries to open content that requires this viewer, but that is not yet available on its iLiad, through iDS the viewer can be made available automatically at the next connect cycle. A combination of the above.
In the meanwhile go searching for the flash loader, there must be one. But don't expect any less obscure initiation method then on the Clamshell Zaurus. There you have to remove the battery cover and press some keys. While I had thought about pressing some key, I would not have thought about removing the battery cover. Hmmmm...as we do not have a battery cover why not try to remove the pen and press some keys.... ;-)

Last edited by R2D2; 07-26-2006 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 07-26-2006, 10:42 AM   #4
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Device: Iliad, dude!
I guess there are two possibilities

1 - the environment allows a static network connection and login to the iliad, and documentation how things work, and we'll be able to port whatever we like.

2 - we get some crippled access (think special user in chroot), have to register ourselves, develop over ssh and compile directly on the machine, and if something works, they'll take it and claim it's theirs.


$10 on "2".
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Old 07-26-2006, 10:44 AM   #5
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The following extract from the same page does IMHO also make sense and should maybe a bit encouraged by us. I at least understand.

Quote:
Furthermore, we also trust that the world wide development community understands and acknowledges the fact that iRex needs to strike the right balance in order to:

provide a platform that publishers fully trust and support so that commercial content can be delivered;

generate revenue to recover the initial investments made over the last years;

generate revenue in order to develop the next generation products;

and for most to: provide a product to the consumer that he/she enjoys using.
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2
The following extract from the same page does IMHO also make sense and should maybe a bit encouraged by us. I at least understand.
Weeeeelllllllllll. The success of the Zaurii comes mostly from the good open source alternative OS'es you can install. The original OS is pretty boring. The game is: Sharp lets people do all kinds of things with their Zaurii -> People develop open source software for free -> People buy Zaurii -> Revenue for Sharp.

Trying to keep open source developers down / controlled is pretty stupid. iRex doesn't sell software, but devices. OS developers are not the competition. If they are good, they will make people buy Iliads. If they are bad, nobody will use their software and iRex' sales are as before.

OS developers cost you nothing (but a reflash utility) but generate consumers. They do it for fun, so iRex should better make them having fun, and not start this childish war against its user.

Just my $.02
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:20 AM   #7
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Hmmm..the Zaurus was not that success it was intended to be. In Japan the new models are mostly used for translation.People need that, so it is successful. In Europe it has disappeared.That is very sad, as it is so powerful. But the "normal" people just do not honour that.

In anyway, I do not think that iRex will start a war on its users. Not now.
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ali
Trying to keep open source developers down / controlled is pretty stupid. iRex doesn't sell software, but devices. OS developers are not the competition. If they are good, they will make people buy Iliads. If they are bad, nobody will use their software and iRex' sales are as before.
I don't think that Irex is anti-open source development on the iLiad... Announcing a SDK available later in the year indicates they are pretty "pro" it...
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:38 AM   #9
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I think, they like us hacking into the machine and telling tem how we did it, so they can counter those measures. That gives them a closed environment based on an open source OS, with enogh security for their contentproviders and on the other hand enough freedom for the developers, to have make applications they want.

So lets keep testing the machine
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Old 07-26-2006, 12:02 PM   #10
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I completely disagree. You can have an open environment and encrypted documents. No problem. You can even make it pretty safe, much safer than by trying to lock people out.

I don't think they'll provide a useful SDK. I don't think they'll attract a lot of open source developers, just because they completely suck when it comes to software.

They improve battery life by a meager 22% and claim "Average battery life before recharge is greatly improved". That's not "it". Those guys who are right now developing for the iliad will not provide a stable and fast OS.

I fear the Iliad will not be a success because the software is crap. They are selling a product to be taken into a plane's cockpit, but sometimes the wireless won't shut down, and the usable time is 25% of what is advertised. This won't work. Never.

They need open source developers to fix the things they can't do themselves, but they are scaring them away.
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Old 07-26-2006, 12:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ali
I fear the Iliad will not be a success because the software is crap. They are selling a product to be taken into a plane's cockpit, but sometimes the wireless won't shut down, and the usable time is 25% of what is advertised. This won't work. Never.
Um... Ever wonder why we had state that we knew it wasn't a finished product...? Basing the illiad on what it has now is like assuming Vista or IE will suck because of the betas. Um... Hang-on...
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Old 07-26-2006, 12:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jęd
Um... Ever wonder why we had state that we knew it wasn't a finished product...? Basing the illiad on what it has now is like assuming Vista or IE will suck because of the betas. Um... Hang-on...
No, they are selling it right now on MyAirplane.com, and they claim it has 21 hours battery life. Aircraft magazines will test software 2.5. They have customers that didn't say they knew the software wasn't ready. They need stable software right now, and have lousy programmers.
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Old 07-26-2006, 12:38 PM   #13
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Trying to get them to give you the SDK now is like trying to read over their shoulder, or... well, just imagine you're hacking into the iLiad yourself, and your mother walks in and starts "oh, why don't you... let me just type this... hey, what's this?"... Christ! You'd be pushing her out the room saying "this is important! let me finish!". They are trying to actually get it ready for a "real" launch, with everything working, if they opened up for developers now, it would also mean giving them support (reflashing all those bricked iLiads, lol) and spending time on something that they just can't handle at the moment. I'm sure they'll be glad to have you when they're ready for it.
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Old 07-26-2006, 12:45 PM   #14
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there must be an easy way to reflash that thing.
even Siemens managed to make the SIMPad nearly unbrickable (bootloader menu over comport, you can erase full or parts of the OS flash or upload a new OS image over the serial line)

Or something like the Zauri have, a service menu, allowing the user to load a new OS image from a flash card.

the hard way would be if you could only reflash with JTAG, with the SIMPad you only had to use that option if you totally bricked it (=killed the bootloader).

Last edited by b_k; 07-26-2006 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
They are selling a product to be taken into a plane's cockpit, but sometimes the wireless won't shut down, and the usable time is 25% of what is advertised. This won't work. Never.
It might be going into aircraft cockpits but it is NOT CERTIFIED, and is used only as a convenience, specifically just keeps from having to carry pounds of approach plates/documentation etc. It is used in general aviation aircraft (small private aircraft) only and not in air carrier operations - airliners (yet).

Quote:
No, they are selling it right now on MyAirplane.com, and they claim it has 21 hours battery life. Aircraft magazines will test software 2.5. They have customers that didn't say they knew the software wasn't ready. They need stable software right now, and have lousy programmers.
The eFlyBook is from what we have seen the first "B2B" product that has been released. Who knows to what extent this device is really ready for prime time.

Actually the eFlyBook uses a different firmware version that is specific to the format that their content is published in. I was told this by someone at Myairplane.com. I could not get a lot of information from him regarding differences or the capability of the unit currently as he was at the world's largest general aviation airshow (Oshkosh) at the time he answered the phone and was quite busy. I would not think that there would be too many differences in firmware other than the ability to read a different file type.

This is all of course an assumption. ARINC's involvement in the project might have a much bigger impact on their specific firmware. ARINC is a large corporation and have set standards in the aviation industry including a number of avionics interface/bus protocols. We do not know what kind of SDK might have been made available to them, if at all. One could assume that they have a large technical talent pool that might be up to the task of implementing their own iLiad firmware. This again is an assumption. In the end only iRex knows.

I "signed" a disclaimer to get this unit and as such I guess I will have to either wait for iRex or all you talented hackers to get the functionality that I desire. Maybe we should all practice a little patience.

Last edited by firekat; 07-26-2006 at 01:52 PM.
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