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Old 02-23-2005, 05:52 AM   #1
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PalmSource abandoning HotSync

From Brighthand this morning: PalmSource is going to switch to SyncML, a widely used, open standard for information synchronization, according to a report in Computing. PalmSource didn't give a timetable for when the switch to SyncML is going to be made, but it's most likely going to happen with Palm OS for Linux, which isn't expected to be released for some time.

PalmSource is doing it right by embracing open standards. If you've ever had the chance to mess around with MS ActiveSync, you know what I mean: ActiveSync = slow, buggy, and incompatible on non-Windows systems.
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Old 02-23-2005, 10:06 AM   #2
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Yeah, yeah...typical Palmsource. they are changing things left and right - OS5, OS6, Linux Kernel, now syncML...developers and OEM don't have time to relearn/recode everything and long time users will be disappointed (pi$sed Off). No wonder most OEM's are signing off and few if any new ones are signing on.

Hate to see a ship without a direction, especially one you ridden on for so long...
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Old 02-23-2005, 10:53 AM   #3
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I think on the surface they say... no change, just a smooth continuation.
But in private they are thinking... this is the revolution and completely new fresh start that will make us great.
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Old 02-23-2005, 11:08 AM   #4
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Ahem, SyncML is the farthest thing from "open standard" as can be. In fact, many people (mostly the Free Software community), are staying far, far away from it, because it has very specific licensing requirements, due to patents that encumber the "standard", developed and owned by Pumasoft (from the "Intellisync" project).

Check the SyncML, SyncMLDS and various other mailing list archives for this topic coming up over and over and over, with very vague responses from people about where it can, and cannot be used.

But then again, HotSync is also just as far from an "open standard" as SyncML, but at least there's a patent-free, unencumbered, functional alternative that works on 11 platforms... today... and it isn't a product from Palmsource.

Why they insist on going down this NIH path again and again and again amuses me. They did it with POSE, then prc-tools, then Eclipse, and now HotSync.

Their FUD about it opening doors for OSX or Linux is just tripe.. we've had pilot-link working on Linux since 1996, and in fact, we support more Palm handheld devices than Palm themselves do...

Over the last 2 years, pilot-link has also been gaining support in commercial products like MissingSync and SyncBuddy, as well as several others.

So basically the move to SyncML is going to drop Linux users off the planet (or at least leave them with a very risky solution), and leave OSX users with Yet Another Product to install and convert over to, instead of using what already works on those platforms and environments. Instead of working with the existing support community, they once again decide to work against us.

Good going Palmsource.
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Old 02-23-2005, 11:19 AM   #5
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Hate to see a ship without a direction, especially one you ridden on for so long...
I agree. All the announcements of late project a very confused image on prospective customers(OEMs and end-users). I don't see any advantage in using SyncML instead of HotSync. If it's not broke, don't fix it, I say.
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Old 02-23-2005, 11:22 AM   #6
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Hacker, thanks for the clarification. I really didn't know about the restrictive licensing requirements!

Is it just me or do you you also feel that PalmSource is doing a lot of press releases lately, but without showing tangible results?
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Old 02-23-2005, 12:19 PM   #7
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It seems the PalmSource is trying to match PalmOne for bone-headed business decisions. I still think that the beginning of the end came when Palm bought HandSpring.

Maybe I should start stocking up on Zodiac2's now. Or should I wait until they release one with Wi-Fi?
POL9A
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Old 02-23-2005, 01:21 PM   #8
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Maybe I should start stocking up on Zodiac2's now. Or should I wait until they release one with Wi-Fi?
POL9A
Hasn't Tapwave announced they won't be releasing a new PDA in 2005? Tapwave could go under at any time.

Is Nokia PC Suite based on SyncML? PC Suite is awful. One of Palm's few remaining advantages is Hotsync. Hotsync is by far the fastest and most reliable sync program on any PDA platform.
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Old 02-23-2005, 01:50 PM   #9
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Hasn't Tapwave announced they won't be releasing a new PDA in 2005? Tapwave could go under at any time.
I guess that now's the time to surplus my beloved Zodiac2. If I weren't a Mac kinda guy, I'd have all sorts of beautiful PPC PDA's to choose from, but being a Mac guy and being failed by PalmOne, my only resource is the little guy (Tapwave.) Yeah, they could go under any day now, but I think that their innovation is continuing where Sony left off and hopefully will continue to push PalmOne towards non-boring-and-safe PDA's.

Maybe I'll let the Zodiac2 drop a few more dollars before I get a-spending.
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Old 02-23-2005, 01:57 PM   #10
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HotSync Fast & Reliable? Well, I haven't compared to any other program... I guess it works well enough for me. As a user, I wouldn't mind something that would work better than HotSyc. I've had a large number of glitches, and have some problems almost daily.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wshwe
Hasn't Tapwave announced they won't be releasing a new PDA in 2005? Tapwave could go under at any time.

Is Nokia PC Suite based on SyncML? PC Suite is awful. One of Palm's few remaining advantages is Hotsync. Hotsync is by far the fastest and most reliable sync program on any PDA platform.
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Old 02-24-2005, 04:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker
So basically the move to SyncML is going to drop Linux users off the planet (or at least leave them with a very risky solution), and leave OSX users with Yet Another Product to install and convert over to, instead of using what already works on those platforms and environments.
What about the Sync4j project?

The Sync4j Project is an open source initiative to deliver a complete mobile application platform implementing the SyncML protocol. SyncML defines a standard way to synchronize data and remotely manage devices. Sync4j has now more then 9,000 downloads per month.

Sync4j is multi-device and multi-platform aware, running both on Windows and Linux machines. So how is SyncML going to drop Linux users off?
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Old 02-24-2005, 05:09 PM   #12
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Sync4j is multi-device and multi-platform aware, running both on Windows and Linux machines. So how is SyncML going to drop Linux users off?
It isn't going to drop them off, just a long period of no support for their device.

Its a ground-up rewrite of every conduit and application that needs to support it SyncML on Linux and OSX. Not exactly something the conduit authors want to endeavour upon, least of which, me. There's no existing SyncML/Palm code or conduits out there to leverage, to speed this up.

And its Java, which is an enormous blocker for many users who are on legacy Unix systems, or embedded systems where running a jvm is not an option.

I should also quote from the SyncML license:
"Implementation of all or part of any Specification may require licenses under third party intellectual property rights, including without limitation, patent rights (such a third party may or may not be a Supporter). The Sponsors of the Specification are not responsible and shall not be held responsible in any manner for identifying or failing to identify any or all such third party intellectual property rights."
That's enough to scare most, if not all, potential SyncML developers off.. since it basically forbids you from writing anything that follows the spec that you intend to sell or give away in source format.

I have no idea what it costs to be "allowed" to use the SyncML specification, but I certainly can't afford it, and I'm sure most other developers won't be able to as well.
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Old 02-24-2005, 10:13 PM   #13
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Hasn't Tapwave announced they won't be releasing a new PDA in 2005? Tapwave could go under at any time.
Is there any causality in these two statements? Tapwave is profitable and doing fine, last I checked. You don't have to keep releasing devices willy nilly to stay in business. In fact, that behavior was one of the keys to Sony's exit from the market. They released too often and buyers often passed on Clies, knowing there was a better model only a few months away. Sony turned the mistake that nearly killed Palm with the m500 into a business model.
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Old 02-26-2005, 03:38 AM   #14
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Tam Hanna explains why he thinks SyncML is not necessarily a bad thing:

Quote:
So, what will happen with SyncML? Personally, I beleive that the transition will be a slow one, with PalmSource eventually fading out the old HotSync architecture. But wait-isn't SyncML mainly a standard for syncing via bluetooth? At least thats the only place where my eyes ever spotted it. So, why won't this happen?
PalmSource retains the HotSync conduits, but integrates a SyncML protocol into its bluetoth stack. This would significantly enhance bluetooth usability-as one can't even send a file from a PocketPC to a Tungsten T3 via the bluetooth radio link!
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Old 02-26-2005, 08:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander
Tam Hanna explains why he thinks SyncML is not necessarily a bad thing:
Unfortunately, his comments are completely irrelevant, because Palmsource is less than 10% of the conduit market, and they only support Windows.

He also ignores the 800-pound gorilla that is sitting on top of SyncML: lots of patents, and vague licensing.

There are just too many people driving with blinders on.
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