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Handhelds Power Ubuntu Linux Hardware

Surveying the Challenges of Linux On Cortex A9-Based Laptops 119

Posted by timothy
from the multiple-fronts dept.
Charbax writes "In this video, Jerone Young, lead partner engineer at Canonical, explains some of the challenges facing Canonical and other companies who are part of the new Linaro project, in preparation for the now imminent release of a whole bunch of ARM Cortex A9 Powered laptops and desktops likely to be manufactured by giants of the industry such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Toshiba, as well as lesser names such as Quanta, Invetec, Pegatron, and Compal, all of whom have been showing tens of early prototype designs of these ARM-powered laptops at trade shows around the world during the past year and a half. They're working to standardize the boot process, write drivers to use graphics and video hardware acceleration, optimize the web browser (Chrome and Mozilla), and implement faster DDR3 RAM and faster I/O bus speeds, as well as to optimize the software to use the new faster dual core ARM Cortex A9 processors."
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Surveying the Challenges of Linux On Cortex A9-Based Laptops

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  • by Qubit (100461) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @10:06AM (#32810296) Homepage Journal

    Here we go again. I'm getting an "Internal Server Error", but who knows exactly why the page is down.

    Coral Cache link is here, [nyud.net], and it'll theoretically work, well, that is if I can ever get the page to load...

    Too bad about RTFA, I guess, for once it looks like I can base my post solely on the summary and not feel an ounce of guilt. Let's see...I don't know much about Pegatron, but if their laptops don't come with a pair of wings and a horse head attached I think I'm going to feel let down.

  • by Alinabi (464689) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @10:56AM (#32811108)

    10 hours is already more time than I know what to do with with my netbook

    Not traveling much, are you? A flight from Los Angeles to Sydney takes 14-15 hours.

  • Re:Tablet Design (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Abcd1234 (188840) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @11:02AM (#32811208) Homepage

    I'd like to see this in an open source hardware project to create what we all thought was going to be the crunchpad. This would be so cool.

    Unfortunately, the hardware is just a part of the equation. The other side is really solid, touch-capable software. And, despite being a Linux user for, oh, 15 years now, there's one thing I can say about the open source community: in the 15 years I've been involved with Linux, OSS developers still can't seem to get a handle on building intuitive, user-friendly, clean, fluid user interfaces.

  • Re:Lesser names? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @11:59AM (#32812126)

    it says lesser names not lesser companies. So ultimately it is 100% correct.

  • Re:ARM vs Geode (Score:3, Insightful)

    by StuartHankins (1020819) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:09PM (#32812308)
    Nah, if it's truly a better platform then Apple will jump again. They've spent quite a bit of effort / time / money in the processes needed for this type of switch and performed very well in their previous jump. If anything Microsoft will have a far harder time doing this because of the backwards compatibility needs.

    I wonder if Apple patented any of the central ideas needed for this when they did Rosetta. It's pretty transparent the way it works under OS X -- I'm using Tiger (soon to be upgraded) and there are several PPC processes running right now.
  • Re:Tablet Design (Score:4, Insightful)

    by l0b0 (803611) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:27PM (#32812668) Homepage

    There seems to be a very common notion that the study and implementation of usability is for wimps and people who should have kept out of science, real nerds/geeks don't need no stinkin' GUI, user testing is boring and expensive, you see where this is going. And the really sad thing is that managers don't care much either, as long as the result is below their personal pain threshold. So we end up with interfaces which are barely usable to computer literates, and thus unusable to anyone with less experience. This has nothing to do with OSS, it's an industry thing.

  • Re:Tablet Design (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gtall (79522) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:12PM (#32813300)

    Just to amplify that, there is no acid test for when a gui is a good gui. In addition, what's a good gui for a novice is not necessarily a good gui for an experienced person. The only way to get a good gui is to do user testing, and not just any group of users will do. So a company either whacks together something an engineer thought was a good gui, or relies on a gui guru who knows how past guis work so the next one must be just like the others.

    Add to those problems that a good gui can easily take over 50% of your development time. And it won't really work unless the underlying system it is abstracting is already there. So you can spend more time doing a Potemkin village for your gui developers so they aren't waiting for the underlying system developers to finish. But now you have the problem of combining the underlying system with the gui using more time. The consequence is the system gets drawn up first, and now it is time to draw up the gui. But Sales is climbing on your back saying they need it yesterday because they've already sold one. So system developing starts up before the gui gets drawn up. By the time the gui is being developed, time is already short and so anything that half-way works get shoved out the door.

  • Re:Tablet Design (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Abcd1234 (188840) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:16PM (#32815432) Homepage

    People like choice. There is room in the market for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Symbian, and the list goes on. I'm not even sure what point you are trying to make.

    Then go re-read my post, as clearly your reading comprehension is failing you.

    I stated that OSS projects build shitty UIs.
    The responder said "Hey look, Android is awesome and it's OSS."
    I responded with "And yet the UI pales compared to a closed-source project like iOS, and it's still a single company driving development, unlike your average OSS project, so it's not even that good an example."

    Do you get it now? Do I need to use smaller words?

    This is just pure FUD.

    No it's not. I invoked no fear, created no uncertainty, nor implied any doubt.

    Aside from the kernel (which has fuck-all to do with the UI), does android have a large community of volunteer developers? No. It's no different than, say, Java: virtually all development is done by a single, commercial organization, that then releases their work for free. That's extremely commendable, and I would never claim it's a problem. But it does mean that most of the development is being done by a focused group of paid developers, directed by a company with a unified vision, and that makes it *very very different* from a traditional OSS project like, say, Gnome or KDE. As such, Android can achieve, in the UI, what a typical OSS project seems incapable of.

    Now, please, Android-fanboy, leave me alone. This discussion was never meant to be focused on Android versus iOS, it was simply an example, and one I didn't even bring up. It's a broader discussion about the drawbacks of the open source software development model, *specifically in the area of UI development*. If you can't handle that, move on, I have better things to do than deal with the hate-on you have for Apple and the woody you get from Android.

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