To clarify: yes i know linux is a kernel. 'Look everyone, i have the latest linux kernel on my phone and i compiled it myself ..' Big whoop. My question is : can you dial a number ? can i talk to someone at the other side of the connection ? Can the phone connect to my bluetooth earpiece ? Will i be able to sync my addressbook to Opera / Outlook / Firefox / Iceweasel ?
That is what i'm getting at. It looks to me that, instead of finishing a complete working phone (and i couldn't care less what kernel you use. The purpose of a phone is to dial a number and be able to talk to someone. ) they are taking of in different directions and focussing ont he wrong things first.
First get the phone working. Once that's done focus on the phonebook , then add support for bluetoooth earpiece. Then deal on syncing phonebooks .. get the FUNCTIONALITY operational first ! When all that is done you can deal with the bloody eyecandy and glitz. Then i don't care what fancy colorsceme , java applets , browsers, music and video players, ringtone downloaders and other stuff you come up with.
All is see coming out of the 'linux world' is endless discussions about wether to use vi or emacs or kde vs gnome and what flashy fancy new coloursceme/gui/eyecandy they came up with. It's an order of magnitude worse than microsoft ! (they only upgrade their 'look' once every 5 years or so ...) I don't need the vista aero interface, heck i don't need the XP interface.. The Win2k 'style' works for me. It has buttons i can click on that do stuff...
That's where i applaud google's initiative. They give you the platform that has the phone part down and deals with all the hardware stuff. Now go and be creative with it. Take this free platform and make some applications i can install that make the phone usefull.
I have a windows mobile base phone (Samsung Blackjack ) it does everything i need. i can dial a number or look it up in the phonebook , it works with my bluetooth earpiece, it works with my handsfree bluetooth in the car. i can sync my contacts with outlook (and indirectly with opera) i can read google mail ( thank you google for the free gmail app ) it runs google maps. i have opera mini installed (on the odd case i need to get on the web to find the closest starbucks) i have iSilo installed so i can read text while on the plane. if i need a quick picture of my scribblings on the whiteboard in the meetingroom the camera works fine. It's got a calendar and i even have GPS software running on it that talks to a bluetooth gps module i got cheap (50 $).
It works for what i need it to work. When i come home i push the OFF button anyway. My phone is a work instrument. If you can give me the same functionality on a cheaper phone ( linux is cheaper then the windows mobile licence ) that has a longer battery life i will definitely buy one. But 45 $ for a blackjack (with a 2 year contract ) will be VERY hard to beat.
Anyway, long rant-n-rave. But again what i'm getting at is : join al the developers up to build tha working phone PLATFORM first. Then i don;t care if everybody goes a different way and designs different ui's and applications. Diversity is good as long as the foundations is there.