LinuxTag Call for Papers

The 15th International LinuxTag will take place during June 24–27, 2009 in Berlin. The LinuxTag 2009 has officially ended the call for papers, but there is still room for interesting talks about mobile & embedded systems. So, if anybody has a nice mobile & embedded topic to talk about, we will consider contributions until March, 5th.

Submit a talk

Integrating the OpenJDK into jalimo

In 2008 we have gathered some general experience with hacking on the OpenJDK, but until now we never made the step to integrate it into the jalimo project. Now we got the great chance to work for BugLabs in order to get the OpenJDK working on there nice devices (see there announcement). As always: our way is to work on an OpenEmbedded integration, which brings us support for all of our target platforms. The first steps are already done: On the picture, you can see the OpenJDK running a SWT application on the Openmoko gta02. The support for the Bugs, Maemo as well as all the other OpenEmbedded distributions comes along with the integration.
OpenJDK on gta02

So, whats the state and what can we expect? We can build and run the full OpenJDK on all of our ARM/Linux platforms. The build receipts are in our SVN. The OpenJDK is not very fast, because there is currently no JIT-compiler support for ARM in the HotSpot runtime. So, there is much work left for the next year: JIT compiler, downsizing the JDK, testing it with SUNs TCK and perhaps name it Java afterwards ;-)

Much thanks to Robert Schuster and Ken Gilmer for all their great work!

FrosCon 2008

Again, the FrosCon in St Augustin, near Bonn (Germany) was a great event! Like in the past, the FrosCon team did a great job to achieve a very high standard in their service and smooth organisation! The most important thing for me was the discussion with much smart people.

I had a talk about ‘mobile development platforms’ from the free software developers view point. The talk had a very good resonance and much people agreed with me about the big need for more standards between the platforms and for more cross platform development solutions. See my slides: PDF version

PhoneME for Maemo and OpenMoko

Robert has done a great work again!
Together with Ken Gilmer from Buglabs he created clean OpenEmbedded receipts for Sun’s PhoneME. Now we have nice packages of the VM for OpenMoko and Maemo in our Jalimo repository! Even the JIT works fine. The PhoneME only supports Java CDC, but has a very fast startup: Hello World in 250ms and SWT application in 4 seconds.

For more info read the original posting from robert.

PhoneME on Maemo

PhoneME on OpenMoko

Linuxtag 2008 and Jalimo update

For me and all people I have talked to, this years Linuxtag in Berlin was a great event. It is still not over, but I can’t attend for the last day. I had three personal highlights:

  • This year, we had a common Mobile and Embedded booth, next to the OpenMoko and Trolltech booth.
  • We had a very nice Maemo track, with a great discussion at the end. Especially Simon had very direct ideas in improving the community situation in Maemo (are your slides already online?)
  • Our jalimo project got a very good resonance by much visitors.

You can see the jalimo slides of my talk, here.

Jalimo booth

ME booth

Jalimo for OpenMoko

The OpenMoko people were so kind to put my blog on the planet. Now I can use also this channel to keep you informed about the Jalimo project and the distribution Integration.

Jalimo is a project for enhancing the Java support across the different mobile&embedded distributions. Over the years Robert Schuster and I where missing continuous Java support in the Linux mobile distributions, we were playing with. Off course there was always a way to get a free JVM running but no one was searching and solving the problems, Java programmers had on targeting those devices. As we also noticed the need for a Java mobile platform in our company, we started Jalimo (approx. one year ago).

Since the beginning of the project we had maemo and OpenMoko in focus, as the primary target platforms. They have different toolchains (Scratchbox vs. OpenEmbedded), which both had no proper Java support. After a period of experimenting we now have a very clean Java support and support for generating maemo packages in OpenEmbedded. So now, beyond maemo and OpenMoko, all the other OpenEmbedded based distributions can use those recipes too, so that we don’t have to redo the work for others.

OpenEmbedded is great for generating a complete distribution but will most likely never be the tool of choice for a usual Java application developer. Those people nowadays mostly use maven. For this reason we have created a packaging plugin for maven. This plugin allows a Java developer to generate .deb or .ipkg packages out of a usual maven project, using a single command. Since the plugin has special support for our target platforms, it allows a smooth integration e.g. it translates the maven dependencies to clean distribution dependencies. With this, we hope, any Java developer can write and deploy Linux mobile apps without changing their used toolchain.

The main packages of Jalimo (which are already integrated in the official OpenMoko repositories) consist of: cacao, gnu classpath and SWT (with GTK peer) for the GUI. This is a set which fulfils the most common requirements, but we support alternatives and additional packages in our extra repositories. e.g. jamvm (with a faster startup), midpath, Swing, java-gnome bindings (unfortunately no recent version), java-dbus and some more. If you like to see support for something not included, please get in touch! For example sometimes I think we also should include the Sun PhoneME, to show the people that we also could choose a very fast JVM, if we want to ;-) but since it seems, that nobody needs it, we don’t have done this integration for now.