Monday, June 22, 2009

Palm, doing open source right

I found this in a roundabout way through the Beagleboard.org blog. Palm has recently started up an open source license compliance program. They have a team that oversees it and have set up a web site, http://opensource.palm.com, where they are releasing the open source packages they used and the modifications. See, is that so hard? Well it is a significant amount of work to set something like this up, but you are getting a ship load of great software for free, so it's well worth it and by sharing your modifications really shows you as a good open source citizen.

There's been so much FUD spread over GPL and LGPL, especially LGPL. Linux wouldn't exist without these licenses. And Linux-based platforms, like the Palm Pre and Android, wouldn't be possible without them either. Neither would a fully open Eclipse CDT-based IDE for MinGW Windows, which due to the anti-GPL rules of Eclipse, there isn't. But, enough griping about that.

Palm looks like it has a hit on its hands with the Pre. I'm still awaiting to see what their SDK looks like. So far, it looks like a bunch of Javascript, much like Android is with Java. I'm currently looking at these platforms with an eye on gaming. The Pre certainly has the hardware for it. Even my little Android phone draws a mean triangle. But you need access to that hardware to get good frame rates, which for me means native code, of course.

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