GNOME Mobile & Embedded Initative
The GNOME Foundation announced today the creation of the GNOME Mobile & Embedded
Initiative (GMAE), and a software platform for user experience development
across a wide range of device profiles.
"GNOME continues to drive the cutting edge of Open Source and Free Software
innovation. With the GNOME Mobile & Embedded Initiative, GNOME expands the
reach of Software Freedom to new devices, new markets, and new audiences",
said Jeff Waugh, founder of the GNOME Mobile & Embedded Initiative and a
director of the GNOME Foundation board. "Developers will not only have the
means to create great mobile and embedded software, but the freedom to
envision and create fundamentally new kinds of devices, for entirely new
Mobile, embedded and converged devices comprise one of the most rapidly
growing segments of the technology landscape, accounting for sales of
billions of units per year. Analysts estimate that by 2010, one out of two
smartphones will be based on Free and Open source software, and growth in
this space is already faster than that of proprietary devices (Canalys,
2006). The mobile and embedded device space represents an unprecedented
opportunity for third-party developers.
The GNOME Mobile & Embedded Initiative will advance the use, development and
commercialization of GNOME components as a mobile and embedded user
experience platform. It brings together industry leaders, expert
consultants, key developers and the community and industry organizations
they represent. The initiative aims to:
* Increase community and commercial visibility of GMAE technology and
* Coordinate investment in the GTK+ and GNOME platform, documentation and
* Increase development focus on the "mobile experience", particularly the
integration of GNOME desktop and GMAE technology.
* Facilitate healthy development collaboration between participating
organizations, the GNOME community and related projects; and between
GNOME platform, desktop and GMAE developers.
* Pursue standardization opportunities for the platform, and potentially at
the user experience level.
* Ensure that Software Freedom is a reality beyond the desktop, and
available in the hands of users around the world.
"This initiative augments a thriving commercial and community ecosystem
around GNOME for mobile and embedded applications", noted Bill Weinberg,
Principal Analyst at LinuxPundit. "Building on freely-licensed GTK+,
GStreamer, and other GNOME software, the GNOME Mobile & Embedded Initiative
provides a level playing field for companies and developers, for products
and projects, offering a platform for innovation and collaboration."
Founding organizations announcing their participation today include GNOME
Foundation supporters ACCESS, Canonical, Debian, Igalia, Imendio, Intel,
Nokia, OLPC, OpenedHand and Red Hat, and GMAE contributors CodeThink,
Collabora, FIC, Fluendo, Kernel Concepts, Movial, Nomovok, Openismus,
Vernier, Waugh Partners and Wolfson Microelectronics.
Bridging industry and community, the GNOME Mobile & Embedded Initiative
involves Open Source projects such as Avahi, BlueZ, Cairo, GNOME, GPE,
GStreamer, GTK+, Hildon, Maemo, Matchbox, OpenMoko, Telepathy and Tinymail;
and industry organisations CELF, the Linux Foundation and LiPS.
A number of additional participants will announce their involvement at a
later date, due to product schedules and other disclosure issues.
The GNOME Mobile & Embedded Platform is a subset of the proven, widely used
GNOME Platform. In addition to the core user experience toolkit (GTK+), the
platform includes crucial functionality such as multimedia support
(GStreamer), instant messaging and presence (Telepathy), Bluetooth (BlueZ),
contacts and calendaring (E-D-S), and network service discovery (Avahi).
APIs are available for developers using C, C++ or Python.
Following GNOME's highly successful licensing strategy, the GNOME Mobile &
Embedded Platform is distributed under the terms of the LGPL, which allows
for royalty-free use in proprietary software products, but encourages
contribution of platform code changes back to the community. This, combined
with a thriving open development process supported by industry and
community, makes the GMAE Platform uniquely suited to the needs of mobile
and embedded developers.
The platform definition announced today represents components that are
currently shipping in production devices, but GMAE participants are planning
to grow the platform aggressively in the next twelve months, to enable new
technologies and functionality. Components already under consideration
include the Java Mobile & Embedded platform (Java ME), a geolocation service
(GeoClue), a hardware information system (HAL), an audio management service
(PulseAudio), and a mobile email framework (Tinymail).
The GNOME Mobile & Embedded Platform is already a key technology component
in a wide range of products and projects, including those from GMAE
participants such as the Intel Mobile Internet Device (MID), the Nokia N770
and N800 web tablet, the One Laptop Per Child XO laptop, the OpenMoko
Neo1973 mobile phone, the Vernier LabQuest; the Sugar, Hildon and GPE user
interfaces; and the ACCESS Linux Platform.
As an open development community, GMAE participants are keen to hear from
other organisations and developers using these technologies. Please
introduce yourself to the community on our development mailing list, or
contact Jeff Waugh for more information (details below).
Industry & Community Support
The GNOME Mobile & Embedded Initiative enjoys strong support from industry
and community leaders:
* "As Linux becomes increasingly important in the portable Internet device
and mobile segments, the GNOME Mobile & Embedded initiative is imperative
for the community to collaborate on building a strong experience for
mobile device users. We look forward to contributing and participating in
the initiative to advance Embedded Linux." -- Imad Sousou, Director of
Open Source Technology Center, Intel
* "GNOME is an active and truly open developer community creating
innovative software. This is why Nokia joined the community and chose
GNOME software as a foundation for the Maemo platform and our Internet
Tablets. We are excited about the growing use of GNOME software in
consumer devices. The GNOME Mobile & Embedded Initiative will now take
this further by bringing together community and industry to promote and
coordinate the continued development of the GMAE platform." -- Ari
Jaaksi, Director of Open Source Software Oprations, Nokia
* "With OpenedHand's core business over the past five years being focused
on the development and improvement of GNOME based embedded devices, we
are extremely pleased to be part of the formation of the GNOME Mobile &
Embedded Initiative. These technologies give device manufacturers
unrivaled freedom and flexibility in device creation. GMAE further paves
the way for collaboration between companies and the community to further
innovations and benefit all involved." -- Matthew Allum, CEO, OpenedHand
* "As one of the oldest corporate contributors to the GNOME Project, Red
Hat is excited to see GNOME move into new spaces beyond the desktop.
We've seen the flexibility of the platform with the new UI we've created
for the One Laptop per Child project, which is based on the blending of
technologies that both GNOME and Red Hat bring to the table. GNOME will
be an incredibly important technology in our drive to build new markets
in the client space." -- Brian Stevens, CTO at Red Hat
* "With its long term focus on simplified, usable human interfaces, the
entrance of the GNOME project onto the mobile and embedded scene is a
welcome one. Add in the widespread corporate and community support that
the parent project enjoys, and the GNOME Mobile & Embedded Initiative is
a project to follow." -- Stephen O'Grady, Principal Analyst, RedMonk
For many more perspectives from industry and community, please see the quote
sheet accompanying this release.
More information about the GNOME Mobile & Embedded Initiative can be found