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The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet

Hardware: Slashdot: Nokia’s Linux Handheld. It’s to be called the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet, and runs on an open source development platform called Maemo.

This looks really nifty. ARM processor, 800×480 pixel resolution, GTK+, 2.6 kernel, wifi, 3 hours of active battery life, and a clever panning system to get around the clunkiness of scrollbars on a touchscreen.

I note particularly that they seem to have planned to include an RSS reader based on Liferea.

The Maemo site looks interesting, in that it’s clearly a bunch of switched-on, open-source-comprehending developers who set it up; it’s built using Apache Forrest, they use Bugzilla for issue tracking, Mailman for lists, the terms of use for user contributions explicitly call out OSI-approved licenses as a requirement, there’s plentiful references to Debian’s apt as the preferred means of installing developer platform software, and Maemo apps are distributed as Debian packages.

There’s clearly been quite a lot of work going on behind the scenes. There’s already some third-party apps out there, such as those on INdT’s Maemo apps page, and the the SDK tutorial contains copious detail, suggesting it’s been seeing some use.

That SDK tutorial is full of tantalizing glimpses into Maemo’s operation.

It all looks very promising, and nicely hackable! I’m looking forward to a closer look at one of these. It’s especially good to see such a solid comprehension of the open source model by such a major company. (If only they could have a word with their patents department ;)

Update: They’ve ported WebCore to GTK+. Mobile Gazette has more info, too, including this worrying line:

And although Nokia hold several patents for (the Maemo development platform), they intent to open up access to their intellectual property to aid development.

(My emphasis.) That line is not encouraging, seeing as it seems to be a pretty typical cross-compilation platform as seen in embedded systems development. But hey, let’s see the patents first.