I am taking an opportunity to put my message to SlingMedia (Blake?) through my blog to have the client for their Sling* products on GNU/Linux.
As of today (AFAIK), Sling do provide/announced in beta stage the clients for Symbian (S60 based devices), MaC OS, WinCE?? and ofcourse Windows Vista premium and other Windows desktop versions.
I am sure that they are aware of the usage/users of GNU/Linux basically Ubuntu/Debian/RedHat/whatever on Desktops/Laptops/Internet Tablet(N770 and N800 etc) and now coming MID UMPCs specifically as announced by Intel recently. Due to this recent movements, specifically in Embedded Linux + GMAE it makes sense to have or put thought across the Sling management to start developing (again google like beta :)) the client which can run on GNU/Linux desktops as well some of the embedded devices.
It is almost easy to understood that one will find more smart mobiles loaded with S60 and WinCE as of today compared to Linux with sufficiently big screen and so does Sling addressed those OSes based clients, but is there any effort/roadmap Sling is willing to try on Linux based desktops/handhelds?. If we believe that some of the recent research reports for OSes which will penetrate more in smartphones in coming years, then Linux clearly looks likes a winner, with WinCE still leading the race.
It will be not be that easy to move those clients development on GNU/Linux, looking at choices/offerings we have in GNU/Linux world.
* Let's start from the MMI (Man Machine Interface):
- Our world is divided into KDE/GNOME, so the first task Sling has to decided on the graphical framework which can build and satisfy their MMI requirements. Looking at the some of the demos of SlingBox, I don't see that they have very much high requirements in terms of rendering engine - You don't won't iPhone like GUI isn't it.
- Client from the GUI/MMI viewpoint is divided into the controller (remote?) and typical media player, which doesn't demand any fancy stuff, and can be adjustable to N800/N700 kind of screen very well.
* Multimedia Framework
- I am sure that Sling can pick up their internally developed frameworks wherever required as first choice for re-usability and to reduce effort in porting.
- Using GStreamer and adding their plugins on top of it is a good choice, but considering the size of company I don't see that Sling will try to venture into this world at this stage.
- Not to worry much as they are just dealing with client only. But using GTK+ will be better compared to Qt/E. I am sure they don't won't spend time understanding dual licensing. As most of the component there will be covered under LGPL.
* Other middleware components:
- I am sure these all will be sourced from WinCE/Symbian/Mac based client, which should be easily portable on Linux and will remain closed.
- MMI Development and early porting can start with x86 PC running Ubuntu/RH/Fedora and later can be ported to ARM based devices like N800/N700/OpenMoko. Here they will benefit if they use GTK+ as framework to develop their MMI as all three platforms use GTK+ for their applications development. Again it is easy to test MMI and early development for Nxxx and OpenMoko using qemu, so there is no cost involved in procuring the test devices.
- In future this success can be carried easily to Access Linux Platform based mobiles, which should become reality at the end of next year.
- Yes, but sling might have to manage releasing .deb and .rpms to satisfy most of Ubuntu/Debian and RH/Fedora users.
OLPC Laptop: I have received this laptop couple of weeks back, but I have not started any development on that. I have some plans and things to make working on OLPC. I will post photos of this laptop and new perfact N800 leather case I found in Gangaram's book house at MG Road.