proposal: how to the unify the user interface

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at sharism.cc
Wed Jul 7 21:54:55 EDT 2010


Ron,

> Ben Nanonote is a clever device, but it's not
> clear (to me) that considering Ben as the base
> for a significant next product is a sound idea.

Puh. We tried so many times to explain this project to you.
This is a copyleft hardware project. The roadmap for NanoNote, manufactured
by Sharism is:
Ben -> Ya -> Mu -> Guo
All of them will have more or less the same outside form factor. They
will move towards more and more freedom. Maybe the Ya NanoNote is exactly
like the Ben, only with free CAD design and free production testing software.

That would be a cool launch headline:
Ya NanoNote: now with free CAD design and production testing software. Yay!

IMO there is no point in making improved copyleft hardware until the free
software we have today maxes out our current hardware. The Ben is great
today, and becomes more and more useful every month. But still it's far
less usable than any proprietary dictionary device. Not good. That needs
to be improved before hardware improvements are made. Or does copyleft
hardware to you mean to spend a lot of money in hardware to overcome
the deficiencies of free software and content?
I have no problem selling the Ben NanoNote for another 5 years. There is
no copyleft hardware competition anyway, and we have time to make the free
technology really solid, deeper and more usable.

Marc - about the screen. Just 3 months ago we found out that the drive IC
is actually made by Ilitek, not Giantplus (the LCM module maker). As a next
step I want to go visit Ilitek, to talk about their roadmap, openly
available datasheets, who their main customers (LCM module makers) are, etc.
This is to protect the investment made into free technology, in this case by
Lars who wrote the Ilitek drive IC GPL driver and is currently pushing it
upstream. Changing the QVGA resolution would also throw us back in many
areas that are just now developing (OpenWrt, Jlime).

All of this will remain stable - free software continuity is key to the
success of this project. I am using my Ben NanoNote all the time, and I
wouldn't want the successor to be worse than the Ben!?
That doesn't sound like a very sound idea to me.

When we have enough good free software and content on the Ben, and enough
proven hardware hacks on the Ben, we know it's time to move to Ya.
Way to go Ben NanoNote! :-)
Wolfgang




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