Archive for January, 2007

Open iPhone petition

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Sigmalab stands behind the petition to open up iPhone to third party applications. We realize that there is no concrete news yet but we feel a strong signal to Apple is in order.


Thursday, January 11th, 2007

I have seen the movies. I have seen the keynote. Like always Jobs gives a stunning show, a great comeback after the one where people felt he didn’t give his best. He’s back.
It’s THE most interesting piece of mobile device I have seen, ever.

I as a geek, phone user, mp3 wannabe, net-a-holic anonymous, want this baby (last time I was almost as interested was for the Sony Ericsson K750.)

I do have some technical issues with it like the fact that I didn’t notice support for playing radio but I would guess you could get an external one, like for the iPod’s. I haven’t noticed if it can act as a recording device. No, it’s not UMTS nor it has a self looking camera but I don’t feel the need for those features. Battery could be an issue. No apparent external memory slots but where did you see a mobile phone with 4/8 GB, even with memory sticks?
I don’t know what the hardware inside is but it seems to be able to cope with this mobile version of OSX. My guess is XScale (Intel) (link) but it might as well be something coming from Freescale (former Motorola, Apple has known to have had some experience with this company in the past :)) or it could be a whole new design by PortalPlayer. My guess also is that they have a (awesome) graphic accelerator and it looks like nVidia is involved as it seems they want to acquire PortalPlayer. I somehow would have thought that ATI might provide as they too have graphic accelerators for mobile devices but it seems Apple has gone the other way (non AMD).

I now put my developers hat on and ask some questions. Will average Joe’s be able to develop applications for this baby, there was no mention of installing apps? Will Apple force us to use Objective C (which starts to feature some nice stuff like garbage collection in version 2.0, can’t wait to check it out) or will we be able to use more traditional methods as well, namely Java and embedded C/C++? Will the SDK’s be free? Will there be any SDK’s?
I really (really, really, really) hope for a positive reply on the Java side and expect a full CDC implementation with all the niceties that the SavaJe Jasper S20 had, including the JSR-209 spec. Who knows, maybe even full Java would be possible? As JavaMe (or phoneMe :)) went GPL I guess Apple will probably license it from Sun or some other vendor in order to keep the iPhone software as closed as possible and keep the competitive edge. I also believe users should be able to upgrade their Java VM (unlike on the Windows Mobile platform where generally devices ship with a limited java implementation and you need to get a license from IBM a decent Java for Windows Mobile – J9) which begs again the question, why didn’t Jobs mention if application can be installed on iPhone?

My guess is that the SDK’s are simply not quite ready or in-house only so he decided to wait to deliver yet another great presentation dedicated to developers. It would have been difficult to keep iPhone a top secret project if SDK’s were flying around before it got announced. In the end I think Jobs knows very well how third party apps are essential to make a computing platform many times more appealing that anything Apple can cook by itself. But… there is a chance (slim) that Apple will want to keep this system closed. In the end, is the iPhone a computing platform, a Smartphone or a (not quite the average) consumer device?
A risk that might prevent an Open iPhone (as in “open to develop for”)? Putting too many apps might slow down the device so that it might start performing poorly which would be a big problem for real time device like a phone – but I doubt this. (this also begs the question, is the Mach kernel (is it really Mach?) really that fine tuned to be a real time os?). Or, and this is more scary, what if Apple intends to completely control and lock the device? This is essential in their copy protection scheme of things and it works really great in their music business.
To me the binomial iPod+iTunes sucks (because of DRM and application lock in) this might prove to be THE excuse not to buy one (the same that makes me NOT want to buy an iPod, there I’ve said it).

Jobs said they want to sell 10 Million devices, he probably thinks (and he’s right) this is conservative and the factories are most likely already working full steam to meet the avalanche of orders that are likely to pour so they can meet demand.

Are these devices fairly priced? To me, as a consumer, it sounds an excellent price-value offer (and Foletto agrees on his blog) but are we really sure Apple wants to get rich from selling the iPhone alone? I don’t think so. My suspect even is that it’s either below production cost or with margins of profit that are way below other hi-tech phones.
My guess is that Apple counts on the profits that sales from iTunes might bring back, even cingular is probably subsidizing the device but gaining a 2 year subscription, and it’s another question how much would an iPhone cost without operator contract (for me, a preferable way to get a phone).

If so I’m starting to get a serious itch on how much access will developers get to these devices.

All of these are only speculations.

Anyhow, I would still want one. My extra wishes would be (in this order) to be able to voice record, to have radio integrated with recording capabilities (recording in MP3 a must, all others optional), perhaps a second frontal camera for video conferencing, 3MP camera, video capture, GPS, and a Carbon Nanotube Super Capacitor battery!

If you looked the keynote AND had the patience to read this way too long and speculative blog entry you are in as bad condition as we are ­čÖé

Get a nice long sleep, it was a long day.

Pattern: Command

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

Recentemente mi sono imbattuto per motivi universitari in questo pattern. La sua funzione quale ├â┬Ę? cito dal wiki di UgiDotNet [che si ispira da DoFactory]:

Il design pattern Command permette (alla classe Client) di incapsulate una richiesta, ossia un comando (Execute) da eseguire ed i suoi parametri (state), sotto forma di oggetto (ConcreteCommand) da usare per parametrizzare il comportamento di altri oggetti (Invoker) con diverse richieste (ossia con diversi oggetti ConcreteCommand), code di richieste oppure log di richieste.


jspArt project kicks off

Friday, January 5th, 2007

After having talked about it I have finally decided to kick start jspart. There’s nothing too functional there yet but the model is there and the DAO layer should be almost ready and the first implementation is based on JPA. The project is published on Google Code and you can visit the project page here. I’ve also opened a newsgroup on Google Groups and I hope to see interesting discussion that may bring the project design forward. The project builds with maven 2 so some experience with it is necessary and if you have any problems please use the newsgroup and I’ll try to address any issues. Any good discussion will finish in the Wiki and if you have a bug to report please use the issue tracker. So if you’re interested:

svn checkout jspart