Will there be an SDK for the 604 WiFi?

Special Developer Edition Firmwares and Hacking on Archos 5 IT, 5/7 IMT, 605/705, with Android, ├àngstr├Âm and other Linux
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nasi
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Will there be an SDK for the 604 WiFi?

Post by nasi »

This is a question I have that I haven't seen addressed anywhere on these or other forums.

There has been a lot of discussion regarding getting access to the linux source code and hacking the firmware, etc. But for me personally, that is not so interesting. Archos seem to have done a good job of the software for the 604 Wifi and I don't see the need in replacing it with a complete alternative firmware.

What I am interested in is running additional applications on the device, to suit my needs/wants/whims. In order for that to happen there would need to be an SDK and a framework in place for running 3rd party apps from within the standard OS.

Does anyone here have any idea if such a thing is possible or if an SDK might become available in the future? Has anyone asked Archos about this?

I tried asking Archos about this but their reply, from technical support was:

The 604 WiFi is not a replacement for the PMA 400, it does not run on Linux and there is no SDK or PIM solution for the 604 WiFi.


It seems to be generally accepted that the device is running linux so I am inclined to not believe what they have told me.

But it seems the ideal solution: use the existing software for PMP dutues with the addition of (for instance) all the apps that have been ported to the Zaurus. Now that would be a killer device!
kitty
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Post by kitty »

Sounds good - now only to convince Archos that their competition is so great (iPhone, Nokia N800, Cowon, Oqo, etc.) that it is in their best business interests to open it up. I think it is - harness open source and a world of people. Will they?
JaseP
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Post by JaseP »

Archos lied to you, nasi,... The Archos 604 WiFi DOES run Linux,... and this has been confirmed by people who have looked at the hidden partition on the device,... It is QUITE CLEARLY A LINUX partition. It's only a matter of time before someone finds a way to convert the Archos to accept additional Linux apps. Let them send cease and desist letters even, other back from the original authors of the code would probably be issued the other way...

I do not understand Archos's corporate mentality, especially to have their tech support flunkies deny that the device uses the Linux operating system... and then to stall and to use FUD when someone attempts to acquire the source code. They are setting themselves up for a rather nasty hit if they do not start complying with the GPL...

The only thing that is not GPL are the apps which have been written for video and music playback. But the kernel of their OS is ARM Linux, compiled for the DaVinci processor. Technically speaking, however, if their multimedia apps are compiled against special features in Linux as opposed to any *nix, then they too must be GPLed... So they should just plain old help out people who want to add stuff to the device,... it's not as if their warranty would protect people who hacked the thing...

By the way... The license docs submitted with the machine do not even include a full copy of the GPL,... which in and of itself is a violation of the license...
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Post by dm8tbr »

JaseP wrote:By the way... The license docs submitted with the machine do not even include a full copy of the GPL,... which in and of itself is a violation of the license...

In my opinion this is not the only License being violated. We'll see if they at least try to conform by releasing correct sources.

But as we read someone citing a FSF official this might take a while. Seems like they have unfinished business with the PMA sources too. - Nice excuse for delaying the release of the generation 4 sources a bit more. - Isn't it?
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nasi
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Post by nasi »

Agreed the device certainly runs linux and I am not the only one who has been lied to about it. I seem to remember someone on here being told it did and then didn't run linux during the same phone conversation with Archos support!

It does seem inevitable that eventually we will get access to the sources or someone will hack the firmware and reverse-engineer things (whether the device will be obsolete and supplanted by better alternatives by then is another question). What I am wondering and hopefully someone with more knowledge of embedded linux development can shed some light on, is what are the chances of being able to add applications to the existing system? Or are we going to have to start from scratch building an entirely new OS (ala. OpenPMA)?

An SDK would, I think, enable the first scenario (O.T. there is an SDK for the PMA so with that device does one now have the choice of a complete new OS or add-ons to the existing OS?).

If no SDK is forthcoming then is scenario one still possible (through access to source code, etc.) or are we forced down the route of a complete rebuild?

Now it could be that the answer to that depends on the contents of the source. As I said, that is beyond the realm of my expertise.
dm8tbr
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Re: Will there be an SDK?

Post by dm8tbr »

nasi wrote:I tried asking Archos about this but their reply, from technical support was:

The 604 WiFi is not a replacement for the PMA 400, it does not run on Linux and there is no SDK or PIM solution for the 604 WiFi.



Besides the "no GNU/Linux on this device" goof the tech support is perfectly right.
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SmartAlx
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Post by SmartAlx »

I keep hearing about people saying that Archos will get in trouble or there will be cease and desist letters sent to them and what not, but has anybody actually done anything to get the ball rolling on making them give us access?
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Post by dm8tbr »

SmartAlx wrote:I keep hearing about people saying that Archos will get in trouble or there will be cease and desist letters sent to them and what not, but has anybody actually done anything to get the ball rolling on making them give us access?

Yes, and Archos has already signalled that they will someday, maybe soon, release GPL/LGPL sources. Read the thread where the mails from someone at FSF are quoted.
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