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Linux phone stack firm releases dev suite, touts handset win

Feb 12, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Access has released a suite of development tools and launched an online resource for mobile phone developers. Designed for its Access Linux Platform (ALP), the ALP Development Suite has already been used to develop applications for a new ALP-based phone to be manufactured by Samsung for the Orange mobile network, Access said.

The ALP Development Suite is said to be a complete IDE (integrated development environment) that leverages open source tools such as Eclipse and Glade. It's available for download from a new “community-driven” Access Developer Network (ADN) Portal. In addition to offering tools and documentation, says Access, the ADN Portal provides social networking features such as discussion forums, bug tracking, and a feature request system.

The ALP Development Suite is said to include:

  • Eclipse-based set of development tools
  • Glade 3 Interface Editor for GTK apps
  • ALP Simulator, a Linux desktop-based debugger
  • Compilation toolchain with gcc, linker, and gdb
  • VirtualPhone tool for simulating a carrier network
  • Scratchbox, enabling command-line development and cross-compilation for ARM devices
  • Headers and libraries
  • Documentation and integrated API reference


ALP architecture
(Click to enlarge)

ALP to power new Samsung/Orange phone

The ALP Development suite has been field-tested by several independent software vendors (ISVs) since early 2007, says Access. These ISVs reportedly include those creating mobile applications for Orange's “Orange Application Platform” (OAP).

Orange is Europe's second-largest carrier, and is based in the U.K. and owned by France Telecom. It plans to ship its first open, mobile Linux handset later this year. Manufactured by Samsung, the phone will use ALP middleware and run applications adhering to Orange's OAP specifications.

The OAP platform is said to reinforce an Orange strategy to unify branded interfaces across its diverse range of Orange Signature phones, says Access. Orange hopes to better integrate communications between media applications, and provide a more consistent customer experience across a variety of devices and operating systems.

The ADN Portal also offers downloads of the Access Garnet VM Compatibility Kit, which enables developers to test applications based on Garnet OS, (formerly Palm OS Garnet) for ALP compatibility. For example, says Access, the compatibility kit will help to deliver thousands of off-the-shelf Garnet-based applications for Orange customers using the upcoming Samsung phone.

Stated Paul Forostowsky, CEO of Bluestreak, a developer of a Flash-based mobile interface development toolsuite called MachBlue that was recently folded into ALP, “Bluestreak's participation in the Orange Application Package project with our award-winning MachBlue platform has been greatly facilitated by the Access Linux Platform Development Suite. We have been impressed by the ease of development that the Access Linux Platform Development Suite provides.”

This week at the GSMA show in Barcelona, Access is demonstrating several products related to ALP and its NetFront Browser, and it also made separate announcements with MontaVista and Wind River about pre-integrating ALP with the companies' respective mobile Linux distributions. In addition, both Access and Orange announced this week that they are joining the LiMo Foundation, a mobile phone platform group, of which MontaVista, Samsung, Wind River, and a growing list of other Mobile Linux related firms are already members.

Availability

The Access Linux Platform Development Suite and the Access Garnet VM Compatibility Kit are available free of charge to registered ADN members, says Access. Previously registered Garnet developers and new developers are encouraged to register at the new ADN Portal, found here.


 
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