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Mot’s Linux phones to gain native Linux SDK

Oct 1, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Trolltech will supply an SDK (software development kit) for native application development on Motorola's Linux-based phones, and Motorola will promote and distribute the SDK at no cost, the companies said. The SDK is based on Trolltech's Qtopia Core development framework, which underpins Motorola's Linux phone stack.

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Motorola first adopted Qt Core (then known as Qt/Embedded) on Halloween Day, 2003. Since then, all of Motorola's approximately 10 million Linux-based phones have shipped with Qt/Embedded, along with a MontaVista Linux OS.

A potpourri of non-U.S. Motorola Linux phones
(Click each image for details)

Trolltech said the SDK will “begin to allow native applications developed with the Qtopia-based SDK to run on a selection of upcoming MOTOMAGX-based phones.” Presumably, this could include the now somewhat late RAZR2 V8 (pictured top-of-page), touted as the first of Motorola's mass market phones — as opposed to high-end smartphones — to run Linux.

Motorola has long supported Java application development on its Linux phones, through an “LJ” (Linux/Java) SDK. In the course of sponsoring a high-profile “Developer Day” at this August's LinuxWorld expo in San Francisco, Motorola announced that it had renamed LJ to “MotoMAGX.” It also announced that MotoMAGX would gain web widget development capabilities before 2008, followed next year by native Linux application development tools.

Although well known for its higher-level Qtopia application stacks, Trolltech is primarily a vendor of cross-platform development tools. It's flagship Qt product provides a windowing toolkit and graphics primitive, and aims to let developers compile native binaries for multiple OSes from a single source code tree.

Native applications on Motorola Linux phones have long been a kind of “holy grail” for some developers in the open source community. An Open-EZX project formed in 2005 around the goal of creating an open Linux stack for Motorola phones. After meeting technical hurdles, it lost momentum when founder Harald Welte shifted his focus to the OpenMoko project, which is aiming to create the first completely open Linux mobile phone software stack for FIC's open phone hardware designs, among other targets.

No timeframe for delivery of the Trolltech SDK was given, and Motorola did not reply by publication time to's requests for clarification on the timing.

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