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New Embedded Linux Developer Kit support PDAs

Aug 16, 2000 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

LinuxWorld — (press release) — Transvirtual Technologies, Inc., developers of the Kaffe development environment, today announced the first Developer Release of its PocketLinux Framework, a single, Open Source application development environment for all mobile computing devices. The company also launched, a comprehensive online resource… for developers and others interested in the new development and deployment environment. The first PocketLinux Developer Kits, including the PocketLinux Framework and a PDA, were also made available at the Linux World conference, where Transvirtual displayed a variety of PDAs running applications built with PocketLinux.

The PocketLinux Framework integrates Kaffe, Transvirtual's cross-platform development environment, with embedded Linux, one of the most powerful and popular embedded software environments available today. PocketLinux allows developers to write mobile applications as easily as they now create Web pages, and allows users to access any applications and data on any personal digital assistant (PDA) or other handheld platform. The result is the ability to run the same applications on any PDA running PocketLinux, regardless of hardware.

Users can create personal information networks (PINs) that give them the information they want, when, where and how they want it. Developers and users can also “theme” PDAs running PocketLinux applications, changing the look and feel of each application to fit specific requirements or desires. These advantages mean new revenue opportunities for developers and providers of network services and content alike.

“PocketLinux uses open standards and Open Source software to provide a unified development platform for all PDAs,” said Tim Wilkinson, founder and CEO of Transvirtual. “With support for streaming video, MPEG audio, and a suite of personal information management applications, PocketLinux makes Microsoft's Windows CE look like MS-DOS.”

PocketLinux includes Kaffe, a totally independent, “clean room” implementation of Java, requiring no source code licenses from Sun Microsystems. PocketLinux also includes Transvirtual's powerful embedded implementation of the Linux operating system, optimized for Kaffe.

The PocketLinux Platform includes integrated support for XML, the Extensible Markup Language that is becoming the dominant common approach for information sharing and application interoperability around the world. PocketLinux also supports bi-directional data synchronization via the Internet. A proxy server framework enables translation of online content, and a portal infrastructure enables rapid configuration and personalization of PDAs and other PocketLinux devices. The powerful PocketLinux Platform lets developers build innovative applications rapidly and deploy them across multiple platforms quickly and easily.

The PocketLinux environment also includes an integrated frame buffer graphics library. This allows direct rendering of graphics without an external windowing system, such as the X Window System popular in the Unix community. This powerful feature allows the construction of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that run on even the most resource-constrained information appliances and Web-equipped mobile telephones, a bonus for developers, application service providers (ASPs), content providers and users.

New Resources for Partners and Developers

Simultaneous with the initial Developer Release of PocketLinux, Transvirtual also launched, a Web site devoted to the PocketLinux framework for developers, partners and other interested parties. This new online resource will include online discussion facilities and other tools and community-building resources for developers. That site will also includes a repository for applications and other resources developed with and for PocketLinux.

Also at the Linux World conference here, Transvirtual announced plans for a new PocketLinux Partner Program. The program will provide support and other resources for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), application developers and other licensees of PocketLinux technologies. Current Transvirtual partners include leading computing, software and networking companies such as Compaq, Debian, Ennovate, Intel, LynuxWorks, Microdigital, Microsoft, Netgem, Red Hat, Schlumberger, Vtech, Whistle. Transvirtual also launched a newsletter, available via e-mail and on the Web, that will chronicle the growth and successes of PocketLinux, the Embedded Linux Consortium, Transvirtual and its partners, as well as relevant industry events.

PocketLinux Availability

The first PocketLinux Developer Kits were sold at Transvirtual's Linux World exhibit here. PocketLinux is available now for Compaq iPaq and VTech Helio PDAs, with support for other client platforms to follow. Transvirtual provides each of its PocketLinux Partners with a solution tailored uniquely to meet both their technical requirements and their business needs.

Related story:
Transvirtual putting Linux on PDAs

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