February 4, 2008 3:40 PM PST
Newsmaker: LiMo chief talks rivals, Nokia, and mobile LinuxSee all Newsmakers
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January 28, 2008
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What exactly is Trolltech bringing to the LiMo Foundation? After all, you use GTK as your graphical user interface toolkit, rather than Trolltech's Qt.
Gillis: Trolltech has Qt and other technologies as well, including those that reside in Qtopia (the embedded offshoot of Qt). They also have an extraordinarily deep experience within the (operating system) world, with a strong focus on mobile. I don't personally have specific expectations about pieces of technology that Trolltech may contribute, but I have a very strong sense that they can contribute fully because of their deep understanding of the open-source development world.
Trolltech quietly left the Lips Forum around the same time it started negotiations with Nokia. It then announced its membership of LiMo at the start of this year, shortly before the Nokia acquisition was announced. Was this timing coincidental? Did you know the Nokia deal was in the cards?
Gillis: No, we're certainly not privy to negotiations between Trolltech and Nokia, so "no" to that part of the question. On leaving Lips and joining LiMo, typically (our) pre-joining discussions with a new company will run across three to five months. So we developed a good understanding of why Trolltech were interested in joining LiMo. We assumed they were moving their focus from Lips to LiMo. Our dialogue with Trolltech goes back through four or five months.
Would you say LiMo is emerging as a winner against Lips?
Gillis: The approaches are very different. The Lips approach has been a traditional standards-body approach, using committees to write specifications and then publishing specifications from which others would be expected to develop code. The LiMo approach is fully code-centric. What LiMo produces is a real set of technologies which go straight into handsets and go straight out to developers to develop applications for those handsets. LiMo (goes about it in a more) pragmatic, business-minded way. The proprietary layer is more attractive (to our members).
Lips released its specifications last December. Did they beat you to the punch?
Gillis: The punch is not producing API specifications--the punch is delivering a software platform and then bringing handsets into the hands of consumers.
David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.