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Re: [bluetooth-dev] Just found this... #2
I also am hesitant to continue this thread on this mailing list hosted by
Axis, and apologize in advance for doing so, but I would like to further
clarify IBM's offering, and I think that is well done in the article
included below. I suggest moving further discussion of this topic to the
"Discussion" area of http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/bluedrekar .
IBM toasts Linux, Bluetooth marriage
July 26, 2000
by Sam Williams
IBM (IBM), the Linux community's primary Fortune 100 benefactor, has
announced it will donate portions of its BlueDrekar protocol "stack" to the
open source community in an effort to speed the marriage between Linux
developers and the Bluetooth standard.
The source code, which will be released under the Gnu General Public
License, governs portions of both the communications protocol and the
device drivers that allow Linux-based devices to communicate via the low
power, wireless Bluetooth standard.
The company will wait for the approval of the Bluetooth Consortium before
undertaking a full open source release, says Daniel Jue, manager for IBM's
AlphaWorks, the division responsible for developing the BlueDrekar code.
"Right now the development part is not open source," says Jue. "We're
hoping to add a project to our DeveloperWorks site for people who build
applications. They can submit their source code to the site, and
DeveloperWorks will post it for the community to review."
An encouraging first step
Still, Jue sees even a limited open source effort as an encouraging first
step. Backed by Scandinavian cell phone giants Ericsson (ERICY) and Nokia
(NOK), along with Intel (INTC), IBM and Toshiba, Bluetooth allows mobile
devices to create flexible and pervasive networks for the home and office.
Any device carrying the Bluetooth chip can interact with other Bluetooth
devices, providing instant voice and data connections within 100 meter
radius. This gives even the smallest handheld device the continuous
connectivity of a cordless phone.
According to Cahners In-Stat Group, the number of Bluetooth-enabled devices
is expected to reach 1 billion by 2005. For the moment, however, Bluetooth
products have yet to reach market. A recent report by Cahners cites high
research and development costs as a barrier to rollout.
BlueDrekar may eliminate these high R&D costs. "It's Linux, which is a
pretty standard platform. It comes with all the APIs needed to hook your
application into your network. It's also more open, which developers will
like," says Jue.
IBM has already released similar technology for the Windows platform, but
analysts such as Frank Dzubeck, president of Washington, D.C.-based
Communications Network Architects, see Linux-based development as a smarter
"Application developers are moving to Linux primarily because it's so
cheap," Dzubeck says. "It's true that embedded Linux has some problems with
real time capability, but Bluetooth focuses on a market segment where real
time performance isn't such a factor. [Linux] is going to capture quite a
bit of the space."
As for IBM's involvement, Dzubeck calls it a "stimulation move" designed to
pave the way for profitable follow-on software technologies such as MQ
Lite, a proprietary protocol that guarantees online transactions.
Big Blue's unified open source philosophy
Although Dzubeck doesn't consider the donation as significant as other
recent IBM moves -- such as the recent decision to support Linux on its
highly profitable AS/400 mainframe platform -- he sees the two developments
resulting from a unified philosophy. Pointing to the company's failure to
secure broad enough developer support for the OS/2 operating system
platform, Dzubeck says IBM is learning the value of donating strategic
portions of its software infrastructure to the community as a whole.
"It's a good philosophy in its case," Dzubeck says. "What it's giving away
in the case of [BlueDrekar] would have been just another ulcer if it came
down to monitoring payments."
The BlueDrekar name keeps with the original Bluetooth project's Viking
theme. The Bluetooth project gets its name from the 10th century king
Harald Blaatand "Bluetooth" II, the first Christian king of Denmark.
Drekar, meanwhile, was the name of the fast, dragon-shaped sailing vessels
used by the Vikings during their periodic raids along the Northern European
and Mediterranean coastlines.
Despite the warlike imagery, Jue has high hopes the open source developers
will welcome the new technology into their already expanding community
"We're especially hoping to get Linux developers," he says. "Linux is a
convenient development platform for this technology."
Sam Williams is a freelance writer covering open source software and
B. A. Miller RTP, NC
(919) 543-6959 TIE 441
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Nils Faerber <firstname.lastname@example.org on 07/26/2000 10:55:04 AM
Sent by: email@example.com
Subject: [bluetooth-dev] Just found this... #2
Let me correct the last posting.
The IBM stack is not free, just the HCI-UART interface. The stack itself is
only distributed in binary form and may be sold later :(
A public beta test, so to say...
Engel & Faerber GbR Tel: +49-271-771091-12
Dreisbachstr. 24 Fax: +49-271-771091-19
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