Nokia announced today that it is using
best-of-breed open source software as the basis of a new mobile browser:
“A key component of this development has
been Nokia’s cooperation with Apple, as the Series 60 browser will use the same
popular Safari Internet browser. Based on KHTML and KJS from KDE’s
“Konqueror” open source project, this software has enabled Safari to
achieve industry-leading features and performance. Nokia intends to continue
its collaboration with Apple and actively participate in the open source
community to further develop and enhance these components, contributing Nokia’s
expertise in mobility.
Nokia is excited to enrich Series 60 with
optimized mobile Web browsing. Open source software is an ideal basis for
development since it enables Nokia to leverage and contribute to speedy
software innovation and development. As a result, the entire Series 60 value
chain, from manufacturers and operators to end-users, will benefit from the
flexible architecture, full Web compliance and a truly enjoyable user
experience,” said Pertti Korhonen, Chief Technology Officer, Nokia.”
Open Source was here to stay, I think
nobody had any doubts about that, mainly because it’s an movement which can not
be stopped, how do you stop 200.000 people from doing what they think matters,
you can’t. What is new is that corporations are more and more involved in it.
Just think about it, IBM and Eclipse, Sun and Java, Apple Safari and KHTML and
Konqueror, AOL and Mozilla and the enumeration can go on and on.
I think what happens is that Open Source is
now part of some business strategies, the targets are different but the results
are the same. IBM invested in Eclipse and was a wise move, for them Eclipse is
the foundation for a new set of products, more eyes see more problems, but more
important having the same foundation the switch from Eclipse to their tools is
natural and effortless.
Not to mention that for an independent
developer or a small company Eclipse might be enough, but for a medium or big
company it is not, they need exactly what IBM has to offer. But for IBM the
story doesn’t end here, they try to position themselves where the money is and
will be in the next period, they will be the platform, not they but RCP (the
foundation of Eclipse and IBM’s Workplace). Having RCP out there and
Open Source, IBM will have the plugins, applications, functionality and plenty
of developers with deep know how of the platform, a port from RCP to Workplace is just as natural and effortless.
Apple was also smart when they choose KTHML
over Mozilla. KHTML was written from scratch in a clean, nice, object oriented
way, it is just natural if you want to adapt something to chose the most
maintainable thing, and the Mozilla’s core while might have seemed the best
choice was anything but maintainable with it’s inherited bloat. Apple wanted a
browser and a platform they control at the lowest cost available, and they
choose the most suited for their purpose. Different story with AOL, they just
wanted an edge in their negotiations with Microsoft and probably a backup
solution and certainly they’ we got that.
So, good for them but what is in it for us,
the end users. Well I would say plenty; Konqueror is a better browser because
of Safari and now is the second browser that passed the Acid Test 2. Nokia will
have to give back something and even if will not be code, growing the user base
of a standard compliance browser is enough for me. My company switched from
Xemacs to Eclipse and it went in a transparent and natural way and I’m glad we
did because it is a terrific development environment. SWT and RCP is the
foundation for our products for at least 2 years now, and I’m glad we did that
too, our clients are glad since they are no longer locked into an Microsoft
platform, they can switch to almost anything else that matters when they choose
and if they choose.
There is money in Open Source, important is
to know where to look, we would definitely have to focus not on code sold but
on value sold.
For us the end users, great moments are ahead, I can barely wait for Trolltech to release QT4 as Open Source for Windows too, just way to see a lot of great applications already available for KDE being available for Windows too.