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DrWowe
Decided to make my last followup into a poll. Not enough polls around here. :twisted:
bluedevils
Most would agree sharp support in the US has been terrible. They take down the site without warning, kept their source under wraps has not shown one trace of evidence (after the launch of the 5500) that sharp USA cares about us. Spencer was the only one who cared and he left Sharp.
Mickeyl
Same with EU support. The whole PDA team has been moved to other positions in the company. Which is a pity because we had good contact to them... they even sponsored Opie appearance on CeBIT 2003. But then again, even Sharp Germany didn't got information out of japan, i.e. we weren't be able to get the source code for the lousy sharp camera driver... yeah pretty mission critical stuff which has to be closed source. Same with libsl and much more. :-(
Mitch
Why couldn't Sharp EU and USA follow the lead of Sharp Japan to market and support the Zaurus?
An amazing thing which they left to die, thank God for ZUG, Cacko and the OZ teams.
amrein
QUOTE
Spencer was the only one who cared and he left Sharp.


:? He was a great Zaurus Community Relation Manager.

When a company doesn't do what everyone is asking for, it's mainly (I should say only) because their decision-makers think that the expense versus income is not interesting. Improve PIM, add more features or even modify a web site in 3 minutes have a cost. They think that their workers have better thing to do to grabe money in other area.

Decision-makers are sometimes wrong but when it's happening it's hard to open their eyes. Sharp won't die tomorrow, the Zaurus service could.

So the good question is: why doesn't they think that the Zaurus has a chance on the PDA/Palmtop EU/US market? If you answer that Zaurus can survice here without problem, then somewhere you miss their point. What say you?
offroadgeek
I'll switch over to the devnet only if they can promise that they will never have an outage due to lack of domain re-registration... I think it would be totally bullshit if some idiot let something like that happen...
dh
QUOTE
I'll switch over to the devnet only if they can promise that they will never have an outage due to lack of domain re-registration...   I think it would be totally bullshit if some idiot let something like that happen...

Ha Ha! At least ZUG should be around for a year at least now, or did you register for longer?

Actually I enjoy the mix of developers, technical people and regular users that frequent this site. A more developer oriented site would not be of as much interest to me personally.

What is Sharp anyway? Oh, I remember, back in ancient times they were involved with the Zaurus.
zbones
QUOTE
I'll switch over to the devnet only if they can promise that they will never have an outage due to lack of domain re-registration...   I think it would be totally bullshit if some idiot let something like that happen...


Hey, at least you sent out emails saying why it was down and that it would be back soon.

I'm still waiting for my email from Sharp.

And your outage was an unplanned accident, wereas the Sharp one appears to have been planned or at least known about in advance of it going down.

If you ever decided (god forbid) that you no longer wanted to host the ZUG, would you

a) Try to find somebody else to host it with the minium of downtime/delay, and ensure that data was not lost.
cool.gif Warn every body that it would be going down and why, and then pull the plug.
c) Just pull the plug without any warning at all or any effort to preserve a service for the 1000's of people who depended on it.


PS this is a retorical question as I know it would be A.
Sharps sudden drop out also took down the comunity site hosting lots of source/binaries to several projects, it wasn't just the loss of the forums.

IF they do it once, they could do it again. I would probably only post on their to answer the ocasional question, and that's only if they keep my account, If I have to re-register then I probably won't bother.
tapjpa
I'm betting against a "DevNet" appearence any time soon. I love this place and we have a great bunch of regulars here besides having a great leader, well an almost great leader but I''m sure he's punished himself enough over the "small" opps :wink:
offroadgeek
QUOTE
Ha Ha! At least ZUG should be around for a year at least now, or did you register for longer?


I paid for two years this time.. so we're safe for a while! wink.gif

QUOTE
If you ever decided (god forbid) that you no longer wanted to host the ZUG, would you  

a) Try to find somebody else to host it with the minium of downtime/delay, and ensure that data was not lost.  
cool.gif Warn every body that it would be going down and why, and then pull the plug.  
c) Just pull the plug without any warning at all or any effort to preserve a service for the 1000's of people who depended on it.


The only way C would happen is if I get hit by a bus and someone doesn't continue to pay my AmEx bill smile.gif

I would never, ever, ever just pull the plug. If the costs ever get too high, or I lose my job or something, I would definitely let everyone know and try to find someone to transition everything to. But that won't happen...

As usual, I will continue to be open and communicate my intentions for the ZUG, and provide the community an opportunity assist in the decision process for all things (growth plans, advertising, etc.)
n8a
I absolutely reward trustworthiness. Not only is this site trustworthy, the webmaster/mods are open to the point of self-deprecating humor. You gotta love that! wink.gif I can certainly relate. No matter what they offer on their site, they won't get me (or anyone else I'd bet) back. So much good info went down with that ship needlessly...
padishah_emperor
Will you use the "new" Sharp devnet?

No, I'll tell em to stick it where the sun don't shine!
ZUG is my primary Z site.

QUOTE
I paid for two years this time.. so we're safe for a while!  ;)


We should have 6 monthly or annual fundraising to cover the costs. Maybe send gentle reminders by email and on the login screens of ZUG, I'll be happy to send a donation to the paypal account on the front page.
amrein
Something like a money meter that go down each time someone contribute down to zero (or positive number for extra wink.gif.
gizard
Well everyone here has been very helpful to me and when I was thinking of buying a Z this was the best site I came accross for info. So I'll stay here. - I have never used pay pal before and I'm usually very suspcious of putting credit card details online! what's your average donation (that helps)?
gizard
Oh forgot to mention - I was really worried when this site went down for a while - I was think help help - I don't have a clue how this thing works and zug is lifeline what am I going to do! - so I did a howis on the site and found offroadgeek's email address and thought - what the hell I'll send him a mail and ask - and he replied and explained what was wrong - thanks again!
zenyatta
I think you guys are being a little harsh on Sharp. I mean what they did was lame in the extreme but there is a chance they've gotten their act together and it's worth giving them a shot. My attitude is "if they care then I do" and I'll have to see what they come up with. I have one acid test though: whether or not they will have someone actually interacting with us. If not, they can forget it.

And yet, there is one possible use for Devnet even if they don't let their people talk: we could use the forums to offload development-related traffic from this site and keep offroadgeek's broadband bill in check. For that to work, however, we would have to find a way to make daily incremental backups of Devnet postings (independently from Sharp) so that we can replicate in case anything ever happens again. Any volunteers? :grin: Thought so...

When I registered with Devnet my ZUG usage pattern involved reading *all* new posts. I felt overwhelmed on Devnet so I stopped going there. As it went down, traffic on ZUG became overwhelming as well and I had to learn to be selective. So maybe I could now enjoy Devnet as well. We'll just have to wait & see.

z.
ScottYelich
we also had info on irc.freenode.net #zaurus -- pretty quickly... and a work around -- and a note to the effect was put
in channel topics (#cacko?) and on sites like zaurus.spy.org

Scott
bluedevils
I don't feel we are being too harsh. Sharp has not shown loyalty to its 5500 customers and development environment. They would have to earn that trust with action and persistence.
n8a
QUOTE
"if they care then I do" and I'll have to see what they come up with. I have one acid test though: whether or not they will have someone actually interacting with us. If not, they can forget it.  


The only problem with this is that you don't know that they will continue to care tomorrow! They seemed to really care about the community, they had Spencer working with the community, and suddenly they decided to go another route - namely, all that WE had contributed to their site would suddenly be removed with no warning. I could see them pulling a jeckyl/hyde again VERY easily.
zenyatta
I understand they are very hard to trust, in fact I wouldn't trust them at all. Their goals are ultimately different from ours - they're a for-profit corporation. There's nothing wrong with that per se but it limits (or even eliminates) the amount of trust we can safely place in them (unless we establish written contracts and pay them - which is another story).

Instead, I'm wondering how we can use them without trusting them. In other words, it would be nice if we could take advantage of their resources while minimizing our dependence on them. It may sound cynical but it's still less cynical than what they did...

z.
DrWowe
It's not exclusive, developing trust is a GREAT business strategy because it keeps your customers coming back, recommending to their boss and colleagues and clients, increasing 3rd party support, and building a base. All successful platform companies bend over backwards for their developers. Sharp does the opposite.
rbourne3
I actually didn't know ZUG was down until I got the e-mail. I visit 15/20 sites regularly and have all of them in my hosts file. Saves time on DNS lookups which can be slow at times.
mussi
The main problem with Sharp is they lost credibility, and they'd need to regain it. They could do it (given they want) in three areas:

1. SD/MMC driver. Opensource it. This way, we have about all the HW specs and could write new kernels for Sharp. They'd be faster. Possible problems with this idea include that some stuff inside this SD driver is patented by the company that created the SD/MMS interface (Intel?).
2. Hire Zecke, Mickeyl and a few developers on a contingency basis and have them develop more software. We could then start porting a few useful things like Kontact or Ximian Evolution for the Z.
3. Sponsor this website (sounds illogical? How much does it cost to hire two full-time webmasters instead of giving away 2k US-$ per months to ORG for bandwidth and hosting? Simple math....)
tumnus
QUOTE
1. SD/MMC driver. Opensource it. This way, we have about all the HW specs and could write new kernels for Sharp. They'd be faster. Possible problems with this idea include that some stuff inside this SD driver is patented by the company that created the SD/MMS interface (Intel?).

It's the SD Card Association that holds the licence to the SD card specs. You have to sign a NDA and pay a hefty fee to get the information and licence. Intel are only general members and are not even executive members. Sharp are in fact Board members (highest group), which is ironic since they have such a lousy implementation of a SD driver. The point is, you are not going to get an open-source SD driver unless someone manages to reverse engineer the current driver or the hardware and any such activity could possibly attract some kind of litigation from the SD Card Association.

Anyway, Sharp aren't going to put much effort into any developer website if developers do not show much interest to them, so I think we should give them a cautious benefit of the doubt (i.e. make use of any resources they offer to advance the Zaurus, but don't depend wholey on them)
amrein
QUOTE
I understand they are very hard to trust, in fact I wouldn't trust them at all. Their goals are ultimately different from ours - they're a for-profit corporation. There's nothing wrong with that per se but it limits (or even eliminates) the amount of trust we can safely place in them (unless we establish written contracts and pay them - which is another story).

Instead, I'm wondering how we can use them without trusting them. In other words, it would be nice if we could take advantage of their resources while minimizing our dependence on them. It may sound cynical but it's still less cynical than what they did...


I agree.

Note: You are not cynical.

Offroadgeek doesn't have time those days to add changes to zaurususergroup.com and the site bandwidth is sometimes full. I don't think that we will see a working and active community.zaurus.com mirror (kind of sourceforge.net but for Linux PDA) on zaurususergroup.com because of bandwidth too (the present one is a snapshot but certainly wont evolve). Nor we will see the FAQ becoming Wiki with a left menu build from Wiki page content (again bandwidth)...

So yes, from a developper point of view it could be great to see community.zaurus.com back online (and doc.zaurus.com too). Only problem: we don't know if Sharp site will disapear someday without notice.

Note: before Sharp Zaurus forum close, I read a lot of post asking us to use zaurususergroup.com. Did a few people knew what would happen to Sharp forum/doc/devnet?
offroadgeek
QUOTE
Offroadgeek doesn't have time those days to add changes to zaurususergroup.com and the site bandwidth is sometimes full.


I don't have the time to do it alone, which is why I've enlisted a few web developers to help out. Do to time constraints from all three of us (not just me), we won't be starting the effort until probably mid to late June.

I simply don't understand the comment about the "bandwidth is sometimes full". We currently have unlimited bandwidth, we get what we use. The site hasn't slowed down a bit.

QUOTE
I don't think that we will see a working and active community.zaurus.com mirror (kind of sourceforge.net but for Linux PDA) on zaurususergroup.com because of bandwidth too (the present one is a snapshot but certainly wont evolve).


It's funny, you keep quoting bandwidth limitations, but it's simply not the case. It's true, this kind of functionality will increase the bandwidth quite a bit, but I am also looking at things to mitigate the extra bandwidth.

QUOTE
Nor we will see the FAQ becoming Wiki with a left menu build from Wiki page content (again bandwidth)...


Bandwidth is not even a factor here. We have both a FAQ and a wiki... if we wanted to migrate the FAQ into the wiki, then it would just take some effort. BTW - was this ever requested before? I haven't seen it...

QUOTE
Note: before Sharp Zaurus forum close, I read a lot of post asking us to use zaurususergroup.com. Did a few people knew what would happen to Sharp forum/doc/devnet?


I think a few people knew that Spencer was leaving Sharp, but I don't think anyone knew for sure that the forums would be shutdown. You might have seen the posts after they killed the DNS for the devnet, I remember people accessing the site directly from the IP address.
mussi
QUOTE
QUOTE
1. SD/MMC driver. Opensource it. This way, we have about all the HW specs and could write new kernels for Sharp. They'd be faster. Possible problems with this idea include that some stuff inside this SD driver is patented by the company that created the SD/MMS interface (Intel?).


It's the SD Card Association that holds the licence to the SD card specs. You have to sign a NDA and pay a hefty fee to get the information and licence. Intel are only general members and are not even executive members. Sharp are in fact Board members (highest group), which is ironic since they have such a lousy implementation of a SD driver. The point is, you are not going to get an open-source SD driver unless someone manages to reverse engineer the current driver or the hardware and any such activity could possibly attract some kind of litigation from the SD Card Association.

Anyway, Sharp aren't going to put much effort into any developer website if developers do not show much interest to them, so I think we should give them a cautious benefit of the doubt (i.e. make use of any resources they offer to advance the Zaurus, but don't depend wholey on them)


So we have to answer basically a few questions:

1. What happens, if by some miracle, somebody reverse-engineers the whole SD interface and creates a clean-room source code for the SD slot driver and places it in the public domain? After all, once the cat is let out of the bag, what do you want to do, especially if the creator of the source code remains unknown like those who write some Windows exploit? I doubt you could ever track down that evil penguin who wrote that code and released it into the wild?

2. If we want to do so, are there any PXA250/255 disassemblers so there could be a view at the code and the recreation of a specification?

3. Do 'we', as non-hardware vendor, positively need a license?

4. If we do actually need a license, is there way we could ask the SD card association to receive such a license without paying the fees associated therewith since we are a not-for-profit organization? Teaming up with Sharp and profiting from their license seems illusionary to me when taking a good look at their track report for developer community support.

If we give Sharp the benefit of doubt for their developer support program, then for how long? Does the OpenEmbedded community define some milestones that Sharp has to reach in order to keep up the spirits down here?
amrein
Offroadgeek, I was thinking that there was a bandwidth problem reading other threads and posts about the big bandwidth numbers on the main page as I see it a few time too. I appologize. I wanted people to understand that you have already done a great job and that they could also add their own contribution (Website / FAQ / HowTo / Money...)

For the site suggestion, it has been done here:

http://www.zaurususergroup.com/index.php?n...&highlight=wiki

But offroadgeek, there's two kind of people: those who always complain, suggest, and don't do anything for the community (like me) and those who do things (like you, OE/OZ, pdaXrom...). In you case, you have give us a big contribution with your web site. It has became popular, has grab the attention of all Zaurus users and teams (OE/OZ, pdaXrom, Trolltech, Sharp, Zaurus ressellers, ...) and it's the stronger link between all member of this community. So keep up the good work and forget my post. English is not my first language and I begin to thing that I must go back to children scool to learn it. Too many clashs.

--------
,,,
(._.)
/|+
|/ @u(==-
cwaig
QUOTE
2. If we want to do so, are there any PXA250/255 disassemblers so there could be a view at the code and the recreation of a specification?


arm-linux-objdump -d file.o
arm-linux-objdump -D file.o
Mickeyl
Folks, the SD thing is really not the biggest problem.

I would be a very happy man, if we would have a 2.6 kernel upstream supporting all Zaurus models with "just" the SD module missing. But as it is we hardly have enough people to do _any_ kernel work let alone porting and rewriting a 7 Megabyte patch.

I consider talking about the SD module "a bit" premature...
TonyOlsen
You forgot "I don't know about the Sharp Devnet yet" in your poll...

offroadgeek, It's obvious to everyone that you rule! Thanks for everything! smile.gif
raybert
Just for argument's sake...

Does anyone know what the SD Card Association's rationale is for not making the spec freely available?

It seems to me that the money to be made here is by the hardware manufactures (e.g. Sharp, etc.) and the card manufactures (e.g. Lexar, SanDisk, etc.). The more devices there are, the more cards you can sell. The more software that talks to the cards, the more devices you sell. The more the standard is perpetuated, the more stuff you can sell! It seems to me that they should be ENCOURAGING us to write software to their spec, no?

I guess the SDCA itself also collects fees for the spec. But I can't see how the profits from this would justify limiting profits from devices and cards.

It just doesn't make sense. Am I missing something?

~ray
tumnus
SD has DRM built in so I guess they want to keep it secret - security through obscurity and all that. Not that anyone I know of has made use of that as yet. It also built on the readily avaiable MMC designs and made it faster and easier/cheaper to expand capacity of cards. Plus it has a nice form factor for memory cards. I'm not sure if the SD association makes money from device royalty or only unlimited licence fees.
Joshp
Whan is the devnet board going to be backup? Some one said that it was going to be backup up at the end of last weak.

JP
raybert
QUOTE
SD has DRM built in so I guess they want to keep it secret - security through obscurity and all that. Not that anyone I know of has made use of that as yet. It also built on the readily avaiable MMC designs and made it faster and easier/cheaper to expand capacity of cards. Plus it has a nice form factor for memory cards. I'm not sure if the SD association makes money from device royalty or only unlimited licence fees.


Okay, I forgot about the DRM. Nevertheless, I would think they could keep the DRM details "secret" and at least release the details for SDIO, etc. It seems likely that they're separate, seeing as there are many devices that use one but not the other.

Has anyone seen a device that uses SD DRM?

~ray
tblumer
The zaurus.com site is planned to be up on Friday afternoon. After some starts and stops, I believe everything is a go. The site will be essentially unchanged from when it went down, but SDG Systems is working with Sharp to update the site in the near future. I'll post the IP address after the server is installed on Friday morning. Initially, community.zaurus.com will not be operational, nor the lists.zaurus.com (e.g. zaurus-general). Unlike the previous maintainer of the site, SDG will do our best to be proactive in letting you all know about maintenance windows, etc. Changes to the site will likely be limited by the budget allocated, but we'll do our best to be open with you all. We have some other ideas that we think you'll like. We're also open to suggestions that we present to Sharp.
clivel
QUOTE
The zaurus.com site is planned to be up on Friday afternoon. After some starts and stops, I believe everything is a go. The site will be essentially unchanged from when it went down.


It is dissapointing that after all this time, the site will be pretty much the same, it has been down for so long, that I thought Sharp would be surprising us with major new changes. On the other hand, it is gratifying to know that the site will be in the hands of a 3rd party, and not controlled solely by Sharp.
Do you know if there will be any "official" Sharp presence on devnet? The only advantage that the devnet had over this user group, is that it was possible to occasionaly get a response from a Sharp employee.
Regards,
Clive
tblumer
SDG will be present and we have contacts within Sharp. As I meant to say, we can pass suggestions / ideas along to Sharp. Hopefully, some of them will be implemented. But, you'll need to consider that Sharp's target market is the enterprise with the SL-6000. That's why I think it's great to have ZUG, as well.
TonyOlsen
Open to suggetions? How about a Sharp Zaurus SL-C860-B with wifi, bluetooth, and camera... in the US? biggrin.gif smile.gif
bluedevils
tblumer,

Did you just start with SDG? One of your earlier posts seems to suggest that you were not in the know about the site move details. It is at least heartening to hear a Zaurus owner (you still own one?) is helping host the site.
tblumer
I was not "in the know" regarding the site going down. The big question was "when" would Sharp have the approvals from HQ in Japan to get the site back up and where. Yes, I founded SDG. :-) And, I still have a Z: 5000D, 5500, 5600, and 6000L. And a Familiar iPaq, and a Yopy. My wife's a bit confused by it all. ;-)
Mickeyl
So, is SDG aware of the OpenEmbedded movement and what can they do to support us?
Snooby
a zaurus and a wife...hmmmmm
a zaurus AND a wife......

hmmmmm
ScottYelich
my wife has a zaurus ...
mjalkut
My wife has a zaurus too. She got the 5600 when my company gave me the 6000.
lpotter
tell Sharp they need to release their source code for GPL applications they use, such as embeddedkonsole.
and please make a rom image available for the SL-6000
tblumer
ROM image will be available when the site comes back up this afternoon. I'll also try to get 6000 kernel source available.
tblumer
QUOTE
So, is SDG aware of the OpenEmbedded movement and what can they do to support us?

Mickeyl, Yes, I am aware of the OZ, OE developments. Let me know what support you need. I'll help if I can.
tblumer
The DNS entries are not yet updated, but the IP address is 208.40.197.252. DNS is supposed to be updated by Sharp today. The site will work if you add the following to your 'hosts' file:

208.40.197.252 zaurus.com www.zaurus.com community.zaurus.com docs.zaurus.com

Otherwise, the DNS entries should hopefully get to you over the weekend.
ScottYelich
dns appears to work for me.

I noticed that sdgsystems was the webmaster for the forums ... I hope this is good news for the zaurus community.

Will the SDG forums remain or be folded into the zaurus forums?

Scott
ps: WELCOME BACK!
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