Just as I was about to wipe Windows Vista from my UMPC and start tinkering with Moblin, it looks like there’s a change in the winds for Moblin. The next version of the mobile-friendly Linux platform is due out on August 19th, and is apparently switching from Ubuntu to Fedora. The alleged main reason? The package manager, which in Fedora Red Hat offers the potential for developers to include and use license information data.
I’m surprised by something that Intel’s Dirk Hohndel makes mention of in terms of community development when speaking with The Register: "Moblin one wasn’t successful in creating this community push." I haven’t looked into how many developers, tools and apps there are for Ubuntu / Debian and Fedora, but a quick Wikipedia check shows around 23,000 packages available for Ubuntu and only 8,000 for Fedora. Hmm… I’m wondering if the lack of community push is really due to developers not seeing MIDs take off, not because of the Linux distro chosen. We’ll have to wait until the Intel Developer Forum next month to get a look. If Moblin 2.0 is indeed going Fedora, we’ll have a whole new GUI to poke, prod and swipe at. That’s unfortunate, because I liked what I saw before with Ubuntu Mobile (shown). I’m also thinking this change might slow down any momentum that Intel-based MIDs had up to this point. Next month will be telling for sure. Thanks for the tip, Robert!