Technological Imagination Horizon
There is something that i call the “technological imagination horizon” (TIH). It´s the border of the imagination someone shows when he sees a new technology. There are people that that have a broad idea how to use a new piece technology (“Oh … Opensolaris in my washing machine/on-board navigation/coffee machine”) and other, who doesn´t have this imagination or don´t want to show it. One example of a very narrow TIH is shown by Timothy Prickett Morgan at … yes … the Register again in his article about OpenSolaris for ARM.
At first it´s a good example, how you can write such an article without shedding to much positive light at the end (His comments about number of packages or Sun didn´t commit to other ARM plattforms at the very early, very first release of the source code). As someone writes in the comments of this article: “TPM is an IBM hack. He doesn’t understand anything but IBM puts out. Solaris? Bahhh! HPUX? Bahhh! Linux? Bahhh! Linux on mainframe? Hmmm…”. I have a pretty much similar opinion towards him. And one of the reason are such articles. So … why do i think, that TPM has an narrow TIH: Well … he hears “ARM” and he only thing he can think is: “Netbooks”. He just write about it. He doesn´t mention the vast possibilties of OpenSolaris in the embedded market. Of course there will be netbooks with ARM processors but this market is dwarfed by the market of embedded system. I think it´s not an accident that the first build plattform of this project is a building block for navigation systems. It´s about appliances, it´s about deeply integrated systems. And the number of available software packages is absolutely irrelevant in this market. Most of them run a custom application. The same is with routers, fileservers et al. TPM writes : “While the OpenSolaris repository has most of what developers need to create code as part of their day jobs or hobbies, ARM-based machines are all about end-user applications.”No, TPM , to the largest part ARM-based machines are about systems where you never come to the problem to install any application, you just fetch a manufacturer deployed image and update your appliance.