[clug] tomtom one

David Tulloh david at tulloh.id.au
Tue Jul 31 12:54:07 GMT 2007

Kim Holburn wrote:
> I got a Tomtom One recently and it is a pretty useful gadget.  The 
> device itself is pretty stable and easy to use but the software that 
> comes with it to communicate with your PC is pretty dreadful.  I just 
> assumed it was written for windows because it is buggy and crashes a 
> lot.  They only seem to produce a Windows and Mac version of the 
> software.  Then reading about the device I find it is linux based 
> <http://www.tomtom.com/gpl>.  Although it seems like it is not simple 
> to recreate the compile environment.
> In general I was surprised because the tomtom seems an incredibly 
> closed environment - difficult to do anything other than what they 
> want you to do.  In some ways this is good, like when I am driving in 
> difficult environments, it is nice to have a device that is stable and 
> easy to use and quick to adjust.  On the other hand there's always a 
> limit to the flexibility and easy of use.
> I don't understand how they could mix GPL, LGPL and proprietary 
> software essentially on one embedded device.

I've never played with a Tomtom but it looks like they can mix it 
easily, just stop thinking about it as some odd embedded device and 
think about it as a small computer.
It has a linux kernel, which is GPL so they provide the source.
They have made some modifications to the kernel, so they provide them 
too (better than many other embedded manufacturers).
They use mplayer to play some media files, so they provide the source 
(again base and their modified version).
They use several libraries such as libusb which is dual BSD/LGPL 
licenced and provide the source, though they don't have to.
They even provide you with the compiler toolchain that they use.

As far as having a few proprietary programs thrown in, there's no 
licence restrictions at all.  It's like installing Quake3 on your home 
PC, just because you have a GPL kernel doesn't mean all the applications 
have to follow suit.

Tomtom looks to be far more open than most other embedded manufacturers 
such as Linksys.


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