Not everybody are agreeing with Michael Arrington's idea of a cheap concept for the "Linux"-based web tablet, one in particular is Mr. James Kendrick from jkOnTheRun. Mr. James got some interesting points on why such idea couldn't be made into a reality, and I must say that his arguments are hitting right at the jack pot.
At first, yes indeed, the TechCrunch's project has created a huge wave of enthusiasm. The imagination of using a mobile device that looks like that (left picture), of course it has sparked lots of attention. Some are taking the idea very seriously and thinking, even talking about participating in the project, some other are just saying they love the idea and can't wait to salivate for the device to arrive in their hands.
For open source mania & "hankering" Linux die-hard fans, this kinda project is what they've been waiting for to cheer on and brag upon. If, it is sucessful. But apparently, the project is look like "playing possum" after more than a week when it's first announced. The once promised developers site for futher development of the project is nowhere to be heard, and thus has created few or more sinister comments of it. Like Mike Cane's, warning: explicit words ahead. ;-D
I highly doubt such project can become a reality, there are three crucial points that back up my doubt:
- It's an open source project, and like what I've mentioned before; its openness is its key to sucess and also its problem at the same time. We're talking about many people, who're hardly know each other and never meet face to face to work together. And to make it worse, those kinda people are usually an indepent and a bit "self-centric" person who is excel working alone but lacks the skills to work as a team. I know, and I've seen a lot of situations like this.
- Money, cash, funds, dough, etc., or whatever we called it. Mike Cane does has a good point; who is willing to provide the cash to fund the project? From Michael Arrington's own pocket? Or from TechCrunch? Or will it be a joint venture open fundings from people who're interested in the project? If the Web Tablet that's priced around $200 has got out from the production gate, do you think those people who have contributed to the project will be pleased with just a thank you note from an email? How can an open project like this make it, if even big companies who produce actual computers & laptops are saying: "it just doesn't add up..." about making netbooks that have price range below $500?
- No solid basic technologies basis to support it. Aside from the brainstorming idea that drew plenty of drools, TechCrunch's Web Tablet first idea is to pull out as many ideas it can get, and then take off from there. But what, where, and when? What are the technologies? Where do those technologies came from, from an already registered & patented techs? And when is the time to stop dreaming and start working? It all sums up as a crazy idea, which many Linux and open source weblogs are saying it so, and all of the open source tech experts I know also think/said so...
In the end, it all winds up as this: It's not the Web Tablet itself that stirs the most conversation from blogospheres, but the crazy idea behind it that is. And this is what make open source and Linux to be avoided (even hated) by common computer users, because there are no solid and true supports for free; only crazy ideas are free. Throwing crazy ideas one after another without any basis is easy to do.
Just exactly what Linus Torvalds has said it himself during an interview with simple-talk: "As a project manager, I have never had trouble finding people with crazy ideas. I have trouble finding people who can execute..."
For the sake of TechCrunch, and Michael Arrington himself, I do hope this project will ends up somewhere than just gone & iced through time after all of the commotion build up since the announcement.
[blogged with my Treo 750v]