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Windows CE Device Emulator Goes Shared Source 84

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the giving-something-back-not-always-bad dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It seems that Microsoft has released their device emulator for Windows CE under a shared source license making it available to experimentation and teaching. From the article: 'The Device Emulator can be built as a standalone Windows application, or as the default emulator within Visual Studio 2005 running under the Device Emulator Manager, according to Microsoft. A 473 KB compressed file containing the Device Emulator shared source code is available for download' on the Microsoft site."
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Windows CE Device Emulator Goes Shared Source

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  • Dupe (Score:4, Informative)

    by casings (257363) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @05:40AM (#15741964)
    • Re:Dupe (Score:4, Funny)

      by quokkapox (847798) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:45AM (#15742148)

      It is not productive for slashdotters to repeatedly discuss the same thing over and over. The purpose of an article is for us to

      • Ridicule Microsoft
      • Advocate FOSS
      • Karma whore with Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] links
      • Promote copyright when it applies to GPL
      • Attack copyright when it pertains to video/music/text/images
      • Bitch about hardware defects
      • Crack stupid jokes and perpetuate failed memes

      Now, could you please RETRACT this article and reassign all relevant comments to the previous article. Thank you.

      Quokkapox [wanna-be editor]

      • Re:Dupe (Score:2, Funny)

        by kie (30381)
        perpetuate failed memes... I would never do that however,
        your ideas intrigue me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
  • bugs (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    After stumbling upon a lot of bugs of WinCE on handheld barcode scanner I hope that helps MS Developers make software with less bugs.
    Or wait...
    • Re:bugs (Score:3, Informative)

      Care to list the "bugs" you have run into? I develop for Windows CE as a hobby. I run into boat loads of limitations that are frustrating, but nothing in the way of bugs.
  • Not bad... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MaestroSartori (146297) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @05:44AM (#15741980) Homepage
    ...although the license doesn't allow developing a non-MS platform using the emulator, or porting the emulator to a non-MS platform. So all you Linuxy types are shit out of luck! ;)

    Still nice to see things become a little more open, I suppose.
    • Re:Not bad... (Score:5, Informative)

      by badfish99 (826052) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:18AM (#15742072)

      Also, the license doesn't seem to allow you to use it at all, unless you happen to be attending a school or university. For example, you can't use it if you are just a hobbyist.

      Of course this fits in with Bill Gates' known views that hobbyists should pay for commercial software [wikipedia.org]

      The strategy is to get them hooked at school, and then make them pay for the rest of their lives.


      • The strategy is to get them hooked at school, and then make them pay for the rest of their lives.


        Like crack-cocaine ?

        -Jar.
      • Re:Not bad... (Score:1, Informative)

        by kjart (941720)

        I'm assuming you're talking about this?

        (A) Copyright Grant- Subject to the terms of this license, including the license conditions and limitations in section 3, Microsoft grants you a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free copyright license to reproduce the software, prepare derivative works of the software and distribute the software or any derivative works that you create, solely for academic purposes.

        (B) Patent Grant- Subject to the terms of this license, including the license conditions and limitati

        • Re:Not bad... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Svartalf (2997) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @09:25AM (#15742741) Homepage
          You missed this detail:

          "Academic purposes" means non-commercial teaching, research, and personal experimentation while attending or employed by an accredited educational institution. Academic purposes expressly excludes commercial uses.


          Ths modifies all the above. It means unless you're under this category specifically, you don't have a license for the items you mentioned.
          • Umm, no, I didn't - that's located in the defition section, and that certainly does not modify all the above (aside from defining academic purposes). The terms still only refer to patent and copyright grants - it has nothing to do with the license. You do not lose the ability to use the software by not attending an academic insituation.

            Since I was ambushed with this distinction before (and rightly so, might I add) when I spoke (rashly) about the GPL applying to use and not just distribution, I thought I w

        • As you say, the license grants a right to "... reproduce the software ... solely for academic purposes"

          Since this is the *only* copyright right granted by the license, and it is *only* granted for "academic purposes", and "academic purposes" is explicitly defined as "... while attending or employed by an accredited educational institution", I can't see how I can "reproduce the software" unless I am an academic.
          And the RIAA and their friends have established that downloading a file onto my hard drive i

          • Not quite. By your logic, it is a violation of the GPL to download a GPL'ed program without the source (that is, you download the binary and not the source, even though the source is available):

            3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

            a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distribute

            • I don't think so: that says "copy and distribute", not just "copy". The GPL has the implicit assumption that I am receiving the program in source code form, so section 1 allows me to copy that source code, and section 3 allows me to compile it and distribute the result, so long as I also offer to distribute the source code with it.
              Of course the GPL was written some years ago, before the problems associated with copying MP3s and the like became so well-known. This Microsoft license is a new one, so I would
      • Why shouldn't hobbyists pay?
        My wife does scrap-booking and she pays for all sorts of stuff for that hobby.
        I build model rockets and I pay for parts for that.
        I can see you saying that is different. That isn't software.
        My wife and I play video games which since we don't get paid for that is a past time or a hobby. And we pay for those.
        It is great when a company gives hobbyist a break but it really shouldn't be expected.
      • The strategy is to get them hooked at school, and then make them pay for the rest of their lives.

        Isn't the other point to contaminate the students with MS IP and thus taint Open Source projects they work on in the future?
      • Getting them hooked while at school? Reminds me of Apple. ;-)
    • Re:Not bad... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Da_Blitz (898640)
      Dont forget Qemu emulates many platforms now including ARM

      QEMU version 0.8.0 is out (Changelog).

      * Support for ARM Integrator/CP board system emulation.
      * Support for MIPS R4K system emulation.

      http://www.qemu.com/ [qemu.com]
    • It's a Non-Disclosure Agreement dressed up by marketing. Calling 'shared' source or anything else for that matter won't change that.

      ...although the license doesn't allow developing a non-MS platform using the emulator, or porting the emulator to a non-MS platform.

      You cannot use the emulator on/with/for any non-MS operating systems at all:

      3.Conditions and Limitations
      . . .
      (B)Platform Limitation- The licenses granted in sections 2(A) & 2(B) extend only to the software or derivative works tha

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Now, if only they would release a free IDE for Windows Mobile. Currently you need Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition, which will set you back about $249. And no, Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition do not support Windows Mobile.
  • by Xtifr (1323) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:21AM (#15742082) Homepage
    Walmart's trying to emulate Open Source? No, wait, I mean, Microsoft's trying to emulate MySpace? Sorry, too many articles about too many vile scumbags pretending to be cool in too short a period of time. I'm getting them all mixed up. :)
    • Walmart's trying to emulate Open Source? No, wait, I mean, Microsoft's trying to emulate MySpace? Sorry, too many articles about too many vile scumbags pretending to be cool in too short a period of time. I'm getting them all mixed up. :)
      Waaaaaaait a minute. Did you just call Myspace "cool"?? You poor, poor, deranged soul.
  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:23AM (#15742091)
    "All you guys who want to be Windows CE "shared source" developers, line up over here..."

    *crickets*
  • Same old game plan to push a generational business model.
    Get a generation interested (read addicted) and then sell up.
    Lock in the hardware and software and wait for the developer productivity to pay it all back.
  • I think MS is getting better these days. They released the .Net Framework source code [microsoft.com] (called ROTOR) under the same license (Shared Source). Though you can't use it commercially, it actually compiles on multiple platforms. Good for students and guys working on alternate implementations [mono-project.com], though you cant lift code from it. They also started a new code sharing community called CodePlex [codeplex.com].

    Eventually they might open up a lot of platform code, maybe even Windows itself. I still remember BillG saying that way back i
    • by m874t232 (973431) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @07:04AM (#15742190)
      hey released the .Net Framework source code (called ROTOR) under the same license (Shared Source). Though you can't use it commercially, it actually compiles on multiple platforms. Good for students and guys working on alternate implementations, though you cant lift code from it. They also started a new code sharing community called CodePlex.

      Unlike, say, Stallman, I have no problem with closed source software; I think closed source software will fail in the long run, but I also think it is perfectly legitimate for companies to attempt to make closed source software their business model.

      In contrast, I think "shared source" is sleazy and evil: it's an attempt to entangle students and users in proprietary software licenses and to get people to work for Microsoft for free. Sun has tried to do the same thing with their "community licenses".

      If someone offers you source code, don't look at it unless it comes under a genuine open source license; anything else is too risky.
      • Looking at source code will not preclude your from working on something else in the future. That idiotic lie needs to finally die.
        • Looking at source code will not preclude your from working on something else in the future. That idiotic lie needs to finally die.

          No, what needs to die is the idiotic lie that you can look at source code with impunity.

          Many source licenses and even documentation licenses from companies like Microsoft and Sun include explicit restrictions on what you can do after you have looked at the source code.

          Unless a source license explicitly disclaims any restrictions on what you can do afterwards, you run a huge risk
          • Many source licenses and even documentation licenses from companies like Microsoft and Sun include explicit restrictions on what you can do after you have looked at the source code.

            Even if that weren't the case, were it to come to court simply looking at the code and then going and working on something similar opens the door for a lawyer to suggest that was where you got some of your ideas from. All they have to do is draw enough parallels between the code and your product and put on a good enough show and
    • by mazphil57 (792004) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @07:25AM (#15742253) Journal
      With the SCO lawsuit dying out, it looks like MSFT needs new ways to entangle FOSS. Hence, firing execs using pure FUD against Linux, and putting on a friendly face on "open interfaces" and placing more source code we're not allowed to use out there. There is a certain class of cretin that will incorporate "shared source" code into an OSS project. The legal departments of large corporations are already terrified of FOSS (from the SCO lawsuit) and will require indemnification and eventually all OSS projects will have to go through rigorous audits to show they contain no code from tainted MSFT source releases. Thanks MSFT, for adding massive code auditing overhead to OSS development!
    • I think MS is getting better these days.
      You think? Try looking (that's all) at some "shared source" code, then contribute some code to an OSS project and see what MS's lawyers do to you and the project you contributed to.
  • by Davus (905996) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:53AM (#15742167) Homepage
    From boards/cominterface.cpp:
    ASSERT(FALSE); // string ought to fit
    I hear 640K crickets chirping.
    • by tobybuk (633332)
      I've not seen the source but placing an ASSERT(0) is a very valid thing to do.

      All software is full of assumptions that a particular path can never be taken. By placing ASSERT(0) in these places it alerts a developer running debug code that there is either a problem in their code or more likely a device driver is behaving badly.

      It's a technique used by experienced mature developers..
      • If the code is never meant to be run, what's it doing there?

        I'm not trying to flame you - I just don't understand why you'd leave code that's never meant to be run sitting around the code base, and take the effort to write more code to make sure it doesn't get run. Surely the best way to make sure code isn't running is to remove it from the codebase.
        • I use ASSERTs all the time. It's altogether a better thing to get an assertion error (that points out exactly which assumption I'm making turns out not to be true) than a core dump. Here's an example from what I'm looking at right now...

          palette = findHash(colour);
          ASSERT(palette);

          The assertion's there because I know that the appropriate entry exists in the hash table. If it's not, there's something very wrong. I could write

          palette = findHash(colour);
          use(palette->data); /* we know the colour's in the

    • Asserting a pre/post condition that other code in the project should be conforming to is hardly the same as designing your product based on what you think other companies, which you have no control over, will do in the future.
    • Hmmm... seems like you just took a chunk of code completely out of context. The ASSERT above can be found in four or five places in that file in code paths that convert a GUID struct to a string via a call to StringFromGUID2. Given that GUIDs have a fixed definition, and every piece of COM based software ever written relies on that definition, it's safe to assume that this isn't going to change. The assert is in place simply to detect a condition which should never be hit unless the function definition for
  • by throwaway18 (521472) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:58AM (#15742177) Journal
    Does this emulator freeze or go wonky every couple of days like real WinCE devices?

    Has anyone ever seen a WinCE device that dosn't fall over frequently?
    • In my pocket, is a PocketPC (cmon, no one calls it WinCE anymore) based phone PDA. It's an I-mate JAM, made by HTC.

      Yeah, I have to reboot it a couple of times a month. Yeah, It has memory leaks. However, I have NEVER lost data. Overall it does the PDA things very well, and the phone bits (which I use less than the PDA bits) adequately. PocketPC suffers from the mis-conception that it's a just a PDA platform. It's not, it's a full Computer OS, with all the pitfalls, and all the benefits.

      -Jar.
      • Do you have to reboot your computer a couple times a month?
      • In my pocket, is a PocketPC (cmon, no one calls it WinCE anymore) based phone PDA. It's an I-mate JAM, made by HTC.


        That's because Microsoft has two separate product lines. One is called "Windows Embedded" and encompasses WIndows CE and Windows XP Embedded. The other is called "Windows Mobile" and brings under one roof PocketPC and Smartphone.

        People get confused because the first devices from Microsoft were running Windows CE, which was so poor as a PDA that well, it was laughed off the market (c'mon, double
    • Strange. I have a refurbed iPaq that goes flaky (have to hit reset) once every other month. And I suspect that has more to do with my development work on it than anything else.
    • My experience of my Windows Mobile 2002 edition is that the core software is reasonably stable, but some of the crap tools written by HP crash my handheld with impunity. Therefore it is no wonder that their devices require a recessed reset button to recover.

      My biggest problem with CE, and perhaps it's been improved in more recent versions is the number of redundant taps you have to do the same task as Palm OS used to do with one. In on my old Vx I could enter an appointment by tapping on a timeslot and st

  • I recently migrated off an HP iPaq 5450 to a Palm LifeDrive [palm.com], solely because I couldn't deal with data loss. Because it uses DRAM if the device loses all power, data loss. I had a couple of crashes, data loss.

    Sure, I got around that by backing up frequently, but still what a drag. I'd keep using the iPaq if it was a little more robust about data.

    Now the LifeDrive you ask? Well, it's got it's own set of problems, data loss (knock on my wooden head) not one of them.

    I admit I'm nostalgic; nobody has ever m
    • Wow. The only time I had data loss with a Pocket PC is when I forgot it on vacation, and the batteries ran dead.
    • Since WinCE 5 you can do that on CE (run the battery all down and only lose the date/time when you repower)

      • But you're still operating on DRAM, no? I realise that iPaq's have a standby charge, but mine is only good for 72 hours after power loss (the way I've got them configured). Once I was on an ocean cruise, forgot to charge my iPaq (don't using a PDA much in those circumstances), and wham! Data loss.

        I actually prefer the iPaq hw - are any of the current WinCe PDAs sporting persistent storage? I have to admit I really like the LifeDrive's 4GB hard drive, but the device has it's own set of problems - lots of
        • No, it's using the flash for the complete filesystem. You just boot the device again when it's repowered, much like a PC. What's saved is really saved (well, as much as you can trust any flash memory).
  • I think... (Score:3, Funny)

    by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@keirstea d . o rg> on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @07:41AM (#15742301) Homepage
    I think that the Slashdot story queue should be made shared source. Maybe that would help prevent these dups.

  • Cool, Microsoft just gave me a great VM to build my mailware in. Thanks!
    • How does it really help much to have the source to the emulator?

      The emulator itself without code has been free for some time, the CE 3.0 (which, theoretically, 5.0 is completely backwards compatible with) emulator has been free for years. You could also have used a real device and just cold booted to clear it. I don't see why you need a VM at all.

      I'm just wondering, what real benefit does the source to the emulator afford you that you could not have worked on it before? Or are you just making an idiotic

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