The Maemo developers have unveiled the features of the upcoming Maemo 5, this operating system is used by Nokia's line of Internet Tablets.
It's a 100% open source pre-alpha release targeted mainly at platform developers. They can look at the new Kernel setup, which is much closer to mainstream Linux, and the new upstream components officially supported for the first time in Maemo like Clutter, libcanberra, OpenMAX, PulseAudio and Tracker. There are also major updates in Glib, GTK+, GUPnP, Telepathy, BlueZ, the X server and some of the renewed Hildon components. For more details check the release notes and the table of changes between Maemo 4.1.1 and Maemo 5. All the source code is available at http://repository.maemo.org/pool/maemo5.0/
This release is not suitable for application development yet: it's far from feature complete and the UI look & feel is still based on Maemo 4. We will publish additional components like the revamped UI, the new media application framework or Ohm in the following weeks through repository updates, until reaching API completion and full alpha quality. After the first alpha release we will start a routine of weekly updates. That way you can follow and contribute to the integration process as it happens.
We expect an API break between Maemo 4 and Maemo 5, mainly due to the OMAP3 support, the hardware-based graphics acceleration and the changes in the Desktop UI and the Realtime Communication framework. The scope of the break will be clear by the time of the beta release. Maemopad is provided as an example application.
Maemo 5 comes today as an SDK only since it targets the OMAP3 architecture and no OMAP2 compatibility will be officially provided. The revamped UI relying on graphics acceleration and the new functionality built around the new supported hardware made it too complex to keep the compatibility between both architectures.
This early release comes with an invitation to build variants based on Maemo 5 compatible with existing hardware like the N800 and N810. Maemo SW can't promise commercial quality for such configurations but through maemo.org we are able to collaborate at a community level with technical support, license changes and code.