Lips Forum releases mobile Linux specs

Unlike Google's Android platform and others, the Lips Forum is trying to create a fully open-source set of specifications for mobile Linux.

The Linux Phone Standards Forum has released its first complete set of specifications for mobile Linux.

Comprising members such as France Telecom, Texas Instruments, ARM, and Freescale, the Lips Forum is only one of several major industry consortia that want to use Linux on handsets in a relatively unified way. Open-source-based technology already powers many consumer mobiles, but there is no agreement on a single standard that suppliers can use.

Other such groups include Google's Open Handset Alliance with its Android platform, and the Linux Mobile Foundation. However, these groups are more focused on creating a shared base implementation of mobile Linux, with scope for proprietary technology being added by manufacturers. The Lips Forum, by contrast, is trying to create a fully open-source set of specifications for mobile Linux.

The Lips Forum published its first application programming interface (API) set in June, with the prediction that the full Lips specifications would be out by the end of the year. This promise has now been fulfilled.

"With this release, Lips enables mobile industry players to achieve basic interoperability for applications and services deployed on Linux-based phones, benefiting Linux-based software stack suppliers, mobile device OEMs and regional and global telecom operators," read a statement from the organization that was published on Monday.

The Lips Release 1.0 specifications include the Lips reference model, telephony, messaging, calendaring and scheduling, presence, the user interface service, address book and voice call enabler APIs.

"Standards-based interoperability is crucial to the success of the global telecommunications marketplace," said Lips president Haila Wang on Monday. "Lips is following the clear path blazed by GSM, TCP/IP, Wi-Fi and other standards that enable communications among device types and brands, over multiple operator networks and across regional markets."

According to the organization, next year will see the release of the LiPS application framework and APIs for advanced services, device management and for enabling multimedia.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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