Screenshot of GPE 2.8 on a Palm TX
|Stable release||2.8 / 7 August 2007|
|Platform||Personal digital assistants|
|License||GNU General Public License, GNU Lesser General Public License|
GPE (a recursive acronym for GPE Palmtop Environment) is a graphical user interface environment for handheld computers, such as palmtops and personal digital assistants (PDAs), running the Linux operating system. GPE is a complete environment of software components and applications which makes it possible to use a Linux handheld for tasks such as personal information management (PIM), audio playback, email, and web browsing.
GPE is bundled with embedded Linux distributions targeting the following platforms:
In addition, GPE maintainers and the open source community are developing ports for additional devices:
GPE is a X Window System based GUI, utilizing GTK+ for interfaces and Matchbox for window management. The project provides an infrastructure for easy and powerful application development by providing core software such as shared libraries, database schemas, and building on available technology including SQLite, D-BUS, GStreamer and several more common standards defined by freedesktop.org.
One of the major goals of the GPE project is to encourage people to work on free software for mobile devices and to experiment with new technologies.
Some of the applications already developed for GPE include:
GPE's PIM applications (GPE-Contacts, GPE-Calendar, GPE-ToDo) can be synchronized with their desktop and web counterparts (such as Novell Evolution, Mozilla Sunbird and Google Calendar) through the use of GPE-Syncd and the OpenSync framework.
GPE can be found as a primary environment in the following embedded Linux distributions:
Though it may not be as highly supported as the distributions listed above, GPE is also available through package management utilities in the following distributions:
Serious issues first began developing over a proposed change of hosting service. GPE had been hosted at Handhelds.org since April 2002. Some of GPE's developers suggested, and later followed through with, a move to Linuxtogo.org by October 2006. Handhelds.org responded by removing the user accounts of the departing developers, and any links or reference to the new GPE Linuxtogo.org location on the original GPE Handhelds.org site.
Both parties claim ownership of the #gpe IRC channel located on freenode. Freenode has placed the channel in trust, or locked, until both sides can come to an agreement. Subsequently, Linuxtogo.org currently uses #gpe-project, and Handhelds.org uses #handhelds-gpe, both on Freenode.net.
George France, a Handhelds.org administrator, has filed for trademark registration with the USPTO for GPE, in addition to OPIE and Ipkg as of March 6th, 2007. On June 25th, 2007, the USPTO declined to accept a screenshot of the Handhelds.org GPE website as proof of Handhelds.org's ownership, and in addition requested a better specimen for a “GPE product”. Handhelds.org, and OSI board member Russ Nelson, assert that the GPE project was given over to Handhelds.org for public development.
The GPE developers working at Linuxtogo.org maintain that they represent the active GPE project, and Handhelds.org was only a hosting provider. Furthermore, they point out that the GPE project existed before it was hosted on Handhelds.org.
The USPTO issued a final rejection regarding the GPE trademark on February 27th, 2008. George France amended the application (removing references to GNU and Linux). The GPE trademark was officially published for oppostion June 3rd, 2008.
Despite George France's impending personal GPE trademark, the core GPE development team at Linuxtogo.org has abandoned much of the Handhelds.org GPE infrastructure. Linuxtogo.org developers have switched GPE to a new bootloader and replaced IPKG with OPKG, and made major changes to the GPE gui applications.