Friday, February 25, 2005

SyncML vs HotSync-why the technology won't go away

Recently, many users were concerned about PalmSources announcement to depart from the HotSync architecture. I can very well understand their concerns-all the old conduits, etc would need to be updated-and god knows how well all of this would work. In the begining most of the new SyncML handhelds would not have conduits, and the HotSync users would be alienated...
However, I feel different about this announcement. First off all, who knows if it is really true. Secondary, look at the history of the Palm OS. Well-written OS1 apps should still run on OS6-a huge glue library simplifies porting back. HiRes was introduced in a careful way that didn't break old applications! The old serial manager is still around, altough it should have died long ago and wouldn't be missed IMHO.
Compatibility goes even further though! Cobalt even recreated the PIM databases, so that old applications don't fail as they attempt to access PIM data like contacts or appointments. Some people call Cobalt a huge compatibility hack-and indeed, they are not all wrong!
So, what will happen with SyncML? Personally, I beleive that the transition will be a slow one, with PalmSource eventually fading out the old HotSync architecture. But wait-isn't SyncML mainly a standard for syncing via bluetooth? At least thats the only place where my eyes ever spotted it. So, why won't this happen?
PalmSource retains the HotSync conduits, but integrates a SyncML protocol into its bluetoth stack. This would significantly enhance bluetooth usability-as one can't even send a file from a PocketPC to a Tungsten T3 via the bluetooth radio link!
In the end, nobody knows what will happen. However, I wouldn't get too stressed about the topic-what do you beleive??


Anonymous Steven Fisher said...

Stressed? Stressed is the wrong word. The word is "jubilant!" That is, it would be if I actually believed HotSync was going away.

I am starting to wonder, though, if PalmSource has any connection to reality. It seems they are off on all sorts of really promising tangents that would pay off, if only any of their licensees cared.

9:06 AM  

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