Salamander: The Quest to Build a Useful Handheld Computing Environment


As of late, the availability of commercial, off the shelf, handheld devices has grown dramatically. It is now possible to walk into most consumer elec-tronic stores, and purchase a handheld device capa-ble of running a fully fledged operating system such as Linux or NetBSD.

The only major differences found in these handheld devices, as compared to their desktop counterparts, are related to hardware. The computing and stor-age resources available to users and applications are under much different constraints. In addition, input and output mechanisms are generally quite differ-ent. Because of this, although the existing appli-cation base is available (e.g. GNOME, KDE, and other X applications), their use is in many cases in-feasable (although much code and experience can be gained).

Salamander is a project aimed at developing a use-ful handheld computing environment. Based on UNIX-like operating systems, with X as the win-dowing environment, Salamander exists to provide an open-source suite of Personal Information Man-agement (PIM) tools and a support structure for applications on current and next-generation hand-helds.

@inproceedings {270854,
author = {Alexander Guy},
title = {Salamander: The Quest to Build a Useful Handheld Computing Environment},
booktitle = {XFree86 Technical Conference (
XFree86 Technical Conference)},
year = {2001},
address = {Oakland, CA
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = nov