April 12, 2001

Indrema answers developers' questions

Author: JT Smith

- By Dan Berkes -
Indrema's impending shutdown has
produced a barrage of questions from
developers and the media. Tonight, company founder John Gildred provided a
few answers. In a chat with Indrema supporters and developers on Wednesday night,
Gildred answered a few of the community's burning questions. First and
foremost, what's going to happen to all that software that Indrema has
nurtured along over the past 24 months?

Indrema had planned to release some of its software under the Open Source
model when the console was released. At this point, said Gildred, "If we
release code, it will include Popcorn only. Not OpenStream. Not Xtrema."

Popcorn is the name of a video navigation system that would have been
included with Indrema's box. OpenStream is a system for video rendering
and manipulation; Xtrema is described as "essentially a limited version of
the X Windows API" at the Indrema
Developer Network
site.

The latter pair of projects have already been "taken by one of
the developers to work on independently," he said, and whatever becomes of
them, they won't be released as Open Source.

The state of Indrema's hardware intellectual property is still
uncertain. Indrema is considering opportunities to sell the design to
other developers, but who, if anyone, will wind up with those plans has
yet to be determined.

Also uncertain is the future of community/developer site Indrema
Developer Network, currently hosted via an
Indrema/CollabNet partnership. Without the Indrema corporate backing,
IDN will likely have to find a new home. Talks are underway with
other companies interested in Linux and Open Source gaming to take over
hosting the community, said an IDN volunteer.

Gildred's statements left no doubt that Indrema is dead, and it won't be
back. With no buyout offers waiting in the wings, the company would have
needed "upwards of $10 million" to keep going. Whatever remains of Indrema
will be gone this Friday, when the last of the company's employees are
terminated.

At the same time, Gildred wouldn't entirely rule out the possibility that
an Indrema-like console would ever make it to market. If he had to do it
all over again, he said "I will make sure the (venture) capital will be
there for three years."

Indrema's founder isn't about to retreat for an extended sulk. He's
already accepted a job offer from electronics giant Pioneer,
where he'll take the lead in developing the next generation of
"killer" digital television services.

At the end of the week, all that will be left of Indrema are memories -- and the "Chrome" console prototype of the L600 (displayed prominently on the Indrema
home page), which Gildred plans to keep around the house.

"It was a helluva ride," he said.

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