Tag Archives: Linux

Me Tizen, You Join?

Mobile Linux characters have been acting out lately like they were in a bad adventure movie.

Maemo lopes slowly and reluctantly toward its fatal date with the sunset.  MeeGo blinks in the same sun and finds its full commitment gone.  And like a battle-tested Phoenix, Tizen emerges from the ashes of twice-burned, thrice-shy skepticism.

Such is life in the largely undeveloped desert ecosystems outside the expanding stockade walls of Appleworld, Microsoftia and the remaining fading few.  Continue reading

Maemo is Dead… Long Live Maemo

Before I launch into coverage of the MeeGo Conference in San Francisco this past week, I’d like to touch on a touchy and related issue:  the future of Maemo.

As most readers here are already aware, Maemo was Nokia’s enigmatic attempt at a Linux operating system for mobile devices.  I don’t want to go into the history in this article; it’s easy enough to find on this blog and elsewhere and I want to focus clearly on the future.   Continue reading

Texas Linux Fest 2011

The Texas Linux Fest is a new one-day technical conference, just in its second year.  I was not able to attend last year due to it being held at the same time as the 2010 Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, and this year it was looking questionable also– but thanks to Gabriel Beddingfield all obstacles were removed.  Gotta love the Linux community!

The conference was held at the downtown Hilton in Austin, Texas, a great central location for the state in general.  Attendance of over 550 looked to be on par with expectations, as the keynote room was full.

Delivering the keynote this year was Ken Starks of the HeliOS Project.  His subject was “How Desktop Linux is Shaping the Future.”  I enjoyed his talk but have to admit I didn’t see much of a link between the body and the title.  The talk was engaging, a bit rambling, and to me was more about improving the Linux experience for end users.   Continue reading

Linus Torvalds, Linux, and the Issue of Software Quality

Friend and Maemo/MeeGo bugjar master Stephen Gadsby alerted twitterites yesterday to a Fedora bugzilla flamefest, and at first blush it made for interesting comic relief.  Who doesn’t enjoy a good Internet argument?

But a second read sobered me up quickly.  The bug turned out to be an issue introduced into the crucial (and occasionally controversialglibc code library that doesn’t appear to have been sufficiently regression-tested.  The code change reason is described as an execution speed improvement, but it appears to have come at the expense of pre-emptive error-checking.

Most people aren’t going to care about the technical reasons underlying the discovered bug.  Most will, instead, be concerned with its impact.  And that gets us to the reason behind me writing today.   Continue reading

A Tech Ecosystem for the Rest of Us

The choice buzzword since the February 11 Nokia-Microsoft deal (satirically tagged on twitter as #NoWin) is ecosystem.  Stephen Elop’s vision apparently stops short of a Linux-powered mobile solution.  Either the newly-minted Nokia CEO can’t see how to monetize it or thinks it hasn’t happened fast enough for him– pick your choice of pundit assessments here.

The strategy that Nokia had originally described when migrating their Maemo efforts to the joint MeeGo venture with Intel was that the added value for their corporate bottom line would come from a combination of lower internal OS development costs along with a customized user experience on top of the MeeGo core… one that was promised at one point to “knock our socks off”.  Who could reasonably argue with such a concept?

Obviously, Nokia’s board of directors and their recent replacement for Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. Continue reading

MeeGo Limbo

Several people have asked me to put my thoughts down on Nokia’s new partnership with Microsoft.  Twitter just isn’t the place for it; several 140-characters-or-less postings were met with responses quite distant from where I was going.  I’ll try to say something useful and coherent– but keep in mind this will be an opinion piece.  Very personal.  And lengthy.

To understand my take on things you need to understand where I come from.  Six years ago I was perfectly happy without a cell phone.  I had no need for one, even despised and sometimes pitied people enslaved to them.  And smartphones?  I dismissed the idea entirely.  What would I do with a “computer in my palm”?  How smart could a phone be?   Continue reading

Seeding MeeGo


Propagating a novel operating system (OS) can often be a frustrating chicken-vs-egg scenario, as many abandoned platforms and even current ones like Linux can demonstrate.  An OS won’t gain many converts without a reasonable stream of ready-made applications as well as the necessary ecosystem support (especially device drivers).  In open source contexts, this is compounded by Digital Rights Management (DRM) and similar sticky, usually legal, bogeys.

Maintaining a compelling closed ecosystem, such as Apple has chosen with its various OS offerings, certainly goes a long way toward solving those hurdles.  On the other hand, Google’s breadth of services, brand recognition and sheer size have quickly carved out secure toeholds for the more open Android and undoubtedly Chrome OS.  And there are already several well-established (although shrinking) platforms occupying the rest of the market slots… so where’s the space for upstart MeeGo?

The recent article here rhetorically asked Why MeeGo and that’s not the point today.  Rather, I want to cover what’s going on in porting and packaging, and what that might mean for MeeGo’s possibilities.   Continue reading