From Maemo to MeeGo, now where do WE go?

This morning’s stunning announcement that Nokia’s Linux-based Maemo mobile operating system would merge with Intel’s Moblin to form MeeGo was met with a wild variety of reactions, none of them meek.

Natural fear and anxiety from many of those with longstanding and deep roots into Maemo were countered by fist-pumping exuberance from those new to the ecosystem and encouraged by what possibilities this merger might portend.

I’m excited, too, although that includes anxiety of my own.  As many readers know by now, I’ve been working hard on some maemo.org community initiatives lately, mainly outreach and event coordination.  I’d put a lot of time and even money into the effort.  Of course, this was entirely on my initiative so I’m not looking to recover anything… rather, just expressing a little regret that some really nice materials (and thanks to the maemo.org community for the guidance there) are now going into the trash.

Some have expressed the fear that such a fate awaits maemo.org in toto, but despite my own personal concerns I’m trying to stay optimistic.  That includes already registering for the 2010 Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, creating an account at MeeGo.com and preparing to reach out to MeeGo’s Technical Steering group.

While some of my own recent work has been rendered pointless, there are some projects I’m championing that may well carry over.  Chief among them are an effort to bring bug reporting to handheld devices and a better means of brainstorming virtually.  More on those later.  In addition, there appear to be gaps in the MeeGo structure that maemo.org best practices driven by spirited members can help fill.

The last sentences touches on the main gap: community.  Currently Moblin is very developer-centric and this has carried over to the initial MeeGo site.  Missing is the heavy focus on users so deeply ingrained in the maemo.org culture.  Many Maemo developers started as people interested in the product and lacking the background to immediately jump into coding for the Nokia devices– yet maemo.org’s rich support network and history of user growth facilitation have enabled many, many people to quickly expand their skill sets and contribute in ways some never imagined.  Can we integrate that can-do culture into MeeGo?  Well, I know many who will certainly try!

There’s also some trepidation over the fact that MeeGo was launched on a .com instead of .org.  I’m trying not to read too much into that just yet.  It could simply turn out to be a semantics issue, although some purists will argue the point.

I had several articles oriented around maemo.org staged for upcoming publication, and now I have to revisit everything I’ve been doing.  But rest assured that if I’m so empowered I will continue as I have been and add a healthy transition to MeeGo to my goals.  To that end, I will be running for maemo.org council re-election and humbly ask for your vote.

Let’s put worries behind us and rise to the challenge!  If we don’t, who will?

18 responses to “From Maemo to MeeGo, now where do WE go?

  1. I’d say walk away.
    Let Nokia sort it out. Why be unpaid minions when Nokia doesn’t extend any level of respect back to the community?

  2. Thank you for quickly posting your thoughts. I wish Nokia had some of that openness and transparency. May I opine that if you run again for maemo.org council, then you should do so for the purpose of bettering that community, and not for the purpose of transferring any of those community assets from maemo.org to MeeGo (unless your election platform clearly states that agenda and you are reelected). While Nokia may have decided to plow their assets into MeeGo, that doesn’t mean maemo.org is necessarily obliged to do so as well. Of course, you can always contribute your community leadership skills to Meego if they smart enough to want it, but you shouldn’t use a council position in maemo.org to catapult yourself into Meego. Your post sort of sounds like that is your logic even if you are not consciously thinking that way.

    • Thanks for the input sunnytx.

      And you’re right, maybe I dashed this off too quickly. I am still looking at everything from a community standpoint and if that didn’t completely come through I certainly need to work on the message.

      I’m not trivializing people when I say this though but we truly are the assets of maemo.org, and while “transfer” isn’t the best term to use here I think that “plug-in” might be. Or “partner” (hopefully someone’s Bullshit Bingo game did not just buzz).

      There’s even the remote possibility that maemo.org may continue as a quasi-independent sort of support organization but that speculation is solely my own.

      Too many unknowns today. Hopefully that will quickly diminish.

  3. This is only my second Maemo device. So to most of the Maemo community I am a new commer.

    That said the community that is built around Maemo initially from internettablettalk.org is the reason I purchased my N810.

    I knew it was a device with little practicle use but the community arround Maemo convinced me I would have fun playing with it. It filled that Open Source geek hole in my gut.

    Since then every single announcement nokia has made seems to be designed to tell Open Source developers they are wasting time developing for the current internet tablet.

    What ever you do will not work on the next device.

    This was demonstraited in the development period between Nokia anouncing the availablilty if a Maemo5 SDK and how many apps were actually ready for the N900 when it came out.

    It was clear that the developers no longer had faith in Nokias willingness to work with them.

    The MeeGo move dosent concern me. What concerns me is how little info the Nokia brass have been willing to share with the community.

    They announced yesterday that Meamo was merging with moblin. Fine how about a little support and explanation to the keen Maemo developers who will now fear the worst for there code.

    Someone from Nokia should have been on our community site to explain what this would mean what would need to be reconsidered and what will stay.

    To fail this is to tell the developers once again that working on Nokias behalf is a waste of your development time.

    As you know Texrat I have other reasons to be angry at Nokia atm.

    But now it is down to Nokia to explain why the community should give a rats arse about the future of Nokias smartphone platform. Nokia has the most to gain from this but really has not worked to keep this community involved.

    • OK One of the Nokia insiders has posted concerning what this means code wise.

      We still have little concerning the user community. The word seems to be move to MeeGo.com but that site really has little input for the user community.

  4. I have been digesting the news since yesterday, and have not said a thing yet on the subject. I am concerned, but unsure what this all means to me, and my involvement in Maemo. I began as a user, then a community member, and now i am dabbling in application development. I have my first application almost ready for publishing to extras-devel as we speak.

    The thing that rubs me the wrong way is that Quim has said it is up to the community at maemo.org to decide how to integrate themselves into MeeGo. This makes me feel a bit like an orphaned child – cutoff from one provider, and begging to be accepted by another. I could be wrong, but this is how I read his statements on Community.

    I get the feeling that I personally will go from being a relative ‘somebody’ [I think anyways –🙂 ] at maemo.org to a nobody in the grand space that appears to be MeeGo. I am not sure how to deal with all this.

    Sounds like you have some way forward for yourself – I have to find the same!

    • Don’t be fooled by the pretty words. I’m clueless but desperately seeking clues. In the end, it may turn out that I will have no place at the table and have to move on. I’m preparing myself for that since it’s very likely, as I’m now in that “nobody” boat too.

  5. I can’t comprehend why people continue to support Nokia’s Maemo attempts. First, it was the Internet Tablets – a clearly separated product line that was easy to differentiate. Then, that gave way to the Nseries moniker, which we both know I thought was entirely prematurely laid upon the line.

    Then, with the N900, Nokia took the Maemo brand and slathered it all over the place, attempting (at least as I interpreted the marketing) to position it towards consumers as *the* mobile platform to be using. (All this while not improving the overall experience, in my opinion).

    Also, as mentioned above, all these developers writing apps are continually getting the finger from Nokia as apps for the 770 Internet Tablet did not originally run on the N8x0 Internet Tablets, neither of which were able to use the advances that the N900 brought. Now, we’re facing yet another break that means the N900 will be the only device to run Maemo 5, which is plain silly.

    These are supposed to be ‘mobile computers’, and yet they’re constantly being shown to be glorified smartphones. My other ‘mobile computer’, an Asus 1000HE, has, thus far, run Windows XP, Windows 7, OS X (for a short while), and various flavors of Ubuntu (9.04, 9.10, Eeebuntu, Jolicloud, EasyPeasy, etc).

    There’s just no consistency in this arena, it’s like Nokia is a kid in a candy store who finds a piece of candy that looks delicious, takes one bite, and then….ooooh….shiny….

    There’s no focus, no commitment, at least as far as I can tell. I’ve thus operated Tablet-Guru.com and then Maemo-Guru.com, and I can promise you I won’t be hassling with MeeGo-Guru.com. I’ve owned the N800, N810, and had the N900 on loan for several months, and that’s simply something I don’t intend to hassle with anymore. It doesn’t matter if each one is powerful or awesome – if the next one completely hoses all productivity put forth by the previous, then it’s a waste. A complete waste.

    That being said, I hope they use MeeGo going forward and dump Maemo. It’s a much more friendly, inviting name, IMO, from a marketing standpoint.

  6. MeeGo is just a feeble attempt on the part of Nokia and Intel to try and maintain atleast a nominal presence in the market, that Google has overwhelmed with Android.

    At a time when people’s needs had just about outgrown the Symbian OS, Google came up with Android. There has been no looking back since then. With every release being a huge magnitude of improvement. Nokia’s losing ground to Android.

    I would say MeeGo might slow things down but, Android’s here to stay and Nokia must think better and think Fast. Or else it might just be the next Giant to fall…

    http://2600hertz.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/5-reasons-why-meego-cant-compare-with-android/

  7. Thanks for this very insightful post from community viewpoint. I take in especially the point about user centeredness.

    About the .com issue. This is known and .com was not intentional. The reason why this is not .org is simply that meego.org is not available. It is held by someone in China and we have not yet been able to contact the owner. We would love to run meego primarily under .org. So if someone can help in this it is very much appreciated.

    Valtteri

    • Valtteri, I find it interesting that the registrant’s email address is linuxuse@gmail.com. Makes me wonder when the MeeGo name was originally decided and if it may have leaked (kidding). 😉

      The current registration expires November 2010, and the registrant has done nothing with it yet, so I’m betting they would be open to a purchase. I’m sure you have made full use of the contact info but I’ll post it here anyway:

      Domain ID:D154592597-LROR
      Domain Name:MEEGO.ORG
      Created On:01-Nov-2008 12:55:18 UTC
      Last Updated On:26-Oct-2009 02:50:51 UTC
      Expiration Date:01-Nov-2010 12:55:18 UTC
      Sponsoring Registrar:Xin Net Technology Corporation (R118-LROR)
      Status:OK
      Registrant ID:cx8gsweou4j42k
      Registrant Name:sun alex
      Registrant Organization:sun alex
      Registrant Street1:shanghai
      Registrant Street2:
      Registrant Street3:
      Registrant City:shanghai
      Registrant State/Province:Shanghai
      Registrant Postal Code:200231
      Registrant Country:CN
      Registrant Phone:+86.02124677115
      Registrant Phone Ext.:
      Registrant FAX:+86.1010101010
      Registrant FAX Ext.:
      Registrant Email:linuxuse@gmail.com

  8. Pingback: Transitioning to MeeGo « Tabula Crypticum

  9. Pingback: Transitioning to MeeGo | Maemo Nokia N900

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