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?