[maemo-community] Should there be a "Nokia MeeGo devices" community?

From: Graham Cobb g+770 at cobb.uk.net
Date: Sun Feb 21 13:56:25 EET 2010
Having got back from Barcelona I have caught up with the mailing list and many 
of the blog postings about MeeGo (I haven't braved the Talk threads yet, so 
feel free to point me to any relevant posts there!).

As a Maemo developer, I am not worried about the RPM issue.  Personally, I 
plan to continue supporting my apps for people who want to use them, for some 
time to come (after all, I still support Maemo 2) and I have always been 
assuming I would need (yet another) development environment setup for future 
devices.  Learning about RPM is not going to be too hard, I guess.

I am much more interested in understanding how MeeGo will actually relate to 
the devices.  I would really like some more information from Nokia and MeeGo 
about how they see this working in the future.  In particular, I am wondering 
about how feasible it will be to create "MeeGo apps" which are useful and 
usable on MeeGo devices without custom development work for each device.

In the absence of information (please point me to some if I have missed it), 
here is my guess about how this is going to work...

I assume MeeGo will be like a Linux distribution but with some technical 
direction, including preferred tools (including Qt) and, possibly, some rules 
about what can be in MeeGo (e.g. security rules, or power saving, or ...).  
Like other distributions it will gather a load of stuff from upstream, 
possibly patch it, and build it and make it available.  I assume it will do 
some sort of testing, will have "releases" of some sort, and make available 
some sort of repository.

MeeGo won't be able to run, as it is, on any phone.  At a minimum, all the 
closed software for the phone hardware has to be added to it.  I am 
interested in what else Nokia intends to add to it to make a phone software 

In particular, it is clear that the devices that MeeGo plans to target will 
have very different UI requirements.  Some will be touchscreen, others will 
have mouse and keyboard, others will have games controllers, others sensors 
and servos.  Some will be aimed at young children, some will be special 
purposes devices, some will be general devices.  Some will have disks, others 
will have very limited storage.  Etc. Etc.  There is no way that the 
Harmatten GUI will be the right UI for all MeeGo devices.

Are Nokia going to contribute the Harmatten GUI (software, style guide, 
themes, etc.) to MeeGo or will this be part of Nokia's differentiation for 
their devices?  Will MeeGo include multiple GUIs contributed by different 
groups?  What happens when Nokia learn from Harmatten and create their next 
GUI?  What happens when someone contributes something to MeeGo but then 
decides they are not interested in supporting it any longer?

The GUI is not the only area that may or may not be taken from MeeGo.  One 
post suggested that gstreamer wouldn't be part of MeeGo.  And there are many 
other APIs which might be device-specific (telephony, power management, 
connection management, GPS, etc.).

If there is a lot of stuff needed in addition to MeeGo then it will be hard to 
create a "MeeGo application" as many of the dependencies (as well as style 
guides, etc.) may not be in MeeGo.  Even compnents which are in MeeGo may not 
be available on any particular MeeGo device.  Will we be near where we are 
today, with a need for a community around a particular manufacturer's devices 
to create apps for that device, with MeeGo providing little more than the 
role Debian provides today?

I would like to understand more about how this is supposed to work.  I believe 
that Nokia plans to drop the Maemo brand but I am trying to understand if the 
Maemo community (and repository) still needs to exist as a place for 
developers of software for Nokia's MeeGo devices.

More information about the maemo-community mailing list