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

From: Quim Gil quim.gil at nokia.com
Date: Mon Feb 22 09:49:28 EET 2010

fwiw I just answered at

Quim Gil
open source advocate
Maemo Devices @ Nokia

ext Graham Cobb wrote:
> 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 
> release.
> 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.
> Graham
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