[maemo-community] Council nomination: Andrew Flegg

From: Andrew Flegg andrew at bleb.org
Date: Mon Mar 15 16:59:43 EET 2010
On Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 12:10, Andrew Flegg <andrew at bleb.org> wrote:
> Thanks Reggie for the kind words. After both your encouragement, and
> that of others, I'm happy to accept the nomination and will run for
> the council.

I've been asked to answer my own questions in the same Q&A format as
everyone else - fair enough but others, please ask questions!

Sprint process
> 1) Do you see any flaws in it, and how do you think it can be improved?

I think it's currently too heavyweight: the decision to have the
council chair chair the meeting is overly burdensome on the volunteers
and the meeting itself isn't as fully attended as it could be.

Therefore, I will push for increasing the visibility of the maemo.org
sprint process and reducing the burden on volunteers. Niels Breet
(X-Fade) being made the maemo.org team leader[1] will help here.
Having been involved in the running of an agile project for over 2
years, I believe:

   * Niels should chair the sprint meeting.
   * The meeting participants should be responsible for setting
     their priorities and what will be included.
   * Input should be provided by Nokia (Tero Kojo) and the
     community (the Council chair) on their issues and priorities
     before the meeting which should be taken into account
     within the prioritisation.

This will reduce the workload for the volunteers on the council,
increase the ownership of the tasks and provide greater accountability
of the paid contributors.

> 2) What are your thoughts on ongoing communication during the sprint?

It could be improved. In particular, I think the move to
drop.maemo.org and vcs.maemo.org were *very* poorly communicated by
the task owners to affected developers - if the changes could not be
avoided, instructions should have been posted prominently, not posted
in response to ad-hoc queries from developers. In addition to task
owners realising that communication is as important a part as doing
the work; the council can provide a single point of contact for high
profile issues, by having a summary table listing the high-level
issues facing the community and who on the council will act as a point
of contact for them. An example for the current council could be:

       Extras QA process         VDVsx
       Optification              gcobb
       Community outreach        Texrat

> 3) As we move from "day zero" to "day one", what do you think the
> priorities for the MeeGo community should be?

I've described the merge of Moblin and Maemo to produce MeeGo as
having as large an impact as the announcement of the 770 itself. I
was, as many of us
were, initially bewildered by the scope of the announcement, but as
the smoke has cleared and we  approach "day one"[2], I've come to
realise the changes that MeeGo will bring also provide many new
opportunities to grow the community and the platform in which so many
of us have invested so much; and that we can do that without losing

The people in positions of power in MeeGo should ensure that tasks
which are currently in progress are documented and the progress and
expected results communicated. A deadline which no-one knew about
slipping by a week is a GOOD thing if more people are engaged in these
initial stages.

Nokia and Intel, as initial stewards of MeeGo should be careful to
avoid falling into the trap of closed door meetings between their
employees on issues which should be tackled electronically, and in

If elected, I will push for:

  * A clear cooperation with the growing MeeGo community through MeeGo's
    Community Working Group[3] and develop a transition plan to ensure
    the level of collaboration the council has with Nokia isn't lost
    in the new world.

  * A Moblin/Maemo/MeeGo summit which looks to the present as well as
    to the future.

> 4) Should leaders in the MeeGo community (whether from a Moblin or
> Maemo background) try to move the existing communities with them to
> form the MeeGo community; or should a new community form around the
> operating system and its devices?

This will depend on whether running MeeGo is a day-to-day reality for
   N8x0 and N900 users.  I think it's inevitable now that a new
community, seeded from the existing one will form. However, the Maemo
community is orders of magnitude larger, more organised and focused
than the Moblin one. Maemo users are focused around a device, whereas
MeeGo users are primarily developers working on the Next Big Thing.

Once MeeGo is shipping, out of factories on consumer hardware, the
MeeGo community will have to grow in the same ways that the Maemo
community has.

Nokia wants to sponsor a MeeGo summit, combining elements of Moblin's
conferences and Maemo's summits, and this will be a good opportunity
for the three communities (Maemo, Moblin and MeeGo) to collaborate
where sensible.

> 4a) If yes, what steps should be taken to prevent overreactions and
> allegations of "take over" that happened when internettablettalk.com's
> theme changed to match the rest of maemo.org?

So, in this circumstance, MeeGo is a realistic day-to-day operating
system for Maemo devices. If MeeGo provides a comparable experience,
without any loss of functionality, the resources around Maemo can be
slowly redirected; with a clear plan and timetable.

> 4b) If no, how do you see the relationship between the Maemo community
> which has been "left behind" and the MeeGo community? How does the
> Maemo community stay vibrant if large portions on moving on to Maemo's
> successor, or drifting away to other mobile platforms?
> 5) What are your thoughts about existing maemo.org resources (such as
> Extras, auto-builder, Bugzilla) as Nokia, and the paid contributors,
> look to the future?

If MeeGo for existing devices is - at best - of developer interest
only, the existing Maemo community MUST continue, and must continue to
provide support, help and resources to Maemo users.

This may mean the community taking on more work which is currently
undertaken by paid contributors. We'll have to see. Hopefully the
pending changes at maemo.org aren't too large, and we can get them
done. This will make maemo.org easier to maintain in the future, but
we should also ensure that the existing systems are documented if we
cannot make MeeGo users of us all.

> 6) How can we encourage more, and higher quality, applications for
> Maemo - and specifically through Extras?

Apart from the ongoing changes to the QA process, if elected I will push for:

  * Support for Randall's community outreach programme, which
    is trying to grow the Maemo community rather than just
    the Maemo platform. With the launch of the Ovi store for
    Maemo, much focus is given to that rather than the community
    provisions such as Extras.

  * Empowering of community members to lead initiatives such as
    Google Summer of Code, conference attendance etc.

  * A monetisation/donation framework for community-provided

I believe that each of these will encourage developers to Maemo, grow
the community (both in size and responsibility) and encourage
developers towards developing open source software for Extras, rather
than the lure of Ovi.

Hope that helps,


[1] http://maemoteam.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/a-role-change-for-niels-x-fade-in-the-maemo-org-team/
[2] http://meego.com/community/blogs/valhalla/2010/towards-day-one
[3] http://lists.meego.com/pipermail/meego-community/2010-March/000320.html
[4] http://lists.maemo.org/pipermail/maemo-developers/2010-January/023980.html

Andrew Flegg -- mailto:andrew at bleb.org  |  http://www.bleb.org/
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