[maemo-community] My Perception of the Maemo/MeeGo Community

From: Michael Cronenworth mike at cchtml.com
Date: Sat Aug 13 22:08:28 EEST 2011
This is a very long, blog-like message. Thanks to those who read through 
it. I am posting here instead of my personal blog as I want to create a 
discussion instead of a reaction.

I feel I should explain my thoughts of the Maemo/MeeGo community from 
the perspective of a US resident. I realize my opinions are mine and 
mine alone. I welcome any response, particularly those who live in the 
US. My perception of the Maemo/MeeGo community is that those directly 
involved (Nokia employees, Maemo council members, Maemo workers) have a 
self-entitled, elitist attitude. I cannot recount any time I have had a 
warm, fuzzy feeling from discussions that I have been associated with or 
not. Yes, the preceding is a general, subjective comment. Let me break 
it down:

First and foremost I wish to comment on the interactions I've had on the 
mailing lists. The few times I communicate with Maemo/MeeGo folks it 
comes across as hostile. This may be from a native English speaker 
talking to non-native speakers. A few examples:
-Posting "wrong list" comments on e-mails who's topics are half-way 
between the two Maemo lists. Get over yourself. These lists are so low 
volume these kinds of comments are off-topic and are inflammatory.
-Knowing your job title. I don't know the title or position you hold by 
just your name, nor should you expect me to. Telling someone "well Bob 
Smith told you X, you should believe him". Why? One time in the past I 
was given a "Who are you?" type of response, which is obviously very 
condescending. The Maemo/MeeGo community is very small and unknown. 
Consider the fact that outsiders have no idea who you are.

The general US resident does not purchase a phone that is not sold at a 
wireless phone carrier's store. I feel I can speak with certainty that a 
super majority of the cell phone owning, US population does not buy a 
phone on their own. My friends, co-workers, and family have all 
purchased phones from their carrier. I do not personally know of anyone 
besides myself that has purchased the phone directly from the manufacturer.

Why is the paragraph above important?
Maemo/MeeGo devices are not sold by US carriers. They will only be in 
the hands of a few thousand US residents compared to the millions of 
Android or iOS devices. My friends, co-workers, and family will never 
own a Maemo/MeeGo device so I can never write an app for them or share 
my experiences with them.

I feel any time or effort put into a Maemo/MeeGo device would be 
wasteful. After working on a few projects I felt any further time 
programming for Maemo/MeeGo would be wasted. I stopped working on a 
karaoke app because of it. I do not see any large following 
internationally either. This mailing list (including maemo-developer) 
has fallen completely silent. I wasn't motivated enough to ask for a 
N950 to develop on after seeing the responses to the announcement of the 
N9 by US-based news/blog sites, which were mostly negative.

Why have I made this e-mail?
I wanted to have a true Linux phone (kernel + userspace) and Maemo/MeeGo 
seemed like the answer to my prayers. I have no certainty of Nokia's 
investing in marketing or even shipping a device to the US. I feel my 
only move is to reluctantly transition to the Android platform. Does 
anyone else share my sentiment or do you have a different perception?

Before anyone pulls out the Angry Birds card they should know that it 
does not apply to me. I do not wish to make a cross-phone app. Angry 
Birds was only successful when it moved *from* Maemo *to* Android/iOS/BB 
devices. Maemo/MeeGo does not even promote cross-phone development. 
Using Qt on a phone platform will soon die with MeeGo since Symbian is 
dead and WP7, even if it provides a Qt runtime, is a completely 
uninteresting platform to me.

Who am I? I'm just your typical, ignorant American. I work in the health 
care industry as a software programmer and maintain packages in the 
Fedora distribution in my spare time.
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