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

From: Timo Härkönen timop.harkonen at gmail.com
Date: Sun Aug 14 10:24:22 EEST 2011

2011/8/13 Michael Cronenworth <mike at cchtml.com>

> Foreword:
> 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 haven't seen that kind of attitude apart from a very few separate cases.
Instead I've seen people with experience/knowledge sharing. At the other end
of the spectrum I've also seen people expecting to be spoon fed information.
Personally I refuse to help people further if they don't bother to find
anything out be themselves. But this is not the general attitude and
fortunately people do chance. if that attitude makes me an elitist so be it.

Anyway. Any community will have many very different people and there will
always be misunderstandings, etc. this is what happens in communities.

> 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.

We can continue this discussion in finnish so I can express myself more
naturally ;) (kidding)

> 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.

At least I value on topic discussions and see no harm in guiding people to
corrent places.

> -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.
Individuals will always be individuals and they all act differently. The
best advice I can give you is to just follow the discussions, get to know
the people, see how the community dynamics work, etc.

> 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.

Well. engadget liked it :) This bit isn't really a community issue. It is a
common misinterpretation that meego.com has something to do with devices. No
so much - It only makes the open source MeeGo reference SW that hardware
vendors can take and differentiate.

> 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.

> Footnote:
> 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.
To me it seems that you're venting your frustration/disappointment on Nokia
not delivering according to your expectations on the community which of
course is the wrong target so it's kinda expected that you won't be getting
a warm welcome from the community. Why? The community is pretty much people
like you and me. Don't blame us for things that we haven't done and are not
even in the position to do.

I'm just as ignorant finnish software engineer and I maintain packages in
and do small applications for MeeGo in my spare time. See, we're not that


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