[maemo-developers] [maemo-developers] Too busy to accept help? I'm not complaining

From: Devesh.Kothari at nokia.com Devesh.Kothari at nokia.com
Date: Fri May 12 09:31:06 EEST 2006

> -----Original Message-----
> From: mr.fred.smoothie at gmail.com [mailto:mr.fred.smoothie at gmail.com]On
> Behalf Of ext Dave Neuer
> Sent: 12 May, 2006 00:02
> To: Kothari Devesh (Nokia-M/Tampere)
> Cc: maemo-developers at maemo.org
> Subject: Re: [maemo-developers] Too busy to accept help? I'm not
> complaining
> On 5/10/06, Devesh.Kothari at nokia.com <Devesh.Kothari at nokia.com> wrote:
> > > > can you be more specific ???
> > >
> > > I can remove all software for which I cannot access and 
> re-publish the
> > > source code and all of the hardware capabilities (power 
> management,
> > > DSP and whatever other little doodads Nokia packed in 
> there) are still
> > > accessible; I can compile a kernel and a corresponding 
> initfs and root
> > > fs from source. Etc.
> >
> > Those are the goals but i have to admit we have not yet 
> reached there. We are
> > working on most parts e.g you can compile your own kernel, 
> create your custom rootfs,
> > remove stuff etc with package management. There are still 
> certain piecies which are
> > either not in our direct control (e.g TI/DSP related 
> stuff), and some which we
> > just cant give out (e.g battery related software).
> As far as the DSP stuff goes, if a developer has linux-dsp-tools,
> what's the issue? The actual code which implements the DSP tasks
> should be distributable under just about any license, no?

developers are free to use the linux-dsp-tool and write dsp tasks
(there have been some previous discussion on the mailing list about 
that)if they want to (and distribute it in a license terms they like), 
for us mostly the licensed codecs run as dsp tasks which
we cannot give out. sorry

> > For us it is important to strive a balance at product 
> creation and at the same
> > time persue the openness goal
> I certainly understand that being a software developer by profession
> myself. However, to some extent, the two goals are either at odds, or
> the second one is actually more important, to whit:

In my opinion, they are more complementary goals, like our desire towards
openess results in us thinking more about customizable, extendible and generally
better architecture which has clear points for openness and 
product differentiation. It also makes us think about enabling MOST developer
use cases to enable cooperation and working with communities as well
as engaging commercial ISV developers

> If Nokia has a product which is viable in the marketplace as it
> currently stands, it actually doesn't need the community and can do
> only what it has to do legally to comply with the licenses of the Free
> Software it ships. In which case pursuing openess is just a
> distraction and internal development effort focussed on that goal is
> probably wasted. This of course puts the community in a position where

Maemo and Nokia 770 is based on large majority or open software and 
has benifit from the open source, and that brings into us a sense to 
work together with the community as a constructive partner. To us open 
source and openness strategy is a long term investment and not a one time
opportunistic goal.
> it has little option but to reverse-engineer the parts that Nokia
> won't release and pursue whatever course makes the community's
> software usable and effective, even if it means forking.

As with all open source projects and initiatives these are individual
choices :) The better option is to identify areas which are close, and then
come up with extendible architecture, so the nokia solution can coexist with 
a reference implementation (so its more worth while to work on stable interfaces
and reasonable standardization). This provides 2 advantages, first better 
architecture and second, points of differentiation for vendors 
(i.e there could be optimized battery and power management features, or better
DSP optimized multimedia)

> On the other hand, if Nokia is hoping that it can leverage the
> comminity to *create* the software that makes the device a compelling
> product for consumers, then it's in a bind; it must please the
> developer community *first,* so that we'll be motivated to do the
> lifting required to get the product to that point; speaking
> personally, my own enthusiasm for the device is directly tied to its
> openess, and my interest in contributing is entirely linked to this

As i mentioned earlier, every individual needs to make or find his/her
happiness and hence reason for contributions. I am sorry to hear
you werent, but that only helps us to keep improving :)
> (hence my not developing software for the various Windows-based
> tablets and handhelds or purchasing said devices).
> To put this in a slightly different perspective, compare it to the
> situation in desktop and server operating systems: it is widely
> accepted that it's the open source development process itself which
> makes Linux a stable server platform, so it's strongly in the
> self-interest of vendors shipping said hardware to support *the
> community* well. On the other hand, desktop users are used to crappy
> software and expect all the latest whizbang USB devices to work with
> their machine out of the box; it's less clear why vendors selling
> products in that market should care about fostering open-source
> communities because their bottom-line depends on getting products to
> market quickly with (perhaps poorly-functioning) device drivers for a
> million devices they don't control.
> I'm not sure which category Nokia finds itself in with the 770 (I'm
> prepared to admit that I also may be creating a false dichotomy here,
> but in order to be convinced I'd want to hear evidence); however, in

I am of the opinion, to us, both goals are equally important and I dont see
it so black and while, that these two goals cannot go hand in hand or atleast
compliment each other.

> order for me to expend any effort on making the device a compelling
> one, I need it to be compelling for me, and for me what makes any type

For me (as i believe like others out there), its compelling enough
if I have a itch and that I can make go away

> of computer or electronics device compelling is that I can run it
> w/out using proprietary software. I don't mean to lecture here, but

I wonder if the PC/notebook you running is have open bios ;)?

> that's what I believed I was getting myself into when I bought the
> 770.
> Anyway, I of course appreciate you taking the time to respond and to
> engage in the discussion, I seriously hope that it eventually becomes
> moot due to the device living up to the openess promise (and sincerely
> hope it doesn't become moot because it fails in the marketplace before
> that happens).

I hope so too

> Dave

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