[maemo-developers] No more 770 bug activity?

From: Acadia Secure Networks acadiasecurenets at aol.com
Date: Fri Apr 6 21:58:10 EEST 2007


re: your comment

>     Nokia currently stands in the middle between open and closed.  I imagine
>     it is frustrating to both sides.

Is the reason that Nokia has some portions of the software as closed 
source, because the suppliers of those components,or the underlying 
hardware components,  are requiring Nokia to keep such software closed 

Or, on the other hand, is Nokia trying to protect its own software IP by 
having some of the software closed source?

I would be surprised if it were the latter because I would think that 
Nokia's real source of value is in the Internet Tablet hardware and not 
the software. On the other had if, by opening the source code for its 
currently closed source software components, Nokia would make itself 
more vulnerable to clone manufacturers (thus turning the Internet Tablet 
into a commodity good) then I could see good reason, from Nokia's 
perspective, for it to keep certain key components of software from 
getting out into the opensource community.

As I understand it there are several ways to make profits from providing 
solutions to customers that relate to opensource software in one way or 

    1. Write and Sell Books about opensource products

    2. Conduct and sell training and provide  knowhow (consulting) on
    opensource software

    3. Provide Distribution management services (e.g. Novell, Redhat,
    RPath, etc.)

    4. Provide services that utilize opensource software (e.g.
    Amazon.com and many Software as a Service www services)

    5. Make and sell Hardware that runs opensource software  (e.g.
    network appliances of all sorts, servers, embedded systems, etc.)

    6. Make and sell closed source software products that "gateway" to
    opensource solutions via standard protocols.

    7. Make and sell closed source software that runs on top of opensource.

Nokia, with respect to the Internet Tablet seems, to be doing #5 with a 
little of #7 thrown in. I just don't understand how much net value they 
are deriving from #7 given the "cost" of disturbing the  maemo community 
with their keeping a part of the software as closed source (assuming 
that this decision is totally under their control, which it may not be).

Best Regards,


John Holmblad


Acadia Secure Networks

Marius Gedminas wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 05, 2007 at 08:36:26AM +0300, quim.gil at nokia.com wrote:
>> I'm not going to get into details about the packages mentioned, but as a
>> general answer... 
>>> So why on earth was it ever closed-source?
>> As mentioned in my previous email, project management issues had a big
>> weight on this kind of decisions. Objectively, when you are a huge
>> company and you need to deliver quickly software matching commercial
>> quality standards it is probably faster, cheaper and easier to deliver
>> it as closed source.
> What?  The only difference between open and closed is the licence and
> the availability of the source code.  The only delays I can imagine is
> having to pass lawyer review to make sure no code you don't own and
> cannot relicence made its way in there.
> Quality has nothing to do with opening or closing the source code.
> Well, maybe if the developers will know their code will be seen by other
> they might care more about the quality of the source code and therefore
> take a bit longer to release.
> Given how the quality of closed-source software on the Nokia tablets
> compares to a typical Linux desktop (hint: not in a good way), I'd have
> to agree that you can deliver it faster and cheaper.
>> Open source is more efficient in the beta stage and in the mid term,
>> agreed.
>> The UI is different, it was decided to have it closed in order to
>> protect it from changes and deviations out of the control of the
>> project.
> We aren't happy about that, but it's your code and you get to decide how
> to licence it (and, unfortunately, you get to decide when to stop fixing
> bugs that we can't fix ourselves without the source code).
>> Nowadays the history and context is a bit different, specially thanks to
>> the success of the maemo, IT OS and tablets projects. The wheels are
>> moving, as Kimmo says. Some things take some time, I insist.  :)
> At least there's hope for the future.
> Nokia currently stands in the middle between open and closed.  I imagine
> it is frustrating to both sides.
> Marius Gedminas
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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