[maemo-community] Questions about Maemo, maemo.org et al

From: Dave Neary dneary at maemo.org
Date: Thu Dec 4 13:50:45 EET 2008
Hi all,

Since http://wiki.maemo.org/Task:Maemo_brand is marked as finished, it
might be reasonable to expect that everyone is in agreement about how to
use Maemo, maemo.org and friends.

And yet I've noticed some disagreement (usually involving me) about how
these should be used. The proof in the pudding is the discussion around
bug #3587: https://bugs.maemo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=3587

The wiki page above says:

> #  Maemo community - The sum of developers working openly on the
> Maemo platform and compatible applications + Maemo users with
> different levels of experience, interested in all kinds of
> collaboration and contributions to the project.
> * maemo.org - Space of collaboration of the Maemo community,
> organized around open source tools and ways of working. Started as a
> project run by Nokia, it's currently moving towards a community
> driven initiative.

So this seems pretty clear. We are the Maemo community, and we work on
maemo.org, the collaboration space (for me, this means the website and
its subdomains).

So how do we refer to the wiki? There are a number of ways, all of which
are consistent with this. Think of the following as being in a phrase,
for example when you're talking to someonf and teling them where to go
to get some specific information:

* wiki.maemo.org
* The maemo.org wiki
* The Maemo wiki
* The Maemo community wiki
* Community wiki

The domain name is obviously factual, but isn't, to my mind, a
sufficient description of the thing for written text. I dislike
referring to anything as "the maemo.org anything" since, to my mind, in
the branding guidelines maemo.org is not an adjective, and should never
be. The main reason for the move to Maemo rather than maemo was to avoid
unnatural capitalisations, and by using maemo.org as an adjective, we're
going to have the same problem as OpenOffice.org - domain names are not
a natural way to refer to something.

I like "The Maemo wiki" - it is the wiki of the Maemo project. Maemo is
in this case an adjective, consistent, as far as I can tell, with the
brand guidelines.

"Maemo community wiki" seems like a long-winded way to describe it, and
potentially ambiguous. Is it the wiki of the Maemo community, or the
community wiki of the Maemo project? For the wiki, this isn't too
important, but it could be important in other contexts. For example,
I've always thought the community council was "the community council of
the Maemo project" rather than "the council of the Maemo community" (and
in that case, the ambiguity is significant).

Quim makes a decent point in bug #3587 - in the case of the wiki, "Maemo
anything" is redundant. It is, as he says, "the community wiki", full
stop. In fact, he modified the front page to say as much. This lends
some evidence to my contention that "Maemo" is the adjective in "Maemo
community wiki".

Niels suggests that uses of "Maemo anything" need to be cleared by the
Nokia trademark guidelines for the Maemo trademark, but usage will not
necessarily follow trademark guidelines when the project grows further,
and we've already seem projects have substantive community issues around
ambiguous trademark guidelines in the past (Mozilla Firefox is one
example, but there are others). I'd really like to have this issue

I know that this is all pedantry and wordsmithing, at the end of the
day, but I think it's important that we know where we stand, and that
our usage of the various terms around Maemo and maemo.org be
sufficiently clear-cut that newcomers to the project don't do the
"wrong" thing.


maemo.org docsmaster
Email: dneary at maemo.org
Jabber: bolsh at jabber.org

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