[maemo-community] A 'red thread' through talks at maemo summit

From: Qole qole.tablet at gmail.com
Date: Thu Sep 24 00:47:14 EEST 2009
If that seems like someone accidentally sent a private e-mail to a public
mailing-list right in the middle of a long discussion, with no context and
no indicators as to what all of that was about...

You'd be right.

On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 2:19 PM, Randall Arnold <texrat at ovi.com> wrote:

> ...and you now poke the biggest, ugliest stick of all into the hornets'
> nest: *roadmaps*.
> There's no way to make this issue black and white so we have been arguing
> on what shade of grey it should be.  This is one of those confounding
> dilemmas where extreme views on either side have equal merit.
> The problem for Nokia is, somehow this stumbling bloick MUST be eliminated
> or development will persist in some quasi state satisfactory to neither the
> company nor the community.
> But ultimately all we as a community can do is
> beg/whine/argue/recommend/protest.  SOMEone in Nokia must decide what
> roadmaps should look like and when/how they are released.  That also brings
> in the lawyers.
> Ay yi yi...
> -Randy
> ----- Original message -----
> From: "Alan Bruce" <alan at thebruces.ca>
> To: "Randall Arnold" <texrat at ovi.com>
> Subject: Re: A 'red thread' through talks at maemo summit
> Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2009 12:05:40 -0700
> Whoah, I've just doubled the size of my text by adding all the good
> questions and comments from the t.m.o thread.
> Here's the part of my text that has changed:
> Harmattan / The future
>    - What kind of changes do you plan to make in the future to better work
>    with the community?
>    - Would Nokia consider giving end-of-life versions of Maemo to the
>    community to maintain? Or does Nokia expect the community to exclusively use
>    parallel versions of Maemo, like Mer, if the community wishes to take
>    control after Nokia ends support?
>    - Now that Maemo Devices controls the software and the hardware, will
>    the hardware become more open-source? Will there be processes for the
>    community to contribute to hardware design?
> *High Level Open Source vs. Closed Source Discussion*
> *(the same)
> **
> Questions from the community:*
> *Jaffa:*
> Accepting that some things need to be kept behind closed doors for
> commercial reasons, when are Nokia engineers going to be operating in the
> community for everything *else*? We'd like to see API design discussions
> in advance, on maemo-developers, as well as an open, common bugzilla and
> code repository. For example, we discovered the Fremantle "third party
> package policy" when people started having problems. And that's in an open,
> community-involved package like Application Manager.
> *Discussion between Jaffa/ragnar*:
>    - *Jaffa:* [W]e've already seen what happens with Hildon when well
>    intentioned developers go away for 18 months and then come back with a beta
>    which has a practically fixed API, which lots of developers immediately
>    start finding inconsistencies, edge cases, over-zealous specialisms vs. over
>    generalisations.
>    The only valid answer I can see is the one we've heard before:
>    "exposing this information for external comment from the community will
>    reveal too much of our future plans".
>    This is a fine answer. But, of course, there's then no hint of
>    roadmaps, design principles (not in the UX sense) or architecture plans on
>    which the community can contribute. So, no contributions means the cycle
>    continues and products which could've had free consultancy services from an
>    empassioned expert community are shipped in a sub-optimal state.
>    - *ragnar:* Generally UI's are not revealed in advance because of
>    competitive reasons. If we would have shown the Maemo 5 UI plans at the time
>    they were ready for the first time, any smart competitor would have not
>    commented anything on them, picked up on the good ideas, disregarded others
>    and probably even come out with their own device before Nokia. Then end
>    consumers - who don't know and care about the process of how things get done
>    - would be just left confused. Showing our own cards is a very basic
>    problem, and I hope everybody realizes that. We will be the first company
>    out with the device with the Maemo 5 UI. If you wouldn't believe your UI is
>    an competitive advantage and therefore don't care about that fact, then we
>    can all go home already.
> So, either you hold your cards really close to your chest, or you then do
> the complete opposite, and do like Mozilla, and open up everything all the
> time, right from the start. If Nokia = Maemo and nothing more, and if Nokia
> could crank devices out faster than any competitor, then perhaps there would
> be more options. But since Nokia > just Maemo, even Maemo does not work in a
> bubble. Revealing some parts of Maemo UI would reveal ... elements of "Nokia
> UI" - see that however you want.
> Well, yes, external consultancy costs money. But it can also offer
> consistency, with testing methodology, target user gathering, non-biased
> testers, consistent reporting metrics etc. etc. So they're not really
> comparative. You wouldn't replace one with the other.
> Could you - or anybody - can come up with a good (as in realistic and
> pragmatic instead of idealistic) proposal on how to 'do' community input
> regarding the new UI?
> ...[I]f we would show the whole plans, and then get n comments on it, ...
> Would following the democratic majority of the developer community lead to
> an optimal solution in terms of an UI solution? Wouldn't that be the worst
> kind of "design by committee" that one could imagine? Do a poll for "Feature
> X, do solution A or solution B" and vote which solution gets more votes? No?
> *Milhouse:*
> In three years, I've seen little real progress, just lots of promises to
> improve which never really materialise. I can count the number of
> Nokia/Maemo developers actively involved in Bugzilla on one hand. Intel puts
> Nokia to shame with the amount of involvement from Intel engineers in the
> Moblin bugzilla. Why is Intel able to achieve a much greater level of
> transparency than Nokia when discussing defects and enhancements? Intel
> appear willing to publicly file, and more importantly discuss, the bugs in
> their product whereas Nokia prefer to keep their dirty laundry a secret and
> are doing a very good job of ignoring those bugs raised by the community.
> There is little if any direct input from Nokia developers against publicly
> filed bugs, many of which are closed as WONTFIX when the respective OS
> version is end-of-lined.
> *jaem:*
> One of the strengths of Maemo is its community, largely drawn by the
> relative openness and hackability of the Maemo devices. In light of
> announced plans for a more mass-market approach, and potentially future
> Linux-based smartphone devices (e.g. oFono), how does Nokia plan to balance
> maintaining openness with the opposing pressures typically inherent in such
> plans?
> *lma:*
> What happened since "It is not a cell phone -- and it is good<http://jaaksi.blogspot.com/2005/11/it-is-not-cell-phone-and-it-is-good.html>"
> to change your mind? Are those reasons not valid any more, or are there more
> compelling reasons (and if so, what) pushing in the opposite direction? The
> compromises/sacrifices necessary to turn a tablet into a phone (finger UI,
> screen size and so on) have been very controversial here [on the forums];
> does Nokia plan to still address the market segment that prefers a tablet to
> a phone?
> *benny1967*:
>    - how much community input could nokia handle concerning *hardware*?
>    could they envision that some day a future product is designed via a
>    bugzilla-system, with people voting for enhancement requests about hardware?
>    could there be something like a community edition of existing mass market
>    products that differs in things like screen size or keyboard layout etc
>    according to the wishes of a reasonably large part of the community?
>    - How does the maemo community live up to Nokia's expectations? Are
>    there still things that must be done internally (or don't happen at all)
>    because the community fails to deliver?
>    - On the business side, is dealing with the community in general more
>    expensive/difficult than handling uncoordinated customer feedback?
> *ARJWright:*
> Nokia seems to be going in two directions: the transition from a device to
> a services company with Ovi; and the transition to the new open source
> Symbian and Maemo. Is "mobile" really the best arena for a company which is
> basing its value on services and the relationships that it has maintained?
> Or, from Nokia's perspective, do these transitions to open source and
> services-orientation point to a key element of technology-as-culture that we
> miss because we don't have the same view that a company such as Nokia has?
> If the latter, can you elaborate on what Nokia sees, and why this viewpoint
> is significant for a community like Maemo to understand.
> *Texrat:*
> The community really desires *some* sort of development/release roadmap
> for Maemo hardware and software. We understand that Nokia cannot be *
> completely* forthcoming due to competitive needs, but can't at least *some
> * degree of rough guidance be provided?
> On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 11:10 AM, Randall Arnold <texrat at ovi.com> wrote:
>> Excellent point, and one I actually raised 3 years ago and have harped on
>> so much since that it did not occur to me to raise it again.  : D
>>  ----- Original message -----
>> From: "Alan Bruce" <alan at thebruces.ca>
>> To: "Carsten Munk" <carsten.munk at gmail.com>
>> Subject: Re: A 'red thread' through talks at maemo summit
>>  Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2009 10:34:21 -0700
>> Carsten, you're right. I just re-read my thread at t.m.o. and jaffa asks
>> the same question:
>> Jaffa: Accepting that some things need to be kept behind closed doors for
>> commercial reasons, when are Nokia engineers going to be operating in the
>> community for everything *else*? (For example, we discovered the
>> Fremantle "third party package policy" when people started having problems.
>> And that's in an open, community-involved package like Application Manager.)
>> On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 12:22 AM, Carsten Munk <carsten.munk at gmail.com>wrote:
>>> Loving the questions. Maybe a question on getting internal developers out
>>> in the open - open source happens by doing things in the open as well.
>>> Regards,
>>> Carsten
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engages it; one who is influenced by a peculiar fervor of mind; an ardent
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