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

From: Sebastian 'CrashandDie' Lauwers crashanddie at gmail.com
Date: Thu Sep 24 11:09:20 EEST 2009
Good to see some posts are harvested to fuel whatever. (Summit
questions? Blog post?)

Also, Randall, your email requesting deletion is sadly not going to
happen -- the mailing lists are archived publicly.


On 23/09/2009, Qole <qole.tablet at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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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> --
> enthusiast, n. "One whose mind is wholly possessed and heated by what
> engages it; one who is influenced by a peculiar fervor of mind; an ardent
> and imaginative person."

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