[maemo-community] [MeeGo-community] Council brainstorm

From: Andrew Flegg andrew at bleb.org
Date: Fri Aug 13 11:42:14 EEST 2010
On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 21:14, Randall Arnold <texrat at ovi.com> wrote:
> The concept of the maemo.org community council is being challenged
> and the MeeGo community is finally becoming one-- perfect confluence
> of events I think to start seriously discussing what sort of community
> council would be needed going forward.

The original aims for the "maemo.org Community Council" (as it was
then) were (OTTOMH, I haven't gone back to my original proposal):

  * FACILITATION: To help the community organise itself and
    ensure that everyone didn't have to follow everything.

  * COMMUNICATION: Act as a single voice for the disparate community,
    so that Nokia didn't have to ask "what do you think we should
    do about X" and not know how to sort out the varying opinions.
    Similarly, understanding information from Nokia and helping
    the community understand it.

  * ORGANISATION: Act as a central hub for organising the
    community, e.g. the Maemo Summits, helping with device queues,
    trying to manage the maemo.org team.

More information, and background, at http://wiki.maemo.org/Community_Council.

In that light, even with two main corporate sponsors + Linux
Foundation (and many more), all three of those are relevant, but
perhaps the third is the one which overlaps most with the Community

Looking at it in more detail: FACILITATION - This doesn't need a
formal council, it's just people who are pervasive making sure they
help across media.

COMMUNICATION - in the examples of "what should we do about X", this
would be the MeeGo project (in some form) asking its community about
something. But if the MeeGo project is open, some mechanism for
getting community members into a formal decision making process
(whether it's the TSG or CO) would seem equivalent.

ORGANISATION - as I said, this seems very similar to the remit of the
Community Office.

So, despite being a big proponent (and one of the original proposers)
of the Maemo Community Council, I *think* I've just talked myself out
of the need of a separate body. *Or*, it's a body which sits across
the sub-prjects, or within the TSG. I certainly think there needs to
be community representation within the decision making processes of
the project and this is the big problem...

At the moment, I don't know. Sure, there's a growing community around
building MeeGo itself and porting it to new platforms. There's a
(small?) user community who have played with MeeGo on a netbook. But,
coming at it from my interests (portable gadgetry), until there is
something really in the hands of power users & enthusiasts (or the
N900 port becomes a day-to-day realistic OS) I'm not sure we can know.

Once you take into account the first MeeGo-ish device will be Nokia's
MeeGo-Harmattan hybrid, the waters get even murkier. Do we want
meego-sdk and/or forum.meego.com full of questions about "I've built
the deb for my package but dpkg is giving me an "error 123" message
when I try to install it"? Similarly, the actual practical aspects of
packages in AppUp & Ovi & community Extras will impact whether or not
there's a cohesive *MeeGo* community, rather than a netbook community,
a Nokia N999 community, a Samsung X2191 community and so on.

So, until things become clearer as to who the MeeGo community is - or
might be - I'm not sure I know what I think.

HOWEVER, I agree that things at the Conference may be an *awful* lot
clearer: by then, if it's not launched, hopefully we'll have seen more
details about Harmattan and the Harmattan device and have an idea of
how the Netbook UX is working from a community PoV.

A BoF at the Conference on community governance and representation
seems sensible - hopefully without too much navel-gazing as to who the
community are, as it'll've become clearer.



Andrew Flegg -- mailto:andrew at bleb.org  |  http://www.bleb.org/
Maemo Community Council chair
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