[maemo-community] Sprint meeting this month - and beyond?

From: Dave Neary dneary at maemo.org
Date: Wed May 5 16:32:37 EEST 2010

quim.gil at nokia.com wrote:
>> Specifically, a few people have mentioned to me that you're not really
>> sure where they're expected to be right now - MeeGo seems to be in early
>> stages and doesn't present many opportunities to get hands dirty yet,
> Can you provide specific examples? 

Nothing you're not aware of already:
* No way to build, package & distribute software for MeeGo
* No transparent development process of the mobile UX, no opportunity to
try stuff out (yet) - my hope would have been that an almost-useless UX
GIT repository would have been available some time ago, with closed
components not in there (and being added as they get opened) allowing me
to see the thing being built, follow git logs, make an image & try it on
my N900, and maybe even pitch in with a helping hand (not me, but you
get eth picture)
* To give just one example which is quite representative: I have asked
whether we shouldn't start documenting "getting started with MeeGo"
based on what we have available now - get a head start on the developer
guide for later on, and allow people to get packaging software straight
away, and I've been asked to hold off on it, that there's no point in
doing that as long as we don't have UX code available - so the project
feels like it's in an early state for any community participation
* One more example from a Bugzilla comment I saw today (some words
changed to protect the innocent): "We are reviewing the request, and
considering one more optimized product & component structure to support
[your request]" - this kind of comment gives the impression that there
are conversations happening to which I'm not privvy, that there are
"we"s thinking great thoughts waiting for them to be "ready" before
announcing them to the waiting world
* All infrastructure is managed by Intel (and some Nokia) people - and
while this is a fine way to start, there doesn't appear to be any move
to enable community members to prove themselves and gain access to these

So in terms of software availability, transparency, and the general test
of "what can I do which won't be wasted effort in 2 months", it feels
generally like it's still early to be moving application developers,
platform developers or all of the support effort from Maemo (which has
infrastructure set up) to MeeGo (which is in a kind of limbo waiting for
a first release of the UX).

Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

For infrastructure, it is not an easy problem, but you can start small -
maybe set up a community moderation team for Mailman mailing lists,
start adding regular editors as WikiSysop or admin on wikimedia, maybe
start adding some admin permissions to some community members for
Bugzilla... the point is, you need to seed the teams & processes to
spread admin access around.

> Anyway, even if things look that way right now in few weeks we have
> release, then starts the October release process at full public speed,
> then MeeGo Conference... The current situation and perceptions will change.

Sure! In the meantime, the question is: what can we do in the Maemo
project to prepare for a transition to the MeeGo project, when it's
ready for us to move. If the early UX code is out in the end of May,
that will definitely give momentum, and will allow us to get started on
things like documentation, tutorials and application development.

There's still some work afterwards to enable community software
distribution, and a lot of the committed tasks are (as you recognised
yesterday in the meeting) quite concentrated - I can imaging some tasks
like SSO taking a long time because anyone who has access to do them has
other higher priority tasks to take care of.

>> and Maemo seems to have been somewhat abandoned (strong word, but it's
>> what I've heard) by Nokia
> This doesn't mean abandonment: we are committed to keep funding the
> maemo.org bills. It does mean though (again, in my opinion) more
> maintenance than creation of new things. Cool ideas for maemo.org can be
> better invested in meego.com. Or put it in other way, how much do we
> gain by pushing something to maemo.org that mights be pushed in a
> different way in meego.com? meego.com is the site with clear future
> projection and whatever your agendas are you'd better push them there.

Let me just say - I don't want to be the bad guy knocking everything,
but I don't think that I'm the only one who people have been saying
things like this to. I'm glad to hear that you think there are ways we
can get good stuff done for MeeGo right now, but from where I stand, I
am still not sure where my help is wanted (or expected).

The thing you say is exactly the problem I see - why would anyone work
on the maemo.org platform now, when it will be obsoleted by meego.com
very shortly (but not yet)? The result seems to be "wait & see" for

>> I think that we need to address these perceptions, and either correct
>> them (with words & actions) or admit them, and come up with a coherent
>> narrative for people who are wondering what they do now.
> As said, it is easier to address perceptions based on concrete
> examples and concerns. All the better if they are directly related to
> maemo.org development work.
> I would also prefer to discuss this in the forum. There is where some
> of the most vocal, critical, brilliant and Maemo-centric people can
> be found.

OK - let me open up a forum thread & see what happens.


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Email: dneary at maemo.org
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