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Posts: 1,671 | Thanked: 11,477 times | Joined on Jun 2008 @ Warsaw, Poland
Okay, Listen very carefully I shall say this only once.

EDIT: For those too damn lazy to read the whole post, please read: You're in good hands. Stop worrying. Your N900 won't break when Maemo6 or MeeGo comes out, or be less useful. If you want details, read the post.

First, some background. I'm distmaster, which means I facilitate operating system development in the community. In the past year, I have been working on the Mer project, which was a project to put an alternative and community supported OS on Nokia tablets and other devices. I know a darned lot about how these devices work and the organisational aspects of OS development on them by working on them for a very long time. I work on bringing Maemo 5.0 to Nokia N800, N810(W).

I've had to deal with Nokia in many different ways in this role and I've been met with respect and understanding when I've approached them with logical and organisationally sound arguments.

This should be enough in terms of argument by authority, merit and hopefully logically sound arguments. If you can't accept either, don't keep on reading, but don't complain about this issue from now on.

So, let's start dissection the argument: "Nokia not bringing MeeGo or Maemo6 to N900".

First off, let's look at our raw material - the N900. You see a cellphone. It requires updates from vendor to get new features, it will stop getting updates when vendor stops caring and there's nothing we can do about it.

Instead, I see a mobile computer. Remember your PC? The same way you could install Vista on your PC or XP or even Ubuntu or other crazy operating systems, this is possible on your N900 - you do not have to rely on your hardware vendor to provide a OS for your device. On a PC, you rely on them providing drivers for your computer. It's the same on a N900 - drivers, kernel, battery management and so on.

So, first question you should ask instead:
  • Will Nokia as a hardware vendor continue to provide drivers for N900 for MeeGo and Maemo 6? (Will they devote resources to do this or help community to do this themselves)

If Nokia will do this, it's obvious that community versions for N900 of MeeGo and Maemo 6 can exist. Even if the drivers aren't open source - Nokia is very flexible in this regard and has shown this in the past.

Next question is for yourself:
  • Do you trust that the community is capable of producing a production quality MeeGo or Maemo 6 for N900, if it had technical assistance by Nokia for driver issues? And would you use it?

Next step. You're worried you are getting left behind in terms of applications from 3rd parties targetting Maemo6 and MeeGo.

No, because they are targetting the "Qt" framework which we already have on the N900, even on Maemo5. We have also seen Maemo6/Harmattan UI libraries running on Maemo5. What are you worrying about? It looks quite compatible to me. With OBS in MeeGo, it would even be possible to rebuild straight for Maemo5 with little effort.

That question would then be:
  • Will applications coded for MeeGo/Maemo6 be possible to build for Maemo5 with little effort?

So, next step: Maemo 6 isn't just drivers. Some of you also would like to see the stack of Nokia applications from Maemo6/Nokia MeeGo versions brought to N900 (Ovi Maps, Media player and other programs I don't use that much). This is a more difficult question as it relies on organisational issues and if it makes economic sense and sells devices.

It also depends on capabilities of the hardware (If N900 doesn't have lasers, of course the "Evil Mastermind" program that requires lasers on your device won't work).

The question would then be:
  • Will Nokia be using the cross-platformness of MeeGo APIs to bring their software stack to all Nokia devices running the MeeGo platform (community or vendor-originated)?

Now, can we please stop worrying about all this stuff and love the fact we're having a device as open as a PC to bring us things when a corporate entity might not - and a community capable of bringing us the features anyway? And that we are getting a fully open platform (MeeGo) that we can easily get on our devices. And even so, Maemo5 has a -long- life ahead of it still. You aren't getting forgotten after this announcement.

My recommendation is to start asking this set of questions in a constructive manner. Panicking isn't the solution here - look at what's actually possible and what -you- can do to help the situation. Panicking sure doesn't help the situation and just creates noise so nothing gets done.
As you go on to other communities, remember to build them around politeness, respect, trust and humility. Be wary of poisonous people and deal with them before they end up killing your community.. Seen it happen to too many IRC channels, forums, open source projects.

Last edited by Stskeeps; 2010-02-20 at 19:46.

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