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qgil's Avatar
Posts: 3,105 | Thanked: 11,079 times | Joined on Jul 2007 @ Mountain View (CA, USA)
#1
Why Nokia keeps their products secret while pushing an open source approach in Maemo? The question has been raised in a way or another several times. And it has been answered also many times in thos threads.

The last time at http://www.internettablettalk.com/fo...&postcount=221 by eiffel. And the GA said:

Originally Posted by GeneralAntilles View Post
You may not realize it, but the Nokians who frequent this website get this. They get open source, and they understand what open means. Unfortunately big ships like Nokia don't turn on a dime, and it takes time to change direction like this (especially when most traditional business values go totally against it). They've made an amazing amount of progress since 2005.
Actually is not even that.

Open source is about software but most of the criticism towards lack of openness to Nokia in e.g. the thread linked above goes around hardware aka products. Nokia doesn't aim to translate the open source principles to product planning and marketing. The reason is clear: until now Nokia hasn't done bad selling products, and even if some competitors are selling also well openness seems not to be something key in their strategies.

Then there are projects that have taken an open approach when producing hardware (OLPC, OpenMoko, OpenPandora, what else). As interesting as these projects are or have been, their open approach hasn't brought them a striking success. Yes, there are many reason to that and any comparison might be unfair. But you see why the people in Nokia deciding how to invest the budget and plan the marketing and sales feel comfortable with the open source model for software development, but no for product planning and marketing.

And this is one of the reasons why Maemo is quite open (at least compared to direct competitors) when it comes to disclose and discuss about platform details relevant to developers, but less about end user features and even less about unannounced device products.

Thank you for your understanding.
 

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#2
I think the problem is that it has been soooo long ago we had any hw news and that's frustrating for some people.
 

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#3
Originally Posted by ColdFusion View Post
I think the problem is that it has been soooo long ago we had any hw news and that's frustrating for some people.
This is exactly it. The community is stuck with a dead platform (Diablo), and obsolete hardware. You can only leave users with nothing to use and developers with nothing (the alpha SDKs don't count) to develop for before the frustration boils over into the endless bickering we've been seeing lately.

Originally Posted by qgil View Post
Open source is about software but most of the criticism towards lack of openness to Nokia in e.g. the thread linked above goes around hardware aka products.
Sure, but let's not pretend that there aren't plenty of complaints to level at Nokia's behavior towards software.

Originally Posted by qgil View Post
Then there are projects that have taken an open approach when producing hardware (OLPC, OpenMoko, OpenPandora, what else). As interesting as these projects are or have been, their open approach hasn't brought them a striking success. Yes, there are many reason to that and any comparison might be unfair.
Yes, these are unfair comparisons. Clearly you can't bank on open source and open hardware as your only asset (OpenMoko certainly doesn't have much else going for it), but there's not enough evidence to support the validity of the approach one way or the other. I'd certainly love to see Nokia become one of the first big players to try it out, though.
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Last edited by GeneralAntilles; 2009-04-19 at 15:33.
 

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#4
The way I see it, the NITs are pretty much an island, there is practically no alternative today if one wants truly pocketable openness (with android devices just emerging on the horizon). That's why many people (myself included) want the next generation so bad to succeed and at the same time fit whatever expectations we have. As yourself have pointed out, this time around the announcement will not be so much before the actual release. The extra speculation is just the flip side of that strategy (with the long announcement having it's own downsides, od course). Also, maemo is amassing more and more users who are not tech savvy enough (or simply don't have the time) to play with the SDK, but enjoy all the blessings that maemo and linux in general can bring - for them, the wait is even harder as they have nothing to do but sit around and wait. And idle hands are the devil's tools on forums
 
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#5
Originally Posted by GeneralAntilles View Post
I'd certainly love to see Nokia become one of the first big players to try it out, though.
not likely, the guys in suits running the show is probably trying to wrap their head around open source software. trying to be more open about hardware probably have them scared silly...
 
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#6
Besides, the line between "software" and "hardware" is blurry at best - they're intimately tied to one another, and neither is useful in and of itself. Hence, releasing software details without reference to specific hardware paints a pretty vague picture. And as we've seen, a lot of people aren't encouraged by "vague".

That said, I suspect details will soon become clearer.
 

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#7
Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
Besides, the line between "software" and "hardware" is blurry at best - they're intimately tied to one another, and neither is useful in and of itself. Hence, releasing software details without reference to specific hardware paints a pretty vague picture. And as we've seen, a lot of people aren't encouraged by "vague".

That said, I suspect details will soon become clearer.
indeed, from what i could see over on the other thread, most of the frustration came from details around inputs, something that relates to how one should expect to deal with interface design and so on.

not knowing fully what inputs will be available could lead to a whole lot of wasted effort in programming something that expects something that will not be available in the final product(s).
 

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#8
Who said that open source has to be openly developed?

You might say it goes against openness and the community to do that and for certain projects I agree.

we both know from experience now what open community development does for a large project and its not pretty.

Gan, for a personal example, think about the nightmares you had about app categories, and multiply them 1000 times.

Being secretive and developing behind closed doors allows a group to focus on the vision and spec without ending up with a stinking pile of committee driven code.

sure, at the end of a cycle the code produced still might not satisfy a hungry crowd, but it fulfilled the original design objectives and tick all the right boxes.
The alpha and beta stages are meant to facilitate discussions about changes in direction.

I believe the same goes for hardware, but the "community" cannot really do most of the alpha and beta testing, but I'm sure some folks have done already and will continue to in the future.


as for the dead hardware, I certainly don't think its dead and as community council member for maemo.org general thats a pretty harsh thing to say.
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#9
Originally Posted by GeneralAntilles View Post
The community is stuck with ... obsolete hardware.
It take issue with that. My 770 is better than anything Nokia has released since, and, from everything I'm hearing, their future products are likely to be worse.
 
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#10
Originally Posted by lcuk View Post
Who said that open source has to be openly developed?
There's not much point in it being open source if all you get is the occasional batch of code tossed over the wall.

Originally Posted by lcuk View Post
You might say it goes against openness and the community to do that and for certain projects I agree.

we both know from experience now what open community development does for a large project and its not pretty.

Gan, for a personal example, think about the nightmares you had about app categories, and multiply them 1000 times.
Being open doesn't mean you're handing the keys over to any idiot with version control. It simply means you're talking about your plans and about what you're doing in a public place. It does not, as you seem to think, require you to sacrifice your creative vision to please the mob.
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Last edited by GeneralAntilles; 2009-04-19 at 16:16.
 

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