500 happy contributors


The Smith-Smith Wedding Party Jump, by capturingreallife

If you remember, we were figuring out the best way of rewarding community contributions to maemo. Well, the result is now out in the form of 500 emails to 500 fortunate people getting a substantial discount for a Nokia N810. The official announcement (including the list of winners) will be in maemo.org next Monday. We thought some of you would have a nicer weekend receiving the email already today, right after knowing that maemo 4.0 Chinook SDK has been released.

It’s been a weird kind of pleasure to go through +900 submissions in less than a week. Sorry if your proposal hasn’t been accepted but there was no mathematical way to make everybody happy. I don’t want to get into details about acceptance criteria since there is some people out there really clever at reverse-engineering anything but I do want to make clear some points for you to know:

  • Remarkable application developers were an obvious priority. This includes the stars of maemo Downloads and programmers making an interesting use of Hildon and the tablet UI in general.
  • Platform developers have also received first class treatment, from the guys pushing maemo Linux beyond Nokia’s EULA to the upstream developers with a maemo agenda or hobby.
  • Developers willing to improve maemo development beyond the official offering have also been treated with dedicated love.
  • Remarkable contributors in the maemo software stack have gone mostly through, as well as some champions of free software development in well known projects: Linux kernel, GNU & Debian tools, GNOME components, Mozilla…
  • We have tried to be specially kind to our mates active in the GNOME Mobile context somewhere around Ubuntu, OpenMoko, OLPC…
  • We have tried to be absolutely responsive to those that directly or indirectly tell us how wrong we are, or how could we do better – and are actually doing something effective about it. There are many of these but to give you an idea we are talking about the lobbies around Mamona, OpenEmbedded, Enlightenment, Java, Qt/KDE, WebKit, several email clients…
  • Also verrry nice to see experienced phone/PDA developers with quite impressive CV in platforms like Symbian, Windows ME, Palm, even Zaurus… and a good idea to get their hands dirty in open source development for the tablets.
  • As promised, many non-developers doing/planning interesting stuff were accepted, including a big load of newcomers.
  • fwiw best summary writer got accepted as well: why porn when you can code on n810? Don’t get me wrong, the guy is a respected GNOME hacker and he was offering to improve the stuff he is maintaining upstream.
  • In fact we got many upstream developers willing to bring their desktop applications or improve the support to existing maemo ports/adaptations and their connection to trunk. Cool! To name a few: Abiword, Inkscape, Pidgin.
  • i18n pushers were well considered too, specially around Asian languages, right-to-left support, virtual keyboard variants…

There were some sensitive areas of functionality taking advantage of the integrated GPS and the hardware keyboard (i.e. location or blogging) to be added to the traditional ones (PIM, sync, multimedia…) We hope the fortunate developers interested in these popular areas ask around before reinventing wheels under development elsewhere. Some dialog and coordination at area levels starts to be really needed.

This plus BIG THANK YOU was more or less what I wanted to say about the N810 maemo device program. There is something else though, just a blink to the InternetTabletTalk community (that is enjoying today a revamped layout with fixed width mwah wah wah!): penguinbait, gnuite and fanoush will get a fresh & free-as-in-beer device delivered at home, as someone suggested. No, thank *you*.

39 Responses to “500 happy contributors”

  1. First response!

    Quim, on behalf of many acquaintances and now a few team-mates (www.jablet.net) I thank you and your team for providing this benefit. I’m sure it will bear some tasty fruit! Not apples though. Definitely not apples.

  2. 2 Solarion

    Was there some sort of mailer difficulty? I got a funny table of errors (followed by an acceptance message) indicating various midgard failures. At the top was:
    ( ! ) Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /usr/share/midgard/svn/midcom/trunk/src/midcom.core/midcom/baseclasses/components/cron_handler.php:148) in /usr/share/midgard/svn/midcom/trunk/src/midcom.core/midcom/services/cache/module/content.php on line 579

    The email itself was sent text/plain although it was actually HTML.

    Is this a known problem?

  3. Yes, everybody got the weird extra code. Sorry about that, it didn’t appear in our tests.

  4. 4 CARTY

    Very good news for the week-end,

    I am very motivate to contribuate in this nice project


  5. Thanks a lot really. I’ll try to be useful to this community…

  6. 6 fpp

    Hi Qim !

    Thanks for the nod to the ITT community in you post.
    I must admit being *very* surprised at being part of the happy few. I applied for the fun of it, after you said this time the target was not exclusively the heavy-hitter coders, but without much hope.

    It’s probably the first time in my life where being such a big loud mouth has led me to such a happy result, so a very heartfelt thanks to you & the selection team ! 🙂

    I can’t help feeling that I may haven taken the place of someone more worthy – but I feel less bad now that I know that some of the maemo coding stars will get theirs free… Nice move !


    PS: post entirely tap-tapped on 770 🙂

  7. 7 Aniello Del Sorbo

    I also am one of the lucky developers who wasn’t expecting to receive it, but that anyhow submitted their own idea.

    I’ve already been contacted from another developer who had submitted almost the very same proposal and we are going to join our efforts.

    We are starting to properly translate the idea into a draft that, hopefully, will be available soon and we’ll start looking for other people that got similar ideas and will be willing to join.

    I am referring to these words 🙂

    “There were some sensitive areas of functionality taking advantage of the integrated GPS…..We hope the fortunate developers interested in these popular areas ask around before reinventing wheels under development elsewhere. Some dialog and coordination at area levels starts to be really needed.”

    Thanks Qim and thanks to the Maemo group.
    I’ve said it already, I’ll state it again: I love the way you are working on this project.

  8. 8 someone

    I’m quite disappointed since I support Maemo since the 770 got initially released and this time I didn’t get a code. I run a heavily used repository (from the weblog I see that it is also used by a lot of Nokia people).

  9. 9 Nothappywithnokia

    Comment 8 (above) means that some of the long standing contributors/programmers have not qualified for a discount voucher. Although I am sure that the maemo people have done their best to pick the 500 out of some 900 entries, the fact is that there are some dissapointed contibutors/ developers/ programmers out there. This is a sad reflection on the lack of gratitude of a multi billion dollar corporation (Nokia). These developers work for free to write software for Nokia devices. The 99 Euro voucher surely covers the cost of the device for Nokia. The least they could do for developers (comment 8 above) is to give them all the chance of an upgrade. Is this right or am I missing something?? Afterall only about 900 entered the contest.

  10. 10 Derek O'Connell

    I am extremely grateful for being selected, thank you!

  11. There’s something wrong with your blog, check:


  12. A *huge* thank you and everyone at maemo! 😀

  13. @someone and other disappointed long term contributors: please write me privately specifying your maemo userid, urls of any maemo related resource not reflected in your maemo public profile and the reasons why you think we are wrong. I can’t answer anonymous cases nor I’d do it in a public space.

    @FelipeC dunno, this is a very standard wordpress.com blog with feedburner feed… Will ask.

  14. We didn’t send an email yesterday to the not accepted people, as we didn’t send a discount code to those accepted and neither we published the list of accepted people in the web.

    The plan was to have all this ready yesterday, but we got delays and little troubles. We thought on doing everything on Monday. Then we thought that perhaps it would be worth to at least tell the 500 accepted the good news already, since that was only one click away. And we clicked.

    It’s funny/sad that now we are seeing nasty comments about big-Nokia-doing-bad-things. Following strictly big Nokia processes we wouldn’t have sent the 500 emails in a rush, just for the sake of making happy earlier a big bunch of maemo contributors. It was a maemo decision made quite spontaneously, as many decisions are made in open source projects. Anyway, blame me.

  15. “someone” from comment 8 contacted me and the fact is that he wasn’t in the list of applicants to the program. We will investigate more on Monday (since he is indeed a top maemo developer) but the database is quite clear atm. The least I can say today is that we never rejected his submission (since we didn’t even receive it).

    I have received a couple more emails and things are clear with them as well now. I can’t assure I will be able to answer everybody if this scales up, I just want to check myself that we haven’t done big mistakes.

  16. 16 Nothappywithnokia

    Now that’s interesting, if the 1,2 or 3 cases referred to above (comment 15) grow in numbers, there are a couple of things Nokia / maemo can do;
    a) re-call previous e-mails & draw up a new list of 500 lucky winners.
    b) Reward all developers/ programmers with the winning vouchers.
    Persnally I recommend option b.

  17. @Nothappywithnokia, sorry but I think you are missing several points in both of your posts.

    Free software developers and contributors are rewarded by their own work and their own incentives, in maemo and elsewhere. Nokia offers 500 discounts to get new devices and you turn this in “lack of gratitude”. 99€ doesn’t cover the cost of the N810 but this is not the point at all. From the 3 cases one is apparently invalid and the other 2 are confirmed not-accepted (and I spent time on a Saturday night providing explanations to all of them).

    “Reward all developers/ programmers with the winning vouchers.” – in fact I think we are doing this and more, since we are considering as well the contributors that don’t write code. I can tell you that most of the 900 applicants are not developers/programmers, and I wonder how many developers/programmers with real and fresh stuff in http://maemo.org/downloads have been left out. Perhaps you?

    It’s ok if you are not happy with Nokia but perhaps you have deeper reasons different than the ones you are showing here. I’m happy discussing anything, it’s just not funny to do it with anonymous posters.

  18. 18 realitygaps

    Thanks Nokia for the discount voucher, it allows me to continue being a part of the community and to work on easier & better hebrew support and also local mapping (openstreetmap) of Israel. I hope to also port applications as fast as i can. As a student I would not be able to buy this otherwise, as a show of my gratitude I am going to start a new blog for the n810 with my experiences,tips and tutorials. I’m also planning to pass my N800 on to another local linux developer who can’t afford to buy one either.

    I hope I didnt take anyone elses discount :0( I am so very grateful that there are companies like nokia supporting those in the open source community. I know there are those who have done far more than me, and I appreciate the chance to contribute further to the wider community. Thanks guys and thanks for the early emails too, it really made my weekend….

  19. 19 Nothappywithnokia

    Thanks for detailed reply (post 17). I just make a few things clear first. I have no deep long standing grudges with Nokia. In fact I own several Nokia devices (including a 770 being used right now for this post). Another fact is that I really like a lot of the software available on maemo and I think maemo guys do a fantastic job bringing it all togother in one spot. You have some outstanding software like maemo-mapper, minimo bowser, gnumeric etc….etc. Well done & a sincere thanks to all programmers and developers that provide these to users like me for free. I am not a programmer I simply use the software & recently started giving some feedback to program developers on some of the bugs and issues.
    I chose my pseudo name for these replies after reading comment 8. I love some of the programs so much that I don’t want to see programmer / developers being left out of the promotion. Nokia should provide them with the tools to do the program development for free let alone charging 99 Euros. Also I did say in my previous post that if the numbers grow past 1,2 or 3 then the two options. If there are no more complaints then things stand as they are now.
    So next time I contribute to a future post I hope to use ‘ILOVENOKIA’ as my pseudo name!!

  20. 20 Jason Whelan

    Perhaps, since there was some sort of mix up with the entries, the remaining 400+ can get a slightly smaller discount 🙂

    I was hoping for one, since I cannot afford the n810 at full price, I intend to delve into making some useful stuff as soon as I get moved into my permanent home…

    Congrats to all that got one! And thanks to Nokia for offering this program…

  21. 21 Sebastian V

    I’m kind of disapointed.
    But i hope the lucky 500 will help improve the Tablets.
    Since a fullprice n800 or n810 is way over my budget,
    I may perhapy see the improvements when the next tablet is out. ;(

  22. Well, they say hope dies last and smaller discount would certainly be well appreciated.

    I’m happy for the chosen even if I’d preferred to be among the lot. However, I can’t say I’m surprised or too disappointed that I’m not since I haven’t done much for open source in last few years.

    My plans will now obviously change a bit (since I can’t afford 810 and they make less sense without it), but I still plan to implement what I set out to do. 770 will just have to do for now.


    A few final words from me on this if I may:
    I have great news for some of 400+ loosers of this competition who live in the UK! The N800 is available (pre-order at the moment) for under 150 UKpounds (i.e. about 200 Euros) at Play.com. see:
    The n800 has almost the same tech. spec. as the n810 & is OS2008 upgradable. I think if you wait another few weeks though it maybe available from other retailers for about the same price.
    If you may have been after the n810 for its gps capability, then take a look at the 770 gps bundle at Amazon:
    This is a brilliant deal & for about 185 Euros you get a 770 tablet with a nokia bluetooth GPS unit which can be used with other devices & full Navicore turn by turn navigation software. Note that you pay extra for this software with the N810.

    So those are a couple of reasons to be cheerful again! & better still you don’t have to build any ‘Karma’ with Maemo to get these deals! and you you don’t have to put all your good ideas in their competition entry.

    That’s all on this topic from me or as our American friends say ‘IT’S ENOUGH ALREADY’

  24. 24 Tom

    Nothappywithnokia wrote: “Nokia should provide them with the tools to do the program development for free let alone charging 99 Euros”.

    Yes, and puppy’s and N95s for everyone! Come on, I’ve never heard something so ridiculous and self-entitled. This is a $479 device, that Nokia is doing this at all is mind blowing awesome. Name one other company that has this kind of developer offer?

    I think even though Nokia has huge moneybags and could afford to give the devices for free, I’d rather they didn’t. When you offer something for free you’re going to be swamped with every idiot wanting something for nothing on the Internet, claiming to be a developer. Keeping a nominal $99 fee keeps the offers mostly serious which leads to real developers having a chance of getting into the program.

  25. 25 dan

    qgil, I’m one of discount code winners. My macbook’s disks collapsed few hours ago, making me to loose all my emails and so on. Well, backups would be save the whole thing, but could be possible to find elsewhere my discount code?

  26. We can send it again whit the “Now you can go to http:// and…” message, expected to be sent around 15/dec.

  27. 27 dan

    Quim Gil: I love you.

  28. 28 Alex

    Hi and thanks for the coupon!
    Is there any chance we’ll be able to use our coupon directly from nokia.ca in Canada?

    I’m hoping coupons are not bound to the chosen country as i know many canadians (at least 1% of the 500 from named i gathered, probably more) participated and are going to have to use friends somewhere as a relay…

    Thanks again for all your work! 🙂
    (a soon to be n810 canadian developer)

  29. @Alex, you codes are bound to the shop you selected when applying to the program, as described in the Terms and Conditions. The Canadian shop couldn’t make it, as said already at https://flors.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/n810-maemo-device-program/#comment-460

    Sorry about that.

  30. 30 Alex

    Oh ok, thanks for the prompt answer!
    Than, would it be possible to switch my store from France to USA ?
    Unless you think i can get a qwerty/1-11 channel version in France 😦
    My mistake, sorry about that…

  31. The only possibility is to use it in the UK shop. There is some flexibility moving codes between EU shops. There is no way to use EU codes in the USA shop (and viceversa).

  32. A very lame question – till how long is the discount valid. In my case I need to figure as to when someone is coming down from the US to get one. However, thanks a zillion times for offering a chance to contribute. Rock on !!

  33. Undecided, but last time was around 6 months, so… I’ll ask.

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