Maemo + Moblin = MeeGo –> Join us!
This is a move that many had desired. On the paper it just made so much sense. However, not too many had really thought it would happen. Big companies have quite often big egos and it’s not easy for them to be humble and come together. I’m happy to work in a company that has been able to push and concede together with another company that has been also able to push and concede. 1 + 1 in this case will bring three and more. If these two megacorps could drop some of their priorities in order to reach a common ground, other players can do that too. Including you? (yes, you).
As a Nokia contact with the Maemo community and as an active community member myself, I expect this announcement to be big news for the maemo.org membership. Software freedom and more diversified devices have been two loud and consistent claims since the Maemo project was born in 2005. MeeGo brings that, and a lot more. In fact I think today is an historic day for the Linux and free software communities. Not only for seeing these two companies shaking hands in a Linux Foundation hosted project, but for the rest of handshakes expected to come after today’s launch. Now, where is your hand?
Intel and Nokia are two major investors and contributors in free software development. Both have big teams in house and collaborate with a wide variety of open source companies, projects and rock stars. Now they are combining strategies and resources in order to kickstart a free Linux mobile platform. Real code will come soon although plenty of it is already available in code repositories from Moblin, Maemo, Qt…
MeeGo is just like you would expect a free Linux OS to be: based on the standard Linux and Free Desktop technologies and developed publicly in a project open to all contributors. As a huge fan of the free software community at large, I’m just amazed by the huge amount of passionate ideas and work it pushes. Every time time someone attempts to encapsulate part of that energy and bring it aside for a mobile platform I think “Nah, you really want to be part of that storm, fuel that powerful entropy and be clever canalizing the energy to your platform and products.” You don’t know how happy I was the day I knew Nokia and Intel wanted to do just that with MeeGo.
Answers in the new community
You can find more details at meego.com . However, don’t look for all answers since there are so many missing. The reason is obvious: many of these answers rely today in the Maemo and Moblin communities. Also in the open source upstream projects feeding the MeeGo architecture. Also in the application developers that ultimately will make this platform successful. Also in the chipset vendors, device manufacturers and other users and stakeholders of this platform called to spin the whole mobile industry.
All these answers are somewhere: we just must find them. It will require the best of our brains. It will be deep, it will be fun. I just couldn’t wait today’s launch in order to start the bootstrapping of MeeGo. The whole thing is actually big and digesting it takes some time. If you want to be part of this I recommend you to go through the website, subscribe to the mailing list and decide the task or area you want to push first. In other words: choose your mission in the MeeGo project.
My preferred mission here and now is to contribute in the evolution of maemo.org and the Maemo community in the new MeeGo context. I have some ideas but, to be honest, I’m biting my tongue in order to let you go first. But still I couldn’t sit just quiet waiting for the launch, so I decided to start a wiki page describing and comparing the most interesting assets of the Maemo and Moblin communities. Please help improving it. It will be useful to figure out all what we could have if we are clever integrating and merging.
And now the personal anecdote
In Autumn 2006 I was a 770 user applying for a job at Nokia. There was this interview with Valtteri Halla (now MeeGo’s Technical Steering Group member) and Ari Jaaksi (now VP and head of Maemo Devices). I was explaining them how great it was working as self-employed or in small cooperatives and living in a lovely house in Andalusia. Ari asked me what were my motivations to leave all that, move to Helsinki and join a big corporation. Well, by that time my second child was born and I really needed a source of income. :) But the reason not to hesitate taking such a chance was my explicit agenda of bringing Linux and free software to the real mainstream.
Today, three years after getting that job, I feel this agenda (pushed together with many others in the World: I love you all) is about half the way. Working at Nokia you really learn the meaning of the word “mainstream” and yes it includes your cousin, your neighbor and many people you don’t even think of. MeeGo is a platform to reach them and offer them something useful and exciting for their lives. Software freedom lovers: you know what I mean.
Filed under: maemo | 75 Comments
Tags: community, development, freedesktop.org, GNU/Linux, Intel, maemo, MeeGo, Moblin, Nokia, open source