[MeeGo-community] Nudging the Community Device Program
dneary at maemo.org
Fri Dec 3 07:42:33 PST 2010
a.grandi at gmail.com wrote:
> On 3 December 2010 00:40, Randall Arnold <texrat at ovi.com> wrote:
>> Now that we have a nice offer from TI to get Pandaboards into the hands of
>> developers  it's time as Quim suggested to get serious about the
>> Community Device Program . I will repost some of the wiki content here
>> followed by my thoughts and questions:
> maybe I' missing something... if TI is going to provide these
> Pandaboards, why are you talking about budget from
Randall said: "I imagine most of this will be per individual
contributing companies, eg Intel, TI, Nokia, et al. Unless we are just
talking a program administrative budget? If so, what would that cover
other than devices?" - I understood that he's assuming the budget will
come from the people providing the hardware.
If we are centralising the device program efforts, though, it makes
sense to have some LF budget allocated to sending devices out, for
example. It might make sense for hardware producers to donate hardware
to the Linux Foundation (or, if you prefer to the MeeGo Project, via the
Linux Foundation), and have us figure out how the hardware can be
effectively distributed which will give a good return on investment to
both MeeGo and the hardware donor.
The hardware programs I've seen so far tend to adopt one of three
approaches: give hardware to people based on what they've done in the
past, give hardware in reward for participation in some competition, or
give hardware to people based on the promise that they will do something.
For boards, I would like to propose a fourth way: Give a workshop
teaching people how to use MeeGo on the hardware, and provide the
hardware to workshop attendees & let them take it home at the end.
The problem with giving hardware to people based on their reputation is
that they tend to cumulate hardware - I know a lot of kernel people's
reaction to a hardware giveaway is often "put it on the pile over there"
at this stage. THere's no guarantee they'll have any utility for the
hardware or do anything with it.
Giving hardware as a prize for a software development contest is
tempting, and if you have really good docs on how to get started with
development using emulation or something, that might be a good approach
- but it does add some overhead in terms of judging.
Expecting people to apply for hardware (à la Nokia) also has a limited
return on investment, I'm afraid, because it's one thing promising to do
something with the hardware, and another thing to actually do something
with it. Also, I would argue that past reputation is actually a poor
predictor for the amount of hacking you'll do for a new device.
The fourth way, providing hardware as a reward for participation in a
training workshop, has a double incentive - you're not expecting people
to do hardware hacking as a prerequisite, and you're training people &
giving them the tools which they need to be able to do something with
the hardware afterwards. Plus, participation in the workshop is, I would
argue, evidence of a willingness to actually do some hacking with the
Email: dneary at maemo.org
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