[Meego-community] Fwd: Should there be a "Nokia MeeGo devices" community?
g+meego at cobb.uk.net
Tue Feb 23 05:19:15 CST 2010
On Tuesday 23 February 2010 05:41:07 Quim Gil wrote:
> There have been a few conversations about having a community software
> distribution channel in meego.com like http://maemo.org/downloads/ with
> it's unstable/testing/stable schema and its automatic + community QA
> process: http://wiki.maemo.org/Extras
> Like other community related topics, we decided to leave the serious
> discussion for the time after the launch to have you all involved.
I see two main reasons to have such an infrastructure in MeeGo:
1) Providing re-usable capabiltiies (open source) which are not proprietary
but are not part of the MeeGo platform and may be useful to MeeGo app
developers. This includes libraries, scripting tools (Python, Perl, if they
are not part of the MeeGo platform), icons and other resources. If App A
needs libfoo and App B also needs libfoo then it would be counter-productive
and dangerous to have both Apps distribute libfoo as part of their app. One
of the main benefits of a community around MeeGo is that the community can
share these sorts of resources.
2) Small apps. Depending on how the common app-store publishing works, it may
or may not be feasible for the small, hobby developer (or power user). This
would be a place to put the relatively small apps including, maybe, ones that
don't meet whatever criteria are set for the commercial app stores.
Without this I see us ending up back in the repository hell we had with Maemo
1, where everyone has their own repository, with overlap and inconsistency
(and no quality control and no way to pull components with security issues).
Maybe this needs its own discussion thread?
> I see your point but I think you are cutting some divisions in the wrong
> - If there is a functionality missing in the platform (e.g. can't send
> files over bluetooth directly from file manager) then such app probably
> makes sense across all MeeGo devices. As long as you can install it in
> Device X and it works...
That is fine for things which are part of the platform. Maybe Bluetooth is
but some things are not (could be sound, GPS, accelerometer, cameras, FM
radio, etc, etc). My issue is that we have seen that it is useful for the
community to be able to fill in gaps that the vendor has had insufficient
time or interest to complete. I think Nokia would admit that it has found
> - Other apps will be indeed specific to certain device or family of
> devices (the ones of a same vendor, most probably). The device
> manufacturer wil need to take care of the distribution of such apps. For
> instance, the current plans for Ovi apps keeps being that they run only
> on Nokia devices. Then Nokia/Ovi needs to take care of those.
So, the question is then back for Nokia (which is why I first posted this
thread in maemo-community): does Nokia intend there to be a "Nokia MeeGo
devices" community. I do not think that Ovi & Forum Nokia (as they work
today) are suitable for hobbyist developers and power users. They might be
able to move from their current focus (purely on commercial developers) to
encompass some of the larger OSS projects but how do Nokia plan to continue
to encourage small OSS developers? Does maemo.org (and all its build and
distribution infrastructure) need to continue to exist? Or, should MeeGo
provide some of that infrastructure and community for MeeGo-based devices
(funded by the vendors concerned, of course)?
> And at the end it makes sense: most probably the software pushed by a
> specific vendor using extended APIs not part of MeeGo is going to be
> proprietary software.
Actually I am not at all sure about that. Clearly many user apps are likely
to be proprietary, for vendor differentiation. But, as MeeGo does not
include all the necessary/useful APIs (because anything in MeeGo is mandatory
on all MeeGo devices), I think vendors may well push OSS which makes use of
their chosen extensions to MeeGo. For example, assume for the moment that
camera support is not in MeeGo. I could imagine that a vendor who wants to
include a camera in their phone, but is not positioning it as a major
differentiating feature, may ship an OSS camera app or image editing app
(another vendor, who has put a top of the range camera in their phone, might
create their own proprietary camera app).
I know it is hard but I think we will continue to see (and even see expansion
of) combinations of free and proprietary software. It will keep you in a
job, anyway, Quim :-)
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