The State of Maemo – continued
In Dublin at the MeeGo Conference in November, the Maemo Community Council had a sit-down with Tero Kojo (Nokia project manager – and long-time Maemo community member – supervising maemo.org infrastructure). We covered Tim Samoff's summary of that sit-down in our November 29th issue, but discussion about issues raised by the post – broadly ranging from the future of maemo.org to N900 community support and MeeGo – has continued.
The thread has now reached well past a hundred posts, with one bone of contention in particular: the Maemo licensing change request queue. The queue was supposed to provide a mechanism for the community to get the license of individual Maemo components changed to ones more open-source friendly. However, it has been a continued sore point for many people in the Maemo community, who, thanks the apparent lack of any real progress on requests in the queue despite repeateded recommendations to its use by both high-profile community members and Nokians, have seen little to no progress outside of Nokia's old WONTFIX standby. Quim Gil's post in the thread summarised the issues from Nokia's side regarding work on the queue in future: “After four years working at Nokia I have seen just one way of opening components that was successful: the maintainers of the software (Nokia developers or from other companies) concluded that certain functionality would be better managed through an open license, and the whole step made sense to the Nokia software strategy. […] Nokia is opening a lot of valuable source code providing features that were not available in the standard Linux & free desktop stack – even if there is not much movement around some requests for opening legacy components.” Commercially they make complete sense, of course: it takes time and effort to review something which was closed (for whatever reason) and ensure it is in a state for public consumption – and even that Nokia own it completely enough to open source it. This conflict, though, was brought into sharp relief within the thread – with Javier S. Pedro pointing out that statements that "MeeGo will be better" or "go upstream" were the same statements that have been used consistently over the last five years. After all, you can't expect things to change over night.
However, in the darkness, there is something of interest. Mohammad Abu-Garbeyyeh has posted some screenshots of an example Qt UI for an open source reimplementation of Media Player after he, Simon Pickering, Andrew Flegg, Gary Birkett and Javier S. Pedro were moved into action by Sebastiaan Lauwers suggesting that reimplementation would be a sensible starting point. It is. It's early days, but reimplementing using Qt and the features it provides could give not only a basis for future enhancements and work under the Fremantle Community SSU; but also a decent mobile UI optimised media player for MeeGo's reference Handset UX.