So, let’s get this started. This first series will consist in a write-up of the talk I gave last year at the very first Maemo Summit in Berlin.
The tagline of the presentation was : creating simple apps on the NITs for ‘normal people’.
In that extremely geeky context, normal was of course meant tongue-in-cheek, in the sense of the (very) amateur, (very) part-time coder, as opposed to a (perceived) majority of whiz kids out there in the community.
I was playing my own role there, naturally : the ageing, overcommitted, “in between the cracks” power user, long past the point where he could ride every passing wave; but still not content with passively playing with the tablets and their stock software, or even other people’s apps. Still wanting to tinker, and get his own stuff running on the little beauties, doing things his way.
What kind of choices, and chances of success, does the poor beleaguered geek wannabe have ? That, in essence, was the meat of the talk. And talk I did, eh, Jaffa..?
I must confess that I grew increasingly tense, and increasingly full of doubts, as the time of the presentation got closer. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time, in the cheerful banter of the Internet Tablet Talk forums… after a day and a half in the company of a couple hundred top guns from all over the world, I wasn’t so sure. Most other presentations and lightning talks were really hardcore, and everyone was excited about the Fremantle/Harmattan roadmap. I feared I would stand out like John Wyndham’s Dumb Martian and leave the crowd wondering what I was going on about.
Fortunately the audience was very polite and did not walk out en masse. Another encouragement was finding out that my situation was not unique, indeed not the most extreme, even in the Summit’s public : that very morning, ITt member sjgadsby had explained how he had precisely thirty minutes a week (during a specific TV show to devote to “community work”. So he had to choose something useful he could actually achieve in that time frame, which led him to create his now famous weekly “Maemo.org Bug jars”…
So I guess it might be worthwhile to write this all down, in case there’s a couple more out there to whom it may bring comfort, ideas, or a good laugh.
One last thing I’d like to mention in this oversized intro (get used to it, more coming!) is that this first community reunion in Berlin was an incredibly out-of-this-world experience to me. The city, the meeting place (C-Base), the people and the spirit all concurred to make it a very special memory. It was just plain fun.
Of course I was sad I could not make it to Amsterdam this year, if only to meet up with the ex-ITt, now TMO crowd once more. Then again, seen from the outside, it looks like it was a much more organized, much more professional, and also much bigger event. This is certainly a good thing all around, and heartfelt thanks are owed to the entire Maemo Team for pulling it off in this year’s context. However, given my contrarian nature, I suspect I would have missed the Berlin atmosphere, the good-natured, cobbled-together, scout-camp ambience of the prototype… some people you can just never please