LiMo foundation

Gervais Mulongoy gervais.mulongoy at
Fri Jan 26 16:22:42 CET 2007

Hello Richi,

Applications get written over and over again because people are not
satisfied with the way things are. But that's not even the point. What I
would like to know is if any one has managed to get Maemo working on
anything other than a Nokia? Because if they have, how hard do you think it
would be to replace the OpenMoko software stack with the Maemo software
stack? And if it isn't hard how long do you think it will take for
developers and users like us to muster up the will to say that we are fed up
with the non-cooperativeness?

Besides all this, what irks me is why we aren't taking something like
Enlightenment that is so beautiful and building our mobile platforms around
it? I guess its because everything is either GTK or QT, or C and C++. Bah. I
am not the one to claim which is the RightWay(tm), but I know it bothers me
a lot. I admire Apple for this one reason. They strive for the RightWay(tm).
I wish I knew more about their process because it works. Look at how many
non-technical users use Apple products. iPods are everywhere and that's
maybe because they are symbols of status, but I think its because they
ReallyReallyJustWork(tm), they are predictable and consistent. With each use
the user is rewarded with a pleasing experience.

So this is what I propose: how ever this software stack will turn out, let's
try and do things the RightWay(tm) form the start. I don't yet have enough
experience to say what this way is, but as a user of these systems I can
tell you that most of our open source software fails to please. That is the
single largest benchmark we have.

In order to please the user, the first thing software must do is not piss
the user off. What things piss you off about software you use? Can you name
a few?

Scenario: A user rents a DVD because they just bought a DVD player. They
place the DVD into the player and press play. Two hours later they get up
from the couch with a feeling of disgust. They take the DVD out and put it
back into its box as they walk over to their desktop computer to blog about
how mad they are that the movie sucked even after reviews claimed it was
movie of the year. The following day the user remembers that they forgot to
switch off the DVD player, so they go over to do just that only to find that
because it wasn't being used it was already in a power-savings mode. Seeing
this they continue with their daily routine. With or without a small thank
you to the developers that had the foresight to create such an intuitive DVD
player, our user is not interrupted by the DVD player.  When they need it is
is there. When they don't its invisible, a lot like most of our thoughts...

With the OpenMoko phones we, the community, have the oppurtunuty to do
things right, at least in terms of the software stack. If that means a
common framework for all Linux-based mobile devices then that's what will
happen. But regardless we should place more emphasis on making things work.
Let people say that open source is a non-cooperative mess, but its strange
how useful it is. Things work, and when they don't the community leaps to
fix it.

Anyways, I think I'm raving again...let me know what you think.

On 1/26/07, Richi Plana <myopenmoko at> wrote:
> On Thu, 2007-01-25 at 16:02 -0500, Anthony Taylor wrote:
> > Well, now. This is interesting:
> >
> >
> I would like to know whether OpenMoko intends to meander its way towards
> following one of the eventual standards. Personally, I'd like to see a
> common platform that developers can develop to. When an ecosystem like
> this is starting out, I don't think it's such a good idea to have more
> than 1 or 2 choices. It makes it easier for well-established companies
> with clout (WinCE? Symbian?) to stomp out competition if they're all
> small and busy with in-fighting. Just browse down to the bottom of this
> article: ... 'Mobile
> Linux "standards" -- an embarrassment of niches?'
> I was just browsing through Planet Gnome a few days ago when someone
> asked why the Neo1973 wasn't using Maemo ... another fine and open
> application / development platform. As a developer and user, I find the
> scattered, non-cooperative efforts towards developing embedded Linux
> devices, in general, and Linux-based phones, specifically, to be
> appalling.
> Don't get me wrong. I've already decided to contribute my time and
> effort towards developing for OpenMoko because it's the first
> Linux-based cellphone to offer an open development platform and is cheap
> enough that I can afford it (the ImCoSys doesn't count 'cause I can't
> even buy the blasted thing). But it saddens me to think of how the same
> apps get written over and over again just because they're on different
> platforms (even though the underlying kernel is still Linux) and none of
> these efforts go towards helping each other much.
> --
> Richi
> _______________________________________________
> OpenMoko community mailing list
> community at
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