2/3: What people want Openmoko to do?

Risto H. Kurppa risto at kurppa.fi
Sat Oct 11 15:26:07 CEST 2008

I just was able to release the second part of the posts. For full
version, see http://risto.kurppa.fi/blog/discussion-23-what-people-want-openmoko-to-do/


This is the part two of the post series discussing the status of the
Openmoko community. The discussion is split in three posts to make it
easier to read. This first post discussed the status of the community
and the third will discuss one of the possible solutions to improve

In this second part we will discuss the expectations people have for
the software or simply what people want Openmoko to do.

What people want.. People always want something.. In this case there
are not much people can demand Openmoko does. Openmoko has their own
plans for the future and if they see that they can use community for
something, I hope they'll do it. If not then.. that's life. But here
are some expectations the community members have on Openmoko.

The comments without the e-mail addresses are from community mailing
list, the rest from the comments of my previous post. Remember, these
are only parts from the messages so please check the original posts
for more details!

<!-- to see the removed comments , see

Having several (forked) distros around is okay if the fork developers
really want to take a completely new direction. If the devels feel a
need to fork because it's in one way or another difficult to
contribute (no SVN access or something), then I think there's
something wrong in the community and project management. I don't know
what's the case in Openmoko. From what I know, FDOM was created to add
all the community applications to the original Openmoko 2008.x so it
seems to make sense though I don't know if it has to be a distro and
not a add-on package or install script to 2008.x but that was not the
topic of this post…

>    October 7, 2008 at 7:47 am / mwester
>   Well said. Openmoko sold a vision, and found an eager audience.

>  Unfortunately, they didn't seem to have any idea what to do with that shared vision —
> as a result, the community gradually dispersed and fragmented.

>    But all is not lost, by any means. As long as people complain about the situation, there
>     is hope — they still care. Openmoko needs to look very closely at the data that only *they* can see:

>    Openmoko — how many are subscribed to your email lists? How many of them are active
>    (i.e. have sent an email in the past 6 months)? Now, how many phones did you sell, Openmoko?

>    Openmoko — where are those thousands of missing phones? Are they in desk drawers?
>    Cardboard shoe boxes in closets? Dust bins? More importantly, where are those thousands of
>   potential contributors, potential ambassadors, your in-the-field sales force for selling both
>   the vision and the phones?

>    The hardware and software problems are trivial in comparison to the loss of the community
>    mindshare — and ultimately that goes beyond a vision and goes to the bottom line.
>    Openmoko had better hire a community manager, not for the community's sake
>     (although we'd certainly welcome such a person), but for their own business survival.

Mwester said it better than I was able to. I might not be quite that
pessimistic but I think that the community would be able to do more
than it currently does if properly managed and empowered. This
includes both developers and users, there's no reason to make a
division here!

Next post will discuss one of the possible solutions to the
communication problem.

to see the original post, see


| risto h. kurppa
| risto at kurppa dot fi
| http://risto.kurppa.fi

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