I recently talked with Quim Gil, Marketing Manager, Nokia. I thought I would share my Q/A with Quim’s permission.
As someone who did not go to the Maemo Summit and who is perhaps too busy or too lazy to read through all the conjecture and hype to see what is real. I have some specific questions that I have not seen clear answers to anywhere. I realize perhaps you cannot answer them, but I figure it can’t hurt to ask, worst that can happen is you tell me to piss off
Hi there! None of the things I’d tell you can’t be said publicly anyway.
I have heard Nokia has hired a KDE developer for Maemo. Is this true?
Perhaps not that accurate. Forum Nokia offered a summer internship to Antonio Aloisio, the guy behind that Qt 4 Maemo garage project. The Summer went fine and he got a proposal to continue working at Nokia in the same project.
Then the Maemo team (different entity) has announced Qt being officially supported in Harmattan, several related position were opened and some of them have been fulfilled.
Why, interested to join us?
If it is true, is KDE development working to provide more software to the platform, or is it being used to provide an alternate UI (non-hildonized) or both?
The garage project started by Antonio had (for what I know, you can ask him) the sole purpose of adding Qt support and open the door to a lot of potential ports and new development. That project hasn’t contested the current Maemo UI and, in fact, they have put a chink of effort in making Qt apps look just like a GTK+ app look under Hildon.
The Maemo UI is evolving from release to release, as Harri Kiljander explained in the summit. The step from Diablo to Fremantle is big (wait for the alpha SDK to start seeing this in practice) and we expect also more progress for Harmattan.
But this is a pure UI story, from our point of view Hildon, GTK+, Qt and whatever UI toolkit need to adapt to the UI design and not the other way round. So no, we are not investing in Qt to get rid of the “Hildon UI”.
You could say that Hildon itself is moving forward from himself, if you compare Fremantle’s Hildon with (say) Bora’s.
While the tablet interface is great and very finger friendly, some people are looking for a more Linux like look and feel to the interface. Is Nokia/Maemo considering developing a supported alternate interface? Or are these efforts strictly left to the community?
The current plans focus actually on offering a 100% consumer ready UI optimized for mobile and finger friendly touch. “Linux like look and feel” is currently not a goal in Maemo but this doesn’t mean that in the future someone at Nokia might be interested in that.
The internet tablets from my perspective are tiny computers, more than just internet access devices with media capabilities. Tablets can (Print / Use BT Mouse / Burn CD+DVD’s/ use Joysticks / run full office suites) Why does Nokia / Maemo not seem to exploit these capabilities?
Because supporting officially a feature in a consumer electronics devices implies a lot more than coding it. We rather concentrate on what makes Maemo unique and what the target audience really finds essential.
Then the platform is open and people like you can go after these kinds of hacks. We are happy seeing this experimentation and we might be getting some of that in future releases.
With all the community hacking to provide a full Debian distro, is Nokia/Maemo considering joining or using the other Debian projects already underway which could provide significantly more software to the future hardware platform?
In terms of platform, we want to have Maemo as aligned as possible with the mainstream Linux distros. This is why we have a regular kernel, Xorg, D-Bus and so on (instead of “embedded” equivalents, for instance).
Currently the evil is in the details: Busybox, different versions, some specific drivers… We are willing to work with Debian, Ubuntu, the Maemo community and whoever else wants to join getting a more common platform and making life easier for third party porting and developing.
But the primary goal is to ship consumer products with commercial quality. This means that as much as we want to align at a platform level, we don’t see much value in e.g. using plain Linux desktop paradigms. We do see how this excites the geeky side of the community but this is surely not enough to create a sustainable (actually profitable) software platform releasing successful con sumer products.
[Penguinbait] (Can’t say I didn’t try )
Hardware specs, I want a bigger screen 1024×600 and more RAM (256MB min 384/512 would be awesome). Any chance this is in our NEAR future?
Sorry but the Maemo Software team doesn’t talk publicly about future hardware specs. The Fremantle roadmap disclosed recently shows clearly that new hardware will come but that’s all we can tell at this point.
Thanks for your understanding!
And thanks for your continuous interest in the Maemo platform.
marketing manager, open source
Maemo Software @ Nokia
I just want to say thanks to Quim for taking the time to answer my questions.
Always a pleasure, Thanks Quim