Maemo / Mobiln / Meego

Every reader of this blog will already have read the news about Nokia + Intel merging their Maemo and Moblin projects to form what's now called MeeGo.

I am not quite sure what to think of it. Of course, two big players teaming together to reduce fragmentation of the "true Linux" mobile software stacks (as opposed to Android) is a good move. There can be a lot of synergies from the combined effort of the Nokia and Intel Linux teams...

Maemo always seemed to be heading in the right direction, embracing and growing a developer community. Moblin on the other hand always felt much more like an industry kind of thing. Sure, there were/are lots of well-known developers from the community working on Moblin, but the involvement of the larger Linux/FOSS community seemed to be quite little. So I hope the new MeeGo project doesn't loose the increasingly good community interaction that that was showing.

On the other hand, Maemo was troubled by political decisions such as the move from GTK to Qt (following Nokias acquisition of Trolltech). No matter what you believe is the better technology, changing the UI stack from one version to another inevitably confuses and disappoints all 3rd party application developers.

What puzzled me most about the announcement was this post by well-known kernel hacker Arjan van de Ven, showing an architecture diagram where the Linux kernel is called "MeeGo Kernel". I almost wonder how much they had to pay him to use that diagram in a public article. If they use the Linux kernel, they should simply call it a Linux kernel, even in marketing-oriented architecture diagrams. Everything else is nothing but an attempt at misleading people. Both the Maemo 5 Software architecture and Android Architecture diagrams clearly indicate it is Linux!

Also, the diagram claims to have a Hardware Adaption Software layer below the kernel, which I am quite sure it won't have. No self-respecting Linux Kernel developer believes in hardware abstraction layers.