back to article Linux Foundation chief dubs MeeGo 'unstoppable force'

MeeGo, the Linux-based open source operating system born from the February 2010 shotgun marriage of Nokia's Maemo and Intel's Moblin and left at the altar when Nokia hooked up with Windows Phone 7, is an "unstoppable force" that speeds device-developers' time-to-market, and it stands for "love, courage, and change." That was the …

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FAIL

Another DOA Open Source Product

Hmmm, don't see much point in this with Android around. And oh yeah, android uses Java API for development. What does this use? Maybe something cool and revolutionary like AJAX/HTML API's? Oh wait WebOS tried that and dev support has been dropping fast.

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Qt, Qt Quick and QML, of course...

MeeGo includes one of the best application frameworks around, in the form of Qt - but the real star is Qt Quick, the new declarative UI toolkit.

Basically, this is what WebOS and Silverlight should have been. You get a lightning-fast bring-up time for smooth user interfaces, with all the slick transitions and effects users come to expect.

Plus, the markup looks enough like CSS that your average web designer, more used to doing layout than code, can take most of the UI tweaking off the coder's hands - they'll do a better job, leaving the coder to work on functionality.

Speaking of function, you can use JavaScript, or for serious lifting, you can write in C++, and thus, by extension, anything with a C-compatible ABI (and that includes Java, if you absolutely insist on doing the wrong thing). So, if you needed it to, your fancy scripted UI can access everything the OS allows, all the way down to kernel features.

Have a look on YouTube etc for sample videos - it's pretty impressive what you can do in such a small amount of code.

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Wrongly Focus on Techonology and Not Sustainable Business Model

I Agree with you that what you discussed sound really impressive, but at the end of the day, no matter how good the technology is, if it's tied to dying platform then developers simple won't use it. To put it another way, there has to be the potential to easily monetize software and have a sustainable business model.

Moreover, for any platform to be a success there must be large pool of available developers who can quickly use their skills to code for the platform. With the Java, that is the case with AJAX/HTML that clearly is not. Odds are, someone who does AJAX webapps is going to have pretty hard time understanding OO principles and APIs that all major mobile OS embrace.

Just look at the three most popular mobile platforms and those that are failing.

Success:

iOS => Object C

Andriod => Java API

Rim BB => Java API

Failing Fast:

Rim Tablet => Adobe AIR

WebOS => AJAX/HTML/CSS

Now you can always do native coding on any of those, but from a business point of view, unless you are Apple, then having a Java API seems like the only viable approach for having a successful mobile OS platform currently. Even Rim and HP seems to be coming to that conclusion seeing how they now want it to run Andriod Apps.

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You didn't ask about business models...

In fairness, you asked about technologies, not business models. Where I see MeeGo's business opportunity is in the vertically-integrated device market (in-car systems are one area, but I can see uses in public information kiosks, industrial control and monitoring and having the OS embedded into existing consumer electronics products). Android would have been a good candidate here, but Google has gone on a consumer push, and their new "open-ish" approach to the tablet OS fork will deter a lot of small solutions providers from choosing it. The missing piece is a commodity tablet chassis. Intel haven't helped matters, but I'm sure there's a lot of activity in Taiwan right now, and I hope we'll see these boards pretty soon.

On the languages, sorry, I can't agree. Almost nobody knew Objective-C when iPhone came out, but a couple of years later, there's an army of Objective-C developers. If there's a market, a good programmer can learn a language and API -- even one as irritating as ObjC.

I would argue that Android's success has less to do with being Java-based than with Google giving the system away for free to handset makers. Developers saw a growing market, so they went for it. And don't forget, a lot of Android apps are C-based too, especially games and existing open-source ports.

Incidentally, Qt is available on Android (and iOS). It's not officially supported by Nokia, but as it's an open-source platform, people can do what they want with Qt. Ironically, the only platform you can't get Qt onto is...

... Windows Phone.

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Stop

Hardware?

So if we discount the Nokia N900 and progeny as a long term option, what Atom based handsets can I consider? A quick Google just shows a bunch of excited announcments from 2009 or thereabouts and XMM chipsets being released by Intel. Is anyone making phones?

Yes, I'd love to consider a smart phone that didn't require me to chose between Page and Jobs.

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Anonymous Coward

Yep

H/w is the elephant in the room and what its what makes Meego different from PC/server Linux - there is no commodity hardware for people to get stuff off the ground (I know you'll all correct me if I am wrong).

App developers will only bother to support the devices/platforms that a large enough body of people will buy so having the ability to set up an app store for your niche device is fine but it won't help that much.

I'd love to see Meego do well and if Intel had been at this shindig promising support (they weren't were they?) I'd be more confident that it will. Zemlin is right about companies coming and going but when they go they take their development dollars with them.

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Have a look on ebay

There's loads of random chinese tablets running on intel processors. I think they'd be pretty good for the price (if they turn up).

Been thinking about buying one for a while to try with Unity, and/or other linuxes.

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Bronze badge

(I know you'll all correct me if I am wrong)

What about the BeagleBoard? http://beagleboard.org/ There are a lot of clones, including ones in touchscreen phone form.

If RISC OS can be ported to it, it would say something bad about Meego if it couldn't be.

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Joke

but..

what happens when an 'unstoppable force' meets an immovable object?

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Go

Like a serious reply to a sarcastic question...

It goes straight through, without any effect, and comes out the other side.

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Alert

You have much to learn, grasshopper

The unstoppable force, stops.

The immovable object, moves.

Ommmmmmmmm.

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Go

The title is required, and must contain letters.

Meh...

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FAIL

Me going nowhere.

It's sinking faster than a blue comedian on a family show.

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FAIL

FAIL

Months since MeeGo was announced: 15

Months since Nokia N900 started shipping: 18 (the last Maemo handset)

MeeGo devices launched: 4 (see http://wiki.meego.com/Devices)

MeeGo devices you might actually want to buy: 0

MeeGo is frankly one big FAIL, if Nokia had stuck to its original plan of releasing a Maemo 6 based successor to the N900 in mid 2010 then perhaps they would be in a much better state than they are now.

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Silver badge
Go

It's like in the PC business

I think we are currently in the "home computer" stage of mobile computing. We have lots of different plattforms, with many manufacturers trying to control their market.

In my opinion Meego/Maemo is the "Unix" of that period. Perhaps not the cheapest system, perhaps not the most polished one, but fans regard it as the only one to actually get work done.

The huge advantage of Meego/Maemo is that it's essentially Debian. You can run all your normal Unixoid software on it. From day 1 you had not only ssh clients but ssh servers for it. It's a full fledged unixoid system with root access. If you want you could probably even compile your own software on it. Or you could log into your computer at home via SSH and use its applications.

In the computing world there is (nearly) no C-64 or Amiga any more. Same goes with Atari. Even Apple had to change to something more unixoid. The only non-unixoid competitor is Microsoft with its Windows. Of course todays unixoid systems are from a different code base than those old actual Unixes, however you can still run the same software. Emacs is available on Maemo just like used to be available on a 1980s Unix.

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Compiling own software...

I already have compiled software on it - albeit not my own software. I managed to get XBMC to compile on my Atom netbook under MeeGo.

I quite like the idea of MeeGo - I'd love to see it running on my Tegra-based tablet - but it doesn't have nearly enough support outside of the hardcore.

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Boffin

RE: DOA

I do hope it is not.

Nokia will be releasing one Meego phone pretty soon (it was under development anyway) and it actually looks (if the leaks are true) pretty awesome.

Advantages of Meego are the ease of porting standard linux apps to it, and the possibility of running Android apps using a Dalvik engine on top of it.

If it does at least what my n900 does, I'm already sold. Do not comment on this unless you have actually used an n900 for a while and eplored/used the vast possibilities of it.

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E 2

"unstoppable force"

So, apparently is dark energy, but it manifests at something like 73 proton masses per megaparsec.

Maybe Meego will win in the end.

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As a N900 user

I can't think of any phone er sorry to me it's a computer with phone functionality, and seriously overclockable , it has a gig ram and 32 gig for storage + whatever sdcard u wang inside it, I run the maemo that came with it, or i could just boot to meego or debian, i can even plug it in to ma tv and use it as a desktop using bluetooth mouse/keyboard. damn i love this phone and something special will have to come along b4 i give it up to. I'm looking forward to see where meego, goes from here, good times ahead :D

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Anonymous Coward

Meego will be big

I have no doubt Meego will be a huge win. Some worry about apps and developers support. BUT!!:

- Android apps will run on Meego through Alien Dalvik, so there will be plenty of apps.

- Qt/Qt quick is allready a mature an widely used framework. There is and will be plenty of apps.

- A lot of big companies are working on devices for Meego, including Nokia(yes).

- Meego got scalability from phones, tvs, car systems, tablets, notebooks. Later maybe game-stations or desktop?

I do not really believe "it is too late" or "market is too crowded". As system will augment on the established Linux and android systems, and with Qt, it allready has a head start.

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Coat

Meego?

Phah.

If there ever was a DoA operating system and device platform, it must be the N900 and Maemo/Meego.

The final neck shot was Microsoft bedding Nokia. Have a heart and reach around, will ya.

Mine's the one with the 'Wanted: Supported Android for N900' poster in the pocket.

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