First things first: As most of you already know, I’m not much of a mobile guy. “Mobile” to me means carrying the Targus backpack with the ThinkPad nestled snugly inside. I long ago tired of cleaning up the Pavlovian slobber that many writers and bloggers have produced when it comes to the inevitable “march” from real computers to handheld devices. So rather than fight it, my efforts center around keeping my eyes from glazing over when the reading about the subject.
However, this is not to say that I ignore FOSS and mobile completely.
So with that caveat firmly in place, read on: MeeGo is going the way of the dodo and, in the face of what seemed to be an earlier commitment by Intel to MeeGo, will be replaced by Tizen.
You’ve probably seen this already in the FOSS media, so I won’t labor the point. Sponsored by the LiMo Foundation and the Linux Foundation, Tizen’s development will be led by Intel and Samsung. It will emphasize HTML5 apps and support multiple device categories including tablets, handsets, smart TVs and in-vehicle entertainment.
MeeGo’s Imad Sousou urges MeeGo developers to join in the effort in a blog item featured on the MeeGo site. “Over the next couple of months, we will be working very hard to make sure that users of MeeGo can easily transition to Tizen, and I will be working even harder to make sure that developers of MeeGo can also transition to Tizen,” Sousou writes.
On the surface, this change doesn’t lend itself to the appearance of a whole lot of stability. If recent history serves, Maemo and Moblin combined to become MeeGo, and MeeGo was left at the altar, so to speak, by Nokia when a former Microsoft executive took the reins at Nokia and embraced — surprise! — Windows Phone 7.
Perhaps the most poignant observation of this, um, “transition” is made by Ryan Paul in an article he wrote for Ars Technica: “By starting over on the userspace stack and switching to a new set of development tools, Tizen is throwing the existing MeeGo community and a lot of open source labor under the bus. Getting existing contributors and third-party developers who were burned by MeeGo involved in the new effort could prove challenging.”
That’s hard to argue, but I hope Ryan is wrong here and I hope that current MeeGo developers will heed Sousou’s call to join Tizen.
Nevertheless, I’m going to give the LiMo and Linux foundations the benefit of the doubt in this case and trust that they’re going to release a version of this operating system in the digital wild next spring that will make us all proud.
This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.