Maemo + Moblin = MeeGo = Failure

Today, Nokia and Intel announced the merge of Maemo and Moblin into the MeeGo project. This is sad, because it will end the era of the Debian-based mobile operating system Maemo and replace it with a system using RPM and probably some other evil stuff as well. In fact, dpkg & apt-get where two of my main reasons to buy the N900.

And another question is why yet another name. Moblin was already a well-known name and they shouldn’t have changed the name just because they switch the servers and add some Nokia developers.

Furthermore, does this all mean that there will be no Maemo 6? What will happen to the Maemo users on the N900, will it be possible for them to use MeeGo?

Maybe this is the time to start a new project, Debian Mobile. Debian Mobile would take the MeeGo experience and apply it to a Debian system. This would probably the best mobile operating system ever, being backed by Debian’s large repositories with thousands of software packages.

31 thoughts on “Maemo + Moblin = MeeGo = Failure

    1. This will happen anyway for Debian and Ubuntu, as MeeGo will replace Moblin. And that’s basically what I’m talking about. I want to have a Debian system running the MeeGo UI.

      The problem is that you won’t get any apps from Nokia’s Ovi Store, because that is for true MeeGo only.

  1. Exactly! What is the point of the name change when it looks like the only thing they brought from maemo was Qt which wasn’t part of maemo anyway.

    So they basically scrapping maemo and adding Qt to Moblin. I don’t see why that’s an improvement. Hopefully they address this soon.

    1. The guts of Moblin and Maemo are already pretty similar from what I can see. PA, dbus, gstreamer, gtk/glib (this one obviously changing) and of course the basics (libc, etc.)

  2. Moblin didn’t have favorite system, it was developed and tested on both Fedora and Ubuntu. I really fail to see how it is bad.

    1. Since Moblin 2 , Ubuntu is not longer be supported . Even the wonderful Mobile Image Creator(MIC) was suspended . It is replaced by Mobile Image Creator 2 which is for Fedora only which is less powerful than MIC 1

  3. An rpm is as usefull as a deb, a deb without apt is like an rpm without yum or something like that.

    for the record I’m an ubuntu,debian user/fan

  4. I wouldn’t lose hope (as a n900 owner and developer), rather without knowing anything about Moblin this sounded initially welcome to me. To me it’s most important that it’s an open (as open as possible) Linux platform.

    While I’d prefer debs, I guess you always need to make compromises in a merge like this, and it’s quite plausible that this does more good than harm as a whole. It depends on what Moblin has to offer.

    +1 to apt being the big thing. Not sure about this, but I have understood the most important drawback with rpms is the lack of the Suggests: and Recommends:. Not sure if this has been true for the last 10 years either 🙂

    OTOH apt/deb is sometimes very slow because of the text format databases. (I’ve done a lot of profiling because it was _very_ slow on my old laptop. The biggest problem really is the text format db.) Don’t know if rpm is faster – I haven’t used rpm based systems for 10 years – but it could be. It’s easy to dismiss this with “how often do you upgrade your system?” and I’ve seen that done, but on mobile devices it could be more important.

    1. Yum is ridiculously slow. It parses and reparses a bunch of xml every time it’s run. This was a huge problem on, for example, the OLPC XO-1. It’s been optimized since, but it’s still much slower than apt.

      Oh, and yum is also written in python, versus apt’s c++.

    2. > Not sure about this, but I have understood the most
      > important drawback with rpms is the lack of the
      > Suggests: and Recommends:. Not sure if this has
      > been true for the last 10 years either

      RPM also supports this, at least on openSUSE.

      > OTOH apt/deb is sometimes very slow because of the
      > text format databases.

      dpkg has some problems because of the high number of files in /var/lib/dpkg/info, apart from that everything is fine. But according to Bug#561104, this should be fixed in an 1.15.6 release.

      > It’s easy to dismiss this with “how often do you
      > upgrade your system?” and I’ve seen that done,
      > but on mobile devices it could be more important.

      BTW, I upgrade 2-3 times per day. Anyway, on mobile devices the number of packages is roughly 10% of the number of packages in Debian; thus reducing the number of files to load. Furthermore, mobile devices use flash storage which means that the reads are much faster anyway.

  5. Personally I don’t like RPM at all, but MeeGo is not just “hiring some Nokia developers”, it will be based on Qt while Moblin is currently based on GTK, a very big change imho 😛

      1. Nokia bought Trolltech (the company behind Qt). My guess is that one reason to push Qt for Maemo, which they were planning to do anyway, is to achieve and maintain toolkit compatibility between Maemo and other, older Nokia’s platforms like S60 (Symbian). And Qt really is quite nice and advanced, unless you are overly allergic to C++ or the moc preprocessor thingy.

  6. When are you guys going to grow up?

    I’m starting to getting fed up of these kind of comments:
    “-Oh no, I don’t want to try Qt, because all Qt apps looks bad and they are also stupid.
    -I hate Qt, KDE, and RPM. That’s my mission in life, to hate them all!
    -What’s important is Gnome, apt and GTK. If I can’t use those, I will surely change to Mac or Windows, because those are the important parts of linux.

    Yeah, I know, most of you aren’t that bad. But after visiting some blogs and reading the comments, I’m starting to be sad. Why do people get so angry over a thing like deb vs rpm? It’s a detail. It’s nothing! If you can use one, you’ll be a confident user of the other in notime.

  7. Change induces fear. It’s a natural reaction. The more unknowns, the more fear. Only further useful revelations can mitigate that.

    I’m trying to be optimistic, but I admit to concerns as well although mine are more from a community standpoint.

  8. This is certainly upsetting news for many; arguably maemo was the most promising open source operating system for phones and internet tablets. Any word on what is likely to happen to mer ( and – more importantly -ofono ( Ofono is a Nokia/Intel collaboration already…

    I think it’s important to realise that this development could be for the best; as has been pointed out the main cause of the upset is change rather than what the results of the change might be.

    This is perhaps symptomatic of an issue in the mobile open source arena. Be they open source or otherwise, the development of these operating systems is very much in the hands of corporations rather than the community.

  9. What will happen to Clutter now?Will it die or a new Clutter/Qt Hybrid?or some sort of bindings between Qt and Clutter?

  10. As a fedora packager, personally, I think there are no explicit difference between deb and rpm.

    debian and fedora are similar, one can switch from debian to fedora easily, more easily than switching from fedora to opensuse.

  11. Jesus christ, people. It’s open source. Get past your sentimental attachments to either platform and roll with it. This is still a lot better than the freaky, sandboxed Big Brother environment of Android – not to mention *shiver* Windows Mobile.

    Nothing is set in stone. If you liked something in Maemo or Moblin, fine: go push for it in MeeGo.

  12. Don’t say nonsense! MeeGo don’t kill MAEMO and don’t kill mobile-debian. It’s only an merge for two outstanding mobile systems.

  13. For those who say it does not matter because it is open source. Please wake up.

    Because it is open source, having traction and support among developer is important.

    I was kinda happy seeing Ubuntu MID demo until I learn that Canonical/Ubuntu is no longer supporting it. Part of it may be because Nokia shoving QT into MeeGo.

    So now we have Ubuntu Light and MeeGo eh? This demonstrate the good (having choice) and the bad of opensource. But at the moment the bad (i.e. the split of dev and support) is doing more harm.

  14. I will not move to Meego as its rpm based.

    I have used fedora and mandriva/mandrake and its really inferior to .deb

    This is a big setback, as recommended before a mobile debian needs to be ported, it has great repositories.

    Stability is essential so i reject Meego, i hope my N900 lasts a 10 years as i cannot downgrade to Meego.

    My Nokia E90 only lasted 3 years, when buttons started to fall into the device.

    Will nurse this along now

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  15. I am debian fan. I prefer to have debian as my client and server OS. The reason is simple, i am use to apt and dpkg. But I do not have any strong reason to refuse rmp based OS like RedHat or MeeGo. Because #1 i am concerned to Linux instead of their package management. #2. As far as qt integration is concerned. I guess this is good decision to have standard application for all os. This will not only gives performance gain (Compare to python like langs) but also provides portability of of an app on different operating systems.

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