Nokia's Maemo: A Free Software Platform?

Werner Koch wk at
Tue Jan 30 15:08:34 UTC 2007

On Tue, 30 Jan 2007 14:47, neal at said:

> common feeling.  I call this assertion into question: Maemo relies
> heavily on non-free components and Nokia has constructed technical and
> psychological barriers which prevent a free platform from emerging.  I

I talked at the LinuxTag 2005 with Devesh Kothari, Nokia's product
manager for "OSS", who is more a techie than a suit.  He assured me
that the use of Opera is only a temporary solution and that they are
already working on a replacing it using a free browser (Konquerer).  I
have still not seen any movement in this regard.  AFAIK, even the
promised Vorbis support using the DSP has still not been implemented.

At one point I was about to get into DSP hacking to make the 770 a
more useful audoi device (in terms of battery life).  However,
noticing that with the n800 nothing went for the better, I doubt that
it makes sense to spend time on hardware which is more ore less
obsolete now.  So my device will rest in my living room as a Wikipedia

BTW, it is not only Nokia.  Other vendors operate the same way. For
instance, Hauppage's MVP box: Many people spent a lot of time
improving the devices but at one point you are trapped the same way as
when working on Windows.  In that case the driver for the MPEG decoder
and video device of the PowerPC chip.  IBM, that huge free software
supporter won't release any specs.

Maybe these vendors are part of a greater plan: Embrace the hackers
and let them spend their time on cool para-free gadgets so that they
can't work on free code ;-)



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