Nokia's Maemo: A Free Software Platform?

Werner Koch wk at
Tue Jan 30 15:54:41 UTC 2007

On Tue, 30 Jan 2007 16:39, neal at said:

> components are Opera and Flash.  As I point out in the note, Nokia
> holds back several important pieces of the platform including how the
> battery works and several central UI components.  Unlike Opera, these
> components are less easily replaced, I think.

I have not looked in depth into this.  I assumed that it falls into
the category of firmware/bootloader/monitor.  It is always hard to
draw a line here.  We are still living with non-free BIOSes and
embedded platforms often use non-free monitors.  This is nothing
special with the Nokia devices.  Well, with their claims to distribute
a fully free device they should have provided the source for
everything under their control.  But, well they obviously use the same
modules as for their phones and freeing it would allow people to
tinker with the phones (what they definitely don't like).

In your article you mentioned that Maemo requires all libs to be
LGPLed.  To be frank, that is nothing special: Both, KDE and GNOME
have this requirement.  I had discussions with KDE maintainers in the
past on how to get a GPLed library (GPGME) into KDE proper.  This was
one of the reasons we later switched to LGPL for that library.  The
claimed reason for the LGPL requirement is that some companies are
using the core KDE libraries for proprietary projects.



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