Welcome new users.

The Nokia N900 is more targeted to the mass market than any of the Nokia Internet Tablets before. This means that Maemo will see new users, with different levels of knowledge, and involvement.
Some will just use their device and will not be interested in contact with other users.
Some will ask questions on mailing lists or on Talk (I myself started getting involved in Open Source by asking for a feature on a mailing list back in the days). As most people out there are used to Microsoft Windows this might also bring up some basic Linux questions.
Some people will file a feature request or bug report for their very first time as they have never used a bugtracker or brainstorm before, not knowing the difference between bugtrackers and support forums.
Some people will develop new software for the Maemo platform or port their application.

So, what can we do?

The community should be welcoming by being helpful, friendly and patient. Open-source culture is different compared to “normal”, closed-source corporate companies, both in positive and negative terms.

Nokia should help making the Maemo platform successful by improving working in the community instead of just with the community.
Nokia developers should not only be allowed, but encouraged (keep in mind that many Nokia developers don’t have an open-source background) by their managers to spend a few minutes every day on the public mailing lists, in the forum, in Bugzilla.
At the beginning some might think that this is a waste of time, but sharing technical knowledge that Nokians have, plus talking directly to users and 3rd party developers is crucial for the success of the platform.
And Nokia should provide good public API documentation, of course – in the past, time for this has been missing sometimes due to tight schedules. is a nice vibrant community, ready to grow.
Maemo is a platform with great potential.

Let’s welcome new folks and give them a good reason to stay with us.

Photo credit: mcclouds (Creative Commons)

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13 Responses to Welcome new users.

  1. foo says:

    Since Debian failed to get people to work within the community (cf Ubuntu, Maemo and the zillion other Debian derivatives), I wish you luck with that.

  2. pvanhoof says:

    @foo: Working with the community for a platform that still needs a lot of software development work, for Nokia & Maemo, should mean mostly working with the upstream developers of the softwares being used.

    Working with the packagers of the Debian project would undoubtedly be cool too, but that’s a next step. Let’s first get Nokia to continue working with us, the people who write the code.

    Also note that much of the packaging in Maemo is taken straight from existing Debian packages, that the source packages are available, that usually the debian subdir is part of the repository (so you can propose patches for the packaging), and that if anything in the debian needed changes … that usually those changes are quite specific to the mobile environment that Maemo is built for. Aka the kind of changes Debian upstream wont easily accept anyway.

    btw. It would be nice if the distributions that you mentioned would work more closely together with us, the developers, too (and more quickly push the bugfixes and patches to the upstream projects, instead of maintaining fixes in their own repositories and packaging systems). Nowadays most distributions already do it this way, but Maemo actually works together with many projects: puts a team in place, cooperates closely and daily with existing teams, contributes in a team-setting (not just a monthly patch to the mailing list), etc.

  3. Ulf says:

    Hey there Maemo Community. I am from Germany and looking forward to hold my first MID N900 in my hands in October.

    You are definetly right, i believe that Nokia created the best phone available because of the devices history now with new os and phone support.

    I also belive that many many people will buy a device and will be very happy with it!


  4. Thomas says:

    Like you, I guess new users will come : many geeks were waiting for a mini-computer/GSM running with GNU/Linux.
    I am from France and here we talk a lot about Nokia N900 too, for example this page on a site for beginners :
    I hope I could have one for christmas :-)
    This Linux phone is an IPhone killer !

  5. yomi says:

    We, at are aware that with the expected success of the N900 there will be a new category of maemo lovers who are non-geeks and would want answers to the questions arising from their daily experiences with the N900 and other maemo-powered devices.

    We are creating a community with as little as possible technical terminologies geared towards promoting the mobile platform for humans!

  6. aklapper says:

    @yomi: To me this looks a bit like duplicating efforts, as there is already the very successful which has thousand of users and a vibrant Maemo forum community. Feel free to join instead of opening another forum for the same target group and topics!

  7. yomi says:


    Thanks for baring your mind. We will think about it.

  8. Pingback: Bugzilla: One year later. « andre klapper’s blog.

  9. Fuzu says:

    Ooh dang i just typed a long comment and as soon as i hit reply it came up blank! Please tell me it worked properly? I do not want to sumit it again if i do not have to! Either the blog bugged out or i am an idiot, the second option doesnt surprise me lol.

  10. aklapper says:

    @Fuzu: I think the server had a few problems in the last days (when posting a new blog entry for me I once got a “Connection error”). Nothing I can do here as I don’t maintain it myself though, sorry. :-(

  11. Hi just thought i would let you know that i had a issue with this blog appearing blank also. Must be gremlins in the system.

  12. Pingback: Maemo: Contributing and long-term platform strategy « andre klapper’s blog.

  13. Pingback: Andre Klapper: Maemo: Contributing and long-term platform strategy :Addz It Now

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