Here Is Why The PR 1.2 Firmware For The Nokia N900 Is Late

The world has been anxiously waiting for the PR 1.2 firmware for the N900 for what seems like ages now. The release date speculation thread has crossed 4 thousand posts and we have  numerous others that keep popping up. It is common knowledge that the code has been frozen for quite some time now, so what then is causing the delay? Does bug fixing and testing really take so much time? Apparently it does, read on for some of the reasons as to why the world’s favorite firmware is delayed.

Here Is Why The PR 1.2 Firmware For The N900 Is Late

“The following is the ‘personal opinion’ of Eero Tamminen of Nokia, written in a Maemo.org mailing list.

Q. With a little over a month now on the clock, people can only begin to speculate as to how poor Nokia’s release management is working.

A. Releases are not based on calendar, but on them being ready, based on testing results. (Hm. Is Maemo showing its Debian roots?)

Q. I, as a software developer, realize that unexpected issues can occur causing unexpected delays…

A. I think it’s mainly due to wanting something that doesn’t have any known regressions in any area from the previous release while significantly improving some areas. And this requiring somewhat unexpected amount of iterations.

As one example, when we optified some of the rootfs content to make more space on it (for SSUs), we had to deal with the slowdowns coming from those packages being now on eMMC (which is slower than rootfs especially when the device is swapping). This required quite a lot of iteration on what to optify, SSU issues, policy & memory locking finetuning, otherwise optimizing slow things etc.

  • Another example, which some might think funny, is Browser related.

Browser + Flash combination had some crashes which were fixed (because UI restarts engine automatically, user might not even have noticed these except as larger browsing slowdown). However, with the fixes single Browser engine instance could keep up so long that several days of Browsing increased its memory usage a lot. Which then caused performance issues…

Finding that this was one cause for longer term usage slowdowns took quite a while, as did hunting down[2] and fixing these previously unnoticeable memory leak(s). We also wanted to fix all the SGX related issues, but I think one is going to be left after PR1.2 as it’s not reproducible. A lot of other SGX issues that were eventually to some extent reproducible by someone internally, either with specifically crafted test-case or some already existing SW, have been already fixed in internal PR1.2 releases.

While some things are obvious, improvements in some other areas aren’t necessarily directly visible to (all) users, because many of the issues we’ve fixed (use-time, reliability etc), happen only in very specific conditions or use-cases.

Q. Is PR1.2 still going to be released?

A. Definitely.”

So there you have  it, yes the firmware is delayed and no we don’t know when it is coming. All we know is that it is coming for sure. Its good to know what’s happening behind the scenes and this should hopefully help but a few N900 owners to rest.

Hat tip to @mwkn on Twitter. Image via Magel282.

123 thoughts on “Here Is Why The PR 1.2 Firmware For The Nokia N900 Is Late”

  1. @ Lois:

    iPhone people are iUsers:
    They are iHappy with every iApp they find.
    They love to spend there iMoney for iSteve.
    They have no iIdea about any iNeeds or iRequirements of their iDevices.
    They trust in Apple’s iGod to fulfill iDreams they never could dreamed on their own.
    They have iRespect for iPapa and don’t talk back.

    The Linux users are different.
    If you try to tell them the sky is green they will respond that it is blue. And they know how it should work properly. And when many people are blowing a whistle you can soon watch a noisy storm.

  2. guys did you hared the news nokia sue apple again this time cause of i pad haaahhaahaa i think nokia this day dont know what to do thats why i say thanks to apple to make nokia think 1000 times befor making a phone every day like n8 the latest one ……. i dont know why nokia they made this to compet with who? in the same time they have the most advintage phone the no2 after iphone n900 they don’t give a f……….. about it. nokia wake up pls ya o forget to tell guys apple made the new iphone with 5mp camera and it’s hhd with flash with screen i don’t know how many colors but i think it’s not like other phone somthing what can say wowwwwww.

  3. Awesome! Yes, the N900 has many vicious bugs, especially browser slowness, sounds like they’re taking them seriously. 🙂 That said, I’m an extremely happy N900 user, the only mission critical features I miss daily are integrated printing via cups and ghostscript, and iSync support for Mac OS X, well also rotation looks fun.

    Also, If you’ve never used an N900, then you’ve never experienced truly integrated contact management across desperate protocols, but Nokia simply hasn’t delivered even minimally intelligent behavior in their contact applications. If I add a contact, but that contact exists, then you should merge the contacts, yes name isn’t a unique identifier, but maybe both contact already share the same phone or email? Similarly, you should always add gtalk, msn, etc. contact wherever their email already appears, not require manual merging. You know, my N900 already offers vastly more powerful contact management than Mac OS X’s AddressBook, thanks largely to skype integration and hermes, but the N900’s contacts make soo many stupid blunders.

  4. If your a slave modern advertising, marketing then the iLemming is for you. Not really into makin your own decisions in life but rather be guided and dictated, controlled and enjoy Jobby up your ring. Do you buy everything everyone else around you buys just so you fit in, then the yes iLemming is for you.

    If you aint a slave, have an ounce of intellect, a pound of thought, the ability to lateral think or an above average IQ then the iLemming aint for you. If you can speak your own mind, evaluate & draw your own opinion and dont wonder if you fit for not being the same then iLemming aint for you.

  5. Any chance of something in English please Geoff. A nice combo of words but the sentences are buffed up with words they have no point or meaning.

    Jeff said:
    Awesome! Yes, the N900 has many vicious bugs, especially browser slowness, sounds like they’re taking them seriously. That said, I’m an extremely happy N900 user, the only mission critical features I miss daily are integrated printing via cups and ghostscript, and iSync support for Mac OS X, well also rotation looks fun.

    Also, If you’ve never used an N900, then you’ve never experienced truly integrated contact management across desperate protocols, but Nokia simply hasn’t delivered even minimally intelligent behavior in their contact applications. If I add a contact, but that contact exists, then you should merge the contacts, yes name isn’t a unique identifier, but maybe both contact already share the same phone or email? Similarly, you should always add gtalk, msn, etc. contact wherever their email already appears, not require manual merging. You know, my N900 already offers vastly more powerful contact management than Mac OS X’s AddressBook, thanks largely to skype integration and hermes, but the N900’s contacts make soo many stupid blunders.

  6. Itention pls. for all n900 owners i’m one of them handle the n900 to apple to make apps fofr it and i think they will change the name to i900 phone. This the only way to make the n900 better. shame of u nokia sorry guys

  7. n900 has good potential, but it use only a 25%
    i’m tipically satisfied when i’m using all potential of my device, this isn’t the case.
    I just feel that i have invested money for a long term project and we are only at beginning

  8. You sure about this cause i’m not sure i know nokia at the end they will make it but with with no point of use like OVI store unsefull apps. I wish if they can made a new store better than this dum store.

  9. n8 it’s out for 700$ still symbin but it’s 3^ can’t belive that n900 still no apps no update yet and they are making a new phone. belive that yap this nokia

  10. Vaibhav

    ‘By the end of next week is my guess. By the end of the month for sure.

    Is this from a good source or just ambitious guesswork ?

  11. go get mature – Nokia had been (almost) crucified by press and bloggers recently for N-series (S60) problems with quality, so it can’t afford to drop quality under bus in important release just because one or few young person can’t wait and rocks boat in anticipation. if you want to try not-actually-finalized PR1.2 – join Nokia and try to roll out it earlier — talk is cheap.

  12. The network providers have contracted these N900 pocket super computers onto too many inept knoobheads that need nothing more than a phone.

    What ever they get is they’ll shout it could be better. Thats how a big chunk of modern society are. Winge winge winge about anything they see fit in life.

  13. I have the n900..love it! only thing that frustrates me at times is when I’m using the phone and another call is coming, to switch to it and switch back to the first call is kind of annoying, esp when you’re driving or doing something. I want to be able to use the front camera and also be able to send files/images etc to contacts im chatting with.
    So I’m def waiting patiently for the bug-free pr 1.2. I hope it comes out soon.
    The N8 looks hotttt! if it came with an actual slide out keyboard i’d consider it. But hoenstly, I think I’m too spoiled with maemo now and going back to symbian just won’t do it for me anymore.

  14. Ok, it´s a great phone, but why take so log to release the PR 1.2?

    It´s very, very annoying. I hope I don´t regret to bought this phone.

    Nokia = fail ??

    :/

  15. I was waiting for it for so long that i forgot about it until i read here .I think its because nokia doesnt give 2 Sh..s . there probably in the making of maemo 6 and putting all efforts into that, and with the new phone that will eventualy come out

  16. the only way to know when the next official firmware (1.2 or above) will be released in the west is no doubt to ask nokia yourself, perhaps via an official forum. the reason that its not out “due to major testing” is pretty debatable-especially if its true that the n900 has already been released with the 1.2 firmware in Hong Kong. unless theyre planning to use nokia fans over there as some sort of testing ground-unlikely! lol

  17. N900 is the best phone, which phone has HD screen, multitask, azerty keyboard, TV out, reads flash on web, has camera flash, free turn by turn navigation… all what the iphone does not have! oh yes, the i phone next generation will have what I wrote, but then the N8 will have 2 and a half more pixels, HDMI, dolby surround, aluminium casing…
    Clearly Nokia = best phones.

  18. If the previous PR’s didnt work or rendered themselves or the phone usless then yes complain away. However complaining for the sake of it puzzles me. Once 1.2 is out are you going to complain and ask where 1.3 is ?? Probably yes so Nokia cannot win with some of its shallow customers.

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