At the MeeGo announcement there wasn’t much clarity on whether Nokia was going to keep the ‘Maemo 6’ brand for now and then transition into MeeGo, but a simple post from Quim Gil, of Nokia’s Maemo Division requesting the renaming of the Maemo 6 / Harmattan sub forum at Maemo.org to MeeGo / Harmattan has brought much needed clarity to the picture.
In addition to the request he has taken the time to clarify a few aspects which I am sure all of you are very interested in. Below are a few extracts from his post, nothing surprising but still worth a read.
“Maemo 6 will not be used by Nokia as a brand since all the marketing effort around the software platform will be around MeeGo.
To be clear: this is not about “ditching” or “abandoning” any platform. The Harmattan program keeps working with the same plans than last week, no matter the name of the product they will deliver. Maemo 6 and Moblin 2.x merge and have a successor called MeeGo. Current Maemo people will look at it and will say “looks like his mother!”. Current Mblin people will look at it and will say “looks like his father!” (or choose your preferred gender) Of course you will see changes compared to Maemo 5, but these changes were coming anyway with Maemo 6.
What does this mean exactly for Harmattan/MeeGo? It means different things for different people:
- For end users nothing really changes, apart from a name most of them were not aware of anyway.
- For application developers not much changes. Harmattan’s developer offering is based on Qt 4.6 + Qt Creator, Web Runtime + Aptana. Same for MeeGo and btw same for Symbian. Harmattan *might* have extended APIs unique to Nokia devices (e.g. Ovi APIs), but we’ll see and this is part of the MeeGo flexibility anyway. Wait for the SDKs to be released and then we can discuss in more detail. There will be also the APIs available for those willing to use them, provided directly by other open source components in the platform (e.g. GStreamer). Developers will be of course free to use them, at the expense of loosing compatibility with Symbian, and with MeeGo… depends on the component and to be seen as soon as there is a detailed MeeGo architecture public. Then there will be the obvious difference in packaging (deb still for Harmattan, rpm for MeeGo) but this won’t be the big issue and anyway compatibility with Symbian implies specific packaging as well.
- For those caring about the platform in depth, Harmattan =! MeeGo. If we would make Harmattan identical to MeeGo then we would need to postpone dates and, really not for a good reason. Not a reason for app developers (the API is there anyway) and not a good reason for end users, who could not care less about packaging and some obscure middleware components. This is the only reason making Ari Jaaksi refer to Harmattan as a “MeeGo instance” instead of just “MeeGo product”.
This is why we are dropping the “Maemo 6″ *brand* while keeping all the Harmattan development full speed and in the same direction that it was.”