On Tuesday Nokia said ‘… Nokia N900 devices are being used for platform development and testing purposes by those involved in the MeeGo project, Nokia doesn’t have plans for a full scale commercial MeeGo upgrade on the Nokia N900’. For a lot of people this translated to the assumption that MeeGo was not coming to the N900. Period.
Yesterday, the MeeGo 1.0 release happened and in addition to netbooks (pictured above) there was a version for the N900 as well. This led to the obvious, so is MeeGo coming to the N900 after all? The answer is both yes and no. Yes it is coming to the N900 and Nokia will help in whatever way it can, and but no, it will not be officially support and you will not be able to go to the Nokia Customer Care if you are having issues with it.
So what was yesterday’s MeeGo 1.0 about? Quite simply it is the complete OS core that lets you boot up to command line, but there is no UX so far. This means the majority of the users can look away for now. The MeeGo Handset UX will come with MeeGo 1.1 in Q4 2010 and its development will start next month with unstable releases.
If you are looking for more clarity, this is what Harri Hakulinen (Nokia), the team lead of the Nokia N900 Hardware Adaptation Team for the MeeGo port had to say:
Hello Maemos & MeeGos,
It seems that the true nature of MeeGo has not really been understood by many, or if it is, people still like to create wrong kind of fuss, and use the name MeeGo in wrong way.
In very simple words; please do not mix MeeGo and Nokia productized software !
1. MeeGo is open source project.
2. Nokia as founding member of MeeGo project is using N900 as the ARM reference platform of MeeGo at the moment. This means that we have an active project that focuses to MeeGo hardware adaptation for N900.
( 1. and 2. together actually mean, that there will be MeeGo for N900, if someone is interested .. )
The goal of that project is to open as much N900 specific drivers as possible in MeeGo scope. Our work is currently well supported by many internal and external people, so in fact we have much larger project team than what is described in our wiki page. Based on that I am very confident to say that MeeGo on N900 will be more open than Maemo has been so far, and it will truly be an open source mobile os in N900.
There are wiki pages for the project at http://wiki.meego.com/ARM/N900
From the wiki you can find information how MeeGo runs, and will run on N900. There are also links to mailing lists, IRC channels, code repositories & all. On the other words, N900 hardware adaptation project is an open project already, as well as the whole MeeGo project will soon be.
MeeGo project is preparing to launch 1.0 release in May, and after that continue development towards 1.1 release. May release will NOT contain mobile UX yet, but it is expected to be added to development versions soon after 1.0 release.
In N900 HW adaptation there is 2 problematic components that we are NOT planning to open as such; the other is BME, battery management entity from Nokia, and the other is OpenGLES implementation from SGX. You can use the device without openGLES, if you don’t care about HW accelerated 3D features. Without the BME the device is practically useless.
(Fully functional MeeGo images containing those closed components will also be provided, thanks for asking..)
The reasoning of that situation has been discussed at least in meego-devel mailing list and in N900 hardware adaptation IRC meetings. For BME we will try to find a way to enable open source activity around it, if there are interested people to work on that. Most likely, Nokia as company will not be able participate to that kind of open activity if it will start.
This thread is meant for discussion around MeeGo hardware adaptation for N900, as much as you want to discuss about that in maemo.org. However, I would recommend to switch towards meego.com resources, and participate to technical work there.
We are also pretty busy with the said work at the moment, so please bear us if you don’t get complete answers to your questions in short time.