2011-09-28

So.... MeeGo is dead. bummer.

As you may recall, in May I went to the MeeGo Conference in San Francisco and at the time (Nokia had already abandoned MeeGo) I felt MeeGo could finally go in a decent direction. Let me explain....

In the beginning, MeeGo was a joint venture between Intel: an x86 processor manufacturer, and Nokia: a manufacturer of phones that use ARM processors. Nokia also owns Qt, a framework used to create computer programs, and all applications written for MeeGo were supposed to be created using Qt and programmed with the C++ programming language.

Nokia was working on a version of MeeGo(sort of) for phones, and Intel seemed be interested in a version of MeeGo for tablets and netbooks. This means that there were two different versions of MeeGo that looked strikingly dissimilar. There is/was a MeeGo version for automobiles, but that isn't part of this story.

The Nokia version was written using Qt and the tablet/netbook version used Clutter and GTK. It should be noted that even though MeeGo apps were supposed to be written in Qt, most if not all of the tablet/netbook apps were written using GTK and one of the many languages with bindings for GTK.

Once Nokia left, I was hopeful that the MeeGo project would finally start moving in a more productive direction. Only one Captain steering the ship..yada yada yada

I've used the netbook version and I liked it, sure, it needed some polish, but it was a good usable Linux distribution with a very usable Desktop Environment designed for smaller screens. However, if none of the apps that come with the base distro are Qt based, why would I as a developer write Qt/C++ apps for MeeGo? I won't. However, Heybuddy ran just fine on MeeGo and looked at home with the other apps because Heybuddy uses GTK for its interface.

Intel walked away .... again

Before Intel was involved with MeeGo, Intel was involved with Moblin. Actually, the netbook/tablet version of MeeGo was just a continuation of Moblin. Now Intel is working on yet another Linux distro with Samsung called 'Tizen' ... sigh.

Intel, stop reinventing the wheel, you aren't going to get it any rounder. Take what you have, finish it, and get it on devices that people can buy. Unless that isn't what you are really interested in.

hardware doesn't make much money

(if you have some salt handy, take a grain of it because this is just my opinion) Intel may not want to make their money by selling devices. The nice thing about joining with Nokia (and forcing devs to make Qt/C++) is access to the infrastructure of Nokia's OVI application store, and if we've learned anything from Apple, it's that apps make a lot of money.

From the Tizen about page :

Tizen will provide a robust and flexible environment
for application developers, based on HTML5 and 
Wholesale Applications Community (WAC).

I'm not sure what Wholesale Applications Community means, but it has 'sale' and 'applications' in the name so I will presume it is some sort of store.

HTML5?

Hold on, I'm going to get side tracked for a bit

Didn't HP have some devices with apps created using HTML5, javascript, and CSS? Yes, Yes they did (past tense). Personally, I don't like javascript and I don't think that having all of a devices application written in HTML and Javascript is a good idea, and it is certainly not a new idea. The first time I delved into writing an app with javascript and HTML (OK, it was called a widget at the time, and it used XML) was with Konfabulator and was soon followed by coding for Apple Dashboard.

For a small widget/app, HTML and Javascript is fine, but for a larger more robust application, I much prefer just about any other language.

As the fat bald sweaty guy yelled: Developers Developers Developers, and it really is about developers.

When Apple came out with their iPhone there wasn't really anything like it on the market, and Apple said (figuratively)"if you want to develop for iPhone, you have to own a Macintosh computer and code in Obj-C". Since that was the only option, developers did Apple's bidding.

Then Google came out with Android (based on Linux) and said (figuratively) "hey developers, you can create Android apps on an OSX machine, on a Windows machine, and on a Linux machine... but you have to write your apps in Java". Finally, a competitor to iPhone.... and devs were happy.

Then, once iPhone and Android phones complete took control of the smartphone market, HP/Palm came out with WebOS (based on Linux but with a proprietary user interface) and said (figuratively) "hey devs, why don't you write stuff for our OS? By the way, you have to use javascript". Write apps in javascript for a device with no market share? no thank you; not even as a hobbyist programmer.

Alright, back to the point...

So here we are with Tizen, where most apps are to be written in Javascript. However, from what I've been able to gather, it will also be possible to write native apps for Tizen, although I have yet to learn if developers of native apps will be limited by a "required" graphical toolkit or programming language.

Tizen (and Intel) to compete with iPhone and Android, you are going to need developers, and a lot of them. If you limit developers by requiring that they develop using the "approved" programming language, you will probably fare about the same as MeeGo or WebOS.

Comments
2011-10-05 ohmpossum:
I first read about Tizen today and I have the impression it IS webOS re-branded. It is under the Linux Foundation and HP is a member. They say they expect the first versions out early next year. Too soon for a lot of development so they are likely starting with something that already exists. WebOS with a new name.
2011-10-05 jezra:
Tizen is most assuredly *not* WebOS rebranded. WebOS uses the Linux kernel but has a proprietary UI. Tizen, on the other hand, will have a fully Open Source UI. However, since Tizen is a joint venture between Intel and Samsung, and considering that Samsung has recently made deals with Microsoft, I find it rather unlikely that Tizen will see the light of day.

REF: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-09-28/microsoft-samsung-to-share-patents-work-on-windows-phone.html
Name:
not required
Email:
not required (will not be displayed)
Website:
not required (will link your name to your site)
Comment:
required
Please do not post HTML code or bbcode unless you want it to show up as code in your post. (or if you are a blog spammer, in which case, you probably aren't reading this anyway).
Prove you are human by solving a math problem! I'm sorry, but due to an increase of blog spam, I've had to implement a CAPTCHA.
Problem:
1 plus 9
Answer:
required
subscribe
 
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2009
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2008