Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 11th Oct 2012 21:41 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless It's a long read - but totally and utterly worth it. After interviewing ten former and current Nokia employees, and combining their insider information with publicly available information, Sampsa Kurri has written a long and detailed article about the history of Maemo and MeeGo within Nokia, and everything that went wrong - which is a lot. It's sad tale, one that reads almost like a manual on how to not run a large company. Still, between the bad decisions and frustrations, there's a red thread of hope that leads to Jolla.
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RE[4]: Remember...
by henderson101 on Mon 15th Oct 2012 10:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Remember..."
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

What I'm impressed with is that Nokia managed to save the original project, while Apple failed so badly at it that they have to completely start from a new base, wasting most of the original effort, as too many software companies do.


How many versions of Symbian are there? Why does a version exist with touch? Why did Nokia screw up Maemo so badly in the process, changing the API and ABI with every new release and why was the development environment tied to LINUX and fairly non trivial to install up till Diablo? Why did Nokia lie about moving from GTK+ to Qt? I mean, really out and out lie? We were told "no, we will still support GTK+, you're efforts are not pointless", then it was dropped as the tool-kit. The fact that the N9 exists at all is a testament to the fact that someone paired down the specs for once and tried to make a product without the entire LINUX kitchen sink included out of the box.

Apple may well have squandered a large amount of cash and lost face on Copland, but dropping both Classic and Copland actually worked out for the best in the log run. More luck than judgement, but OSX is not bad.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Remember...
by Neolander on Tue 16th Oct 2012 14:13 in reply to "RE[4]: Remember..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

How many versions of Symbian are there?

Not bothering to support old hardware with new software releases is a common, although indeed despicable thing to do. I don't think it matters so much to the vast majority of end users in the end, judging by how little they cared about the very same thing happening to Android anytime the latest update bumped up hardware requirements.

Why does a version exist with touch?

It seems that there are enough people out there who like the feeling of fondling a greasy LCD for there to be a significant market for this. The question to ask in this case would probably be that of why it took them so long to release it and get it right.

Why did Nokia screw up Maemo so badly in the process, changing the API and ABI with every new release

I think the aim was to improve Moblin compatibility, but I may be wrong.

and why was the development environment tied to LINUX and fairly non trivial to install up till Diablo?

Apparently, Nokia has always have a hard time releasing quality development tools for their phones. I would bet that they made the mistake of not considering something that is important enough.

Why did Nokia lie about moving from GTK+ to Qt? I mean, really out and out lie? We were told "no, we will still support GTK+, you're efforts are not pointless", then it was dropped as the tool-kit.

Yet another standard and despicable business practice. I honestly can't figure out why it happens, but executives seem very kind of ignoring widely publicized product issues for a long time, either by not saying anything or claiming that it's users' fault for holding the failing product wrong.

The fact that the N9 exists at all is a testament to the fact that someone paired down the specs for once and tried to make a product without the entire LINUX kitchen sink included out of the box.

And since this is a very painful thing to do once your brain is stuck in the endless nefarious cycle of development hell, I was applauding the ones who did this.

Apple may well have squandered a large amount of cash and lost face on Copland, but dropping both Classic and Copland actually worked out for the best in the log run. More luck than judgement, but OSX is not bad.

Heh, we'll see how well that OS reboot option will work for Nokia with Windows Phone. But indeed, Apple did manage to get OS X right in the long run, though they also did take their time for that...

Edited 2012-10-16 14:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Remember...
by zima on Thu 18th Oct 2012 23:55 in reply to "RE[5]: Remember..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

> How many versions of Symbian are there?
Not bothering to support old hardware with new software releases is a common, although indeed despicable thing to do. I don't think it matters so much to the vast majority of end users in the end

Though I don't think Nokia can be really blamed much for this one, throughout most of Symbian history - the times when mobile hardware was making great leaps (proportionally) across generations. Probably a) last year hw would be typically to weak, anyway b) the OS was quickly accreting features (which ultimately contributed to its downfall, IMHO - at the beginning, S60 wasn't that much more than S40, for the user, and fitting the hardware of the time; but eventually it outgrew that UI model)

Plus I've heard Symbian isn't particularly flexible or comfortable when adapting it to new hardware - might explain why later models were stuck, or little hardware variety within generation. Or that no Chinese manufacturer picked it up, they all went Android.

> Why does a version exist with touch?
It seems that there are enough people out there who like the feeling of fondling a greasy LCD for there to be a significant market for this. The question to ask in this case would probably be that of why it took them so long to release it and get it right.

S60 probably shouldn't be made touch in the first place - how it was for the first 2 years or so (S60v5, on the popular 5800, 5230), it possibly alienated many people.

>The fact that the N9 exists at all is a testament to the fact that someone paired down the specs for once and tried to make a product without the entire LINUX kitchen sink included out of the box.
And since this is a very painful thing to do once your brain is stuck in the endless nefarious cycle of development hell, I was applauding the ones who did this.

But was that what the engineering types wanted?... ;P


PS. Surely you joke here http://www.osnews.com/permalink?538675 ...Vista, failure? It still has more users than all OSX, and an order of magnitude more than Linux. So some ~fans wanted to see something in how Nokia doesn't announce sales numbers ...but Nokia wasn't ever very forthcoming per-model about them.

Generally, this approach of "it's their fault" WRT Elop - while the article shows wide institutional issues in which plenty of engineers surely also played a role. Above in the sub-thread there's "it was one of the few remaining tech companies with engineers in power" and yet we still put the blame at "the management" - at "them"...

Edited 2012-10-19 00:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2