Hyenas and Beagles snapping at the heels of Smeegol

I unfortunately received an e-mail just now from the Linux Foundation with regards to our precious Smeegol, and it appears on the face of it that they’re not that impressed with our efforts.  Somewhat bizarrely as they have had plenty of opportunity to respond.

Now I’m not going to start ranting and raving about injustice etc, what I will say is this and it is a bit of a rant ;-) :

Since Moblin morphed into MeeGo, things appear from the outside to have taken a bit of a dip for the worse :-(   MeeGo is now pushing the fact that it is a distro in it’s own right which is perfectly acceptable and fair (although I think the world has enough distros).  There are several people within the paid community who look on our efforts and those of Fedora’s as wasteful, and not for the greater good.  Sorry but bollocks to you!!

I wholly understand now why Canonical & Ubuntu dropped it and went down their own road with UNR & Unity.  They don’t mind if someone else packages it and uses it – they and everyone else knows where it came from – for that I doff my cap to the Ubuntu crowd.

If the Linux Foundation really want to make MeeGo work and be prevalent everywhere they need to look to the wider community to help it.  Having a niche distro is all good and well, but without the wider eco-system that goes along with a distro you’re buggered.  One of the reasons I started working on Smeegol is openSUSE has a fantastic ecosystem, we’ve got pretty good tools and have a shit load of applications available.  The same goes for Fedora.  We both also have a pretty vibrant community with lots of friendly and knowledgable people willing to help.

I unfortunately can’t say the same for MeeGo.  They have taken the Build Service but closed the door on it, so application contributions can’t happen easily. They seem to want to build a community from OEMs and partners, effectively become an exclusive community and not inclusive.  Harsh?  Maybe but that’s what it seems like, and I’m not the only one to see it this way.

The biggest disappointment for me is the fact that MeeGo is supposedly under the Linux Foundation’s banner.  These peeps are supposed to be championing the greater Linux cause, but can’t see the cluster that is happening under their noses.  They are complaining that legally I can’t call the project Smeegol or use any variation of MeeGo, and not use any of their logos/charchters/artwork/etc as it will dilute and weaken their trademark – WTF?!?  Hellfire, after we announced the release of Smeegol the first thing that people thought of when they heard it was Lord Of The Rings, NOT MeeGo or the Linux Foundation.  If you ask me (which I know no one is, but I’ll answer anyway), actively pushing distros to include MeeGo will only strengthen the brand and mark, not weaken it.  I asked the question on the MeeGo development mailing list, and had absolutely no response from the trademark holders (that would be the Linux Foundation), only after a kind teddy bear of a kernel hacker (that would be Greg Kroah-Hartman) jumped in and started knocking heads did someone pipe up – Thanks Greg :-)  Even then it was a wishy washy response with no substance and not an answer.

So now I have my answer, and now I’m not so sure what next.  Yes I’m pissed off, and I think I have a right to be.  The crucial thing is I want to resolve this so that we can all get on and enjoy the shiny that is being produced.  I’ve spent the better part of eight months working on getting Moblin and subsequently MeeGo built and running on openSUSE, the latter was very tough.  I am still working on it, trying to get 1.1 build and ready, updating the network front-end as well as lots of other bits.

So, any suggestions on what to do next? :-)