I was cleaning a bit my home directory, and found a few notes I took at OSiM 2010, in London, a couple of weeks ago. They’re just notes and impressions, it’s probably a bit late to post them, but I guess it does not hurt ;)

Symbian is a dead man walking

nobody was positive about the future of symbian foundation, even before Lee Williams resignation. Imagine how it was after he resigned.

It’s very difficult to opensource your code if your company is not open source since the beginning

I talked about this with Hal Steger (our VP Marketing in Funambol) at dinner before the show.

The day after Thomas Miller (Head of MeeGo Ecosystem at Nokia) said that one key differentiator between Symbian and MeeGo is that MeeGo gathers code from well known open source project (eg gnome) so the improvements are depending on the directions this projects are taking. (in the meanwhile Symbian was loosing his CEO…)

The day after George Martin (Software Product Manager, Wireless Business Unit at Texas Instruments) said that is not easy for them that are not selling software (to say it with his world “we do coding because we have to. If it would be possible to sell silicon without writing code, we would be happy”) to jump open source, e.g. they had their programmers complaining about “this guy from the community that said my code sucks”. He said that Open Source is not something you can embrace if you have soft skin. “it’s more like rugby, you have to be tought. If you expect tennis, do not go Open Source” he said. I like the methaphor :)
But they’re selling silicon, not software, It’s even harder for a software-based company.

Mobile operators are trying everything they can to avoid being a dumb pipe, but they seem to be quite confused

The overall impression is that they are moving around in different directions and with no exact clue on were to go. They’re creating standards, trying to get open push protocols, setting up app stores, talking to developers all at once, but I do not see any Master Plan behind this frenetic work.

A few mobile operators are starting their own app store. I hate this. They’re trying to get revenue for free, just because they can. They see money moving from their users to the developers and they try to get in the middle and get some of it. Unfair for users and developers.

Others keep on saying that their network simply can’t handle that much traffic and developers have to learn to optimize network usage (this is nothing new, developers always optimized network usage, not for the operators but for the end users!), and they say that to limit network usage traffic based billing will be back (“let’s go back to a few years ago, when we were making money!” they are saying. Nice move!).
At the same time they know perfectly, and they say it, that apps will be always on to get data from the cloud (woohooo everybody like to say “cloud”!) and we’re going towards more web based apps.
I understand why they are scared :)

Developers are happy, they see opportunities ahead

finally someone desperately needs them (manufactorers and operator) but they know that in the short term this means more fragmentation, since everybody is trying to set up his own app garden and each of this solutions means you have to spend time to get your app in each app garden and support it. More overhead to publish your app, less time to do real development. That’s not something they’re happy with.

francesco mapelli