LiMo and GNOME, two open source groups that frankly have little to no mainstream acceptance, are getting together make open source more popular. A goal open source advocates have had since the beginning of time. The LiMo Foundation will become a member of GNOME Foundation’s Advisory Board and the GNOME Foundation will become an Industry Liaison Partner for the LiMo Foundation. What does this mean for you? Absolutely, positively, nothing, but this does present an opportunity to discuss openness and why in most cases it’s irrelevant.
When it comes to operating systems, developers want two things: the ability to make a living, and to have their application work even if the operating system they’ve developed for receives an upgrade. Windows solved both those issues, Mac OS X developers certainly make money, but as for Linux developers … they’re just little kids playing around showing what’s possible, no matter how impractical their technology demo is. Do people care that the Nokia N900 can run Doom? No. Do people care that the Nokia N900 can run Windows 95? No. Do people care you can bring up a terminal prompt? No.
On the flip side of the coin, thanks to WebKit, practically all the major smartphone platforms on the market today have an advanced browser rendering engine. Thanks to Mozilla, browser development in general has accelerated. Thanks to Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP, otherwise known as LAMP, people can launch web services for little to no money. Again, all of these positives involve the plumbing. The guts of software. Consumer facing open source products? You’ve got Firefox and Open Office to some extent and that’s it.
So what are LiMo and GNOME going to do together? Get a bunch of foaming from the mouth, unshaven, infrequently showering system administrators in a room together to discuss how Google is lying when they say Android is open, and how Apple is the antichrist, all the while looking at Windows Phone 7 and trying to recreate the user experience, but instead repeatedly run into trouble with their X.Org drivers.
[Via: Cellular News]