Tizen or Tizen't?

I'm not sure really. We have been discussing this question on the Codethink irc channel today, and I think probably Tizen't.

I think the main point of HTML5 is that it runs everywhere and is platform independent. Once you create a platform that uses HTML5 plus its own extensions it really isn't HTML5 anymore. Giving up on Qt and going for some as yet unspecified native toolkit doesn't seem to be a good way to please and developers who have commited to MeeGo.

When it comes down to it, one of the only really innovative community based post PC projects is Plasma Active. It is still there after the sudden 'MeeGo axed' announcement. It isn't subject to the whims of large corporations like Intel. It isn't subject to patent attacks (yet). It is a perfect platform for ubiquitous computing - it runs on every device from large desktop flat screens, to tablets, and down to smart phone scale and below. It is activity and not application based with a foundation of the Nepomuk semantic desktop. Instead of being 'a bucketful of apps' as an interaction designer at the Berlin Desktop Summit described Android, iOS, WP7 and the others, it knows about what you are doing and why. It moves beyond the simple 'game console/app store' style environment of the competion to provide a very different take on what a 21st century computing environment should look like.

Not only is Plasma Active/Contour technically advanced, but it is very advanced socially in that it is an integral part of KDE. The KDE community have shown themselves to be an exemplary Free Software project. We have many countries involved, we have all types of people involved, young and old, men and women, gay and straight, Christian, Muslim and Aethiest - they are all there. We have careful governance provided by the KDE eV organization who are in it for the long term. If you use KDE technology you know you can rely on it to have a consistent long term roadmap.

Aaron Seigo and the other Plasma Active and Contour participents have been careful to make sure that the project has good business connections right from the start. Companies like Basyskom are keen to create a common eco-system where 'a rising tide floats all boats'.

So what's not to like about Plasma Active. Have we taken a hit by the sudden cancelation of the MeeGo project. I don't think so, Tizen't likely.


While for the most part I agree with your analysis, I do feel it worth pointing out that the main advantage of HTML 5 in this instance isn't that it's portable, or that it's attractive to MeeGo developers. The main attraction is that a much wider range of developers will be able to apply their existing skills to the platform - after all, web developers are a dime a dozen. Also, despite the custom extensions, this will allow porting existing applications from similar HTML based platforms.

All that said, I'm really looking forward to seeing Plasma Active bloom. I think it offers a really compelling environment. The vision and design behind it are what really set it apart and make it exciting.

By hikingpete at Wed, 09/28/2011 - 18:53

If the HTML5 is much the same as other platforms then I don't think it will be a particularly compelling advantage. If it is different and better then it might be compelling but there will be more to learn. I think until we can see the final environment it is difficult to know how compelling it actually will be.

I'm not convinced that insufficient people knowing Qt and QML was a problem for MeeGo though. And I don't think that more people knowing HTML5 is the advantage, I think it is more that HTML5 runs everywhere. But if it runs everywhere why do you need a specific platform that doesn't do anything much else?

By Richard Dale at Thu, 09/29/2011 - 14:49

What is imo the most important counter point to HTML5 is performance. Especially hand-held devices need to have a good performance and still use only little energy.
I don't think that HTML5 can fulfill this target.

Someone in a forum made a good comparison to what a lot of these new smartphones look like. They look like a Windows 98 desktop filled with shortcuts.

The point of having a minimal program for everything might be nice for a linux sysadmin (at least these can be piped) but if that approach should be constricted and then translated to a smartphone is a different story.

By mat69 at Wed, 09/28/2011 - 19:54

I'm not sure if HTML5 will be a resource hog like Flash. I think the idea is that as it is implemented built into the browser instead of a 3rd party plugin, it should be possible to make it more efficient.

I think the 'Windows 98 desktop filled with shortcuts' correpsonds to the description of these platforms that I quoted in the blog as being 'a bucketful of apps'. The Plasma Active approach doesn't have to look like that as it is 'activity centered' rather than 'app centered' and you will only be presented with tools that make sense in your current activity's context.

By Richard Dale at Thu, 09/29/2011 - 14:43

Though I still think that HTML5 can't compete with compiled code. Here the split QML does is good quite good imo. Do the heavy lifting in C++ and the rest in QML.

Yes the Windows 98 comment was targeted at the current devices around. I should have been more specific there. It is amazing though, how something so backward can be marketed as the new shiny thing around. I mean is it good and intuitive to have an "app" for every news outlet one consumes?

An activity centered approach appears nice, but it really depends on the way it is realised and on the way it works together.

For example I imagine an activity where I'd see the weather forecast, time, when the next bus arrives at a specified station etc.
If that would turn out too crowded I could have two/more activities. One "Home" which would display the bus station next to my home and one "Job" which would do that for the location I work at. In fact both these activities would contain more information. E.g. the job one could also display the appointment calendar.

In the regards of plasmoids Plasma Active could shine, though then it also depends on the additional applications.

By mat69 at Sat, 10/01/2011 - 08:38

So who are the gay guys in KDE? The project is diverse but I've not heard anything from the LGBT members male, female or transgendered

By Michael Lothian at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 01:47

Well they certainly exist, but the point is that nobody minds one way or the other.

Maybe the LGBT community members will think it is a good idea to have some kind of 'outreach program' to encourage others to join the community, but I'm not sure if that makes much sense. I think it is best to just carry on as we are, and ensure we maintain the low levels of sexism/racism/homophobia that we enjoy today in KDE. We have a Community Working Group to troubleshoot if there ever were any community problems in that area.

By Richard Dale at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 13:12