Talk:Task:Maemo brand


[edit] Building a strong brand

Um, I hate to sound rude, but where does one get off telling 3rd party developers what to name their applications? I could understand if it were Nokia applications you were discussing that you had some sway over, but asking one of the most prominent 3rd party developers to rename their application for "branding reasons" just doesn't sit well with me. :\ —GeneralAntilles 10:13, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

The fact is that since the trademark policy was approved no new application has come up with the name "maemo something", and "something for maemo" is the recommended alternative. We declared amnesty to the projects created before the trademark policy for obvious reasons. We could talk about recommendation to swith to the trademark compliant formulas, but not enforcement. But they might be interested. If you notice "Mapper" is cooler name than "Maemo Mapper". Also think about the opssibility to have it ported it to i.e. S60 in a future. Why getting your app tied to the name of one platform if it ever becomes succesful and ported to other platforms?--qgil 12:42, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, I'd disagree that "Mapper" is a more cool name for a multi-platform application. The ability for people to find its website when it's such a generic word is diminished. "Maemo Mapper", by contrast, is better for being namespaced. A multi-platform app would be better called "UbuntuGoogleFacebookMadeUpPortmanteauWord" and try and get traction around its unique name ("Atlassian" would be a good one, for example, if it weren't already taken[1]). So, for example, "MapExplorer for Maemo" could identify the Maemo version of a coolly named product available for multiple platforms, by "MapExplorer" being a non-generic (in this case, portmanteau) word. --Jaffa 22:07, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

As for the distinction between maemo and Internet Tablet OS, I think this is a very important one. Internet Tablet OS is a fairly proprietary mobile operating system that ships with Nokia Internet Tablets, maemo is an open-source development platform for mobile Linux. They're two distinctly separate (if sometimes closely related) things. Moving forward, we should really be increasing this distinction, not blurring it further. —GeneralAntilles 10:13, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Let's see. The "fairly proprietary" part in the OS2008 comes mainly from the application and Nokia design layer, since the rest of closed elements are also present in the low level and developer platform. The current diff between Maemo 4 and and OS2008 would be, according to these definition, these preinstalled applications and the Nokia design layer that is not available in the SDK (covered by the open Plankton theme). Is that right? If so, then a possibility would be that Maemo = Maemo platform = from kernel to SDK. Then the Nokia N810 would still ship Maemo 4 + a set of preinstalled applications and a Nokia design flavor. In a potential escenario, someone in the maemo community could also take Maemo 4, add a section of application and a default own theme.--qgil 12:42, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

I do agree that consistent usage of terminology has been lacking in maemo-related stuff from Nokia (MicroB versus Mozilla-based Browser for maemo is a fun one, though I understand the reasoning behind it), but I don't think eliminating important distinctions is the way to go about improving this situation. —GeneralAntilles 10:13, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

It is though a priority reducing the brand soup and simplifying things that people anyway were doing '"wrong" but consistengly (i.e. Maemo instead of maemo)--qgil 12:42, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

[edit] What is maemo

Many people are confused about what exactly maemo is, and the difference between Nokia's ITOS and

To my mind, maemo is "the open collaboration project which was started by the release of a free software stack which made up part of the OS installed on Nokia's Internet Tablet series". That's a pretty crummy definition, but engenders a number of important distinctions:

  • maemo is not only the software running on your tablet
  • maemo is not just the website and tablet user community
  • maemo is not limited to free software
  • maemo is software based in origin
  • maemo is not limited to the needs of Nokia tablets - it can evolve beyond that usecase
  • maemo is, above all, an open collaboration project - community developed software, free software, open access, and all of the infrastructure to support it

The major evolution of maemo should thus be a move to enable the community, to help maemo evolve away from its internet tablet roots. Things which allow maemo users to target other devices, replace "official" software or libraries, and otherwise hack on the maemo platform, are all useful. Discussions about opening drivers for hardware, or adding new applications to the tablets, are not. On the other hand, proposals to open up the documentation and APIs for proprietary components is a community enabler, and might be relevant.

Who wrote the text above? Only to know who are we discussing with.  :) Also, I have just posted some ideas about the scope of maemo as a "software platform based mostly in open source components" at bug #630 - Increased Bugzilla transparency - get the developers involved!.
That would be me. --dneary 07:52, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
oh, yeah, it is known for ages - wiki is good collaboration tool for small team of known to each other, but rather poor for conversations and other forms of communication silpol 11:14, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
What's going to happen to The "proposal for the new intro page" reads like an internal website for Maemo Software inside, with the community more of a footnote. If is the collaborative space of the Maemo community - in which Maemo Software are an "equal and active partner" - shouldn't the community be front-and-centre, and the technical details of the Maemo platform shunted downstream? doesn't start off talking about versions of Gecko, it gives end-users a clean, simple interface to get what they want, from which the bowels of developer documentation can also be found for that more limited subset. However, if there's a maemo(software).com, owned and run by Nokia's Maemo Software group, it'll presumably talk more about commercial partnerships, Devices running Maemo, licenseable software stack benefits, etc. etc. --Jaffa 21:51, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
This is a good discussion for the proposal for the new intro page, why not moving it there? I believe Peter is trying to do a compromise to improve *now* while starting to evolve the language and concepts putting the community aspect in the middle. I also think that a compromise needs to be made while there is no site for Maemo-the-software and while the community hasn't taken really over Feel free to contribute improving those pages in the direction you think is appropriate! --qgil 22:23, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Building a strong brand

To built a strong brand i.e. something that people will remember and have have feelings about, we need foremost two things:

  • clarity about what which name stands for and what are the values
  • consistent implementation of the terminology

As pointed out already above, now we have maemo,, Maemo Mapper, Other Maemo Weather, Internet Tablet OS, OS2008, ITOS and so on. This is not helpful. In general, as less names we have as stronger the remaining name becomes. So, why not center everything around the strongest word: maemo? Why not just talk about maemo platform, maemo software, maemo SDK, maemo community, Mapper for maemo, and maemo 4 (currently known as OS2008)?

And then, why do we want to re-educate people, newcomers, and tech writers in the use of English grammar? Why can't we use a capital "M" always for Maemo? Most of the strong Internet brands and open source brands have a capital letter: Google, Facebook, Ubuntu, Linux. Why do we need to be different?

Our updated terminology would be:

  • Maemo Community with the home on
  • Maemo - the open source software that powers mobile devices
  • Maemo SDK - the baseline to create applications
  • Maemo platform - everything from kernel up to SDK
  • Maemo 4 - the release with XYZ features
  • Devices running Maemo software - Nokia N810 running Maemo software (and not Maemo devices)
  • Mapper for Maemo - a great application--peterschneider 08:25, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Advantages of the current proposal

Have a look at the draft proposal for definitions above. They are based on Peter's points in the Building a strong brand section above and try to assimilate the ideas posted by Dave and GA, adding other cases that came to mind while writing.

Apart from the clear advantage of unifying denominations around the Maemo magic word (leaving behind several different names) there are more that are not evident today:

  • The Maemo word would be used without interferences in the Nokia products, press releases, marketing materials... All this just follows what was the practice in the media, blogs and discussions, that have been using repeatedly "Maemo" to simplify.
  • This consistent and repeated use of the Maemo word can just benefit Nokia will offer to its customers a straight gateway to the community space.
  • "" becomes the identifier of the community, and it is defined as a community driven project. This means that the community will have more control on the usage of "". For instance, that proposal of rewarding core community contributors with addresses, a "priviledge" that until now has been only in the reach of Nokia employees and certain contributors with signed commercial contracts (aka the crew).
  • The community would be almost completely free to define the "" logo for this website, shirts, stickers and etc. Nokia would still keep the Maemo trademark and therefore the possibility to raise a veto, but being all the official usage around "Maemo" with a Nokia visual identity, the hypothetical pressure on "" diminishes significantly.
  • In fact, the Maemo community could run a contest to define a new logo (and new shirts & stickers?). Nokia could sponsor prizes and the purchase of the related materials... to be distributed in the maemo summit?

--qgil 20:58, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Sounds sensible, however I've found it very difficult to be sure I'm clearly identifying what I want to clearly identify in a couple of recent edits to talk pages. There's a distinction between Maemo, Maemo software (aka "applications for Maemo") and Maemo Software which is relatively clearly defined, and seems to have been carefully crafted to avoid ambiguation; but has resulted in some clumsy English IME. --Jaffa 21:59, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Specific corrections and improvements are welcome! --qgil 22:25, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
What's the process for changing them? Presumably these are directly related to Nokia's Maemo trademark and Nokia's business plans/internal team names and, if nothing else, would (I expect) require management sign-off/input. Which ones are open to community change, or are the terms effectively fixed by Nokia, and the definitions clarifiable by anyone? Not that I've a problem if Nokia have fixed the terms (it's their trademark, after all!), just want to be clear in this transitionary phase. --Jaffa 22:30, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Mmmm I guess Nokia is the benevolent dictator for the Maemo definitions as owner of the trademark. In practice I will approve the definitions i.e. at the end of the current sprint and then be open for improvement, as always. The community should own their own definition, obviously.--qgil 22:38, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Some clarification on the correct name for the OS

Formerly, the OS shipped on the tablets was "Internet Tablet OS" and a specific version of the OS was referred to as "OSyear" (i.e., OS2008), but that name and usage is being phased out in favor of "Maemo" for the OS and "Maemo n" for a specific version of the OS. The issue is that "Maemo" would seem to refer to the Maemo platform, but is actually only referring to a subset of the platform, the OS. So, jumping off from Nokia's more-than-a-little-awkward "maemo Linux-based OS", can the OS be referred to as "Maemo OS" or something similar for clarification purposes? —GeneralAntilles 16:22, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

The thing is: who cares? Don't get me wrong, I know you care and I also care but when it comes to talk to consumers, power users or developers, why they wouldn't be happy just knowing (if they are interested to know) that inside this device there is Maemo running customized with a certain UI layer and a collection of applications? "OS" doesn't tell much to the majority of computer users (while a % of developers keep discussing about where the OS finishes and start the applications). In mobile devices and in 2008 the "OS" precision is probably even more unnecessary.--qgil 19:28, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
OK, let me give a more specific example. Over at Wikipedia we currently have two articles that encompass "Maemo" the Maemo article, which covers the platform overview, SDK, and Maemo Software, and the Internet Tablet OS article, which covers what used to be Internet Tablet OS and is now "Maemo" or, in my thinking, Maemo OS.
So, my question is, how do we rectify this? —GeneralAntilles 17:03, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
Now you don't need to rectify anything, since "OS2008" is still a valid denomination until Fremantle comes. I can't guarantee now what Nokia will tell about the software preinstalled in the image corresponding to Fremantle, but according to the current plan it would be called Maemo N (being N the version number), specifying then the UI and applications offered on top. I don't see much sense in "Maemo OS" since i.e. Chess doesn't need to be tied to *the* Maemo OS or the platform. Who knows, perhaps by the time Fremantle or Harmattan comes there are third parties that have build alternative images based on Maemo anmd they would be, conceptually, no less and no more Maemo OS. It might also happen in the future that Nokia itself makes variants based on a same Maemo version for i.e. diffrent countries or segments. I think we really want to stick Maemo to the stack from kernal to SDK and that's it. Before Fremantle release, you are saved with the Wikipedia OS2008 page (thank you very much for your work also there, by the way).--qgil 19:17, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Changes to the Maemo Trademark Policy

Unclear points to be sorted out:

  • To check with the legal guys: is "" kept in the same terms or left out? Probably still in, and this is how Nokia helps protecting the term from abuse. Still, would there be some kind of formal transfer or share of rights of ""?).
  • it would be inappropriate for them to say their product or service is “based on maemo”. - Just checking: is this still appropriate?
  • Should the practices on the Maemo logo be removed? There are currently no plans for a Maemo logo, the only logo-logo will be "" and its usage will be different.
  • Will the TM be still enforced in th use of Maemo?
  • Can the Maemo community produce marketing materials and merchandising without requesting every time permission to Nokia? Is it enough to organize the projects publicly for transparency sake, assuming they are alway not-for-profit?

[edit] Questions and thoughts

Hi all, I'm new to this place, and I'm new to wikis, so if I do things wrongly, feel free to delete / alter. I couldn't find any better place to write this.

I am a Swedish graphic- and brand designer based in Singapore, and I found this page through the competition for the new logo for, and it got me curious about the Maemo brand in general.

If I understand things correctly (and I'm not sure I do), you want to do two things at once. Firstly, you want to make a new logo for, but your fundamental problem which you're trying to solve on this page lies with, secondly, trying to unify, simplify and clarify the use of the Maemo name and brand to people (like myself) who don't quite understand the difference between all the different permutations.

The question that I asked myself when reading the brief for the logo and the Definitions on the Memo brand page is if you're not starting from the wrong direction. Isn't what Maemo need firstly a strong visual identity, starting with the Maemo logo (or "maemo" or however it's written), and then is accompanied by different additions or alterations for the respective sub fields, like

Maemo - main logo

  • Maemo Platform
    • Maemo SDK
    • Maemo 4
    • Application for Maemo / Made for Maemo
  • Maemo Community

And so on?

What I'm thinking, after having read the definitions, that we should start with the main Maemo logo. The one that exists today is of course usable, but the best way from a brand perspective would perhaps be to create a logo and brand that is more dynamic, that allows for different sublogos or sub-brands, and that can be used by both Nokia and this community. I am not sure how this would be visualised, since I just started thinking about it, but you could separate the sub brands not necessarily only by name, but also by shape or colour, as long as you stick to a predefined system that still says "Maemo".

I would love to help you out in any way I can, and I do have some experience since I deal with these kinds of problems on a daily basis. I'm just not quite sure I have understood everything yet, so I apologize if what I'm saying is incomplete or plain wrong. --jussi 16:43, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi jussi, welcome on board. "Maemo" is a trademark owned by Nokia, a company that as you may imagine has a branding team and a complex brand architecture. Nokia will do whatever it's done with the Maemo brand, and probably no community exercise in a wiki will help much on that. However, Nokia really wants "" to keep standing as an identifier for the community, freed from all the brand architecture stuff that is so strict inside Nokia (and I guess for a reason, considering that the Nokia brand is one of the most successful in the world). This is the reason of detaching "" explicitely from any Nokia reference and let the community decide on the image and concept they want to wear.--qgil 20:34, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Hi qgil. Thanks for clarifying that! I realise now the matter is probably a little more complex than I first thought. I do appreciate the need, both for Nokia to let roam free, so to speak, and for the developers of the community to have their own identity. Cool. I still see some potential difficulties in separating the from the Nokia Maemo brand too much, since is the website for Maemo, apart from some pages deep down in the Nokia structure. You'll still have to say that you're developing for the Maemo platform and so on. But then again, I may be wrong, as I often am.
I'll take what you said into consideration. Thanks again. --jussi 01:50, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
Ref. " is the website for Maemo", the idea is to offer any Nokia official deliveries from Forum Nokia and any consumer related information from the evolution of --qgil 03:15, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

[edit] maemo is too overloaded, confusing

Below are a handful of questions that I have or am translating from other threads. Right now the biggest problem is there is too litter differentiation between the software, the hardware, the users, and the community when it comes to naming. Maemo has become overloaded to the point that I have a hard time figure out what is being referred to. I think that this confusion is shared by the community as evident by the thread on maemo-community and the thread at iTT

The most confusing would be maemo since it's the root. When I say Maemo community do I mean "Maemo" community as in "Open source software platform for mobile devices. Developed by Nokia in collaboration with the Maemo community and some of the best open source upstream projects." - community or do I mean "The sum of developers working openly on the Maemo platform and compatible applications + Maemo users with different levels of experience, interested in all kinds of collaboration and contributions to the project"? Does it make a difference if I call it the maemo community? What about the community? What are those differences and do they make any sense to someone who has not read the branding document?

Leading from there we have, does this even need a definition, it's a website. The fact that it even has a definition will lead to confusion since something like " community" since are we referring to only people that work on the website, or are we using the domain name to refer to all maemo ( or is that Maemo ) users?

The reality is the community for Maemo(tm) is, but the former is a trademark and the latter is a community driven initiative. So I can call my software " Foo", but not "maemo Foo" ( I think ). It doesn't help that the Trademark policy is still not updated either and points to 404 pages ( ). Since the trademark policy also current conflicts with the wiki, which is overriding. is the community site, but only tracks "Maemo software" bugs, not community bugs.

In the end the fact is that maemo is partially trademarked by Nokia, partially the software that Nokia develops, partially a website that was run by Nokia and is now developed by the community, and partially the users that make up the community.... did I miss anything?

brontide 17:54, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Other items that need updating. Maemo Extras -> Extras. All of the mailing lists that are maemo-somthing either need to be Maemo-something or brontide 18:23, 11 September 2008 (UTC) is hosting projects that are closed to the community brontide 18:35, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

I _think_ you may be overcomplicating things. The brand page says that "Maemo" can be used in conjunction with applications "Foo for Maemo", and *does* describe the platform. Therefore the mailing lists, IRC channels, etc. are all fine. Is the specific problem here the one raised as to whether the council is the " Community Council" or the "Maemo Community Council"? --Jaffa 20:22, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Is the Maemo Community then? and what exactly does that mean? What about Maemo Extras? brontide 20:28, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
"maemo Extras" is clearly incorrect. 23:39, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I like Quim's statement (probably butchered in my paraphrasing) that is the official location of the Maemo Community -- which integrates other locations (such as itT, etc). Thus, Maemo Community Council works just fine. --timsamoff 12:30, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that "Maemo Community" is already defined in the branding document and it's separate from If is just the official site of the Maemo community then so be it and the Brand document should be updated. brontide 14:21, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Another example of issues. I can say that I develop software for Maemo... but to say that I'm a Maemo Software Developer would be incorrect when both statements are identical from someone unfamiliar with Maemo branding.. This is because "Maemo Software" has special meaning as part of the branding document.