Open development/Why the closed packages


General reasons

Open source is the licensing model preferred by Nokia in the development of Maemo. There are some reasons to have exceptions, though:

- Brand: Nokia wants to keep a strong brand and identity avoiding any risks of dilution.

- Differentiation: Nokia wants to gain competitive advantage in certain areas by keeping the related software closed.

- Legacy: Nokia keeps some components minimally maintained - the work of opening them has an unclear outcome.

- IPR & licensing issues: Nokia avoids serious risks brought by patents, copyrights or complicated licensing situations.

- Third party: Nokia does not own the code and therefore does not decide on the license.

Specific reasons for packages

  • tablet-browser-ui: At the beginning there was a proprietary browser. In Maemo 4.0 the Mozilla based browser came, with an open engine (MicroB) but still a closed UI provided by tablet-browser. The main reason was the default rule to have the Maemo applications UI closed for differentiation. The context in mobile browsing has changed significantly and now there are better reasons to offer also an open browser UI. This is the plan for Fremantle.
  • dsme: This component covered many areas including power management, which is considered a differentiation area by Nokia. The component has been redesigned and the sensitive functionality has moved to mce, allowing to distribute dsme (soon) with an open license together with related tools and plugins: bootstate, dsmetool, waitfordsme,,,,, and Then will be replaced by another component consisting of several dsme open source plugins. Finally, will be dropped.

Waiting list

If you want to know the specific reasons for a package to be closed please list it below and the Maemo team will answer as time permits.

Andre: Adding the four requests that we have in Bugzilla:

Requested at Bug 1584 including comments:

  • mce, which will include the functionality of, and (formerly part of dsme).
  • activate_panel
  • bt-cal
  • cal-tool
  • fb-chaimage
  • text2screen
  • wlan-cal
  • wlan-fw-update
  • retu-time
  • show_image
  • battest
  • dspctl
  • the script linuxrc
  • DSP stuff



  • Alarm framework is open source, but apparently the sources are lost/missing as explained in the bug.