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

  • bug 1832 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.
  • Bookmark manager: Closed because of legacy and the default rule to have the UI application layer closed. However, the licensing of this component is being reviewed and it could be opened in Fremantle. Filing an enhancement request and seeing the interest and potential use cases would be something the community could do. Deadline: Fremantle beta SDK release.
  • Media player: Currently closed because of the default criteria of UI differentiation. In progress, though. The engine is being opened in Fremantle, in the form of a Media Application Framework also available for third parties. The UI is open for discussion, as you can see in the Comment #5 of the enhancement request. For instance, it would count a lot seeing a will to converge efforts and contribution from the many third party media player projects.
  • 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.
  • osso-dsp-modules: DSP component provided by Texas Instruments. Note that the DSP packages provided by Nokia are open source: osso-dsp-loader, osso-dsp-headers. If you are interested in open source DSP development then DSP Gateway (developed by Nokia) might get your attention. However, the introduction of PulseAudio in Fremantle gives an opportunity to platform developers to forget about the DSP completely.

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
  • BME
  • libi18n-locale-resolver0


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