Task:Texts for maemo.nokia.com

maemo.nokia.com will contain two pages related to the current scope of maemo.org. Here we will draft the text for both. Quim needs to deliver *yesterday*.

Talk discussion

Software freedom, open communities and you

Maemo devices are all about choice. Most users may choose to enjoy a variety of features and services that come right out of the box. But additional software is always available (in most cases, for free) to download and enjoy. This is how Maemo devices become something more than just cool gadgets -- they become integral tools that satisfy demanding customers.

That said, if you want more... there is a lot more.

Maemo is an open platform running in open devices. It has Linux at its core, but also plenty more software components maintained by communities of open source developers. The platform is based on well-known technologies that are widely used in the free software community.

"So what?" you might say. Well, all of this matters if you wish to go beyond the role of a customer or a pure user.

In 1991, a young developer named Linus Torvalds began a software project in Helsinki, Finland (coincidentally the same city where the Maemo headquarters are located). That project was called Linux and one interesting aspect of it was that it was created and made freely and openly. Other developers could look at the code, improve it, adapt it to specific purposes and redistribute it.

All of this was -- and is -- done in a transparent and collaborative way, mostly via the Internet. Freedom, transparency, and online collaboration defined the methods of working on this very successful project. Free software existed before Linux, but over the years it has become a global phenomenon, an industrial trend, and a source of inspiration for countless important projects that drive the Internet today: Mozilla, Wikipedia, BitTorrent... The list is long. Maemo is proud to be a part of this tradition, and actually most of the software within Maemo comes from several open source projects where Nokia is also involved.

You will feel this as soon as you land at http://maemo.org. The Maemo Community is a place for everybody to share, discuss, get help, improve Maemo, and enjoy everything that Maemo has to offer. No matter what your background in computing is, or what your motivation for purchasing a Maemo device was, finding peers to meet, discuss, and have fun with are inevitable. This is how anyone can get involved in open source collaboration -- even without having a clue about programming.

Give it a try. Download and rate some applications, share your opinions, propose ideas... Once you enter this free and open collaboration, it will be easy to know what to do next.

Beware. You might end up learning more than you expect. You might become more excited and involved than you intended to. Your community karma might rise beyond your expectations. One day you might even find yourself meeting other Maemo peers face-to-face, late at night in some city you have never visited before. Other Maemo users will tell you: this sort of interaction actually results in happiness for having gone beyond the role of the unknown customer and becoming an engaged user of an amazing product.

Yes, all of these things might happen to you after opening a Maemo box.