«Mom, I want to do Open Source too...»
After I received an email, this imaginary story came to my mind:
Kiddo>Mom, my friend G. Android came today at school and said "he is Open Source and it's cooooool". Not everyone understood in it and ignored him. Then we all got it, and he became very popular. Can I do it too? Pleeeeeease!!! Mom>Ok S. Symbian, but don't forget that you need to explain IP, binary compatibility, Active Objects, Descriptors... and you can't give away all the secrets of your mommy away to those Open Source folks. Kiddo>But moooom, this is not really... Mom>Hey young man! This is my house and I say what you can do and can't do. You do Open Source, but in my way! Nokia way!
The email was the 3rd or so in which Symbian Foundation guys apologize about something that doesn’t work or is missing from the website. Sometimes is the login, sometimes is the registration, sometimes is Mercurial…
I’ll never forget how many time I repeated to all the folks in Symbian (while the Nokia “Open Sourcing Plan” was rolled out): «Saying you are Open Source, doesn’t make you so. You need to know HOW to be Open Source: just giving the code could be not enough».
Note: I know this post is going to “piss off” a lot of guys in (and out) the Foundation, but… this is another part of being Open Source: understand critics, learn from them and get better at what you do. ;-)