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Open Letter from the Hildon Foundation to Jolla

Dear Jolla,

Happy New Year! And, congratulations on your successful launch in November. We were all watching in hopeful anticipation and were pleasantly surprised. You are doing things that many of us never thought possible.

Like Jolla’s open ecosystem, Hildon Foundation has also been born as the only fully incorporated, non-profit organization with a mission to promote open source software derived from Maemo. So, naturally, it makes sense that our organizations should cooperate with each other. Hopefully, you won’t mind that we’re publishing this as an “open letter” on our blog (…ation-to-jolla/) in the hopes that a greater community dialog will occur. If you would like us to conduct any of our conversations privately, just let us know.

As some of you are aware, the Hildon Foundation finds itself in quite a difficult spot at this new year with the impending departure of Nokia. Not only are we gaining full control of the infrastructure (housing, developing, and supporting related open source software), and receiving pleas from N9/950 users who need a new space for community and support, but we are also taking over all financial responsibilities. Thankfully, after our initial fundraising effort, we have received over $2,000.00 US from our gracious community members. But, we need more.

In fact, we are now in the process of finding willing sponsors of all types to help fund our open software ecosystem. This is why we’re writing to you. We would like you to consider sponsoring or working with Hildon Foundation in some way. In particular, we would also like to open the community venue for Sailfish OS.

In our eyes, it would be hard to deny that the Hildon Foundation would be a beneficial advocate for Jolla. Jolla is special to us. In essence, you are Maemo’s sister. And, in all honesty, we would like to support you. In fact, we have been quite supportive to many projects and initiatives over the years based on these “gifts” (both downstream and upstream).

Some examples of the work that has been done over the past years include:

  • Very intensive Google Summer of Code application development
  • Three successful Coding Competitions
  • Extensive progress in CSSU development
  • Over 100 million software downloads
  • Unified development efforts for much open source software (Linux, Mozilla, Debian, etc.)
  • An Extras repository full of QA tested community applications
  • Crowd-sourced brainstorming of all types
  • Major global conferences (under Nokia’s sponsorship)
  • Developer Device programs
  • Local meetups and hackfests
  • General community evangelism
  • Etc.

Still, the track record doesn’t address the current challenges or pay the bills. We would welcome discussion about a relationship between our organizations… If anything, we would like to form a friendship. If Jolla would be willing to become a sponsor and aid us in promoting the open source software aspects of Jolla and Sailfish — or, possibly even foot the bill — we would offer valuable community support to Jolla. In fact, we see a huge possibility of the Hildon Foundation becoming a part of the Jolla ecosystem or Sailfish Alliance itself.

Thank you for considering this suggestion of formal cooperation. Regardless of the outcome, we wish Jolla nothing but success, for this year and for the unforeseeable future.

Best Regards,
The Hildon Foundation

33 Responses so far.

  1. Jolla says:

    Dear Hildon Foundation,

    We can talk on a regular basis and we can form a friendship. But talking and claiming friendship is easy – however friendship is also about doing activities together to keep things alive – and sometimes take part in your friend’s crazy ideas. And to be honest and straightforward with advice from one another.

    We are today participating in the openly developed and open source Mer and Nemo Mobile projects which includes sponsoring parts of their operational budgets. These projects have very small budgets and have based their operations around being able to do big things, with small resources, like a startup or community would – and not only with contributions from just Jolla.

    For what we want to create and the world to come with Jolla and Sailfish – these projects are where you would want to be participating, to be in the front seat of what’s to come. Places to be true pioneers.

    We want to do things in an unlike way as compared to those of your former friends ever have done. It’s the future we want to create – together with all of you.

    With best regards,

    • Joris says:

      That sounds great! To strengthen your friendship, you should probably make a financial contribution. You will need the support that the Hildon Foundation is offering you! Also, you owe it to the Maemo folks, your most important ancestors. And finally, a financial contribution would be an incentive for software cooperation in the future. Just a thought from an innocent, independent bystander. Good luck to both of you!

      • brian says:

        startups by their very nature are not in the position to make “financial contributions” to something that doesn’t have a direct impact becoming profitable.

        after Jolla launches a produce and is hopefully successful, then the open letter from Hildon might make more sense.

        • Sunny says:

          @Brian I think the open letter is a nice gesture, makes sense and is not premature. Even if Jolla doesn’t make a financial contribution, they should cooperate with the community in other ways who could help them to become successful. Unfortunately, your response is indeed not unlike how other for-profit start-ups think.

  2. maitkon says:

    Nice letter 🙂

  3. Karl Katlewski says:

    The situation seems to be tricky: Full Nokia-knowhow in Jolla, obvious a powerful community gathered in hildonfoundation, both belong together, and i would like to share my billions of Euros with both of you. Due to a temporary unability to get access to my bank-account, these nasty money-topics have to be solved in a different way. The success of an open mobile OS depends on hardware-manufacturer, who is willing to prepare their devices with this system. Beside this openness (different from Android) i honestly dont see many chances for this project. Microsoft rides Nokia to death, and so a reliable (monetary) support for Jolla and Hildon should come from a different manufacturer. Best wishes!

  4. Mark Z says:

    Excellent letter. Very bad response!

    Why waste our money and time if the can’t do anything for such huge amount of customers?

  5. joerg_rw says:

    Please don’t blame Jolla for their answer, I think it’s a honest and kind answer from a Jolla project manager’s view. Board asked for a “formal cooperation” and Jolla answered there’s no project ‘inside’ maemo community where Jolla would benefit from such formal cooperation. If board wants to establish a “contract” with Jolla, then there has to be a subject that gives substance to any such contract.
    Please see for a proposal of a project Jolla could start and would allow maemo community to participate, thus creating the currently “missing link”. Maybe somebody in community wants to pick up that suggestion and start such project “on Jolla’s behalf”? AIUI the sailfish stuff will be available to everybody shortly, or already is.

    Also keep in mind that, while I have no doubt the above answer is actually “from Jolla”, it’s unclear if their PR department might consider funding of maemo community based on rather different considerations than the above “Jolla” poster did (I already said it sounds like a project mamager’s POV of things, and for that it’s pretty ok for me)

    jOERG (maemo council)

    • Jolla says:

      Hi, we at Jolla (yes this the official Jolla the company speaking, the form doesn’t give more options to make it clearer than this) are a one team and the reply represents that.

      We are supporting all relevant projects such as Mer Project, Nemo mobile, Qt Project etc. We also support running of Mer on N900. You are free to start looking at supporting also Sailfish on N900, and we will naturally support that activity as well as a community effort.

      Like said on the original reply, just hop on board and join the interesting new projects that will change the world with us!

      • My view of & Jolla :
        – Talk is the main forum for Maemo & MeeGo Harmattan users & developers;
        – Jolla Sailfish OS needs native softwares (in Qt/Qt Quick), despite use Alien Dalvik to run many Android softwares;
        – some Maemo 5 and all MeeGo Harmattan softwares with GUI use Qt/Qt Quick;
        – Sailfish OS Qt Quick Components is expected to be similar to Qt Quick Components of MeeGo Harmattan;
        – so, a good relationship between & Jolla can help boost releasing many native Qt/Qt Quick softwares to Sailfish OS, ported from Maemo 5 and MeeGo Harmattan.

  6. james h jackson jr says:

    I feel jolla is right time for us to move on and dig in to jolla mer etc etc projects jump in do some work go to the mer message boards or what ever and join in those communites the n900 and n9 are and were amazing devices but its time to help thise communities out and i feel we can help them with out having to cling to the past im excited about open source in the mobike space and am looking forward to working with and helping those communities out sail onward to new challenges sail fast be unlike do unlike in 2013

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