Tizen Conference 2012, first days

The Linux Foundation sponsored me to travel to and attend the Tizen Conference 2012 in San Francisco and as part of this sponsorship, I'll be blogging about the conference and my insights and thoughts of the talks and keynotes at it. While some parts may seem negative, please keep reading as I have a point with those parts that is illustrated later on.
Faith Obafemi
May 11, 2012

Over the coming days, I would be blogging about the 2012 Tizen Conference holding in San Francisco. That's basically because the Linux Foundation sponsored my travel for the event.

My posts are likely to come off as downright pessimistic, but that doesn't mean I consider Tizen worthless or Mer a better competitor. First of all, I must point out that Mer and Tizen are totally on different planes and are best not referred to as competitors. However, one cannot ignore the fact that Mer is more reliable and involves less media hype. Unlike Linux which trys to please everyone, from developers to the manufacturers, the media and the users.

Amidst all these, Tizen was built with lots of secrecy, with few knowing anything until the version 1.0 was out. That's not surprising anyway, do you immediately publish your first draft of any thing you do to the public? Everyone hates ridicule.

Tizen was originally assumed to be a successor to MeeGo, so we all watched out for new features and some form of relation, but there was none whatsoever. To use the new Tizen, former MeeGo users would need retraining.

While I was eagerly looking forward to an amazing Monday morning with MeeGo talk, we were, unfortunately, left to endure some Monday Mourning. The talk which ought to have dwelled on the features and capabilities of MeeGo, was rather spent showcasing the achievements of MeeGo's competitors.

Due to a last minute adjustment in the Tizen conference schedule, the keynote address was changed to another recycled speech delivered by the same keynote speaker for last year.

Well that was the end of the boring morning. Imad, head of Intel OTC and JD, EVP of Samsung, the Tizen technical steering group later gave their refreshing and interesting presentation. Theirs was the type of presentations that rejuvenates the souls of developers.

Nevertheless, it's difficult for me to reconcile Tizen Association's working system with open source. Especially when one considers the fact that their terms of membership as provided on their website says there is an annual membership dues of two hundred and twenty thousand US dollars. In addition, there are also talks about confidentiality.

New developments aiming to make things more open are already gradually happening. For instance, there was a full code submission, as opposed to codedrops. Tizen is obviously doing well in terms of being open when compared to Symbian or Android.

Ryan Ware and a colleague from Samsung presented the last talk of the day on Tizen Security. While other platforms have focused on end-user privacy, Tizen sought to give the same amount of (perhaps greater) protection to the content owner. This is laudable, considering security is a very essential topic in today's increasingly data driven world.

Outside the conference talks, I participated in interesting 'hallway tracks' complete with whiteboards that help discussants engage more. Surprisingly, few conferences make provisions for this or even recognize its importance as Amy Leeland did for the Tizen Conference. I also of course made new acquaintances.

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