Thursday, May 30, 2013
Remember Vivaldi and Plasma Active? Yes, again!
It´s been roughly eight months since I wrote a bitter ARTICLE about the (hopefully!) upcoming Vivaldi tablet. Back then I discussed the terrible customer focus and business approach, as well as the fact that the idea behind the project is so far off what people are looking for today in a tablet that it is plain obsolete way before being available. 8 months later, what exactly has changed? Well... Nothing, zero, niente, nada. The project official site still shows no information to help customers understand what happened with their preorders. As was the case back when I wrote my previews article, the only way to get a shade of information on the project, release dates and what not, is to proactively follow Aaron Seigo´s blog and hope that he will release an article sooner rather than later. Ridiculous indeed. Luckily, Mr. Seigo just published an update on the matter, which you can read HERE if interested. Apparently, plans are there to upgrade the hardware specifications a bit, but other than that, what we get once again are a bunch of excuses that don´t do much after a year waiting for a device that was first introduced as being imminently available. It almost feels like these guys were jealous at Google after the Nexus 4 selling fiasco, so they want to try real hard to come out as even more unreliable! Well, push no more, people, the jury is out and Vivaldi gets the worst customer service and attention accolade by a long shot! Personally, I think it is sad that some people are so thickheaded that they have to keep pushing for something that has no future and that, if anything, only has a negative impact in the open standards they claim to defend. As far as the average Joe is concerned, they just want to get a device, so things like these only help cementing the idea that the people behind open source projects and standards are unreliable, unprofessional geeks who´d rather play than delivering results. If Vivaldi comes out within the next 2-3 months, it seems it will come out around the same time as the second generation Nexus 7, and roughly around the same time as Firefox OS, Tizen, Jolla and even Ubuntu devices become available. The problem is that Vivaldi and Plasma Active are way behind most of them, light years away fron what Android has become... I mean, if the rumors are true, the second generation Nexus 7 is going to be a killer device, with an extremely mature OS, a huge ecosystem and user community and millions of active developers delivering quality software... and it will be available at roughly the same price as Vivaldi, but with much better hardware! Is Vivaldi really necessary? It´s not the nineties anymore, there are many open alternatives out there, several more in the works. Wouldn´t it be better to simply accept defeat than keep pushing a project that has been and most probably will continue to be an embarrassment? As I said back in the day, coding in your free time, as a hobby, is awesome. Projects coming out of sheer developer passion, for free, are a great thing, and people understand that they are delivered on a best effort basis. However, when you step up to the next level, start talking about preorders, a price tag, shipping charges, presenting specifications, pictures, demos, etc., then that´s when the game is over and it becomes a business which must deliver to expectations and timelines. That´s where this project has been a huge miss, consistently failing to deliver to its own promises and losing customers in the process, who will probably put their money on options they can trust. It is great to daydream about openness, freedom, making, playing and living, but the best way to convey that is to demonstrate that one can deliver under those principles. If the opposite happens, then it builds on the idea that only big corporations can be trusted, that closed environments are the only ones that truly work, and so the original intent of the project is jeopardized and the opposite goal is achieved. If the project is finally released in a short while, hopefully there is something there to make up for the endless waiting, but I highly doubt it. If, on the other hand, it is still not ready within a few months, I hope the project leaders simply understand that it is best to cancel the project, communicate accordingly and let other better managed initiatives carry the open standards flag.