Media Application Framework released with the Fremantle pre-alpha 2 SDK

2009-01-29 10:03 UTC by Quim Gil

The Maemo Fremantle pre-alpha 2 release comes with a new Media Application Framework that eases the development of local and web enabled multimedia applications. Other novelties include the open source DSME (hardware watchdog and thermal monitoring) and fresh upstream components integrated for the first time in the Maemo platform: Upstart (fast system boot) and gvfs (GNOME virtual file system). In addition to this, the Fremantle implementation of BusyBox (Unix tools) is available at and will be maintained openly from now on. This second and last pre-alpha is still targeted mainly to platform developers and keeps the Maemo 4.1 UI.

The Media Application Framework (MAFW) provides an open, flexible and extensible layer that eases the development of multimedia applications for the Maemo platform. It is a complement to the Multimedia framework that has been heavily improved in Fremantle. MAFW provides:

  • An extendable, pluggable framework interface, which allows to develop new plugins that provide integration with new multimedia services or rendering engines, that can be seamlessly integrated in all MAFW based applications.
  • Easy to use APIs that speed up application developing, providing support for playback control, discovery and browsing of multimedia resources and playlist manipulation.
  • Independence of the technology. Since MAFW is a plugin based framework, it is not tied to a particular multimedia technology (GStreamer,MPlayer, Tracker). Plugin developers have freedom to choose the technologies they want to use in their plugins, and application developers do not need to know about them.

The revamped Media Player will be based on this framework, allowing the possibility for third party developers to create integrated media applications and plugins integrating web services. Application developers are encouraged to look at the documentation and the example application provided in the SDK.

DSME and BusyBox are two components that raise the interest of the platform developers in the Maemo community. Now these projects will be developed openly in the infrastructure, starting a trend that will be followed by more components during the Fremantle release cycle. Over hundred packages have been upgraded since the first pre-alpha release. The platform development work is concentrating on completing the capabilities for applications and is reaching better levels of stability. More details about the changes between the first and second pre-alpha releases can be found in the SDK page, the API references, the content changes table and the source code repository. You can also find the updated rootstraps for the Maemo SDK+ based on Scratchbox2.

This is the last pre-alpha release in our plans. We have already started working on a next release providing the new Maemo 5 UI and the full Fremantle API to application developers. Have a look to the Fremantle roadmap and stay tuned!