Planet maemo: category "feed:89e919e881f6ec510fc2f0aa43617339"

Tuomas Kulve

N950 display breaking down

2012-02-27 10:23 UTC  by  Tuomas Kulve
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My N950′s display started to grow black stripes some weeks ago:

The lines are getting longer and thicker day by day. And now an N950 of a friend of mine started to do the same thing. I wonder if this is happening to all of them?

N9 is the only viable option for me with its own pros and cons. Hopefully it won’t disappear too quickly from the shops..

Categories: Maemo
Tuomas Kulve

Command-line sharing for Harmattan

2012-01-12 16:48 UTC  by  Tuomas Kulve
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I use IRC and I want to be able to share photos there easily. For n900 I had implemented a sharing plugin and that worked nicely. When I got the n950 I of course wanted to do the same with that but it turned out to be a difficult task.

I started to implement webupload and SSO plugins but I never got them to work. The biggest show stopper was lacking documentation for the SSO part. Finally Mika Suonpää pointed me to Share UI plugins and now, only a few days later, I have the first version of it working for n950 :)

For some reason I don’t get my icons visible, they are always shown as a red square. All hints about that are most welcome. As is testing and feedback of the plugin. The plugin settings are in Settings -> Applications -> Command-line Share, and from there you need to enable the plugin and set the command to be run. After that the sharing plugin is visible in the Gallery -> share.

The source code can be found here and the corresponding forum thread here.

Categories: Maemo
Tuomas Kulve

Ogg-support 1.1.1: Performance

2011-07-27 08:42 UTC  by  Tuomas Kulve
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After almost two years there’s a new version of the Ogg Support in the Fremantle Extras.

The decoder code has changed completely. Where the old one used libvorbis and vorbisdec from the GStreamer base plugins, the new one uses libav (formerly FFmpeg) and gst-av from Felipe Contreras. The impact on performance should be significant because the vorbis decoder in libav is more efficient on the n900 than the libvorbis and Felipe’s gst-av also outperforms the vorbisdec.

Thanks to Felipe for doing all the hard work. I’ve just been updating the version numbers of the dependencies and tracking the bugzilla for the known issues and fixes :)

Categories: Maemo
Tuomas Kulve

MeeGo 1.2 ARMv7 chroot (beta)

2011-07-09 15:42 UTC  by  Tuomas Kulve
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I’ve always liked the Scratchbox approach to cross-compiling. Run ./configure && make and you have an ARM binary, no need to explicitly tell the configure we are cross-compiling nor fix the bad behaving build scripts.

MeeGo doesn’t provide an SDK for the (ARM) platform. There’s an SDK for building Qt applications and there’s an QEMU for emulating the ARM device environment. For building the lower level components (Qt itself, GStreamer, etc) you are expected to use OBS. OBS is a very good build infrastructure tool, especially as you can link your own OBS to upstream OBS instances like MeeGo or OpenSUSE and have your OBS build only your own components or modified upstream components.

But OBS is a bit overkill when you are developing your own component that you don’t want to be a part of anything bigger yet. The OBS client side tool, osc, allows you to build components locally in a chroot but still you need an OBS account and those aren’t automatically available for everyone, not even in the community OBS.

I took the chroot created by osc build and modified it a bit with the help from stskeeps @ #meego-arm. The produced chroot is capable of building ARMv7 hard-float binaries without OBS or OBS account. It includes a minimal set of dependencies to make it smaller for easy download (it’s still 162MB), and the project specific dependencies can be installed normally with zypper from the standard MeeGo repositories.

The benefit from using a chroot over a QEMU image is the installed speed tools; many of the components taking time during a build are actually x86 binaries. These include e.g. bash, compilers and bzip2. Running these as emulated ARM binaries (or natively on an ARM hardware) would be much much slower.

I’ve used this approach with my own Qt + GStreamer project and it has been working well but that’s only a small use case so there can be all kinds of issues still. I use the same account inside the chroot and outside and bind mount my $HOME to the chroot so I can build project under my $HOME.

Current known issues:

  • Zypper doesn’t find noarch packages (this is an upstream bug, not related to my chroot).
  • Tested only on Debian Squeeze. At some point there was a linker issue on Ubuntu and I don’t know if that still exists.
  • My instructions mention libqt4-devel although the package name is libqt-devel.

If you want to try it out, it’s available via BitTorrent at http://tuomas.kulve.fi/tmp/torrent/ (temporary location). After extracting the tarball, see the readme file in the root directory.

Categories: Maemo
Tuomas Kulve

Command line sharing plugin in extras-devel

2010-11-27 21:07 UTC  by  Tuomas Kulve
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I reflashed my device and the biggest annoyance after restoring the backup was recompiling the sharing-cli plugin as it was not in any repository. Now it is.

It has been working for me for several months without issues, although I’ve been sharing only medium size images over a decent connection. It might not succeed in sharing videos over GPRS.

For hints about the usage, see the previous post.

Categories: Maemo
Tuomas Kulve

Command line sharing plugin for n900

2010-03-02 08:10 UTC  by  Tuomas Kulve
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Thomas Perl made a proposal for creating a command line sharing plugin for the n900. I had already planned to implement something like that so I joined the project.

I pushed the first “proof-of-concept” quality implementation to the GIT a month ago. I’ve been using it with the Irssi script (in the scripts directory) to get http URLs with meta information to IRC. The Irssi script needs to be modified to match the directories and IRC servers in use and both the script and the sharing plugin are still missing most of the error checking and extra functionality. Nevertheless, they’ve worked for me for the past weeks.

For the sharing plugin I’ve given something like the following command line:


scp %s kulve@foo.bar.fi:~/photos_incoming/%s

There’s two times the %s as the local temporary file name doesn’t match the actual file name to be copied. And that assumes the SSH keys have been exchanged so that no passwords will be asked.

The Irssi script polls the incoming directory for new images. For each new file, it moves the file to public WWW tree, gets the meta information with exiftool and prints something like this to the specified IRC channel:


Title: Description [tags] (GPS coordinates) http://foo.bar.fi/~kulve/imagename.jpg

I modified the Irssi script a bit before pushing it to the GIT, so no guarantees it works. And that’s my first Irssi script ever, so it may do something odd ;)

There’s no debian packages yet as neither the script nor the plugin have been tested properly. Comments, testing and patches are welcome.

Categories: Maemo
Tuomas Kulve

n900 Battery Duration: Ogg vs. MP3

2009-11-07 10:54 UTC  by  Tuomas Kulve
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There have always been complaints about Ogg being more of a battery hog on the Nokia tablets compared to Nokia optimized MP3. I decided to measure the difference.

Click to read 1940 more words
Categories: Maemo
Tuomas Kulve

Ogg Support: Next Steps

2009-10-16 08:15 UTC  by  Tuomas Kulve
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Purpose of the 1.0.5 release was to get a decent feature set to Extras repository before the Maemo Summit. There are still some bigger issues to be fixed in the future releases.

Bugs

There’s a product for Ogg Support at the Maemo Extras Bugzilla. I’ve added the major issues there but do report any other issues you find.

Tags

Media Player and File Manager depend heavily on the open source Tracker for the meta data. Tracker has different meta data extractors for different mime types. GStreamer extractor is used by default for all audio/* and video/* mime types. The gstreamer extractor uses tagreadbin for getting the meta data from the media files.

For better efficiency tagreadbin uses only parsers for getting the meta data. Decoders may need e.g. separate DSP hardware, so using decoders for getting the meta data could be a very slow and heavy process.

Unfortunately Vorbis and Flac tags are not in the container and need a decoder for parsing them. Tracker provides a separate extractor for Vorbis that’s now packaged separately for Maemo by Ivan Frade. That’s not “product quality” and shouldn’t be used, so a proper solution will replace that one. The work for getting a tag parser for Vorbis and Flac to be used with tagreadbin has already been started. Hopefully the patch will be attached to the Gnome bugzilla at some point.

Gstreamer’s playbin(2) element reports tags while playing the media file and this already works with Vorbis and Flac. MP and FM need to know the meta data before they start to play the file but e.g. the Media Widget on the Desktop seems to get the tags from the playbin2 as it shows the tags for Flac as well.

Performance

The Vorbis decoder from xiph.org isn’t as fast as the FFmpeg’s Vorbis decoder on the n900.

There weren’t any GStreamer plugins for the FFmpeg’s Vorbis decoder until Felipe implemented one. The gst-av is still missing some features that need to be implemented before it can be taken into use, mainly tags and streaming.

If you are interested in the topic, I’m sure Felipe would be more than happy to apply patches :)

I’ll report numbers about performance comparisons between MP3 and Ogg later.

Categories: Maemo
Tuomas Kulve

Ogg Support in Fremantle Extras

2009-10-04 13:42 UTC  by  Tuomas Kulve
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In my last post I asked for a wish list of features for the Ogg Support. I started the integration work based on those comments and now the 1.0.5 version for n900 has been promoted to Fremantle Extras repository.

The support for Vorbis audio is good: tags work, File Manager shows them too and knows how to launch Vorbis files in Media Player, etc. Flacs are missing tags but no magic is needed for that, just a new GStreamer element. Theora support is also included. I haven’t tested it much but at least the basic features seem to work.

I’ll tell more about the details at the Maemo Summit.

Categories: Maemo
Tuomas Kulve

Wishlist for N900 ogg-support

2009-09-03 12:49 UTC  by  Tuomas Kulve
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Time to switch to a Linux phone and time to start preparing ogg-support for N900/Fremantle.

Hopefully everything will be easier to get working with the N900 since at least the closed source Metalayer Crawler is replaced with open source Tracker.

I would like to hear if there’s anything special people would like to get with ogg-support. Support for oggs in the built-in media player with tags is of course the first goal but is there something else that is a must? Theora? Flac?

Thanks.

Categories: Maemo
Tuomas Kulve

Learning OpenGL ES 2.0

2009-04-28 06:32 UTC  by  Tuomas Kulve
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I got (again) interested on OpenGL ES 2.0 and bought OpenGL® ES 2.0 Programming Guide.

The examples on the book can be downloaded from http://www.opengles-book.com/. Those are meant to be compiled with Microsoft Visual Studio.

I made a small patch that adds initial support for Linux/X11. It doesn’t support texture loading (because I misplaced my png loader somewhere), the WinCreate() is copypaste code I don’t fully understand and the WinLoop() is missing some functionality. But at least the Chapter 1 Hello Triangle compiles and runs in Fremantle on Beagle board :)

Compile and install the libes in a normal autotools manner. Then you can compile the examples by exporting the PKG_CONFIG_PATH and running gcc:


gcc `pkg-config libes --cflags --libs` Hello_Triangle.c -o Hello_Triangle

As usual, patches are welcome :)

Categories: Maemo
Tuomas Kulve

ALIP on n8x0

2009-02-24 19:52 UTC  by  Tuomas Kulve
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ARM and Movial announced a second stable release of ARM Linux Internet Platform (ALIP) generic repository. ALIP got other updates as well, see a blog post about them in Movial’s Sandbox or the actual release notes.

The Kaze project for n8x0 devices was updated to use the generic-2 branch as well. There are no built images provided, but ALIP is relatively easy to compile if one is already familiar with Scratchbox. The ALIP rootfs works with the Maemo kernel and initfs and it can be booted nicely from an MMC/SD card, so no need to destroy the Maemo from the device just to test ALIP.


Kaze on n8x0

ALIP requires newer SB components (and specific toolchains) but the newer SB components should work just fine with Maemo targets and Maemo toolchains. Or the newer SB can be installed in a different directory from tarballs and used concurrently with the Maemo SB.

Follow the From scratch instructions but replace alip-project with kaze-project and don’t pass the -cbeagleboard. You should pass -c multimedia to include 3rd party provided (by me actually) gst-ffmpeg to the build.

If you want to include WebKit engine and Midori UI to it, add “midori” to the components file.

Unfortunately the X driver for OMAPs (xf86-video-omapfb) in the stable branch in omap-repository has a bug concerning n8x0 devices and you should use master branch of it if you want to test video playback. The easiest way to switch using master branch for this component is to clone the n8x0 configuration repository and switch the branch before running the matrix install.


git clone git://linux.onarm.com/git/n8x0/config/n8x0.git
vi n8x0/suite/n8x0-recommended
# Add the branch: Component("xf86-video-omapfb", branch="master")
matrix install -c multimedia

After the install you should include the binary DSP tasks from the device (they are proprietary and cannot be distributed). Use the helper script (get_nokia_binaries.sh) in src/platform-n8x0 that fetches them from the device over ssh and reinstall the component before creating the rootfs image:


matrix install-only -c multimedia platform-n8x0

Lots of things are still broken:

  • Power button tries to suspend, which fails and does nothing.
  • WLAN encryption keys are not stored succesfully.
  • WPA doesn’t work (WEP and unencrypted do work).
  • Midori should be started after networking.
  • There’s no ssh client (but dbclient as it’s dropbear).
  • Power management.
  • Default XFCE theme doesn’t look cool.
  • Etc.

But I believe that with some work Kaze on n8x0 will become decent enough for everyday use and will provide up to date components long after Nokia has dropped the n8x0 support.

If you have any questions, visit #alip @ freenode.

PS. If you want an open source media engine with D-Bus API checkout the Octopus. It’s a work in progress but handles basic audio and video playback on n8x0 just fine :)

Categories: Maemo