Planet maemo: category "feed:c375eca130e9b3972cb48d0355b2980a"

Marcin Juszkiewicz

Maemo -> MeeGo

2010-02-18 13:29 UTC  by  Marcin Juszkiewicz
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During last few days I was offline for most of time. Those who follow me on Twitter noticed that I was traveling. Imagine how surprised I was when I read about Maemo + Moblin -> MeeGo movement.

First I thought that finally Nokia decided to get rid of terribly maintained base system used for Maemo5 in favor of something working. But wait… Maemo5 is already buried — Maemo6 is on a way. But wait… what is Maemo6? MeeGo rather etc, etc, etc…

After some reading (on N900 by GPRS mostly + some public hotspots) it looked more clearly but added new questions. What about Nokia N900 support? Will it be added by vendor and supported or rather let community do it? Done by company would be better as this would obligate them to keep development alive (and merge kernel stuff into mainline).

One is sure: MeeGo will bring many changes. Base system will be updated (good), packaging will be changed to RPM (not so good but acceptable), Qt instead of GTK+ (good), less Nokia developers (very good). Too bad that whole rush to get it done before MWC made few things unclear and that there is nothing to download to play with. There is no information how much code will be free and open (Maemo5 has lot of closed components) and what is a policy for closed components.

What do I feel after reading blog posts, mailing lists? Time will show. Looks like N900 can have nice future, new applications backported from MeeGo but for it we need to wait as for now nothing is known yet (no code to look at).


All rights reserved © Marcin Juszkiewicz
Maemo -> MeeGo was originally posted on Marcin Juszkiewicz website

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Marcin Juszkiewicz

MDBus2 for Maemo5

2010-02-11 14:15 UTC  by  Marcin Juszkiewicz
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During FOSDEM I attended few talks in Openmoko devroom. During one of them Mickey ‘mickeyl’ Lauer was using his ‘mdbus’ tool to inspect and play with DBus services and methods. As tool looked interesting I decided to try it.

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Marcin Juszkiewicz

FOSDEM X

2010-02-08 14:16 UTC  by  Marcin Juszkiewicz
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Returning home now — sitting in the EasyJet plane somewhere over Germany and sipping coffee.

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Marcin Juszkiewicz

Maemo5 and (lack of) navigation

2010-02-08 14:15 UTC  by  Marcin Juszkiewicz
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Year ago when I was going to FOSDEM I took my Nokia E66 phone preloaded with Belgium maps to not get lost in Brussels. It was working quite good. This year I took Nokia N900 as the only device to use (no laptop, no other phone) and BUG to show something.

How did N900 worked as navigation device? Terrible! The problem started before travel. I installed whole set of map applications which were available:

  • Ovi Maps
  • Maemo Mapper
  • Maep
  • Mapbuddy
  • Navit

Only first one had support to preloading map data (by using Nokia Map Loader under MS Windows). Maemo Mapper had such functionality in OS2008 but newer version has something totally broken. Navit required use of extra tool for conversion but after looking at UI I decided that will not even try. Maep and Mapbuddy always fetch from network so roaming costs would kill me.

So I used Ovi Maps as less bad then others. Lacks of offline POI support suxx, lack of adding own ones suxx even more as in Symbian version I just added few interesting places at home and used them during walking on streets of Brussels. Nokia needs to spend lot of money and developer time if they want to make it usable.

So software was more or less disaster but I managed to get to the ‘peeing boy’ so (after seeing’ peeing girl’ year ago) that part of tourist attractions is done. Would be nice to have some way of preloading AGPS data as without network connection it takes ages to get fix.


All rights reserved © Marcin Juszkiewicz Maemo5 and (lack of) navigation was originally posted on Marcin Juszkiewicz website

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Marcin Juszkiewicz

System updates repository online

2010-01-18 16:53 UTC  by  Marcin Juszkiewicz
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Took me less time that I thought — Maemo5 updates repository is on-line.

How to use it? Instruction in few simple steps:

  • Fetch GnuPG key which I used to sign repository.
  • Add it to APT on Nokia N900: “apt-key add apt-key.asc
  • Add my repository to APT sources by storing following line in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/system-updates.list file:
 deb http://marcin.juszkiewicz.com.pl/download/maemo/repos/system-updates/2009.51/ ./
 
  • Run “apt-get update” or use Hildon Application Manager (H-A-M) refresh function.
  • Run “apt-get upgrade” or check did H-A-M listed some upgrades and tell him to install them.

So far my repository contains Modest with fix for bug #6541 and “Maemo 5″ metapackage altered to allow system updates to be installed. Sources of all packages are provided of course.


All rights reserved © Marcin Juszkiewicz System updates repository online was originally posted on Marcin Juszkiewicz website

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Marcin Juszkiewicz

System updates repository for Maemo5?

2010-01-18 14:03 UTC  by  Marcin Juszkiewicz
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My Nokia N900 uses Maemo5 in latest version: 2009.51.1 which still have many bugs open. Some (like 6541) were fixed already but users have to wait for next firmware drop from nokia Maemo team to get them. Of course date of such “gift” is unknown (it can even never happen) so how to solve problem now?

I spent some time digging in Modest git tree to gather changes which will fix #6541 bug. Result works fine on my device, patch is quite small (less then 2KB) but system components updates are not allowed to be pushed into Extras repositories on maemo.org website.

So how to share such useful update? I think that will create repository for such system updates. Maybe will add some other packages there (for sure my version of “mp-fremantle-generic-pr” will be present so updates will be installable without breaking firmware upgrades).


All rights reserved © Marcin Juszkiewicz System updates repository for Maemo5? was originally posted on Marcin Juszkiewicz website

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Marcin Juszkiewicz

Are Maemo5 developer tools obsolete?

2010-01-04 09:25 UTC  by  Marcin Juszkiewicz
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As it can be read in many places Maemo is based on Debian. The problem arrives when someone asks “which version of Debian?”…

The answer is “oldstable” (etch) + parts from “stable” (lenny) + some updates from “testing” (squeeze). But what does it mean for developer?

  1. If you maintain Debian packages and want them to build for Maemo5 prepare to refresh your memory for (officially deprecated) Debhelper v5 (Debian uses v7 since Lenny).
  2. If you use Debconf then you are out of luck rather — 1.4.70 is not even from Etch…
  3. If you use Subversion then do not even try to touch repositories which you will checkout under scratchbox — 1.4.3 from Etch is too old for working with repos fetched with today’s 1.6.x versions.

For me it looks like they just refreshed Maemo from OS2007 times again and again and again without considering rebasing on newer release. But why?

On #maemo-devel channel I got answer that this was probably due to sticking with crap^Wscratchbox which has that old stuff. But moment…. Maemo is product made by Nokia, big company with big money, so why no one got paid to update it to at least Lenny?

Good that Mer people use quite recent Ubuntu as a base for their distribution which should make development for it easier (ignore fact that there is very small user base). But this project needs lot of love still.


All rights reserved © Marcin Juszkiewicz Are Maemo5 developer tools obsolete? was originally posted on Marcin Juszkiewicz website

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Marcin Juszkiewicz

What will next firmware release for N900 brings? That is common question asked by too many people. Some of them wants impossible things, some wants magic, some mention realistic things. But what really will be included? That’s other story…

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Marcin Juszkiewicz

I just released sources of my Protracker module player. What this application is and what it can do you can read in one of my older posts: I wrote module player in Qt.

What are features:

  • UI created with Qt Designer (so it is easy to change if you want)
  • separate UI for desktop and other for Maemo5 (automatically selectable during build)
  • Maemo5 uses 3 stacked windows just like UI Style Guide requires
  • uses Phonon to play (with GStreamer modplug plugin underneath)
  • fetching modules from modland archive
  • author/song selection
  • playing next song on song end (with looping on author)
  • seeking (works only in desktop version — bug reported for Maemo5 version)

Things to do:

  • error handling (especially fetching related)
  • moving of download progressbar to QDialog
  • playing counters
  • favorites
  • playlists

Everything licensed under LGPL v2.1 — same license as Qt uses. That because I used many Qt examples as base for my application.

How to get it? I made repository on Gitorius server — go there, fetch, try, comment, share improvements.


All rights reserved © Marcin Juszkiewicz Released sources of my Protracker module player was originally posted on Marcin Juszkiewicz website

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Marcin Juszkiewicz

Things to check with Nokia N900

2009-12-14 15:20 UTC  by  Marcin Juszkiewicz
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As I have my Nokia N900 from DDP I have just one week to test does everything works properly — after that I am on my own.

So far I checked:

  • microphone by doing some GSM calls. This also shown that GSM modem works for voice.
  • GPRS data connections — from EDGE to HSDPA (did not checked speed)
  • WiFi connections
  • Bluetooth connections — synced PIM data from my Nokia E66 phone, used headset for calls
  • FM transmitter — played some children songs today during driving with my daughter
  • FM receiver — “FM Radio” application from repository works and plays (app still need work)
  • TV-Out — playing movies on CRT and LCD television sets
  • screen — to bad that I found bad pixels… but good that they are now not later
  • headphones — just included ones
  • USB charging and storage access modes
  • normal charging (included charger and standard Nokia one)
  • keyboard — works, things could be better
  • SIM slot — my card works but slot itself feels cheap and reminds me one from Openmoko phones. I hope that they will get rid of it in next devices — my E66 has better one.
  • microSD slot — works with 8GB card but mechanically it is disaster. Prefer to not use it too often as it can break.
  • main camera — nice photos
  • front camera — complete disaster… Now I know why there is no video calls. hint: install “Mirror” application
  • internal storage

My feelings after first days? Hardware is nice and (as usual) there is a space for improvements:

  • SIM slot should be changed to sliding one — current one can break too easily
  • microSD slot also should be sliding one — look at Nokia E66 for example
  • give fullscreen button back
  • battery cover should be thicker so device will not bounce on camera when left on table
  • move microusb to right and headphones to left side of device
  • move lock slider to left side (so it will be top when one hand operated)

I hope that I did not missed anything on list of things to check. I excluded Irda from it because I do not know is it supported at all.

UPDATE: Eugene Antimirov posted that his N900 from DDP has a problem with playing videos — bug 6823.


All rights reserved © Marcin Juszkiewicz Things to check with Nokia N900 was originally posted on Marcin Juszkiewicz website

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Marcin Juszkiewicz

Sending N900 back to Nokia

2009-12-14 11:54 UTC  by  Marcin Juszkiewicz
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Tomorrow I will send my Nokia N900 back to Nokia.

But I am not abandoning that platform. It is just because my N900 has few dead pixels on screen. They are grouped in area of “task switcher” button so were harder to notice.

Bad pixels

Are those bad pixels or just dust? No difference for me as in both situations they are visible.


All rights reserved © Marcin Juszkiewicz Sending N900 back to Nokia was originally posted on Marcin Juszkiewicz website

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Marcin Juszkiewicz

N900 — second day

2009-12-10 14:04 UTC  by  Marcin Juszkiewicz
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I plan to write blog post on each working day about my experiences with N900 device. Today I planned to concentrate on PIM applications but decided to write about other things.

Brainstorm

Brainstorm — the person which invented that was genius. In normal projects if someone wants to request enhancement then bug tracker is used. Bugzilla even has such value in severity field. What is a result?

Bug like this, this or that got “moved” to brilliant Brainstorm area of Maemo website. Ok, you can add idea of solution there or vote for (or against) that. But you can not comment on solutions or ideas. For some entries in brainstorm there were comments with “discuss that idea in this forum thread” but seriously — how many developers likes to use forums? I do not like — prefer to get email notifications from bug trackers where I can comment on bug and vote for it. I can quickly search for all entries where I commented etc. Brainstorm does not give me that. But I do not know, maybe the idea was to make users shut up and be happy with software which they got.

UI

Maemo5 UI is slick, nice and finger friendly. Last thing also means that most of screen resolution is used for paddings, margins and frames. Basically do not expect more then 6 lines on list widgets.

Application manager

Kinetic scrolling of course is present but also scrollbars are hidden so most of time it is hard to notice how many entries are available. Problem is even bigger when layout object is scrollable — it took me some time to find out where I can change ringtones to the ones which I used on previous phones (I use same ones for over two years). The problem was this screen:

Settings/Profile

There are options under them… but no visible mark that user should scroll ;( It was discussed in bug 5750 and bug 5426 but for me it looks like it will not be fixed.

Portrait mode would improve things a lot but is not available and looks like will not done for Maemo5 (except few applications). Contacts list in phone dialer (the only one portrait enabled app) contains 10 entries. Kinetic scrolling works much better in that orientation and user got also alphanumeric shortcuts to scroll list even faster (due to lack of keyboard in portrait).

To summarize: UI is nice, but some work should be done to make it more useful.


All rights reserved © Marcin Juszkiewicz N900 — second day was originally posted on Marcin Juszkiewicz website

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