Planet maemo: category "feed:d443227b3e9056c673daf7c465839a14"

Andrew Flegg

Following on from my earlier post, what next?, LinuxTag has now happened (and Quim very kindly used my open source triangle), and the 10 days brainstorm for the 100 Days community action plan, and 2010 Agenda have been launched.

My main focus in the earlier post was more related to the 2010 vision: what should Nokia do as soon as possible to really fully utilise an untapped area of the community.

However, what can the community do to organise itself and present more of a consensus view? Consensus by mailing list posts and wiki-edits just means the loudest - or most pushy - individual voices get heard. So, I suggest a Community Council, elected by the maemo community, to act as a filter/co-ordinating body to present a more unified view to Nokia - and therefore help them to help us.

Comments welcome below, or just make changes in the wiki!

Andrew Flegg what next? (Jaffa@maemopeople)

2008-04-20 19:18 UTC  by  Andrew Flegg

I was invited, but unfortunately had to decline, to speak at the maemo track of LinuxTag 2008. The final topic, what next? is subtitled "mid-term: what Nokia should do + what the community could do". Whilst looking at whether I could attend, I started thinking about this topic. Below is the crystallisation of some of those thoughts which probably would've formed the basis of a few slides to kickstart discussion.

Click to read 2860 more words
Kees Jongenburger

LinuxTag MaemoFun (keesj@maemopeople)

2008-04-13 14:34 UTC  by  Kees Jongenburger

Whe had a nice chat on the #maemo irc. It started by trying to define how a maemo hacker should
perform presentations at linuxtag. Because the obvious answer is called "noBounds" we started brainstorming
about the other possibilities. many possibilities involve having a "real" server and controlling
the real server using the nokia. This can be done using web 2.0 or vnc. an other alternative is using the tablet as mass-storage device but of course that is not sexy!.

We did not find the the answer , but we did came up with some nice ideas of what could be a nice goal for LinuxTag or a reason for gathering. I mean what is the point of see each other if you don't have a common goal!

Here are some ideas:

  • Create a 4 times HD big wall of nokias
    • That is 10*9 devices
  • Create a scroller using different tablets
  • Allow people to use a tablet to draw on screen
  • Create 3d images using images captured using tablets
    • Have the tablet create a sound chain reaction
    • record and playback
  • Create a messhed network
  • Use BT to show you are wearing a device
    • Broadcast your name
    • Play war, don't get beeped
Frantisek Dufka

Got this finally working. Too bad it is almost useless now, we needed it years ago ;-) What is tearsync? It is feature of omapfb driver that allows video playback without tearing effect. This feature is enabled in N8x0 kernel but never was part of Nokia 770 2.6.16 kernel shipped with any firmware. Luckily when first N800 2.6.18 kernel was released there was tearsync support added also in drivers for 770! All that was needed was to backport it to 2.6.16 kernel, right? Well, no. I did but it didn't work.

Only recently I've seen some strange issues with N800's MMC slot when going back to OS2007 and become aware of 'pin multiplexing' issue. Many pins of OMAP chip can be configured in software to have specific signal routed to it and this setting is done in bootloader. So maybe TE pin was simply not enabled? Too bad that any recent OMAP1 datasheet I could find had SoSSI documentation missing. Then I found in Google cache this text "revision D changes: ... removed all references to: ... Specially Optimized Screen Interface (SoSSI) ... deleted SoSSI function from the signal names with the following ball numbers ...". So after additional bit of googling (thanks Serge) and figuring out what all this means the answer is "ball G20, register 4, value 6, offset 6".

Funny thing, after setting G20 pin muxing correctly, the one year old code now magically works with no other change :-) If you still care for 770, you can get the kernel from Mplayer ITT thread here.

Andrew Flegg

X-Fade's been working hard and bug #2347 has been fixed. This now means that the official downloads catalogue can now contain non-tablet software such as tablet-encode.

Hopefully this'll boost the profile of things like mediautils to a wider audience.

Steps are simple:

  1. Go to add new application (logging in if necessary) and fill out the fields as detailed.
  2. One particularly cool feature is the ability to put in a direct download URL for the "click to install" arrow.
  3. Don't try and attach any screenshots until you've first saved the details; there's an issue with that and it's best done when editing the page after the first save.

I've raised a feature request that the download statistics available to extras(-devel) users are picked up from for a more integrated system.

Andrew Flegg

tablet-encode has had v2.18 released. Notable new features in this release include:

  • A new "mplayer" preset with a very high bitrate.
  • Ability to define your own presets and options in ~/.tablet-encode.conf.
  • Ability to rip all the episodes off a DVD with a single option.
  • Add support for Freevo FXD files as pointers to the actual video.

The --episodes option is particularly cool; ripping a TV series' DVD for (say, a long flight) is now a 3-step process:

  1. Attach N810 via USB.
  2. Insert DVD to computer.
  3. Run:
    tablet-encode --episodes dvd: /media/nokia-sd/Video/

It's hard to imagine it being any easier! Of course, at some point the GUI should support showing you thumbnails of each of the titles so you can select the ones you want to rip. If anyone's got any time, and experience with Perl Gtk+, I'd be happy to accept some help in improving the GUI version.

I'd also like to thank GeneralAntilles, rm_you, Marius Gedminas, Mike Lococo and divinerites for all their help with this release.

Andrew Flegg

A quick follow-up to my post on improving application start-up usability. I've done a very rough & ready mockup:

A higher-quality (but not any better put together) AVI can be downloaded (333KB).

Andrew Flegg

The announce of the iPhone SDK has revealed some interesting facts; including a particularly ingenious (and simple) way Apple have improved the user experience of starting applications.

It's a bit of a cheat, but with sound User experience Design (UxD) principles behind it: two small waits are better than one long one. It's why we have "please wait" messages on everything from ATMs to websites, and Hildon Desktop's own "Application loading" info messages at the top-right. The user feels the action is progressing whilst complex operations are occurring underneath.

Therefore, Apple's idea is simple: display an image of the application completely empty of content, but with the structure of its window in place as quickly as possible after launch. When the app actually opens its window, it replaces the image.

For example, the "launch image" for the iPhone's Settings app is shown on the left, with the actual app's first window on the right:

...and the Stocks app:

I've just posted to maemo-developers an idea for similar within the Hildon Desktop. For example, imagine the instant you selected File Manager from the launch menu, this image was shown:

The normal "File Manager loading" infoprint would also be shown, and then the File Manager proper would open and replace it.

Although it's "only" a few seconds we're talking about, I think it could really make ITOS feel more responsive. Given we've only got a 400MHz processor to play with, the impression of speed is just as important as the making the startup time as low as possible (but with the overhead of shared libraries etc. there's a lower bound which is achievable).

Comments, as ever, welcome.

Andrew Flegg

Wi-fi triangulation (Jaffa@maemopeople)

2008-02-19 13:42 UTC  by  Andrew Flegg

The iPod Touch has recently gained a location ability, despite not having a GPS. How?

A company, called Skyhook Wireless have driven around the US and Europe with a laptop and a GPS; recording the position and strength of every wireless access points SSID they detect.

A device, such as the iPod Touch, can have a database - or use the Internet - to go the other way: "I can see these APs with these signal strengths. Where am I?". A colleague tried this in the centre of London and it was accurate to within 20m!

The advantage of this on Maemo are obvious: for the N800, it provides a mechanism for knowing where you are (in built-up areas) without an external GPS. On the N810 it can be used to prime the built-in GPS for faster lock times, and get a lock within buildings etc.

Skyhook make money licencing their technology to OEMs etc., however their SDK is downloadable and, once you get through the signup process, you find they've got ARMEL binaries for Maemo 3.1 (i.e. OS2007).

Unfortunately, I don't have an OS2007 device, and trying to get it working on OS2008 ultimately resulting in a segmentation fault. They've yet to reply to the email I sent asking if they've got a Maemo 4.0 (chinook/OS2008) SDK available.

However, this is promising for two reasons: 1) they're aware of Maemo; 2) it might be something Nokia is looking at licencing.

All of this could be tied together with GeoClue and at some point we might take advantage of location-based services. That'd be a cool day.

In other news, I'm going to JavaOne in May, so if anyone going wants to meet up for a beer; drop me a line. Also, if you're planning on going, but haven't yet registered, my refer-a-friend code is W1054596: I'm only a couple of referrals away from a rather natty free gift! :-)
Frantisek Dufka

ScummVM 0.11 (fanoush@maemopeople)

2008-01-13 18:26 UTC  by  Frantisek Dufka

ScummVM 0.11 is near. Yesterday it was tagged in SVN and release will be any day. Good news is that Maemo port is now committed to scumvm SVN and will be part of official 0.11.0 source (once it is available). It still is a bit dirty so most of it is committed as a single patch file living in platform specific directory but it is a start. Making it more clean is work for 0.12. Basically it depends on having generic configurable keymapper (preferably with GUI) for all engines and platforms.

You can get the binary compiled from 0.11 SVN branch here
Please test it if you can and report issues to this ITT thread. This becomes the official release version if no serious bug is found. I will replace 0.10 version in extras repository and when 0.11 is officially released at You can see what's new here. Maemo port keybindings were added only for Lure of the Temptress.

Andrew Flegg

I've just sent an email to maemo-developers asking for feedback on an idea:

RFC: Proposal to solve multiple repository, poor QA situation

There is an increasingly acute problem with the Internet Tablets, the number of repositories a user has to install to correctly get some software is growing. It has been regularly discussed on maemo-dev that the best thing to have would be for all packages to be in extras - especially since in OS2008 it is now included by default (albeit disabled).

I fear that the database of repositories - no matter how useful it is - will only exacerbate the situation.

What I'm suggesting is an easy way for developers to upload to extras, with a group of volunteers doing the legwork of signing and uploading the packages, doing quality assurance and so on.

This should make it easier for developers (no need to have their own repos any more), and easier for users since they'll only need to enable the extras repository and know that none of the software in there will brick their device, be uninstallable etc.

The QA will also allow users to use the categories of the Application Manager more, as the gatekeepers will strictly limit the categories that are used by the packages flowing through them.

Of course, this system will be voluntary: I'm in no position to dictate that everyone use it, but hopefully there'll be sufficient benefits to everyone to make it a viable scheme.


Qt4 for Maemo tablets available (jlbrd@maemopeople)

2007-12-21 20:30 UTC  by  jlbrd

This project aims at using Trolltech Qt4 packages on maemo devices. In this way your tablet will be able to run many Qt4 applications. The first step is completed and the user and developper packages are available on
The second work is now the Hildonization: To move the menubar to the menu system and allow to use a virtual keyboard. A first application is already ported, it's SpeedCrunch a fast, high precision and powerful desktop calculator, available in the same repository.