Planet maemo: category "feed:e421ae90b0be990fbff1a5bf870fae5c"

Niels Breet

Apps for MeeGo

2012-01-04 15:34 UTC  by  Niels Breet
Happy New Year everybody! Wow it has been a long time since I blogged :)

A new year and we got new things to announce. We have been working on for a while. The idea is to have a community driven Apps catalog for open source applications. Created by the people who also contributed to Downloads (More than 100M downloads and counting!), many of the concepts born there were brought along.

This site includes a community driven QA part, where you can test apps and fill in a simple score card about the app. Once a certain amount of positive reports have been made, the app will automatically go to the stable Apps site. Apps will also go through some automated tests, so we can prevent broken applications from entering the repositories.

With the N9 device now in the market, the community needs a central place to publish their applications. If your application needs special security capabilities, like sending text messages etc, you need to publish your application in a place that is 'trusted' by the device. Nokia has now granted Apps the same credentials as Nokia Store. This means that we can now let the community publish applications which need more than the default credentials.

We have a very nice Apps client for use on your N9. This makes it very easy to browse through the available apps and install them on your N9.

Most of the infrastructure and processes are in place, what we need now is help from you! Whether you are a developer (submit your app) or an enthusiast (help us test new apps), there is always a way you can help making it more attractive to end users. Make sure we are getting more new applications more quickly available for everybody!

The current setup of Apps for MeeGo is so that you can't have any external dependencies for your application, other than what is provided in the SDK and the Nokia Apps repository. I'll post a proposal on the wiki about how to allow these dependencies while trying to prevent a mess :)

A last thing to add:  We see that is going away at some point and we have a heritage, so we are planning to move our authentication, OBS and wiki to in the coming months.
Niels Breet

Maemo 5 Extras reaches 3.5M downloads

2010-02-24 15:20 UTC  by  Niels Breet

The Extras repository for community contributed software has reached 3.5 million downloads for Maemo 5. Software is offered through free of charge and the repository is open to all developers. Downloads is the web interface to the software available through Extras.

We see the number of downloads grow every day. This makes the Extras repository a great place for developers to get their software in the hands of end users. If you are interested in publishing your software through, please visit the wiki.

We introduced improved download statics to show developers exactly how many downloads they received. The FM Radio Player application has received over 138000 downloads. FM Radio stats below:

The Extras repository has only been enabled on N900 devices by default in a recent software update. Before this update users needed to manually activate the repository in their Application Manager's catalog list. Also keep in mind that the Application Manager is not very easy to find, because of it being put in the 'More' menu.

Overall I think the number is quite impressive as these devices aren't available for a long time and a lot of people had problems even finding a device in their country.
Categories: downloads
Niels Breet

Extras dput and promotion changes

2010-01-29 15:05 UTC  by  Niels Breet
With the change to the new server infrastructure, we also changed the way developers can use dput to upload their source packages to the autobuilder. We created a special host named for uploads using dput (and scp). The uploading to Extras wiki page has been updated with the correct information. Short story: replace with and continue like before.

Another change we had to make was how packages are promoted from diablo Extras-devel to Extras. The old promoter was no longer suitable for the current setup and needed to go. Promotion now works the same way as it works for fremantle Extras-devel to Extras-testing (direct promotion). The package interface for diablo Extras-devel can be found here.

There are still a few features missing for the diablo part of the packages interface, but promotion should work. I'll add build logs and context sensitive searches at a later point.
Categories: dput
Niels Breet

Backwards compatibility broken PR1.1 SDK

2010-01-18 22:00 UTC  by  Niels Breet
I've been discussing this issue with some people before as hypothetical case, but now it seems that we run into it: Compiling and application against the PR1.1 SDK creates packages which can not be installed on earlier firmware releases.

In this case we have have a libosso version which is higher than the one in previous releases. As this dependency gets automatically added when compiling in the PR1.1 SDK this poses a problem.

The autobuilder uses the repository, so it automatically uses newer packages when they are available.

For Extras this means that install of an application which is compiled against the new SDK fails without any description we can expect an end-user to understand. This is something which should be prevented.

How can we work around this problem:

1: Only compile against the original SDK.

This prevents new features from ever be available to developers, but should work until there is real API/ABI breakage in a new firmware.

2: Use version specific repositories

This needs Application Manager support as we need to fetch from a separate repository every time. Also requires us to build against every sdk version known to man.

3: Depend on >= mp-fremantle-generic-pr | maemo-version

We would need a hack in the autobuilder to add depends to pr and maemo version. This way a user needs to upgrade to at least the required firmware image. I think this will make it easier for an end-user to understand what is happening.

We could, with help of the AM team, even detect in the AM that a firmware upgrade is required and give a the end user a nice warning/description.

Currently the AM doesn't have any means to detect which firmware version a package requires. Option 3 solve that issue at the same time.

If you have an alternative solution on how to go about fixing this
issue, then please let me know.

Discussions on the maemo-developers list or talk.
Categories: autobuilder
Niels Breet

Maemo 5 Downloads now available

2009-10-07 21:55 UTC  by  Niels Breet
Maemo 5 Downloads

For Maemo 5 applications which managed to reach the Extras repository through the community QA testing queue, Downloads now has a home.

The Download catalog automatically imports all information for applications in Fremantle Extras. The only thing you need to add is a nice screenshot. (Or more if you want.)

There are quite some applications in the QA testing queue which are almost ready for promotion to Extras. We should see more entries after the Summit.

If you are coming to the Maemo Summit in Amsterdam, see you there!
Categories: downloads
Niels Breet

Proposal: XSBC-Bugtracker in debian package

2009-08-27 18:45 UTC  by  Niels Breet
While implementing the packages interface, I wanted to add a link to the bugtracker for a package or project. Eventually integrating bug reporting/searching, but more on that later. As all information is gathered from the debian packages themselves, it would make sense to have the bugtracker URL available in the control file.

There doesn't seem to be a default field in debian control files for and URL of the bugtracker which the project is using. Therefor I want to propose introducing the XSBC-Bugtracker field.

The URL of the bugtracker for this package, preferably (when applicable) the URL where you can directly file a bug. The content of this field is a simple URL without any surrounding characters such as .



By putting the bugtracker URL inside the package, people always have a way to find out where to file bugs. This could even be used for filing bugs through an application interface or crash reporter in the future.

When this feature is accepted, it should be added to the Packaging Policy too.

Please let me know what you think. Discussion at
Categories: bugtracker
Niels Breet

Fremantle maemo-select-menu-location change

2009-07-29 15:58 UTC  by  Niels Breet
While working on the package interface, I noticed that quite a few package's developers didn't notice the changes in Fremantle regarding maemo-select-menu-location.

Fremantle changes the way applications are visible in the menu. There are no sub menus like "Extra" or "Utility" anymore. All installed 3rd party software will be visible under "Applications" by default.

This means that maemo-select-menu-location is obsolete and has been removed from the SDK. More info about the removal can be found in this bug.

There are currently about 60 package instances in Fremantle Extras-devel that depend or pre-depend on this obsolete package. These packages can not be promoted to Extras-testing until their author updates the package.

Daniel has started working on a Porting to Fremantle QA wiki page, which should point out some changes needed when porting to Fremantle. I hope this will help developers with the problems they encounter for now.
Categories: maemo
Niels Breet

Introducing packages

2009-07-14 11:31 UTC  by  Niels Breet
0 package interface
Starting with Fremantle, packages can now be managed by developers through the packages interface. Community testers can help in the QA process by testing applications in the queue and giving thumbs up/down for a package.

At the same time we open the extras-testing and extras repositories for Fremantle for promotion through the interface.

The interface has the following features:
  • Package search
  • Package listings per repository
  • Only allow maintainers to promote a package
  • Request package maintainership
  • Automatic package maintainership assignment on first upload of a package
  • Automatic dependency tree checking
  • QA queue for testing repository
  • Promotion unlock to stable (Extras) repository based on karma score
  • Leaving comments when you encountered problems with a package
We index all Fremantle Extras*, SDK and Nokia-binaries repositories, so we can check for availability of every dependency. A warning will be shown on a package information page, when there are missing dependencies. Package promotion will be blocked until the issue has been resolved.

At this moment the interface is in beta testing mode, so please be aware that there might be some rough edges. Promotion will happen manually for the first few promotions, so we can make sure that everything is working. Feel free to file bugs in bugzilla, if you encounter any.

Improvements will come in the next few weeks. More integration with the autobuilder is already coming next week.

In a later post, I will discuss the new promotion process for Fremantle a bit more in depth. This is still something that needs to be refined a bit.
Categories: maemo
Niels Breet

Improving Downloads

2009-01-26 10:06 UTC  by  Niels Breet
As part of my tasks in the January 2009 Sprint for, I want to gather improvement ideas for A list of improvements that I have come up with can be found at the wiki page. If you have ideas on how we can make Downloads work better for you or have some cool feature you want to have added, please add them to this wiki page.

At the end of this Sprint, I will pick some of the ideas to which I will commit for the next Sprint. Some items that have been added to the wiki page already are:

Category reorg

We had long discussions about what packages categories to use. Implementation and deployment is currently blocked by bug #1805. The current catalog still shows a mostly randomly-selected list of categories. It should be reorganized to use the official list of categories agreed on by the community.

OS200x vs Maemo x

In the past Nokia referred to OS releases OS2007, OS2008, etc. The use of OS200x has been deprecated in favor of Maemo x (e.g., Fremantle is Maemo 5). The catalog is currently organized by OS200x, this needs to be changed to the new versioning scheme.

Automatically create entries in Downloads when package in Extras has user/* section

At the moment not all applications which are available in Extras are listed in Downloads. A script could gather basic information for all user applications in Extras and create entries in the catalog. These entries can later be updated by users to give more details about the application.

Add Application Manager install failures feedback to downloads

There is a plan to integrate install status feedback into the Application Manager. Downloads could use statistics from installation failures to display the "quality" of a package.
Categories: categories
Niels Breet

Packaging Policy change proposal

2008-11-04 16:52 UTC  by  Niels Breet
After long and heated discussions, we finally managed to finish the Better Package Categories task. When I started the discussion in April, I knew it would not be an easy task. It remained on my task lists over a lot of sprints, but now we have a result.

Ryan posted about this and proposed future in his blog.

"So, what's next?"

Now we need to get these proposed changes accepted into the Packaging Policy, so we can start to apply them. I created a wiki page for the proposed changes to the policy. Please see if you would like to see the wording changed. I will push this task for the November 2008 Sprint.

The autobuilder and Extras Assistant will soon start to give warnings when your package is not using one of the official categories. These warnings will not prevent you from uploading your package, but please try to update your package to make it comply with the policy.

As we are going to change the policy, the wiki page might also be a good place to propose other changes you would like to see in the document.
Categories: assistant
Niels Breet

New features autobuilder and Extras Assistant

2008-10-21 20:58 UTC  by  Niels Breet

Rejecting packages when the same version is uploaded for the second time.

The autobuilder has been modified to reject a package when the same version is already available in the extras-devel repository. This change will force developers to increase their package version number after each successful upload and build. In the past we've had problems in the repository where a package was uploaded twice and caused 'Size Mismatch' errors.

Package signing no longer required.

The autobuilder and Extras Assistant no longer require packages to be GPG signed. It seemed to cause a lot of grief for developers without any real benefits. This change is targetted to making uploading packages easier. Every uploader has to be authenticated to upload a package, so we can already trace back the uploader. The autobuilder signs packages which are moved into the repository.

Upload to multiple repositories at the same time.

You can now use the Extras Assistant to upload a source package to chinook and diablo at the same time. No need to do two separate uploads anymore. This feature has been requested for quite some time, let's hope it helps.
Categories: autobuilder
Niels Breet

Reducing number of external repositories #1

2008-10-02 13:00 UTC  by  Niels Breet
In my talk at the Maemo summit 2008, I talked about starting an effort to reduce the number of external repositories. Talking about this helps, but actively contacting developers and repository owners helps even more. This week I started by creating a list of all repositories we need to target. When this was done, I started to contact a lot of developers to convince them to move their packages into Extras and then close their repository.

A funny thing to mention is: Nobody had any objections to this.

Most responses were apologies for not doing it sooner. When I started this, I expected to have some resistance, but so far there was none.

This is a good thing! It seems the community wants things to change too.

How can you help?

If you know somebody developing applications in their own repository, try to convince them to move their packages into Extras(-devel). Please edit the wiki page to reflect the status of each repository.

With the help of a few people, I think we can get number of repositories in the list down quickly!

Visible results

When looking at the Gronmayer listing, you can see that more and more repositories are being removed and end up as: 'Repository is offline'.

Categories: extras