In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • Maemo 5 SDK corresponding to PR1.2 now available
    • Council candidates get set a tough set of questions
  2. Applications
    • New RSS reader, ReSiStance, in development by Modest developer
    • Official Wordpress client application in Extras-devel
    • Hide pictures and videos from Media Player using tracker-cfg
  3. Development
    • New game, mGraph, needs artistic help
    • auto-builder now running PR1.2 SDK with Qt 4.6
    • Integrating Qt Creator and MADDE in Linux
    • ...and 2 more
  4. Community
    • Maemo/MeeGo User Experience Framework
    • First MeeGo Technical Steering Group meeting minutes
    • Proposal for a MeeGo Community Council
    • ...and 2 more
  5. Devices
    • MeeGo release for N900 will be a code dump release: interesting to platform hackers only
    • PR1.1.1 finally released for UK firmware users
    • Configuring borderless/4:3 TV out on N900
  6. Maemo in the Wild
    • PUSH N900 USA winner announced: cycle dashboard
    • Will the real MeeGo please stand-up? The dangers of weak branding
  7. Announcements
    • Updated versions of Panucci, Raemote and headphoned
    • SquareIt: FourSquare application under development
    • Premium themes and theme packaging service
    • ...and 2 more

Front Page

Maemo 5 SDK corresponding to PR1.2 now available

The next major update of Maemo 5 is getting closer: the software development kit allowing developers to write and test their software for Maemo 5 PR1e2 has been released. In the announcement, danielwilms said this release contains many different additions/deletions/updates and features the Qt 4.6 library. It also contains package updates required for software designed for the next Maemo product software update coming out soon. MohammadAG has posted a set of screenshots highlighting some of the new features which users will be able to look forward to in the release.

Council candidates get set a tough set of questions

EIPI sent a set of ten of his own and three additional community-sourced questions to candidates in the Maemo Community Council election. Voters in the election will want to take a look at the answers for insights about the positions of their favourite candidates, or perhaps even help picking their favourites. Sanjeev introduces the piece, The Maemo Community Council election is drawing near, and the nomination process is closed. As you have probably heard by now, the candidate list is quite strong, comprising former and current Council members, community veterans, and relative newcomers with strong community contributions. With the hype surrounding Maemo, the N900, MeeGo, and our uncertain future, this is the hottest political arena that our community has ever seen. It is therefore with great honour that Mobile Tablets! is presenting this unofficial Q&A with the candidates as part of the lead up to the election. The election ends at 23:59 UTC on March 30th, so be sure to get your votes in by Tuesday. As the voting uses a single transferable vote, you can vote for multiple candidates but your second choice will only be considered after your first choice is knocked out.


New RSS reader, ReSiStance, in development by Modest developer

svilla, one of Igalia's Modest developers, has started work on a new RSS reader: After all the hard work required to release Modest and Tinymail I finally found some energy to start a new pet project. I have never really liked the RSS reader that comes with the Nokia N900 Igalia gave me. I looks too "Diablo" and it's not consistent at all with Fremantle look&feel. The initial version looks quite smart, but still has numerous rough edges. As it's in Extras-devel, standard warnings and disclaimers apply.

Official Wordpress client application in Extras-devel

Wordpress, one of the leading blogging software and services, has published an official Maemo client for managing - and posting to - blogs running its software. It's described as, a blogging client for WordPress based blogs that enables posting and moderation while on the move. Since the package is still in the "development" repository, care is encouraged in its use.

Hide pictures and videos from Media Player using tracker-cfg

demiurgus has published an initial version of tracker-cfg, a simple graphical interface for manipulating the meta[data] tracker settings. Since the application is still in the "development" repository, care is encouraged in its use.


New game, mGraph, needs artistic help

hopbeat, a current Maemo Community Council candidate, is developing a new logic game: "MGraph". He describes it as a simple logic game with a built-in level editor. This level editor is central to the idea of it being a "social" game: Think about game like AngryBirds. Now imagine, that instead of just levelpacks, you can directly access new levels in the game, just like if you were browsing videos on youtube. For solving given level in X tries you get 1/X points (simplification!). But also imagine, that the editor is built directly into game. You move the blocks around, choose which birds are available, creating your own level. You then solve your own level, just like you do with other levels. At this point your solution is recorded (in this case number of the bird, force an angle of shooting for it, optionally the moment of finger press when the bird is airborne). The whole solution of the level can be written in 4*number of birds (so it's lightweight). As well as an introduction to the game, there's a short video. In addition to general feedback, at the end of his post he's requesting assistance with the design of the graphical elements within the game. auto-builder now running PR1.2 SDK with Qt 4.6

As our front page story says, the SDK corresponding to the forthcoming Maemo 5 update has been released. XFade has now pushed this release to the autobuilder: I've installed the new PR1.2 SDK on the Extras autobuilder. Developers are encouraged to test their application in the PR1.2 SDK to see if everything still works as expected. If you have an application using Qt4.6, please make sure you switch to libqt4-* instead of libqt4-maemo5-*. Qt4.6 is on the device by default in the PR1.2 image. This means that developers can start building software which relies on Qt 4.6, PR1.1.1 and PR1.2 features and push them to Extras-devel (and -testing). However, the downside is that no-one can now publish updates, or new software, to existing devices until PR1.2 is released, and users upgrade.

Integrating Qt Creator and MADDE in Linux

Following on from previous instructions on how to seamlessly integrate Qt Creator (Nokia's Qt IDE) and MADDE (a self-contained cross-platform, cross-compilation toolkit) on Windows and Mac OS X, instructions have been posted on how to achieve the same level of end-to-end development and debugging on Linux: This is a guide on how to enable MADDE in QtCreator. This is part of the technology preview. After following this guidance you are able to build your sources within QtCreator for your device, and deploy, run and debug your applications with few mouse clicks from your Linux installation (Ubuntu was used for this tutorial).

Maemo Developer documentation official survey

Nokia is soliciting feedback about its Maemo developer documentation. In an email to maemo-developers, tekojo writes, Maemo Community, tell us how it is!

How is Maemo developer documentation? How should it be improved?

We want to hear it straight from You.Maemo developer documentation survey consists of 16 questions. Take a few minutes to think about the developer documentation available for Maemo (in, for example) and answer the questions [in the survey]. The survey will be available until 6 April 2010.

Proposal for MeeGo Repository Working Group

lbt has sent his proposal for a MeeGo Repository Working Group to the MeeGo-community list. The Repository Working Group (RWG) would define and oversee implementation ofthe strategy for publishing community created software with the MeeGo project.

The goal of the RWG would be to unite the various community contributions interested in applications & libraries, packaging, policy, QA processes, building, etc. Discussion about the basic assumptions of the proposal (like the necessity for a separate group from the Community Working Group) has already started, so parties interested in repository manage and policy should join in as soon as possible.


Maemo/MeeGo User Experience Framework

After a few months in development, Texrat - a current member of the Maemo Community Council, and a candidate in the current election - has posted the latest draft of his Maemo (and now MeeGo) "user experience framework". An architecture for providing joined up experiences from application acquisition through to bug and enhancement feedback, his rationale is that currently, bug reporting is difficult for end-users, testing is too ad hoc (specific) and ratings systems are not fully utilized. Support for donation-ware and gaming achievements is totally missing. Comments from both a MeeGo and Maemo perspective are welcome.

First MeeGo Technical Steering Group meeting minutes

The minutes from the first MeeGo TSG meeting are now available thanks to help from thorbo's IRC meetbot. The minutes outline the meeting topics, general info, agreed points, while also providing a complete raw log.

Proposal for a MeeGo Community Council

The first MeeGo Technical Steering Group meeting enacted the Community Working Group; headed up by qgil and Intel's Dawn Foster. dneary then proposed elected representation in the CWG: The proposal I've made is that there be a part of the community workgroup which be elected annually by direct vote by a to-be-defined MeeGo community, and another part (a majority) nominated on merit by the TSG. This will ensure all constituencies of Meego are represented on the Community Working Group, without going the whole hog & having a 100% elected body (with the continuity issues which inevitably arise). Discussions continued around whether the Community Working Group was the right place to inject that representation, or even whether there should be any elected component; with "official" positions only gained by merit. No consensus yet seems to have been reached, so it seems unlikely that the proposal will go before the TSG at this week's meeting.

Google Summer of Code students wanted for Maemo and MeeGo projects

VDVsx has, after the acceptance of as a GSoC organisation, requested that students with ideas post them and apply for the $5,000 (plus goodies) available to them: We already have a good pool of ideas, but new ideas are more than welcome, especially in the following areas: location based apps; context aware apps; social apps clients; mobile/embedded apps in general that can benefit a wide range of platforms (Maemo, MeeGo, etc).Following the merger of Moblin and Maemo, we'll also accept ideas for new MeeGo project. Applications can be made until April 9th.

Jeremiah Foster leaving debmaster position in June

jeremiah, the debmaster, is leaving the position in June. As an aside during a discussion about automated checks on the repo, he says, I am leaving the debmaster position in June and hope to have more time to do more maemian work. Hopefully this means he will continue to be involved in both the Maemo and MeeGo communities. We wish him well with his future endeavours.


MeeGo release for N900 will be a code dump release: interesting to platform hackers only

After the first MeeGo Technical Steering Group meeting, and as "day one" approaches (this week); expectations started to run high about what the first releases of MeeGo, running on the N900 would mean. qgil attempted to play down the release, saying, Please set your expectations right for next week: nothing beautiful, stable or fully featured will be released for handsets next week. 99% of you don't want to install that release in your N900 and the rest probably have two devices or is used to reflash. It's a first code dump release, nothing else. It is very important from a platform development point of view, mildly interesting for application developers (because of the architecture announced, mainly) and nothing the average user or blogger will be interested playing with. Non-Maemo operating systems have been booting on Maemo devices since 2006 and, although MeeGo will have more support from the N900's hardware vendor, expecting an end-user polished OS any time soon is unrealistic. Indeed, it's also worth noting that Nokia will (almost certainly) still have closed source "value-add" applications on their MeeGo devices; as such, only the open source web browsers, calculators, RSS readers, email clients, calendars will be runnable on a fully open MeeGo system.

PR1.1.1 finally released for UK firmware users

UK users can finally update to PR1.1.1 (only a month and a half late!). As usual, Nokia UK trails all other regions by a significant margin in shipping updates to UK users. UK device owners can install the update over the air through Application manager. No explanation has been provided as to why this region was so delayed, which impacted owners of devices bought directly from Nokia as well as through carriers like Vodafone.

Configuring borderless/4:3 TV out on N900

harbaum kicked off a thread on the maemo-developers mailing list on how the composite video out on the N900 could be tweaked, in particular to improve the output of emulators: The problem these have is that the have a black border left and right to accomodate for the 800x480 main screen and on tv-out they get another top and bottom border to display the entire internal display contents on the tv-out. The result is a 4:3 image on the 4:3 tv-out with black borders on all four sides and with pixels being lost. This isn't useful at all. The thread contains a number of different settings which developers can use to tweak the output.

Make sure phone cases for N900 don't contain magnets

nakkebar warns users to avoid device cases that contain magnets, as many of the hardware features in the N900 are controlled by magnetic detectors (including things like the lens cover and SD card) and can be confused by magnets in a case.

Maemo in the Wild

PUSH N900 USA winner announced: cycle dashboard

The winners of the PUSH N900 USA contest have been announced, Congratulations to Brett and Sarah for winning the Push N900 Mod in the USA competition, earning them the cash prize of $10,000! In just a few weeks time, they were able to turn the Nokia N900 into a bike dashboard that displays speedometer, odometer, route mapping, and even provided a car horn to make it a killer app for cyclists.

Will the real MeeGo please stand-up? The dangers of weak branding

achipa, a current candidate in the Maemo Community Council election, has posted a summary of the possibilities of confusion around the MeeGo brand: recently Nokia re-branded Maemo 6 as MeeGo / Harmattan, which uses a different package format, repositories, so not quite the same MeeGo that was originally announced, despite the general similarity. In the same vein, Moblin folks started calling Moblin 2.2 simply MeeGo. [...] MeeGo (all 8 of them if I counted correctly) risks going from a strong distribution brand for the embedded industry to being just a generic synonym for 'Linux with Qt'. Your editor had also been thinking of posting something similar. Nokia have generally stood back and said that judgment should be postponed until the Harmattan SDK and MeeGo "day one" are released.


Updated versions of Panucci, Raemote and headphoned

thp has released updates to several of his applications, Panuccia, Raemote and headphoned. Now that a preview of the PR1.2 SDK has been released, it's time to push the latest updates into the current Extras repository, so users that won't be upgrading to 1.2 as soon as it's out will get recent packages until they decide to upgrade to the new release. The list of changes includes several minor fixes and improvements. The updates are currently available in Extras-testing (standard warnings and disclaimers apply). Testers are welcome.

SquareIt: FourSquare application under development

SquareIt is a new FourSquare application under development from new site, (run by riussi. FourSquare is a social networking, location-based game and service which is increasing in popularity. SquareIt is Maemo 5-application for the popular Foursquare-service.Application is currently in alpha-stage and under heavy development. Beta-release will be some time in April 2010. This is the second FourSquare application for Maemo, after BarrioSquare.

Premium themes and theme packaging service

andrewfblack, a current Maemo Community Council candidate, has announced that he will start charging for some of his future themes; as well as providing a service for other theme makers. Andrew says that with people starting to charge for Maemo software and theme I find it hard to just give away all my work. Its kind of funny I have had several site in the last few years and not once received one donation for any of my work. It seems people don't like to donate, if something is free then they don't want to pay for it. If a theme or program cost then they don't mind paying for it. So in the next few weeks I will release my first Closed Source theme. The theme is likely to be sold directly from his website, with payment via PayPal; rather than the Ovi Store.

Toggle sending of caller ID on outbound calls with desktop widget

The prolific qwerty12 has released a small desktop widget which allows the toggling of the various "caller ID" options. It was, he says, designed to help you avoid the slow-to-load Phone control panel applet. The widget is in Extras-devel, but because of the auto-builder changes will only be installable on devices running PR1.2.

JoliStopwatch and JoliTimer - XUL-based applications

In an example of how XUL (the XML and JavaScript technology underlying Firefox and Fennec) can be used to write local applications on Maemo, joliclic has published two small applications which are useful in their own right. It's really a minimal application, I think you can use it as a 'Hello World'. To remind you, because I have Firefox Mobile (aka Fennec) on my device, I can run XULRunner applications. And it's really easy to create new ones. Moreover, potentially they will run on all platforms where Firefox will be available :) . The packages require manual installation, and Firefox Mobile (aka Fennec) but source is included.