In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • summer coding competition
    • Brainstorming's future
  2. Applications
    • AGTL (geo-caching tool) released
    • eSpeak speech synthesiser now with GUI
    • FeedingIt, RSS reader, new version has widget
    • ...and 3 more
  3. Development
    • Autotools for Beginners
    • Maemo 5 notifications from Python
    • Business-focused development with Maemo?
  4. Community
    • Minutes from direction meeting
    • Transcript of direction meeting
    • distmaster talks about his recent efforts for the N8x0
    • {user:qgil} moving to California
  5. Devices
    • MeeGo 0.90 in vehicle with XFCE 4 and 2.6.33 kernel
  6. Maemo in the Wild
    • Will 2011 be make or break for Nokia?
    • Community member interviewed on Indian television about N900, Maemo and MeeGo
  7. Announcements
    • U-Bahn, Keyboard Repeat Switcher and updated RaeMote
    • Android-inspired theme for Maemo 5
    • Grooveshark client under development

Front Page summer coding competition

kojacker has officially announced a coding competition for the N900, intended to bolster the development community and deliver some cutting edge applications in six categories. The prizes, to be decided by forum poll from the entrants, include a donation pot (so far standing at over $150) and travel & accomodation paid for, by Nokia, to the MeeGo Conference in Dublin in November.

Are you bored waiting for new games to be released for your n900? Is your forehead wrinkled stressing about the lack of applications in the Extras repository? Does the emptiness of the Ovi store make you urinate in your sleep? And do you call out your mother's name when making love to your girlfriend because of step 4 of 5 disappointment and unrelated mental issues? Well now YOU can change that, my friends! Introducing the first ever N900 Coding Competition!

The competition runs under 21st July 2010, and there is plenty of time to get submit your application to one of the categories.

Brainstorming's future

Following the team review meeting, it was decided to hold a 7-day brainstorm to set some high-level goals for the team - and the community - to get stuck into for the next six months. Ryan Abel, one of your editors, introduced the brainstorm on the Community Council blog: In 2008, after started transitioning to community control, we had a 100 Days brainstorm to help shape the direction of The results of the 100 Days were very positive, and as we're going through a similar sort of shakeup here with MeeGo (if less immediately positive), we'd like to repeated the brainstorming process for the next 6 months. To that end, everyone in the Maemo community is invited to participate in a brainstorm over the future of and threads have been created at for each of the main areas of the website and community. Only a few hours are left, so get stuck in with your ideas on how to improve, the Maemo community, and thoughts for how, if and when we can transition to MeeGo.


AGTL (geo-caching tool) released

Daniel Fett has released an update to AGTL, the Advanced Geocaching Tool for Maemo: Just a quick update - version of the Advanced Geocaching Tool is released. It contains two bugfixes: Scrolling in the options window [and] Downloading of waypoints. The new update is now available from Extras-testing, testers are welcome.

eSpeak speech synthesiser now with GUI

Amanda Lam has released eSpeak, a Python client for the eSpeak voice synthesizer: You can now download this app from maemo extras-devel repository. This app is a very rough one and it will take some time to fix the major issues before it can be practically usable. Feel free to report issues and suggest enhancements that you would like to have. eSpeak is currently available in Extras-devel (usual warnings and disclaimers apply), testers and contributors are welcome.

FeedingIt, RSS reader, new version has widget

FeedingIt, an RSS reader for Maemo 5, now has a desktop widget in its latest release: That's right, the new version of FeedingIt, 0.6.2, is ready for testing. It has been in the Extras-Devel repository for a while. The main change in this version is the addition of a home-screen widget. This widget displays the number of unread messages for the top 8 feeds, even when the main application is not running. It also integrates a scheduler to enable regular automatic updates that will be running in the background (no need to leave the application running to get the updates). Double-clicking one of the feed titles will open the main application to display this feed.URL=

gPodder 2.6 with various Maemo 4 & 5 improvements released

Thomas Perl has posted an overview of some of the new features of the gPodder 2.6 release: gPodder 2.6 (an app for Maemo that can subscribe to and download podcasts, YouTube videos and tracks from Soundcloud) has been released today. The package is in Extras-Testing, so please test it and vote for it! A package for Diablo (Maemo 4, N8x0) is also available already, and includes some Diablo-specific fixes (the "New episodes available" selection was broken, but works correctly now).

Dealing with Facebook chat's unmerged contacts

A recent change to Facebook Chat's XMPP servers meant that previously merged contacts became "unmerged", as all your friends' identifiers changed. Marco Barisione has put together a little tool to remerge them: some changes in the Facebook XMPP servers lead to the unmerging of the Facebook contacts that were merged with local contacts in the N900 address book. To fix this problem I wrote the small utility Facebook migrator, now available in Maemo extras-testing, that automatically merges back your contacts. Please remember that extras-testing contains unstable software and mine is not an exception!

fMMS getting improved notifications UI

Nick Leppänen Larsson, the erstwhile developer of fMMS, has been working on improving its integration with the Maemo 5 UI; including the "message received" notification sysem. Daniel Would's blog post about using notifications from Python was credited with making it possible.


Autotools for Beginners

David King has posted some new tutorials to help beginners understand Autotools, the tools which make up the GNU build system: Murray wrote some autotools tutorials a long time ago, which got refreshed a couple of times, but were starting to show their age (`Wow, look at this new pkg-config thing!'). I updated them over the course of a few days, and Daniel checked that everything was as it should be. The example projects are now hosted on Gitorious for easy browsing. Lots of old and deprecated macros were removed, and it was possible to condense the information down to something that should hopefully be less scary for the beginner. This is a particularly difficult subject for most new developers and packagers, so hopefully these tutorials should help to reduce the learning curve for the toolset.

Maemo 5 notifications from Python

Daniel Would has published an article on providing email/SMS-style notifications from Python code. In the last couple of days I've spent several hours trawling the internet in search of an example of something I hoped would be fairly easy. How to trigger an IM/Email type notification event from python. Many people have asked that Witter do these style of notifications when a mention or DM is received. But how to do them? The example has already been used to good effect by Nick Leppänen Larsson in fMMS.

Business-focused development with Maemo?

Felipe Crochik asks whether any businesses are targetting Maemo - either for consumers or as ISVs shipping Maemo devices as the hardware. I imagine a lot of people on this list are somehow "sponsored" by nokia (and/or other companies) trough sponsoring open source projects. I am curious to know if there is anybody (or any software company) trying to use the maemo/n900 platform to develop software to be sold to consumers and/or companies. From time to time we see someone complaining about Ovi store not selling applications but I haven't seen anything about software being developed as some business solution. Those of us who've been involved in the Maemo community for a long time will remember companies reselling Maemo devices as a turn-key solution for their software; however the fact that your editor can't remember their name is probably indicative of their overall success - or at least their participation in the community. However, big businesses like Opera, Skype and Sygic are targetting Maemo. But is it enough?


Minutes from direction meeting

As mentioned on the front page, an open meeting was held to review the recent work of, and discuss its future direction - especially in light of the MeeGo announcements. The meeting, held on IRC, was attended by numerous members of the community; paid contributors (including Niels Breet, Carsten Munk, Dave Neary, Andre Klapper, Karsten Bräckelmann, Henri Bergius); the Community Council (Andrew Flegg, Ryan Abel, Randall Arnold, Javier S. Pedro) and Nokia (in the form of Tero Kojo). Dave Neary acted as secretary, and published the minutes: We had the community meeting (not a sprint meeting as such, more a brainstorm about where we're at, how we're working, how we can set goals and work better), and I think it was useful. Here are the minutes. The main conclusion is that we are going to run a 7 day brainstorm to help set some priorities for the community and specifically for the council & staff for the next 6 months. The full transcript of the meeting is below.

Transcript of direction meeting

As noted, here is the complete transcript of the meeting, where you can see the full (sometimes lively) discussion.

distmaster talks about his recent efforts for the N8x0

Carsten Munk, who has recently came under fire from N8x0 users for Mer's shift in direction following MeeGo's announcement and its inability to deliver in the short term on its ambitious goals, has outlined some of the work he's been doing for these devices: So, this is a new series of blog series on what I've done for the N8x0's lately. So people better see what I've actually tried to do for the owners of these devices. In this editor's opinion, both Carsten and the Mer project have been unfairly criticized for failing to deliver on unrealistic expectations, but it goes to show, once again, how important proper expectation management is (just ask the Open Pandora project). Carsten has handled the criticism with his usual aplomb and managed to smooth over ruffled feathers and help us all look towards making things better in the future.

Quim Gil moving to California

Quim Gil, the MeeGo Community Manager for Nokia and miscellaneous open source guy @ Nokia, will be moving to California this Summer. In short, the plan is to empty our house in Helsinki by the end of June, fly to San Francisco during our holidays in July and go back to work in August at the Nokia offices in Mountain View. Nokia's open source operations (particularly from the management side of things) have typically been heavily centralized in Finland. This is a nice change for the community who've typically had trouble getting ahold of community-focused people from Nokia and outside of European operating hours. Good luck to Quim and his family in the move!


MeeGo 0.90 in vehicle with XFCE 4 and 2.6.33 kernel

The MeeGo release available so far doesn't contain the "user experiences" (UXes) which will define the reference UI for the netbook and handset editions. However, the image can run a GUI in the form of lightweight desktop environment XFCE. The "in-vehicle" image has been made to work with this, and could provide a starting point for interested developers and OEMs.

Maemo in the Wild

Will 2011 be make or break for Nokia?

Randall Arnold has posted an editorial on Nokia's position in the open source handset market over the next few years: One aspect that renewed my faith was that even though 2009 did not turn out to be the breakthrough for open source that I had hoped, it looks like 2010 is setting the stage for this to be the case in 2011. For one, Nokia and Intel's MeeGo venture strengthens the possibilities in my opinion. True, proprietary solution drivers are hardening their positions more now than ever, setting the stage for an eventual showdown that's long overdue- but I expect open source to ultimately prevail and allow us to move past that exhausting argument and into the next awaiting world. MeeGo represents a major, and positive, shift in Nokia's open source strategy. One that will hopefully enable them to carve out their segment of the market they've allow companies like Apple and Google to dominate over the past few years.

Community member interviewed on Indian television about N900, Maemo and MeeGo

Vaibhav Sharma runs "Maemo Central" (aka "The MeeGo Blog"), and was recently interviewed on an Indian national television show about MeeGo, the N900 and Maemo. He says, I was recently interviewed for CellGuru, one of my favoutite tech shfows, broadcast on NDTV 24\xD77, NDTV Profit and NDTV India, all leading news channels in India. The interview was done in both English (for HDTV 24\xD77 and NDTV Profit) and Hindi (for NDTV India) and was based around the N900, MeeGo and the future of mobile. The English videos are linked to from the article.


U-Bahn, Keyboard Repeat Switcher and updated RaeMote

Thomas Perl has released two new packages and an update to RaeMote: Two new mini-apps have been uploaded to Maemo Extras: U-Bahn, a scrolling subway plan for Vienna and the Keyboard Repeat Switcher widget. While the former might only be of interest to Viennese locals and the occasional tourist, the latter is really useful when you do more serious work in X Terminal and want your hardware keys to have the "repeat" functionality in the yet-to-be-released PR1.2 firmware update. If you have PR1.2, please try them out and vote for these new packages. And last but not least: a new version of RaeMote has been released, which adds missing dependencies to the packaging information and also changes the display name of the package to be shorter and searchable. RaeMote is still not in Extras, so your votes are again very welcome on this one.

Android-inspired theme for Maemo 5

an-Droid is a theme, under development, which tries to use the look & feel from Android's theme on Maemo 5. Ricky Tournee, it's author, says he Got bored so made this. It's not "completely" android look a like since there's some limitations with Maemo OS (ie. must use dark background overall). Your editor, not one of the lucky ones who attended the Linux Collaboration Summit (and so didn't get a free Nexus One), has never really used an Android device. There are a few light themes for Maemo 5 (including a white one on Ovi Store), so hopefully Ricky will be able to get the effect he wants - including using the Droid fonts which have already been packaged for Maemo.

Grooveshark client under development

Talk user Dotblank has announced that development is underway of a new Grooveshark, a free online music streaming service, client. This is my very first (GUI) program that I have made and I am using this project as a way to learn C++ and Qt4. This program depends on libqjson and the latest pr1.2 libqt4 with phonon. There are still some bugs (playback while downloading, it works great with download then play EDIT: Streaming now works) and after I fix some and clean up the code I might release it. The application and its source are currently not available, but Grooveshark users should keep their eyes open for a release.