Extras enabled out-of-the-box on Nokia's next device?
Andrew Flegg, your editor, has started a discussion as to whether Nokia is intending to keep a community Extras repository enabled on their Harmattan device (due to be released later this year). After a long time, Nokia enabled Extras for out-of-the-box on Maemo 5, meaning that users would see a large range of software when going to Application Manager. I think this has been crucial to the success of the N900 - certainly, if I get a device and go to its "get more software" app/page and see only a few apps, I think the ecosystem is dead. The community put in place a QA system to ensure quality; I think this has also worked (relatively) well to prevent major obvious breakages getting through. The discussion is important for users, developers and people wishing to see the platform succeeds. If users get a bad experience, they'll think the platform sucks; if they see no applications, they'll think the platform sucks. Contributions from Faheem Pervez, Quim Gil, Talk user "slender" and Attila Csipa have already explored some of the issues on both sides. Of course, more input is always welcome.
Pelota Fifa Widget shows World Cup scores as they happen
Football fever has taken over the world with the most popular sport on the planet holding its four-yearly World Cup. It being held in South Africa means that matches are generally well timed for watching in the UK; but some still fall into the middle of the working day. Other timezones are even less lucky. So, a new desktop widget for Maemo 5 shows you the current matches' live scores: Pelota is a widget for Nokia N900 which displays live status of FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010. With this which we can know the current goal scores of match that happening. Every goal that happens, a beep and vibration indicates to you about a goal. The package is installed from a third party repository (which is currently down) and so has gone through none of the normal community QA processes.
Hermes updated - now with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Gravatar and find-as-you-type matching
Hermes, an application which enriches your contacts information using social networking data by one of your MWKN editors Andrew Flegg, has been updated to a newer version after a long effort by Andrew and Fredrik Wendt. The highlights in this version include an enormous refactor to enable easier addition of new services; the inclusion of LinkedIn and Gravatar support and, for usability, a feature Mark Guim writes about: Find-as-you-type contact matching makes it much faster to connect the dots between your unmatched friends and their online profiles. After Hermes does its magic, there might be a few people in your contacts list that remain unmatched. All you need to do in the new version is start typing at the screen with the online profiles. The N900 will try to filter the list for right person, and the user selects which profile matches the contact. As the code has undergone such an enormous refactor, bugs are inevitable. Hermes 0.8 is currently in Extras-testing and feedback is welcome from those willing to try it.
Chromium removed from maemo.org repos, due to ongoing legal action
This week, the Chromium package was removed from the maemo.org repositories. Unfortunately maemo.org ended up a target of the ongoing legal action between Red Bend Software and Google. The suit addresses Google use of the "Courgette" algorithm, which makes pushing partial software updates easier, in their Chrome and Chromium browsers. This algorithm is, apparently, covered in a 2003 software patent Red Bend holds. A few weeks ago we received a letter requesting that maemo.org cease distribution of Chromium, due to ongoing litigation involving the software. The Community Council, the package maintainer of Chromium on maemo.org and Nokia legal were contacted. As you are aware, it is Nokia's policy to respect the intellectual property rights of third parties. Thus, we suggested that Chromium be removed from maemo.org while the situation was clarified. Nokia Legal is currently investigating the exact role maemo.org fills in relation to Nokia, which should, hopefully, make maemo.org less of a target for legal crossfire and Nokia less liable for what takes place on the website. The possibility of removing the algorithm from the Maemo build of Chromium to allow it to be distributed again is currently being investigated.