In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • Nokia Qt SDK 1.0 released
    • Wayfinder - N810's "Map" app - open sourced by Vodafone
  2. Applications
    • lcuk shows off cool liqbase navigation using paper
    • FreOffice now provides office editing facilities
  3. Devices
    • Problems with Ubuntu Lucid on N900 caused by Canonical compiler choices
    • Android port to N900 gets progress on phone support
  4. Announcements
    • NuvoFre 1.10 theme with summery, picture-rich feel
    • Classic Print - Edit photos to get "retro" effects
    • Pomodoro - time and task management
    • Scrobbler for Maemo v2.0 adds "love track" support

Front Page

Nokia Qt SDK 1.0 released

Nokia's Qt SDK - previously released as a cross-platform, multi-device integrated development environment - has now been properly released at v1.0: The Nokia Qt SDK 1.0 is available starting today, and it offers a true cross-platform development environment allowing developers to create applications for both Symbian and Maemo devices. Installation is easy, as it only requires one installation package that downloads all of the Qt and Symbian/Maemo components that developers need using the same Qt Creator 2.0 as standard Qt SDKs for use on Windows, Linux and Mac (beta). The Nokia Qt SDK 1.0 includes the Qt 4.6 libraries plus additional APIs for mobile development. With a fast, new simulator along with on-device debugging and the ability to compile to both .sis (Symbian) or .deb (Maemo) packages, it provides developers with a great opportunity to start creating amazing apps right away. This release, combined with the acceptance of Qt applications into Ovi, marks the point Nokia have been aiming at since buying Trolltech. Unfortunately, that's been a very long time; a time notable for confusion and conflicting messages (especially for Maemo developers).

Hopefully, with this milestone, Nokia will be presenting a consistent message for MeeGo development and that a consistent message now; exciting hardware and an open platform will allow them to make inroads against iOS and Android.

Wayfinder - N810's "Map" app - open sourced by Vodafone

When the N810 was released, its bundled map application was widely slated. It was too slow, too expensive, too inaccurate. However, then we saw Ovi Maps which came with the N900. "Come back Wayfinder" was a common refrain, with its features such as voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation; speed display; speed camera warnings; search and maps which didn't require an Internet connection. Unforunately, it was never updated and released for Maemo 5, and Wayfinder itself started shutting up shop after being bought by Vodafone, and the inability to compete with bundled, free services like Google Maps.

Now, however, much of the code behind the server, and some of the clients, has been open sourced: We are proud to announce the Vodafone Wayfinder Open Source Software project. The majority of all the location and navigation related software developed at Wayfinder Systems, a fully owned Vodafone subsidiary, is made available publicly under a BSD licence. This includes the distributed back-end server, tools to manage the server cluster and map conversion as well as client software for e.g. Android, iPhone and Symbian S60. Technical documentation is available in the wiki and discussions around the software are hosted in the forum. If nothing else, hopefully this will allow the running of community licence servers, to ensure that the full features continue to be available to N810 users.


lcuk shows off cool liqbase navigation using paper

Gary Birkett has shown off the latest trick of his liqbase engine: triangulating an N900s position using a static light source. After showing it off on IRC, he posted to Talk, Many people know I have strong desire to operate a cluster of maemo tablets together operating as one. I took a massive step towards that goal yesterday by overcoming one of the most challenging technical issues with such a thing. I needed to be able to detect the location of my devices with reasonable accuracy and reproducibility. One example of use would be an enormous "liqflow" with the particles seeming to move from one N900 to another.

FreOffice now provides office editing facilities

FreOffice is a Maemo/mobilee spin-off of KDE's KOffice. Up until now, it has only been able to act as a viewer; now, however, it comes with editing capabilities for Word and Presentation files. And will be extended to spreadsheet soon. Word & Presentation files can be created from scratch as well. Obviously it's still at an early stage, so v0.2-8 is only available through Extras-devel.


Problems with Ubuntu Lucid on N900 caused by Canonical compiler choices

alan bruce, developer of the "Easy Debian" chroot (for running a subset of a fully fledged Debian system alongside Maemo), grumbles about the compiler choices made for the recent ARM release of Ubuntu: Somebody decided that it would be funny to design the Ubuntu Lucid (and newer) Arm version to run only on the Arm A8 with Thumb2 instruction set. The problem is that the N900, one of the only Arm A8 devices in general distribution, has a buggy Thumb2 implementation. This means that Ubuntu versions higher than Karmic are unstable and crash-prone on the N900. He goes on to explain why those decisions cause particular problems. However, Alan is responding (and quotes) a link to a video showing off a very nice ARM-based netbook, running Ubuntu. Unfortunately, the ARM-based Psion netBook in your editor's drawer is unlikely to make the cut.

Android port to N900 gets progress on phone support

Talk user "dj_steve" is leading a resurgence on NITDroid, a port of Android (including the latest version) to Maemo devices, including the N900. The technical thread has lots of information, but one particular tit-bit this week: I have just (literally 20mins ago) got partial phone support working (it shows signal strength and going off the logs registered to network, couldn test/fix any further tonight as batt was low. but progress has been made.


NuvoFre 1.10 theme with summery, picture-rich feel

Urho Konttori, the developer behind Theme Maker and now working for Nokia, has updated his Theme Maker test theme, NuvoFre, with strong photographic backgrounds and much lighter backgrounds than the default Maemo 5 themes provide. A commenter on the screenshots on Urho's blog said, Looks like a winner. Will be consuming when I can get my hands on it. The new version is not yet available in Extras-devel or -testing. Technical users can download the deb file directly and install it manually, if they understand the risks.

Classic Print - Edit photos to get "retro" effects

Roy Hopkins has released "Classic Print", an application to alter photos to look like they were taken with old, cheap, cameras. The settings are grouped into "Lens", "Film" and "Processing" to simulate the photographic process of a cheap classic camera. You can save your favourite settings for each of these groups and give them a name or you can tweak them individually to see the effect. The application is in Extras, so has gone through the community QA process. Look at the screenshots and give it a go.

Pomodoro - time and task management

A new time and task manager has been released by Sakari Hyöty: Pomodoro is a task management application based on The Pomodoro Technique ideology by Francesco Cirillo. The idea of the application is to help users organize their daily tasks and easily keep track work progress. The technique is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility, so uses a timer to break down periods of work into 25-minute intervals. The application is currently in Extras-testing.

Scrobbler for Maemo v2.0 adds "love track" support

Felipe Contreras has renamed (to comply with the Maemo Trademark Policy), and updated (to add loads of new features), his "scrobbler" which integrates into Maemo 5's multimedia framework. The plugin supports both last- and, and there have been many improvements over the 1.0 release: Support to "love" tracks; Detect network connectivity; Proxy support; Support for Now-Playing. The package is available in Extras-testing. Felipe mentions in the comments against the package that there is a "nasty crash" in the version in Extras-testing, but has not yet pushed the replacement from Extras-devel. That may mean it's not quite at the quality he'd want yet.