In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • State of Maemo, Q3 2010.2
  2. Applications
    • gPodder UX poll
    • MaePad updates
    • Moving Maemo 5 app UIs to MeeGo, Harmattan & Symbian
    • gPodder running with desktop UI & Maemo-style pannable areas on IdeaPad
  3. Development
    • Getting started with OBS on MeeGo
    • Using Shed Skin to compile Python to C++
    • Qt Creator 2.1, with Qt Quick features, gets release candidate
  4. Community
    • MeeGo Summit: Oulu, Finland May 30-June 1
    • Meegolandia 2011, Tampere, Finland Apr 15-16
    • Social News & Planet for MeeGo
    • MeeGo musicians assemble
  5. In the Wild
    • Virtual keyboards, and dasher
    • ARM Cortex A9 demo from Sony Ericsson running MeeGo
  6. Announcements
    • New N900 "Easy Debian" image available
    • Command-line sharing plugin now in Extras-devel

Front Page

State of Maemo, Q3 2010.2

The latest post on the Maemo Community Council (of which one of your editors, Andrew Flegg, is a member) blog from Tim Samoff looks at some of the issues facing the and the Maemo Community in the coming months and years after the MeeGo Confernce. Over the next weeks and months, some of the things the Council discussed will be further investigated within the Maemo Community. Other items of interest will just begin to happen. But, the main thing to understand is that Nokia is still very interested in supporting this community and allowing us to carry forward in exciting ways. There are still plans to sponsor the community infrastructure (website, paid employees, etc.), ideas about opening various pieces of Maemo source code that are still closed, and helping us to develop a successful community SSU. Likewise, there are still plenty of Nokia employees -- even those who have been permanently reassigned to MeeGo -- who want to continue helping us to be a world class open source software community. If you're unsure of what MeeGo means for Maemo, understand that the Maemo Community's job is not complete. We may be entering a new phase of life, but there is still more to come. There are certain to be interesting times ahead both for Maemo and mobile open source in general and the Maemo Community is still positioned to be significantly involved in the changes taking.


gPodder UX poll

John Veness is looking for feedback on a new UI proposal for Thomas Perl's podcast application, gPodder. My proposal is that instead of a dialogue popping up from the bottom, a "stacked window" (i.e. one that and has a back arrow in top-right) slides in which contains the shownotes immediately, and has the remaining buttons at the bottom [...] I have made this suggestion to thp using (see the feature request at and he suggested setting up this poll to see what the rest of the user population prefers. It is worth reading that bug report for more information. If you use gPodder and are interested in this issue, check out the Talk thread and vote.

MaePad updates

Thomas Perl has another round of updates to his MaePad, MaePadWeb, and Trophae applications: Version 1.9 of MaePad is out, with a new translation into Catalan, updated Finnish (thanks to Marko Vertainen) and German translations, a "No items" indicator in empty checklists and full auto-rotation support (detailed changelog). [...] Also new is MaePadWeb 2.1, which adds a missing dependency on python-simplejson. The app worked fine for me since the initial release, so I'm also promoting it to Testing now. [...] And as a third release this week, I noticed that Trophae, the PS3 Trophy Viewer app, didn't get its newest release (6) uploaded to Fremantle Extras-Devel for two months, so I've re-uploaded it, and also put it up for testing. And even though the code is lame, it's now published in aGit repository if you want to hack on it. All updates are currently available in Extras-testing. The adventurous among you will want to test and vote.

Moving Maemo 5 app UIs to MeeGo, Harmattan & Symbian

Thomas Perl has started looking at how to move gPodder's user interface to Qt - and, more specifically, Nokia's preferred UI development technology; Qt Quick: Sooner or later it will be necessary to create a QML UI for gPodder if it is to integrate nicely with devices on which Qt is the "native" toolkit for third party apps. At the moment, the reusable UI elements that can be used with QML (Qt Components) have not yet been officially released (the Git repository is available on Gitorious, though), and there are no UI style guidelines for Harmattan out (yet?). I'm also not able to locate UI style guidelines for QML apps on Symbian^3, and there are only a few small sample QML apps out right now. Thomas goes on to ask for input on how it could be put together, until the common widget set of Components arrives. Ville Vainio has commented on the post, pointing to Colibri - a community-developed set of widgets and components for use with Qt Quick.

gPodder running with desktop UI & Maemo-style pannable areas on IdeaPad

Thomas Perl has a new demo up of gPodder running on his MeeGo Conference IdeaPad: This is gPodder (Git master branch as of 2010-11-24) with Touch UI enabled (Diablo-style context menus + Hildon 2.2 PannableArea + Finger Friendly buttons) running on a Lenovo Ideapad S10-3t (running Ubuntu Netbook). Needs a recent version of python-hildon (from Maemo 5) for PannableArea. Set enable_fingerscroll = True in the config to enable this UI mode.


Getting started with OBS on MeeGo

Witht he release of the community OBS on (and the forthcoming Fremantle OBS for; people are asking how to get started using this new, and more powerful, build system. The documentation on the wiki, though, is taking shape: This track will give you a brief introduction to the features and capabilities of the OBS instance hosted at build.[pub.] [...] You'll learn how to use the webinterface, the commandline client and create your first package. The packaging guidelines and more advanced topics are also covered. One of the inherent problems with documenting this stuff is that the infrastructure experts deploying it either know it too well, or don't use it day-to-day for their own development needs. It's therefore encouraged that if you find errors, omissions or wish to help expand it further, you get stuck in and make changes to the wiki documents.

Using Shed Skin to compile Python to C++

George Ruinelli wanted to speed up the algorithms of his Python applications, without sacrificing the development speed; so he looked to a project to compile Python modules into proper object code, allowing near-native performance. He introduces his article on the subject: Shed Skin is a tool to create python modules writen in c. This is usually used to speed up program code which is time critial and where python is too slow. The authors of Shedskin say the following about it: 'Shed Skin is an experimental compiler, that can translate pure, but implicitly statically typed Python programs into optimized C++. It can generate stand-alone programs or extension modules that can be imported and used in larger Python programs.' As I write some python software for my Maemo based phone N900, I started to look into speeding up some of the program code. The application "SleepAnalyser", by George, is using Shed Skin in its 1.8 version in Extras-devel.

Qt Creator 2.1, with Qt Quick features, gets release candidate

Nokia have published a release candidate of Qt Creator 2.1, the IDE component of the Qt SDK: The Release Candidate is the last stop before Qt Creator 2.1 reaches final release. As per all of our releases, the Release Candidate is the exact version we intend to release, put out there for you to use as part of a familiarisation and final review process. Key elements within Qt Creator 2.1 that are not present in 2.0 are the tooling components for Qt Quick. These represent the third and final piece of Qt Quick. Attila Csipa gave a quick demo of the Qt Quick features in the IDE to your editor at the MeeGo Conference, and he was very impressed. The visual and source focuses, but with features available in both and the ability to switch between them within the same project are very enticing; and should allow a closer collaboration between designers and developers in Maemo, MeeGo and Symbian applications.


MeeGo Summit: Oulu, Finland May 30-June 1

A MeeGo Summit is being organized next year in Oulu, Finland from May 30th-June 1st. The agenda will apparently include keynotes from Anssi Vanjoki, Martin Curley, Valtteri Halla and more. Preregistration is open now, check out the website for details.

Meegolandia 2011, Tampere, Finland Apr 15-16

The first Meegolandia event is being organized for April 15th-16th in Tampere, Finland. Those wishing to track the progress of the event organization may with to follow them on Twitter.

Social News & Planet for MeeGo

Two of the bigger features of are the social news and planet, which provide crowd-sourced news ranking and blog aggregation. The push to implement these features in has been ongoing since the beginning of the year and has finally been deployed. The system was ready for deployment already in the spring but was unfortunately put on hold waiting for the new infrastructure to be in place. But now the wait is over and we have the system running in (for full planet see We have integrated authentication with MeeGo's LDAP service, so your normal account should enable you to log in and vote for items. Be sure to check out the news and vote!

MeeGo musicians assemble

Randall Arnold is looking to organize some sort of MeeGo community musical project: I am looking to the MeeGo community for musical talent, which I do know we have. This is for a little project that may or may not turn into anything at all, but I think it's worth a try. Sorry to be secretive, but it's for a surprise for the community at large. Vocalists and players of small, portable instruments welcome. If you've got musical talent, be sure to check out the MeeGo-community mailing list.

In the Wild

Virtual keyboards, and dasher

Based on discussions at the MeeGo Conference, Thomas Thurman has posted a JavaScript mockup of a dasher-based virtual keyboard. Last week at the MeeGo Conference several people were talking about virtual keyboards, and the idea came up of doing predictive text, either by making more likely letters physically larger, or merely by increasing their sensitivity. When I came home, I wrote a JavaScript mock-up based on a third-order Markov chain. It's quite fun to play with, especially on a touchscreen. When I showed this to a few people at Collabora and elsewhere, Rob McQueen suggested avoiding reinventing the wheel by using the rather wonderful Dasher system as a back end. Virtual input is an interesting subject, especially with the numerous formfactors likely to be using the MeeGo platform in the near future, we haven't seen anything particularly new or interesting on a real product since the iPhone launch in 2007.

ARM Cortex A9 demo from ST-Ericsson running MeeGo

ST-Ericsson recently demoed their ARM Cortex-A9-based U8500 platform (acceleration provided by ARM Mali-400) running MeeGo at the ARM Techlonogy Conference 2010 in Santa Clara, CA.


New N900 "Easy Debian" image available

alan bruce has announced that the latest image of his "Easy Debian" environment is available: New N900 Easy Debian image available, including the much faster OpenOffice 3.2.1: Just run your Easy Debian installer to get the new image. Those who want to install it from scratch can find it in Extras.

Command-line sharing plugin now in Extras-devel

Tuomas Kulve has ensured that the services plugin which allows sharing content with arbitrary upstream servers (or the execution of any other command against it) has been packaged properly and put in Extras-devel: I reflashed my device and the biggest annoyance after restoring the backup was recompiling the sharing-cli plugin as it was not in any repository. Now it is. It has been working for me for several months without issues, although I’ve been sharing only medium size images over a decent connection. It might not succeed in sharing videos over GPRS. At the time of writing, "sharing-cli" is still only available in Extras-devel, so the usual caveats apply.