In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • Linux Foundation statement on ->
    • Official: No plans for Nokia N9 to be launched into US, UK or German retail channels
  2. Applications
    • Reduced character support for N900 users in Greece
    • Built-in CLI tool for triggering Harmattan's "Sharing" UI
    • Warnings for various Harmattan apps
    • Customising the Harmattan swipe model
  3. Development
    • Fixing Qt Quick launching bugs in Harmattan
    • Infrastructure work on MeeGo OBS to address weekend stability issues
    • Trying to build a flashlight/torch app for harmattan
    • Harmattan Icon Generator updated to allow bespoke colour choice
  4. Community
    • MeeGo Community Office meeting - IT and
    • Meeting log from Maemo Community Council, staff & Nokia
    • Shining a light on GPL violations within an app on
  5. Devices
    • Temporarily bypassing Harmattan Aegis restrictions
    • Ovi Store client beta for N950 Harmattan
  6. In the Wild
    • Interview with Chris Weber; Nokia US customers, he's the reason you wont be getting an N9
  7. Announcements
    • GaberIn, a football keepy-uppey minigame for Harmattan
    • Stark theme for Harmattan
    • Integral - calculus on the N900
    • ...and 4 more

Front Page

Linux Foundation statement on ->

Brian Warner, one of the Linux Foundation's few members who are visible within the MeeGo Project, answered questions during the Community Office IRC meeting and followed up with an email statement:

The LF recently had to make a tough call that we won't be able to host the MeeGo community app store on our infrastructure at OSU. An addition to the core MeeGo project of this scope takes a non-trivial amount of time, people, server space, bandwidth, cooling, legal review, and so on. This is a really resource intensive activity across all lines, operational, legal, technical, etc.

We know this hasn't been a popular decision, but I want to be really clear: we're fully behind the idea of a community app store, and are happy to see take shape.

A number of people refer to, but - at least in your editor's eyes - the .org suffix will be the canonical URL for the service.

Official: No plans for Nokia N9 to be launched into US, UK or German retail channels

A slew of rumours, and then official Nokia statements, have confirmed that Nokia won't be launching the N9 in various key markets; providing cookie-cutter statements to the press along the following lines:

As an organisation Nokia takes a market by market approach to product rollout and each country decides which products to introduce from those available. These decisions are based on a local assessment of existing and upcoming products that make up Nokia’s product portfolio and are intended to provide the best local portfolio for the UK market. Although we are delighted with the very positive reception that the Nokia N9 has received, here in the UK there are no plans to offer the Nokia N9 at present.

Those eager to get their hands on it will still be able to do so, with retailers such as and Expansys offering pre-orders. However, import devices are often at a hefty price tag (a price of over £500 has been seen for a 16GB black model), and the availability and visibility of the device will be much reduced.

In any case, this is a foolish decision, which some have put down to a desire to not compete with the key markets for Nokia's upcoming Windows Phone devices; and others have put down to supply chain and logistical issues.

For subsidised availability in the UK, "jedibeeftix" has (allegedly) emailed Stephen Elop and had a response which says "operators will make decisions about which products will be made available". This is fairly self-evident as a response, of course operators decide what devices they'll make available; but Elop doesn't say whether all their range of devices will be on offer for operators to choose between, nor whether devices will be offered to operators at consistent pricing, nor whether or not particular models might be more heavily pushed by Nokia.


Reduced character support for N900 users in Greece

Michael Demetriou has made a pre-alpha piece of software available for testing to allow texting in Greek without unicode.

The only thing that is missing now from the N900 so that it can be fully used as a phone in Greece is "reduced character support"

This is a mode that was used in older nokia phones (all symbian phones and dumbphones) and some other brands' phones in order to enable users to send messages in Greek without unicode support.

There are installation details in the thread, but the process isn't a simple package installation at this point.

Built-in CLI tool for triggering Harmattan's "Sharing" UI

In a thread which Mohammad Abu-Garbeyyeh used to announce a small command-line sharing tool, "ab" pointed to an existing feature in Harmattan which did the same: Share-ui then also filters out list of supported sharing methods based on the MIME type of items to be shared. If MIME type cannot be discovered, there are only few methods that support sharing *any* content (email and bluetooth in default firmware are two examples) but all of them expect FileItem to accept the content which would not happen if files are not registered in Tracker.

Warnings for various Harmattan apps

Randall Arnold has started a thread in order to share critical warnings about applications for Harmattan (a pattern which could be followed once other MeeGo platforms get a larger number of applications and users): Starting this thread to notify the community of app behavior issues [...] note that I created this for alerting, not bug managing. The first warning is for "Video Poker" which seems to have caused Randy some phone UI issues.

Customising the Harmattan swipe model

{url:epage} blogged about a change to the Harmattan swipe UI which he thinks would be cleaner:

My idea centers on a spatial model that spans home screens, the lock screen, and applications. This could roughly be translated to virtual desktops with rules controlling which desktop different windows get launched on based on the desktop's role.

Launch an app, no matter from what screen? As it is opening the device also slides home screens over to the task switcher. Now with the app up a swipe down reveals the task switcher below. If instead you swipe up the app closes. Also you can swipe to the right to move to the launcher or left to move to the events feed.

Felipe Contreras then stepped in to say he had a similar idea, and so made the swipe behaviour configurable. Unfortunately, the configuration file is introduced in a later image than the one currently on N950s.


Fixing Qt Quick launching bugs in Harmattan

Nokia Developer's wiki has a page on what developers can do to fix a specific graphical glitch during app launch on Harmattan: When loading the application only fills part of the screen while sliding into view; If loading or bringing the application to foreground while the screen is locked or the device is in landscape a dummy toolbar and statusbar get locked in landscape mode; If loading or bringing the application to foreground while the application is in portrait, the left-hand part of the statusbar gets stuck in the corner when you rotate the device to landscape. The fix is trivial: force the window full screen before it is shown.

Infrastructure work on MeeGo OBS to address weekend stability issues

After some confused discussion in the Community Office meeting, there's finally been a public statement on the OBS woes which have plagued's main, and community, build systems for the past four weekends. Adam Gretzinger wrote: We need to do some back end maintenance to resolve some stability issues we've been seeing with OBS over the past several weeks. At the time of writing, it's unclear whether the work was successful.

The lack of personnel availability to rapidly respond to downtime across timezones and (especially) during weekends is still at issue, seemingly.

Trying to build a flashlight/torch app for harmattan

Thomas Perl needs some low-level assistance in working out how to produce a flashlight application for Harmattan; something which isn't yet available: Apparently, QtMobility has support for setting the flash to torch mode. You need to instantiate a QCamera instance, get its exposure object via .exposure() and then use setFlashMode on the exposure object to set the desired mode of operation, with QCameraExposure::FlashTorch being the interesting one. Sadly, on Harmattan, isFlashModeSupported() returns False on FlashTorch. However, at least when recording a video, the Flash lights up in red constantly, so maybe we can also set the flash to be a torch? Nicolai Hess has looked at the Qt Mobility source and found the required hooks to be unimplemented, so anyone with any advice at a lower level should have a look at the thread.

Harmattan Icon Generator updated to allow bespoke colour choice

We've previously covered Javier S. Pedro's web site which allows the uploading of an SVG to get a Harmattan (and Symbian Anna) icon, along with suggestions on your application's colour scheme. Now, however, he has just implemented the custom color feature. Ideally this would have a nice Javascripty selector but for the time being just write the RGB color in #FF0000 or #F00 format.


MeeGo Community Office meeting - IT and

This week's Community Office meeting primarily dealt with IT (and, in particular, who owns communicating and coordination of the weekend OBS outages) and the "debacle". The politics around David Greaves's reveal of the problems are interesting, and seem to indicate that the manner in which this was made visible to the community have caused problems for some.

Meeting log from Maemo Community Council, staff & Nokia

Lucas Maneos found the logs of a meeting between the Maemo Community Council (represented by RM Bauer), Nokia (Matti Airas) and Niels Breet. Topics discussed include Extras-testing QA requirements, hosting status and budgets and the long-term direction of Some highlights:

Something like the Fedora Project or Python Foundation is being considered... subject to community vote next month; for continuation and migration to other devices. we will probably limit ourselves to CSSU and Cordia, same time, have a mission statement broad enough that we can work with formeego folks if they choose. right now, activities are hardly organized.

In reality, the servers will stay on until 31-12-2012.

Shining a light on GPL violations within an app on

In an "Ask the Council!" thread on, "jedi" calls attention to an application being distributed through that contained more than a few GPL violations:

Just one example (of many): Contained in the 'app' is the Bash binary. The GPL states that if you are going to redistribute GPL code, you must make the source of your app available.

He was hosting the app on Sourceforge, but it was removed from there - possibly due to me reporting it.

He has repeatedly refused to make the source available.

It is unclear in this case if the violations were intentional, but when the author was informed of them and asked to comply with the license and release the source code he allegedly refused. Licensing is an important thing to keep in mind when developing Open Source software and is often overlooked by application developers.


Temporarily bypassing Harmattan Aegis restrictions

Javier S. Pedro's and others' continuing efforts in coercing Aegis into a more cooperative attitude are starting to bear fruit: The main goal is to disable the aegis "seal" that prevents tampering from userspace to the Aegis enforcing settings. I mentioned userspace because nothing prevents a kernel module from tampering with the seal, and that is exactly what can be done: a module that removes the seal. Further discussion has led to the topic of an on-device signing app.

Ovi Store client beta for N950 Harmattan

Nokia Developer have announced that a beta of the Ovi Store for Harmattan is now available for those lucky enough to have N950s: An early access version of the Ovi Store Client for the N950 has now been released as an update. Your N950 device will find it automatically in about 24 hours, but the impatient amongst you can go to settings, applications and check for updates.

Most of the available applications will work on your N950 and existing publicly available firmware (1.2011.22-6). However, there are a few applications in OVI Store that are created with newer pre-production SDK that may fail to install in your device for now.

In the Wild

Interview with Chris Weber; Nokia US customers, he's the reason you wont be getting an N9

VentureBeat interviewed Nokia USA President Chris Weber on a variety of topics, including the availability of the Nokia N9 in the US: The interview came on the heels of Nokia’s confirmation earlier in the day that it is killing its Symbian operating system, and also that it won’t be releasing the company latest N9 phone in the U.S. The N9, a phone built on an operating system called Meego, was an experiment and won’t be replicated, Weber confirmed in the interview. As a person familiar with a fair number of US consumers and their experiences with Microsoft's mobile offerings, this decision by Nokia USA to focus exclussively on Windows Phone at the exclussion of all other offerings certainly stinks of Microsoft plants and likely wont end well for Nokia. Whether it's ultimately to Microsoft's benefit in the long term we'll have to wait and see.


GaberIn, a football keepy-uppey minigame for Harmattan

Thomas Perl and Tim Samoff have produced a small, quick game to fill those idle minutes. Although unlikely to create the next Beckham, or Ronaldo, Alex Ferguson will approve of the football "up-in-the-air" game: Tim Samoff and I have been working on a game - it's a soccer juggling game called "Gaberln". Soccer then, if you must.

Stark theme for Harmattan

For those of you tired of looking at the "DEVELOPER EDITION" emblazened across your N950 (but don't feel like pursuing Javier S. Pedro's modifications we've covered previously), Daniel Sandman has developed a theme - "Stark" - that removes that label and fixes up some backgrounds.

Have started on a theme for the N950.. it is a very very early version. Have just changed some backgrounds. Was thinking it could be nice for some of you who do not want the "Developer Edition" printed out.

This early version has no packaging, but it is still slightly easier than manually editing the theme files to remove the branding.

Integral - calculus on the N900

Roberto Colistete Jr has writen an advanced mathematics application available in extras-devel for the N900.

undefinite, definite and numerical integration; integrals in one, two and three variables (1D, 2D, 3D); three simplification methods for non-numerical results; three numerical integration methods and arbitrary number of digits (default is 15); option to show the calculation time; option to show the not calculated integral before the result; 6 output types : simple, bidimensional, typesetting, LaTeX, MathML and C; copy&paste available in all entry fields and also in the result, allowing copying the result to anywhere; history and line completion editing in the integrand, differentials and limits.

The interface is Fremantle optimized, so anyone tired of doing integral calculus by hand should give it a try.

Mirror app for Harmattan

Nicolai Hess has developed a small application to test his COBS workflow, which allows you to Use the frontcamera as a mirror.

Butaca - movie information app released for Harmattan

Simón Pena Placer has developed and release a movie information application for Harmattan called "Butaca"

Butaca is an application which allows accessing a lot of movie-related information. It uses The Movie Database as a backend, and lets you: Browse movie genres; Search for movies and people; Shows title, rating, release date, overview and cast for movies; Shows name, birthplace, date of birth, biography and filmography for people; Allows keeping content as favorite (both movies and people); Allows sharing content using the system share interface; Search movie showtimes (launching the web browser agains Google Movies); Check what's on cinemas near you (also using the web browser) The screenshots in Simón's flickr gallery look very nicely integrated into the Harmattan style.

Shake2Skip song on Harmattan

Scifi Guy has put together a small daemon for Harmattan which skips songs when the device is shaken. It's all in the title. Shake2skip lets you skip the current song in harmattan music player by shaking the phone sideways. Harmattan users can grab a .deb from the project page.

First release of Harmattan-dedicated IRC client

Timur Kristóf has released the first version of IRC Chatter, the first IRC client dedicated to MeeGo and Harmattan. The app's homepage on is linked to from his tweet.