In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • Time running out on Nokia's $50,000 prize app competition
    • libqt4-maemo5-... packages have been deprecated and will be removed
  2. Applications
    • WeatherBug for Maemo 5
    • Forthcoming update to Sygic Mobile Maps 10 demoed on video
  3. Development
    • Open, automated, testing of Qt changes
  4. Devices
    • MeeGo UX on an Intel-based tablet device
  5. Announcements
    • IBM, ARM, Linux Foundation and others announce Linaro
    • maemo-scrobbler submits listening history to
    • Portrait virtual keyboard for Maemo 5 under development
    • ...and 4 more

Front Page

Time running out on Nokia's $50,000 prize app competition

Nokia is running a competition, "Calling All Innovators", where the best applications submitted for their various platforms - including Maemo - can win up to $50,000 in prize money. In reminding us of the impending deadline (submissions have to be in by 03:59 UTC on Friday, 12 June), Quim Gil quoted Forum Nokia: Regardless of category, all application submissions are eligible to win special prizes. For instance, the best application for the Nokia N900 and the best cross-platform application using Qt will both receive $50,000 (USD). Check out all the prizes on the contest website. With over 900 entries so far, the chances of a Maemo app winning one of the top four categories is small - however, there will be one good N900 application walking away with $50,000 in the developer's pockets. Your editor hopes its one of the open source applications in's Extras; rather than a large commercial software house's Ovi Store offerings - if only due to the difference in significance the prize money would make to the recipient.

libqt4-maemo5-... packages have been deprecated and will be removed

The packaging of Qt (4.5, then 4.6 and now 4.7 experimental) for Maemo has been a pain; but erstwhile Maemo Community member Attila Csipa has been leading the charge to get it sorted. Firstly, in response to the community's requests, the experimental Qt 4.7 packages have the word "experimental" in their package name; and PR 1.2 includes Qt 4.6 out of the box. Therefore, it's now time to tidy up the mess that's been left behind by the previous experimental packages which are now shipped as standard - but with different names. Attila announced, on the Community Council blog and maemo-developers mailing lists, that the "libqt4-maemo5-..." packages were to be removed, along with any packages depending on them: We'd like to inform all Maemo developers that with the public release of PR1.2 for Maemo 5, the libqt4-maemo5-* packages have been officially deprecated in the extras-devel repository, and will be completely removed by June 30th at the latest. If you still have packages that depend on these Qt packages, please alter them or resubmit to extras-devel with either libqt4-* dependencies (for Qt4.6), or libqt4-experimental-* dependencies (for Qt4.7). If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with the council (, ask on maemo-developers or on


WeatherBug for Maemo 5

Mark Guim has a review, including video, of a new detailed weather application - WeatherBug - which is now available, for free, in Ovi Store. When you first open the application, it asks you for the location either by zip code or city. You can enter more than one and toggle through them on the main panel. There are four panels on the right that can display maps, forecasts, video, and even a photo outside your nearest weather station. The Weatherbug application gives more information than I really need, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Your editor hasn't tried it, with Foreca Weather and OMWeather both available.

Forthcoming update to Sygic Mobile Maps 10 demoed on video

Cosimo Kroll has posted a video (with English subtitles) previewing Sygic Mobile Maps 10 - which should be coming to Maemo "soon". With the dire state of Ovi Maps (depending on a network connection when abroad is just not a flyer for your editor), a proper navigation application is required for Maemo 5. Welcome to a new video of the maemo Programs: series! I am zehjotkah from This video is about the new version of Sygic Mobile Maps. This is still a beta-version and not available yet. [...] Another new thing are the online services like traffic alerts, weather and speedcam alerts. Another new important feature is that you can now navigate directly by chosing a contact from your adress-book in Sygic, which is imported automagically.


Open, automated, testing of Qt changes

Robin Burchell has continued his series of blog posts on openness within Qt with a piece on community integration testing. His plan consists of a community Qt repository (managed by an integration script) which has Qt's source code overlaid with merge requests; these are built and the unit tests run, with the output being put online. So, after I've described all of the above utopia, what's the current status? Well, I've got a lot of the pieces in place, and now I'm fighting problems with Xvfb causing some of the Qt GUI tests to fail *sometimes*, (even though they don't when I run them manually). Once that is solved, I hope to start adding people's access to integration, and start test-integrating merge requests. Hopefully, all this work will help to accelerate the time it takes to send merge requests back for review if they break something, and ease the burden on getting requests merged in (due to requiring a little less testing). Time will tell. But at least I'm doing my bit. Patches welcome. :) Continuous integration and rapidity in merging patches are key to making large pieces of software work with multiple developers, especially if more developers are going to be available in future. Hopefully Robin's efforts will open up the toolkit and the APIs which are in Maemo and MeeGo's future.


MeeGo UX on an Intel-based tablet device

Engadget have video and photos of demo hardware Intel showed off recently: a 10" tablet computer running their "Moorestown" platform and an unreleased Tablet UX for MeeGo. Engadget summarised their impressions: We saw a lot of new technology demoed at Intel's Computex keynote this afternoon, but the most impressive thing may have just been MeeGo running on a 10-inch Moorestown Quanta Redvale tablet. While the demo on stage was very brief, we caught up with some of the product managers right after the presser and convinced them to give us a peek at what is coming in 2011. Rather than being based on the touch-focused Handset UX, it seems to be based on the Netbook UX - this is, perhaps, not surprising given Intel are developing the Netbook UX (from Moblin); and Nokia are developing the Handset UX. This provides another reminder that MeeGo is still very much a work in progress, both from a technological and organisational point of view.


IBM, ARM, Linux Foundation and others announce Linaro

IBM, Samsung, ARM, Freescale, ST-Ericsson, Texas Instruments and the Linux Foundation announced a new not-for-profit company, Linaro, this week. The company, including engineers from Canonical, aims to commoditise the base layers of Linux on ARM, in the same way that Linux on x86 is massively portable from one chipset to the next. The outfits mentioned above are coming together to form the UK-based Linaro (a not-for-profit entity), which currently has 25 engineers but will see that figure shoot up to nearly a hundred around the world in the coming days. In short, the new firm -- which will have an annual budget in the "tens of millions of dollars" but below "$100 million" -- is seeking to "speed the rollout of Linux-based devices," with one of the key points being this: Linaro will "provide a stable and optimized base for distributions and developers by creating new releases of optimized tools, kernel and middleware software validated for a wide range of SoCs, every six months." There's talk - from Linaro, at least - of efforts like Android, MeeGo et al being able to use their base. However, there's been no word from the MeeGo architects yet as to whether sharing the base layers of the platform is something that is on their roadmap.

maemo-scrobbler submits listening history to

Felipe Contreras has announced a new "scrobbler" - an application that submits the music you're listening to to a central website - for Maemo 5, targetting the and services. He says, maemo-scrobbler is a scrobbler application ( for the Nokia N900 that listens for events coming from the official media player app through MAFW.You can configure your accounts through the control panel. The inspiration (and some code) comes from mafw-lastfm which does basically the same thing but lacks some features. The announcement on the Maemo mailing lists was met with some tension between the developer of mafw-lastfm (the first proper Maemo scrobbler) and maemo-scrobbler. Despite the former's perceived duplication of effort; the competition does seem to be spurring development of both on. The package is currently in Extras Testing, so users who are willing to test, vote and brave possible unfortunate side effects are able to test it.

Portrait virtual keyboard for Maemo 5 under development

Robin Burchell and Nick Leppänen Larsson have collaborated to begin development of a portrait keyboard for Maemo 5. This is an early, crazy, work-in-progress announcement regarding a portrait keyboard for Maemo 5 that [Nick Leppänen Larsson] and I are working on in our copious free time. [...] I should add that this is originally from one of the hildon input method examples, much thanks to [Carsten Munk] and [Daniel Martín Yerga] for sending me in the right direction with getting it working, and awesome kudos to frals for getting this in a releasable state. Robin goes on to outline some of the projects current limitations--no fast input, text cleared on orientation change, non-user-friendly installation procedure, etc.--and some future plans for the project--including predictive input, and a separate landscape layout. It is currently available from Extras-devel (standard warnings and disclaimers apply), and contributors are welcome. Interested parties should talk to frals or w00t on #maemo.

Guided bulk merging of contacts

Marco Barisione has announced the development of a plugin for the Maemo 5 Address Book which aims to streamline bulk merging of contacts: Today I finished writing the first version of a program that tries to automatically detect duplicates based on the IM names, emails, phone numbers and names. Of course this is just based on heuristics; you still have to go through the list and select the contacts that you want to merge. This new utility is called Contacts Merger (as you can see I have a lot of imagination) and it's available in Maemo extras-devel. Remember that extras-devel contains unstable software: enable it only if you really know what you are doing! As Marco says, Extras-Devel should not be enabled for a long period of time - and users should never do a mass update of applications from there, unless they're willing to suffer breakage.

Replacement Calendar widget with more functionality

Nicolai Hess has released a replacement for the built-in calendar widget which seeks to improv upon functionality its limited functionality by providing a much more useful and customizable experience. I've tried to make it look like the built-in widget. And added some small ui changes and some setting options. The new widget is currently undergoing testing in Extras-devel, contributors and testers are welcome.

OpenDune - remake of Dune II - now available

Tomasz Sterna has released a port of OpenDune, an open source re-creation of the popular game "Dune II", originally made by Westwood Studios. It is currently available from Extras-devel (standard warnings and disclaimers apply).

Update IM statuses with song information

Tom Swindell has released a new application, Media IM Status Updater, to update your IM status with the information of the currently playing song. Now all your friends can know exactly what song you're listening to on your Nokia N900 no matter where you are. [...] The application was written mainly in Python, probably about 300 lines of code, with a small C library to plugin the configuration UI into the N900's "Settings" application. The package is currently available from Extras-devel (standard warnings and disclaimers apply).