In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • Nokia CEO replaced with former Microsoft executive
    • Ten candidates running for Maemo Community Council election
  2. Applications
    • QuickFlickr updates and video demo
    • Update on Maemo 5 Xournal
    • facebrick developer stops his development
  3. Development
    • MeeGo specification opened for discussion: what's allowed for a 'MeeGo' package?
    • Python developers get bindings for MeeGo Touch Framework
    • Introduction to, and status update on, Qt Quick Components
    • Using the Menu API in Qt Web Runtime
  4. Community
    • Hotel cancellation policy for MeeGo Conference
    • Join/Create a local MeeGo community
    • Early Bird Events being organised for weekend before MeeGo Conference
    • New local MeeGo Network candidate: Montréal, Canada
  5. Devices
    • OpenWrt on N810 with kexec support
    • Work in progress to get MeeGo on Nexus One & Dell Streak
    • WeTab Internet tablet will use MeeGo
    • u-boot as secondary bootloader on N900
    • SHR, embedded lightweight Linux, running on N900
  6. Maemo in the Wild
    • Light-based grafitti
  7. Announcements
    • Tim Samoff running for Maemo Community Council
    • Ruediger Schiller running for Maemo Community Council
    • Cosimo Kroll running for Maemo Community Council
    • ...and 6 more

Front Page

Nokia CEO replaced with former Microsoft executive

Randall Arnold was one of the first in the community to break the news that Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo (usually known by his initials, OPK) was stepping down from the helm of Nokia to make room for Stephen Elop, moving in from Microsoft. Elop was previously running the Microsoft Business Division; after senior positions at Adobe and Macromedia. Randy notes that OPK's head has been on the block for a while, and that even if Nokia's struggles the past few years were not his fault, directly or indirectly, it's an unfortunate fact of the fast-paced business world that stockholders often need a sacrificial lamb in order to regain confidence. CEOs, right or wrong, make the most obvious target. Numerous analysts have said that fixing the platform, and attracting developers will have to be his #1 priority. It's unclear whether the dual-approach of Symbian & Maemo/MeeGo Nokia have been following under OPK will be seen as an unncessary cost and duplication when there are alternative "off-the-shelf" OSes such as Android, or even Windows Mobile 7, available to license. New CEOs rarely trigger immediate shifts in focus and tactical operations; his impact will be felt in the middle of next year (at the earliest), meaning that the first MeeGo-oriented devices from Nokia are unlikely to be affected.

Rumours that Microsoft encouraged him to take up the CEOship at Nokia to drive the final nails in the coffin, whilst simultaneously letting OPK move to Apple (or Google); have no truth. This is, almost certainly, not part of a Machiavellian plan to get Windows Mobile some success in the market place.

Ten candidates running for Maemo Community Council election

With nominations closed, there are ten candidates for the elections for the next six-month term of the Maemo Community Council:

* Andrea Grandi

* Tim Samoff

* Rüdiger Schiller

* Cosimo Kroll

* Andrew Flegg

* Stephen Gadsby

* Felipe Contreras

* Robin Burchell

* Kathy Smith

* Attila Csipa Voting opens this Thursday: 16th September. The council acts as a bridge between Nokia's community efforts and engagement and the Maemo enthusiast, power-user and developer community. As well as helping to provide focused leadership for the community, oversight of the paid team, and facilitation of community activity.


QuickFlickr updates and video demo

A new update for QuickFlickr brings a slew of new features and improvements: Latest uploads from contacts, contact photostream, single image details: views, tags, description, comments, displaying image details in a webview, displaying a webpage from link inside the description, favorites: viewing your favorite images, adding and removing a favorite image, and recent activity: display number of comments and favorites of your images, displaying and adding comments The application is still in the beta stage, but interested testers and contributors can find it in Extras-devel (usual boilerplate).

Update on Maemo 5 Xournal

Aniello Del Sorbo has posted an update on both Xournal's progress and, more generally, his current activity in the Maemo/MeeGo community. First of all, I hoped to have more spare time to dedicate to the completion of the Maemo version of Xournal. The latest version in extras-devel still need some fixing and at least a bunch of features before pushing it to Extras. [...] So, the plan is to complete the Maemo version, push it to Extras and then start working on the MeeGo version. [...] Only big issue is, again, time. If you're interesting in helping out, download the source and contact Anidel.

facebrick developer stops his development

The facebrick developer, Robin Burchell, has announced his intentions to stop working on the application: As many of you might have noticed in recent times, facebrick has ceased to work. This is (obviously) unfortunate, but mostly out of my control. I have attempted to look into this, without any luck, and at this point, I've decided to make it public that I have no desire to further work on Facebrick. Facebook seem to have changed something on their API, which has caused Facebrick to cease to function, with an error about invalid source IP on the client end (but this is actually misleading: the real problem is that the session proxy appears to no longer work, constantly returning error 100 - invalid parameter). Robin cites his reduced usage of Facebook, dissatisfaction with Facebook's attitudes, and poor developer documentation as reasons for ending his development efforts. If you're interested in helping to continue the development of facebrick, see the thread linked at the end of the blog post.


MeeGo specification opened for discussion: what's allowed for a 'MeeGo' package?

Mats Wichmann unveiled a draft specification of MeeGo - both for applications and distributions. A lot of discussion turned to a section regarding what a "MeeGo-compliant" package could rely on; with the spec going down a similar road to Maemo's Ovi Store: a package can depend on the Core, but everything else has to be bundled inside. Someone else said there are simply two different models: the repository-based model where the installer resolves certain dependencies (and it's easy enough to SAY something like "may only depend on components of MeeGo core, or from MeeGo compliant packages"); and one where an app may have no dependencies at all, basically "depend on MeeGo" is it, everything else is self contained. The majority of sentiment in the thread was that community packages *must* be able to depend on other community packages if MeeGo is to have any open source ecosystem at all; however the complexities in achieving that with a multi-vendor, multi-form factor OS (trying to compete with iOS and Android) may not make its path to the specification easy - or quick.

Python developers get bindings for MeeGo Touch Framework

PySide, Nokia's Python library for driving Qt applications, has now got bindings for MeeGo Touch Framework; allowing Python applications to become first class citizens on MeeGo: We've just uploaded the initial version of the libmeegotouch bindings, including a pretty big example based on the C++ example "widgetsgallery" which explores the main widgets and features. As stated in the official MeeGo Touch documentation: 'MeeGo Touch is a cross-platform application and UI framework library built on top of Qt.'

Introduction to, and status update on, Qt Quick Components

Qt Quick, a framework for building custom user interfaces on Qt, has received a nice introduction and overview thanks to Qt-team member Henrik Hartz. While UI frameworks have been built on top of Qt, we have continued to work on the quality and stability of Qt and Qt Quick. The Qt 4.7 release candidate that just came out is a quality product that we have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into. With Qt Quick we’re ready to take the next step and start moving in the direction of offering a more complete set of features for App developers who might be less inclined to venture forth into the dungeons of C++ and build systems. Qt Quick is the answer, according to Thiago Macieira, who says developers should "follow this project's development" to achieve core features like stackable windows in Qt, without using MeeGo Touch.

Using the Menu API in Qt Web Runtime

Part 2 in the Unofficial Qt Web Runtime (WRT) tutorial features the Menu API: If there is no API, Qt WRT is merely nothing but a naive web browser. Then what APIs are supported other than standard HTML and JavaScript now? [...] As a summary, we have already supported the APIs of menus, widget object, URI schemes, web inspector, console log, some Device APIs, as well as some HTML 5 features and standard JavaScript from Qt WebKit. Let's start with the menu API. WRT provides a very fast and simple way to develop applications (especially for developers with limited experience with compiled languages like C++) for Nokia's Qt platforms. WRT should severely lower the bar to entry for application development for both Harmattan and MeeGo when they get rolling later this year. An experimental version is also available for Maemo 5, potentially giving a true multi-platform deployment across Maemo, MeeGo, Harmattan, Symbian and - in future - Android, and others supporting the W3C Widgets framework.


Hotel cancellation policy for MeeGo Conference

Amy Leeland, Intel's event coordinator who is heading up the logistics of the MeeGo Conference, has got the preferred hotel's cancellation policy changed. Previously, a deposit of the first night's stay was required which was non-refundable. However, no cancellation fee will now be charged if the booking is cancelled before 12th October. She concludes: Please go ahead and book your reservations, but be sure to cancel them by the 12th of October if you are not going to attend. In a subsequent email, Quim Gil has clarified that the Linux Foundation will directly pay for the hotel room for anyone who is sponsored. Therefore, if you are requesting sponsorship, you are encouraged to, now, *not* book a hotel room until you receive word of the committee's conclusion. However, those who have already booked need not do anything, yet.

Join/Create a local MeeGo community

After the founding of a San Francisco Bay Area MeeGo Local Network several others followed in India, Finland, the UK, Canada and elsewhere in the US. Quim Gil has now posted an invitation to the MeeGo community to organize local MeeGo Networks in your own. Helsinki & Oulu, now what are you waiting for? Same for Bangalore, Manaos, Oslo, Berlin, Beijing, London, Portland, New York, San Diego and whoever else is reading this invitation with a genuine interest in MeeGo stuff. All what you need is 5 ameegos happy to meet once a month. Let it grow if it wants to grow. Though interest is likely limited given the lack of shipping devices, those in higher population density areas may have some success. If you like the idea of meeting with like-minded MeeGo community folks once a month, then see what you can do to organize a local meetup.

Early Bird Events being organised for weekend before MeeGo Conference

Community members are looking to organize a community designed and run event for the weekend prior to the MeeGo Conference, both because of the corporate-oriented content of the conference-proper and its unaffiliated-unfriendly scheduling during the week. It would be nice to organize a weekend like the Barcelona Long Weekend we (the Maemo Community) organized on October 2009. These two days should be completly organized by the community and for the community. No formal conferences or talks, but interactive activities and hacking sessions where you, the participant, are the main actor. Some conference money may be available to help provide additional days of accommodation to sponsored participants, as well as help provide support and materials for the community days. If you'd be interested in helping organize a community event, see the details on the wiki page and hit the MeeGo forums for more.

New local MeeGo Network candidate: Montréal, Canada

Stemming from the request for additional MeeGo Networks, Aniello Del Sorbo is looking to form one in Montréal. If you're in the area and interested in meeting up, be sure to drop by the thread.


OpenWrt on N810 with kexec support

OpenWrt, a Linux-based distribution for embedded devices, is now available for the N810. The release includes a 2.6.35 kernel with kexec support. It boots, and kexec works :-) X didn't start, but that's probably something wrong with my build. The console works, but fn doesn't which means some essential characters like / can't be entered. So I couldn't try to configure WiFi, bluetooth etc and see how they worked. If you're interested in running OpenWrt on your N810, check out the details in the article.

Work in progress to get MeeGo on Nexus One & Dell Streak

Giving us hope that MeeGo may be encroaching on Android's spot as the default platform of choice for porters, progress is ongoing to get it up and running on both Google's Nexus One and the Dell Streak. Dell's delays in releasing kernel code (and complying with the GPL) had delayed progress a bit, but the code is now available so progress should be pickin up. Details, and contact information if you want to get involved, are available on the wiki page.

WeTab Internet tablet will use MeeGo

WeTab, a German joint venture company Neofonie GmbH and4tiitoo AG, has announced a new tablet computer running MeeGo based on Intel's Atom platform. Working intensively with Intel, we have developed the WeTab OS with MeeGo to meet the requirements of a tablet user in the best way possible. The tablet runs extremely fast and, in addition to native apps, also provides direct access to countless Web-based apps. The device will feature an 11.6" touchscreen (1366x768), a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450, 16GB of NAND, and both WiFi-only and 3G models. The release has been announced for the end of September.

u-boot as secondary bootloader on N900

Patches to allow U-Boot to be used as a secondary bootloader for the N900 are now available, simplifying dual-booting for N900 owners and allowing for functionality that isn't available in Nokia's proprietary bootloader NOLO. These patches add support for the Nokia RX-51/N900 to U-Boot. Rather than totally replace NOLO (which could be dangerous) I instead create a combined image containing u-boot and a Linux kernel, and then flash this like a regular kernel. U-Boot loads first, stores the environment, and then checks for boot files on the SD card, if present. The patches, and instructions to use them, are available after the break.

SHR, embedded lightweight Linux, running on N900

In a video with little context, YouTube user "tostershadow" has shown off an open GNU/Linux, OpenEmbedded and based distribution for smartphones, SHR, running on Nokia N900. There is not much to show yet, as I got N900 few days ago and just managed SHR to run on it. There is still lot to be done, but device is very promising, both with speed and openness :) The video is a consequence of the developer receiving a device as part of the Developer Device Queue, managed by the Community Council and provided by Nokia.

Maemo in the Wild

Light-based grafitti

Nokia have published a video showing images, and behind the scenes, of video artists who have built a motion tracker using an N900 and a spare spray can: Lady Bna-nas, Madcheeze and Introcept are street artists from Australia. But for the 2009 Push N900 competition, they were known as the Light Hack Crew. They love graffiti but they also share a passion for technology. So they created an electronic spray can and hooked it up to a Nokia N900. The spray can creates an LED light source and the hacked N900 captures the beautiful time-lapse images. See for yourself.


Tim Samoff running for Maemo Community Council

Tim Samoff has announced he is standing in the Community Council election: These are important times for our community. Not only are we on the verge of another community conference, but the community dynamic and infrastructure is about to take a dramatic shift. With the advent of Meego, we, as a community, must forge a path in which the community (members new and old) have a say in the future of our development framework and operating system. Enough said. Tim was a member of the first and second Maemo Community Councils.

Ruediger Schiller running for Maemo Community Council

Rüdiger Schiller (chemist) has announced he is standing in the Community Council election: Ruediger is one of the super-moderators on

Cosimo Kroll running for Maemo Community Council

Cosimo Kroll (zehjotkah) has announced he is standing in the Community Council election: My aim for the next six month is to keep the maemo community on alive, which won't be a simple task. There is no denying that many will move on to new devices and spend most of their time on But there are so many (on t.m.o still not active) N900 users outside, who maybe will need help one day. Therefore I plan to create different new positions and functions around t.m.o. One of the firsts things will be a treasurer and a community PayPal account. Then it would be possible to donate money to that account which will be (for example) spend then to the "developer of the month". The community account will be also useful for future coding competitions like kojacker and I achieved some month ago. These should be organized every six month. Cosimo stood in last year's election.

Andrew Flegg running for Maemo Community Council

Andrew Flegg (Jaffa) has announced he is standing in the Community Council election: The last 6 months have been interesting and challenging for the community, coming as they did after the announcement of the merger of Moblin and Maemo teams at Intel and Nokia and to form MeeGo. The thing I've learned is that Nokia's planning didn't seem to extend to the community and Intel (not having much of a Moblin community) didn't think much of it either. This has resulted in fear, uncertainty and doubt. The new MeeGo community is also making wholly new mistakes, for which we need to bring our extensive experience of and the Maemo Community to bear; for example, the ability of community packages to depend on each other. It's also entirely unclear whether should be the home for MeeGo device discussions, let alone Harmattan or MeeGo-Harmattan HE on N900. Andrew is one of your editors, has served on the first two councils and is the current council chair.

Stephen Gadsby running for Maemo Community Council

Stephen Gadsby (sjgadsby) has accepted Randall Arnold's nomination and is standing in the Community Council election: The time period covered by this next council term promises to be an interesting one. I support the decision not to forcibly merge the community into MeeGo. However, even without that, MeeGo already casts a large shadow over our community, and the impending release of a MeeGo (or at least, MeeGo-ish) handset by Nokia promises to draw away an as yet unknown, but potentially large, quantity of people, talent, and resources. Stephen is another super-moderator on, and has stood in previous elections.

Felipe Crochik running for Maemo Community Council

Felipe Contreras (felipec) has announced he is standing in the Community Council election: One common complaint I hear about maemo is the supposedly small number of applications. While I don’t agree this is necessary true, it is clear that maemo has failed to attract "commercial" applications. I don’t see why an "open platform" based on open source has necessary to scare off "commercial" applications. One common subject among consumers is how the n900 compares to android and the iphone – the applications available always end up being the most important maemo disadvantage. Also, how many times have you read about how bad/useless the "ovi" store is for maemo?

Robin Burchell running for Maemo Community Council

Robin Burchell (w00t) has announced he is standing in the Community Council election: My primary agenda would be to try to help facilitate Maemo in the context of ongoing and future development, to try to ensure that application developers can smoothly and easily target Maemo as well as MeeGo (and whatever else) through the means of Qt and other technologies, as well as helping educate developers old and new. Robin was the lead developer of facebrick (Maemo's first proper Facebook client) and is a prodigious Qt hacker.

Kathy Smith running for Maemo Community Council

Kathy Smith (RevdKathy) has accepted Randall Arnold's nomination and is standing in the Community Council election: what do I bring? Enthusiasm a-plenty; Willingness to have a go - at most things, including technical stuff with a bit of support; Concern for the 'average bears' in community, which doesn't mean the outspoken angry people demanding stuff on principle, but people who're trying to get the best out of their device with limited tech skills; People and communication skills - including presentation skills if you ever need them, and English language skills; Commitment to bridging maemo and meego - and a determination that us bears of very little brain will still have our own corner in meego somewhere.

Attila Csipa running for Maemo Community Council

Attila Csipa (attila77/achipa} has accepted Randall Arnold's nomination and is standing in the Community Council election: I would like to emphasize once more - barring the financials, it's up to the community where (and in what form) will or will not go - and there is no better representative than the Community Council to have a legitimate representation. That's why I would like to see people with a can-do approach on the Council, trying to solve/deal with hot and not too pleasant topics (and I feel the next term will not be in short supply). Remember, anyone can rant, but it takes a special kind of talent to turn discontent into constructive action, and I'm glad the list of candidates is in no shortage of such folks. Attila is a member of the current Council and works at Forum Nokia in a developer support role. He announced his candidacy five minutes before the deadline!