In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • Registration open for MeeGo Conference 2011 in San Francisco
    • Valtteri Halla to join Intel, after leaving Nokia
  2. Applications
    • Bookmarking N900 browser's password manager
  3. Development
    • Prototype transitions.ini editor for Maemo CSSU
    • Reverse engineering the Maemo 5 dialer app
    • Imad Sousou gives timeline for open sourcing of Tablet UX
    • ...and 4 more
  4. Community
    • Community Council elections update
    • Call for Papers for MeeGo Conference 2011 in San Francisco open
    • Birmingham (UK) MeeGo meetup
  5. Devices
    • Nokia "N950" will be N900 successor, running MeeGo
    • Developer Edition of MeeGo 1.2 for N900
  6. In the Wild
    • Bonuses offered by Nokia to MeeGo-based employees to stay
    • Nokia sells Qt licencing business
  7. Announcements
    • The Return of Panucci (0.99.0 for Fremantle)
    • Paper Toss for Maemo
    • Kasvopus, a Facebook app for "the rest of us"

Front Page

Registration open for MeeGo Conference 2011 in San Francisco

It was announced after the Dublin conference last year that MeeGo Conferences would fall every 6 months, with a community-oriented conference in the Fall and an industry conference in the Spring. Registration has now openned for the Spring conference: We're looking forward to seeing you in San Francisco for the Spring 2011 conference being held May 23-25! The hotel situation for attendees requesting sponsorship wasn't completely clear from the forms. Amy Leeland posted to resolve the confusion: reserve your room, input your card (nothing will be charged if you cancel by May 9th) and the approved attendees will have their rooms put on the master account. If your sponsorship request is not approved, simply cancel your reservation before May 9th.

So those of you requesting sponsorship can go ahead and register for the conference and reserve your room. Just remember to cancel before May 9th if you wont be attending.

Valtteri Halla to join Intel, after leaving Nokia

One of the higher-profile corporate departures after the Elopocalypse was of Valtteri Halla (of the MeeGo Technical Steering Group) from Nokia. We covered the news in last week's issue, but the results of the move weren't particularly clear, particularly where this leaves the TSG. Although things aren't much clearer this week, the situation has become somewhat more interesting. From a recent tweet: I will join Intel in April - to continue work with Open Source, mobile&computing technologies and of course - MeeGo Valtteri currently play's Nokia's part in the TSG, which leaves Nokia unrepressented (unsurprising and unworrisome given their recent shift in corporate strategies). More complicating is that it leaves Intel holding complete control over final say in the project. It's unlikely that Intel would abuse this position, but it seems to hold the potential to scare away other companies from the project if it's viewed as a "By Intel, For Intel" operation.


Bookmarking N900 browser's password manager

timeless shared a gem on IRC recently: how to get access to the manager for stored password preferences in MicroB, Maemo 5's default browser. The instructions are simple, and can also work for certificate manager, and others.


Prototype transitions.ini editor for Maemo CSSU

Work around the Maemo CSSU continues. A new contribution from Christos Saturn, CSSU Features Configuration, allows users to edit settings in Hildon Desktop's transitions.ini file: My small contribution is a simple PyQt app that allows you to change the options shown in the [Community SSU Features] page. [...] The operation of the application is simple: 1. choose the options you would like to have (for info on the options look in the wiki link given above), 2. press the "Update" button. The transitions.ini file controls Hildon Desktop's behavior, and contains the settings for CSSU features for animation transitions and things like the task switcher layout. More information is available from the wiki page.

The application is still under active development, but if you're running the Maemo CSSU and interested in testing it, it can be found in Extras-testing.

Reverse engineering the Maemo 5 dialer app

Jonathan Wilson is attempting to create a new open source "dialer" (that is, phone app) for the N900 and has started by reverse engineering the symbols used in the Nokia-provided closed source version: I am now trying to work out which ones I need to focus attention on and which ones I can ignore (i.e. functions which wont tell me anything usefull about what non-ui actions the dialer is doing). Some help with this would be appreciated.

Imad Sousou gives timeline for open sourcing of Tablet UX

When Intel revealed the MeeGo Tablet UX in the middle of February, those of us with long experience with Nokia's Apple-derived "big-reveal" mentality experienced a certain sinking feeling at the time. Imad Sousou (Intel's representative on the TSG) has sent an email to the MeeGo-developers mailing list about the timeline for open sourcing the new UX: Hi everyone... I know there are a lot of questions about the open sourcing of the meego tablet pre-alpha that was shown couple of weeks ago... I just want to let you know that we are planning on open sourcing the tablet UX code in the next few weeks. This was planned to go open source at the same time we showed it, but given few complications, we had to delay this a bit... Hopefully no more complications will crop up.

Qt SDK 1.1 beta released

The Qt team announced 4.7.2 of the framework, v1.1.1 of Qt Mobility and Qt Creator 2.1. To combine these together for developers, they also announced the immediate availability of the Qt SDK 1.1 beta. As mentioned in our previous release, the Qt SDK describes a merger between the Nokia Qt SDK, which provided a development environment for mobile targets, and the Qt Desktop SDKs. This allows you to develop applications for all platforms, which Qt supports. Compared to the Technology Preview we have included a significant amount of updates. Your editor has used the SDK to build a Qt Quick & C++ application (on Linux) which can be deployed and run on both Maemo and MeeGo. Nicely automating MeeGo deployment with this release should be straightforward, but not something your editor has yet attempted.

QtMobility 1.1.1 released for Maemo

A new update to Qt Mobility has been released by the Maemo Qt team. Attila Csipa announced the release on the maemo-developers mailing list: We are happy to announce our Qt Mobility 1.1.1 release. This release is a The new update is available from Extras-devel (so the usual care should be taken), but will be headed to Extras once it passes QA.

PySide (Python for Qt) v1.0 released

PySide, the Python library for Qt, has reached 1.0: The PySide team is thrilled to announce the release of PySide: Python for Qt version 1.0.0. After a long bug-fixing period, we now consider PySide to be releaseable quality and we will restart feature development.

This release signifies the end of the long feature freeze: in addition to the continued bugfixing effort, we will start to optimize the codebase to further reduce the memory footprint and improve the performance. Also new features such as Python 3 support are planned. The updated libraries are currenty available from Extras-devel, so they're for testing and development use only.

Cross-platform development: deploying to Symbian from Linux

One of your editors, Andrew Flegg, has posted a guide on building and deploying Qt applications to Symbian from a Linux environment. Deploying to Maemo is "easy", but Symbian requires a bit more setup, due to the historic Windows nature of its development environment: I chose the last three. On Linux, there is no native support for deploying or compiling for Symbian. Compiling can be dealt with by the "remote compiler", but what about deploying? I can, now, to the following; all from within Qt Creator: Compile Qt applications and get a signed SIS file for installation; Install the SIS file on to a USB-connected N8; Start the application and get its console output back in the IDE. Andrew promises further posts on the niggles he finds doing Qt Mobility cross-development.


Community Council elections update

The Maemo Community Council election date is growing nearer. Unfortunately due to some communications issues and the unavailability of certain individuals, the elegible candidates list hasn't been generated, but: We're still working on getting a published list of eligible candidates together for the next Maemo Community Council election nominations. In the meantime, if you have 100 Karma points or above, you are eligible. This being said, please seriously consider declaring yourself as a nominee for the upcoming election. Nominations close on Thursday March 10th at 23:59 UTC, so be sure to get your nomination in before then if you're planning on running. The election starts Monday March 14th, so watch for your voting tokens!

Call for Papers for MeeGo Conference 2011 in San Francisco open

With the opening of the MeeGo Conference 2011 registration, the call for papers has also gone out: We are inviting proposals for presentations in a wide variety of areas: device/Product development, app development, platform development and MeeGo project, process, and progress. We also welcome submissions on any other MeeGo related topics. Be creative, the program committee will look at each and every submission, to create a vibrant and interesting conference. This includes community and open source related proposals, as well as commercial or proprietary developments around MeeGo. Proposals are due by March 18, 11:59 PM PST.

Birmingham (UK) MeeGo meetup

MeeGoExperts' Ash has shared an open invite to a Midlands' meetup: Time to get together for another Birmingham UK MeeGo meetup. The interest in the Operating System has increased and also we now have some available devices, So it should be a good time to be had by all. Drag along anything that you might also have been working on with regards to MeeGo / Maemo / QML / Qt etc as we would love to see what else everyone else has been upto. The meetup is scheduled for March 17th at Bennets Pub, 8 Bennets Hill, Birmingham, B2 5RS.


Nokia "N950" will be N900 successor, running MeeGo

GSMArena covers Rich Green's talk at Nokia's Developer Day, which lays out their three-prong strategy; and their next step with MeeGo: He said that they're working hard on the N950 and have come up with some "very elegant" hardware and interesting UI. [...] Green assured the attending developers that the Nokia N950 is well-stocked as a developer platform and says "we'll see how that goes". It sounds like the N950 is aimed more towards devs than the mass market user (not surprising since MeeGo was re-targeted towards long-term market exploration). Other conversations have shown that Nokia's "MeeGo" device will still be running Harmattan, and that Nokia are expecting to approach the MeeGo TSG for an exemption and permission to use the name. However, given Nokia's strategic move away from MeeGo, and the fact that they no longer constitute half of the TSG (as far as we know), such an exemption now appears more unlikely.

Developer Edition of MeeGo 1.2 for N900

The N900 Hardware Adaptation team was formed and financed by Nokia to develop MeeGo for the N900. However, this was from the "Official MeeGo ARM development platform" direction rather than "Use MeeGo on the N900". It looks like this direction is shifting somewhat, as there is now a team at Nokia developing a MeeGo Developer Edition (read: Hacker Edition) for N900: I am thrilled to announce a little thing we started at Nokia. Basically we want to have MeeGo running in N900 device, so that it's really usable as your daily development device. [...] We are doing this fully on the open, and I hope this is an interesting project where we all in the community work towards the same goal: have a great MeeGo edition in the N900. An end goal like that opens up the usability to a much wider audience. Hopefully everyone's N900s will see that much more life because of it.

In the Wild

Bonuses offered by Nokia to MeeGo-based employees to stay

Vaibhav Sharma is amongst those reporting that Nokia is offering its MeeGo-focused staff cash incentives to remain with the company: According to the Finnish site, Taloussanomat, Nokia is offering its in-house MeeGo devs a salary plus 50% bonus to continue with the company and help avoid a mass exodus after the Feb 11 announcement that Nokia was moving to Windows Phone as its primary operating system.

Nokia sells Qt licencing business

After Nokia acquired Trolltech and Qt, they made it available under the LGPL open source license - a common choice for frameworks and libraries. However, it is still available, with support, under a commercial license. Nokia are in the process of selling that business to Digia: Many organizations which want to use Qt for their business applications choose commercial licenses, for a variety of reasons. These include restrictions in using open source licensed software in industries such as defense & aerospace, or the need to provide product warranties & indemnities such as in the medical device industry. Others choose a commercial relationship for access to Qt professional support and services to ensure successful development of their projects.

However, these professional services are not core business activities for Nokia, so since the introduction of the LGPL license for Qt in 2009 we have been actively working to grow the number of companies providing Qt services. In 2010 we began the search for a company we could work with to serve the commercial licensees in the Qt community. We have now concluded that search and chosen to work with Digia. As a consequence, Digia will acquire the Qt Commercial software licensing and professional services business from Nokia, with the transaction expected to close by the end of March 2011. It is unclear whether this is related to Nokia's change in strategy. Either way, the decision makes sense for Nokia.


The Return of Panucci (0.99.0 for Fremantle)

After Thomas Perl added MAFW support to gPodder (and therefore support for Maemo 5's built-in Media Player), he stopped working on Panucci. Evidently some community developers preferred it, though, so they've continued working on patches: Recently, Jens and Helmuth collaborated on bringing Bluetooth support back into the 0.9 branch in the Panucci thread on t.m.o. Jens has also fixed some other issues and is now continuing development of Panucci, which is great :) I'll continue to package Panucci releases for Maemo 5, and review the commits and provide feedback, but won't be working on any features myself. The new update is currently available from Extras-devel (but is on its way to Extras-testing), so recall the usual care intructions.

Paper Toss for Maemo

One of the most popular time wasting games for iOS and Android, Paper Toss, has finally come to Maemo in the form of a clone from Jamie Fuller: Paper Toss, one of the most downloaded games in the App Store, comes to the Nokia N900 through the work of the Maemo community, most notably thanks to Jamie Fuller. The game is written in Python and has no audio, but have captured all the gameplay of the original game. Paper Toss is currently available from Extras-devel, so the usual boilerplate applies.

Kasvopus, a Facebook app for "the rest of us"

A new Facebook application has entered the ring for Maemo 5. Kasvopus, by Tommi Laukkanen, has been developed in Qt Quick and offers Facebook access without the hassle of dealing with the browser: Ever since I started using my Nokia N900 I missed a good Facebook app as the Facebook’s mobile or touch sites didn’t have the same experience that I was having with official Facebook app on my iPod Touch. [...] Now that I was able to develop apps quickly with Qt Quick, QML and JavaScript, I tested how easy it could be to create a simple iPod/Phone/Android style Facebook app. I was mostly concerned how the OAuth implementation could be done but it turned out to be really easy with QML’s WebView component and plain JavaScript functionality. Unfortunate Kasvopus is only available as a .deb from the developer's website, so those interested in testing it out should handle it with care.