In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • Nominations open for Maemo Community Council election
    • Nokia appoints new head for MeeGo team
  2. Applications
    • Experimenting with tactile feedback in Maemo Community SSU
  3. Development
    • Some upcoming MeeGo architecture changes
    • Proof-of-concept shows a way Qt on iOS might be implemented
    • QML Components for desktop Qt
    • camera-ui2 - a re-implementation of Nokia's closed source camera app
  4. Community
    • RM Bauer running in Maemo Community Council election
    • Stephen Gadsby nominated for Maemo Community Council
    • Timo Harkonen nominated for Maemo Community Council
    • Proposed icon for the Community SSU
  5. Announcements
    • WebOS Games Manager
    • PhoneStreamer - stream front or back cameras, with audio
    • BounceBounce - a Doodle Jump clone

Front Page

Nominations open for Maemo Community Council election

The election for the next Maemo Community Council is drawing near, with nominations about to close. Nokia's recent announcements make, and the community council, more important than ever in the future of the Maemo Community and N900 owners everywhere. If you've ever had any interest in participating in the council, please consider nomitating yourself. According to the election timetable, there are only two days left (until 23:59 UTC on 14 March) to add your nomination to the mix for the next term of the Maemo Community Council. To nominate yourself (or someone else), please send a declaration email to This community needs you. Don't wait until it's too late to get involved in this amazing experience!

Nokia appoints new head for MeeGo team

Peter Schneider, Nokia's Head of MeeGo Marketing, has posted an announcement about the replacement head of MeeGo Computers at Nokia: When Nokia announced its new strategy on February 11th, it also announced that Alberto Torres, the head of Nokia’s MeeGo Computers, would leave the company. I thought you would want to know that Sebastian Nyström has now been appointed to head the MeeGo team at Nokia. Sebastian has been leading Qt at Nokia, making the framework available under open source, free-of-charge LGPL license and now he takes responsibility for our future MeeGo efforts. Peter then goes on to outline the three tasks which Sebastian laid out for staff as part of a memo to staff.


Experimenting with tactile feedback in Maemo Community SSU

Thomas Perl is continuing his Community SSU-relevant hacking with work on tactile feedback in Hildon: The latest version of hildon-desktop features experimental support for improved tactile feedback. What this means for you is that if you enable this feature, you will "feel" app menus and dialogs appearing and disappearing, just like on some Symbian^3 devices. It's disabled by default, but you could give it a try and see if it improves your experience. Currently, tactile feedback from Hildon amounts to "You touched the screen" and no more, but the goal here is to make it smarter and more useful by limiting feedback to when you tap where things will (and do) actually happen.

If you're interested in helping with testing, the required packages are available form Extras-devel (usual warnings).


Some upcoming MeeGo architecture changes

Arjan van de Ven, one of the key MeeGo architects, posted to meego-architecture Given the events of the last few weeks, the MeeGo architects have, and still are, revisiting various parts of the MeeGo architecture. While I'd love to say that we have the whole situation clear, the reality is that there still is a very complex situation. In part because just not everything is clear yet around "who" and "what", and in part because various parts of the MeeGo OS architecture are very tightly coupled... it's not like MIkkado where you can pull out one stick at a time.

Having said that, three items are currently clear enough to make a final decision on:

1) MSSF / MeeGo security framework

2) Buteo Sync

3) PIM storage (currently stored in the tracker database) The thread took on two main topics: firstly, what was the process by which this was decided; why weren't the discussions held in the open? Secondly, questioning the decision with regards to Tracker, given that the developers weren't aware of the concerns listed by Arjan.

A strong undercurrent of the thread revealed the tensions between Intel and Nokia, with Nokia being seen as slow to respond and a struggle to cooperate with on an open source project.

Proof-of-concept shows a way Qt on iOS might be implemented

Eike Ziller has pushed a proof-of-concept for a Lighthouse plugin which is UIKit based. Lighthouse is the next-generation engine for Qt in embedded devices, and UIKit is Apple's user-interface technology for iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. Eike writes, this means that, if you carefully follow the instructions in the accompanying README file (in src/plugins/platforms/uikit/ of the qt-lighthouse repo), you should be able to build (parts of) Qt for iOS Simulator and Device targets, and run a few simple example Qt Quick applications. I can’t emphasize enough that this is not a real port to iOS though, and is not supported in any way. Chances are that many parts of Qt don’t work, even the parts that do compile, not to speak of the parts that I didn’t even try to compile. That said, the goal of the little project was to get some simple QML applications running on a iPhone to check if Lighthouse is technically up to the task, and because QML is so cool technology. Having iOS as a Qt target would mean developers could write large parts of an application which worked on Maemo, Symbian, MeeGo, Android and iOS. A very enticing suggestion, for your editor at least.

QML Components for desktop Qt

Jens Bache-Wiig has posted a video showing Qt Quick Components' widget library running on the desktop: Qt Quick has been the main focus of Nokia for some time now. I wanted to see if we could bring some of the fun and joy of working with QML to the good old desktop. It is true that you can easily make your own widgets with Qt Quick, but obviously not everyone wants to do that. Having personally invested quite a bit of time in developing among others the GTK+ and Vista styles in Qt, I also wanted to prove that we could make use of that effort even in the brave new world of Qt Quick. One of the advantages of Qt has always been its cross-platformness. Developers being able to use the same Qt Quick technologies on the desktop, without sacrificing UI consistency, will be a big step forward.

camera-ui2 - a re-implementation of Nokia's closed source camera app

Nicolai Hess has been working on a re-implimentation of Nokia's closed-source camera-ui application: camera ui2. I made a clone of the builtin camera application and need some testers. This is for testing only at the moment. [...] You should at least know how to disable Open source replacements for Nokia closed-source software are always big boons for the Community SSU, as not only do they eliminate most licensing issues, but they allow the community to developers to fix bugs and add features compared to Nokia's closed, unsupported software. Although the source isn't currently available, plans seem to be to put it up somewhere soon.

If you want to help test, camera-ui2 currently only available as a tarball forum attachment, so it's not for the faint of heart.


RM Bauer running in Maemo Community Council election

RM Bauer has put himself into the running for the forthcoming Community Council election: My community involvement to date has been personal, not professional, mostly on the forum and on the Diablo Community Project as SD69. I did not get involved in technical and programming issues, just supported the project and communicated with others who were able through their skills to get to a successful result to show the value of a CSSU. The main reason for volunteering is I think that the community will soon face some significant challenges and my particular skills could be of use. [...] Like most here, I personally see the value of having mobile devices and maemo softwarethat is open for users and others to enjoy and improve, and wish to help in that effort.

Stephen Gadsby nominated for Maemo Community Council

Randall Arnold has nominated Stephen Gadsby to the Community Council: Stephen is one of the original Maemo community members. He has long been your most cheerful forum moderator, keeping from descending into absolute chaos by stitching together wayward threads and quietly scolding those who troll. His wry sense of humor is legendary, and has been very effective at stopping a rampaging trollfest in its tracks. He has earned his place as Chief Karma Recipient (3645!!!) by tirelessly gathering bugzilla statistics (Maemo and MeeGo) and publishing them for your easy access. Stephen has since declined the nomination.

Timo Harkonen nominated for Maemo Community Council

Randall Arnold has nominated Timo Härkönen to the Community Council: Timo is a well-respected employee of Digia who has been a strong contributor to Maemo and MeeGo, especially in the area of quality assurance. He was the first Maemo Greeter (volunteers who use their forum signature to help others) and joined MeeGo Greeters as well. Timo's good nature and calm demeanor have helped reassure many doubting people as well as defused heated conversations Timo has since declined the nomination.

Proposed icon for the Community SSU

Andrew Zhilin has been working on an icon for the Community SSU, which is currently reusing Application Manager's "update" icon. Your editor likes the way the design shows the potential being revealed under the outer skin; very apt for the CSSU!


WebOS Games Manager

Javier S. Pedro's preenv webOS libraries openned a lot of doors to N900 users to run webOS games on Maemo. Unfortunately the barrier to entry for non-technical users was rather high thanks to the effort involved. Ivan Daniluk is looking to reduce this with his application, WebOS Games Manager: Automatic installer/uninstaller for WebOS games. It installs game from .ipk file, applies all needed hacks and creates desktop launcher. It also can back up/restore games' saves. The development version is currently available from Extras-devel, so if you're interested in testing (and are safely aware of the risks), then check it out.

PhoneStreamer - stream front or back cameras, with audio

A user on the Talk forums, tetris11_, has put together a front-end for streaming the video and audio from the N900. It's basically just a frontend for a few gstreamer scripts, but it's (moderately) easy to use, and allows you to stream either the front/back camera or microphone to VLC media player on your desktop PC. Currently available only as a .deb attached to the announcement post, the package should be treated with some care.

BounceBounce - a Doodle Jump clone

More iOS-game clones are coming to Maemo, this time in the form of a Doodle Jump clone from the Paper Toss developer we mentioned last week: Jamie Fuller: BounceBounce is a simple accelerometer controlled game, simply bounce your fella as high as possible. Different blocks have different bounce properties and watch out for the bad guy too! BounceBounce is currently available from Extras-testing, so if you're interested in doing a bit of QA work (and don't mind the hazards), be sure to check it out.