In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • Nokia architects not involved in recent MeeGo architecture decisions
  2. Applications
    • GOM Reminder - a handy organizer for the N900
  3. Development
    • Beta release of Qt Creator 2.2
    • Official support in Qt Creator for uploading to Maemo Extras
    • QBadgeButton for displaying notification counts
    • DON - Develop on N900
  4. Community
    • MeeGo Technical Steering Group down to one person, but Nokia still have a seat
    • Public handover meeting for Maemo Community Council
  5. Devices
    • Intel's MeeGo Tablet UX running on N900
  6. In the Wild
    • Linpus MeeGo Touch, Glow on WeTab, Concept Tablet UI Brought to Life...
  7. Announcements
    • MobWebMail - Gmail for optimised online Gmail usage
    • My Little Artist drawing app
    • Updated MeeGo input methods for Ubuntu
    • ...and 5 more

Front Page

Nokia architects not involved in recent MeeGo architecture decisions

We covered Arjan van de Ven's announcement of some architecture decisions two weeks ago. The following week, Tracker developers - seemingly unhappy with the decision, and the lack of feedback on the perceived problems - posted a performance analysis between Evolution Data Store (EDS) and Tracker, when storing contact details. This week, Sakari Poussa posted a surprising response to an assertion from Arjan that "the MeeGo architecture team" made these decisions together:

Just to be clear, Nokia members of the MeeGo architecture team where not involved in these latest decisions of the MeeGo architecture direction (MSSF/Buteo/PIM).

So, what's going on? Answers on who was involved; and what is actually happening within the corridors at Intel and Nokia are scarce. Friction, resulting from two corporate cultures trying to work together, is being released now that Nokia's board have changed their strategic direction. However, the people on the ground at both companies are probably equally shocked and disappointed.

One point that seems to have become somewhat lost during the technical discussions resulting from the announced architecture changes is the implications of Intel making, seemingly, unilateral and opaque decisions about MeeGo. The MeeGo Governance page describing the team who are "responsible for defining and communicating the MeeGo's technical architecture" lists three names. Arjan van de Ven, Sakari Poussa and Mikko Ylinen. The latter two are employed by Nokia. The MeeGo "who's who" wiki page also lists Intel's Sunil Saxena, who was also on-stage during the "MeeGo Architecture" presentation at the MeeGo Conference.

The only thing that seems to be certain is that the MeeGo is not living up to its promised openness.


GOM Reminder - a handy organizer for the N900

Mustali Dalal reviews a simple and easy to use utility that allows you to set up reminders quickly which trigger the standard system alarm. Reminders can be from simple ones that trigger after a set time to more sophisticated ones with various options for recurrences like "Forever", "Until" and "X Times". The options are laid out logically and makes using the app a breeze. GOM Reminder is available in the Ovi Store.


Beta release of Qt Creator 2.2

The Qt IDE team have released a beta of version 2.2 of the development environment for Symbian, MeeGo and Maemo. The announcement says, Qt Creator got a range of useful new features, and a huge number of big fixes and improvements. Let me start by thanking our contributors, especially Hugues Delorme who implemented Bazaar VCS support, and Nicolas Arnaud-Cormos who contributed support for recording and playing text editing macros. [...] The list goes ever ever on, with a real whole lot of fixes and improvements to QML coding support, tool chains to being configurable manually (a surprisingly big refactoring), a valgrind based mem check integration added (Debug->Analyzer) for Linux and Mac, an editor for GL shader language, real quoting and shell syntax when specifying program’s command line arguments, …. . The new version should be able to be used as part of an existing Qt SDK installation.

Official support in Qt Creator for uploading to Maemo Extras

Your editor has picked up the Qt SDK again recently and was pleased to be pointed at this page in the official documentation for the next version, describing how to build source packages for uploading to Extras-devel and the autobuilder: You can use the Publish for Fremantle Extras-devel Free Repository wizard to create a source archive and, optionally, upload it to a build server for compiling and packaging. The package is then moved to the Extras-devel repository. From there on, you must follow the standard Maemo processes to get the application published to Extras. The wizard checks that the package contains all the information that is required to publish applications on Extras: package description and Package Manager icon. For more information about entering this information, see Creating Debian Installation Packages. The feature should be part of the Qt Creator 2.2 release (although its presence in the above beta has not been confirmed).

QBadgeButton for displaying notification counts

Benoît HERVIER has posted some Python code from an upcoming version of his Twitter client, Khweeteur, which shows red numbers over a button - typically used to show unread message counts: In order to display a notification on QPushButton or a QToolButton i've created this two little python class derivated from QPushButton or QToolButton. This display a counter in a red badge like on some icons on iOS (iPhone) or MacOSX. This subclasses was primary made for the next khweeteur version. Your editor finds in-app notifications of the different types of information one of the things missing in most Maemo Twitter clients.

DON - Develop on N900

Talk user "humble" has posted a deb which aims to install the Maemo SDK... on Maemo. He says this project was started because, I wanted to be able to tweak NXEngine and compile quickly. I stumbled up upon the thread up there. Then that took back seat due to i was tweaking this. but now I'm able to. The script is distributed as a deb file on a forum thread, is run as root and is intended to reconfigure the foundations of your phone. Care (and a possible audit of the script) may be advised.


MeeGo Technical Steering Group down to one person, but Nokia still have a seat

As part of the Any Other Business portion of last week's MeeGo TSG meeting, the issue of the TSG's composition after Valtteri Halla's (one of two members of the TSG) resignation from Nokia (and hiring at Intel). Immad Sousou (the other member) answered: Nokia is nominating a new person... so this will get added... and... there are also others who would like to join the TSG; which I think its time to expand and open up the TSG... so looking at all these now which we should discuss in the next TSG meeting It's interesting that positions are apparently tied to companies rather than individuals, which makes for interesting repurcussions with MeeGo's stated operation on meritocracy. The addition of more companies to the TSG will hopefully prove positive for the project's direction in the future and signal at least some market confidence in its viability.

Public handover meeting for Maemo Community Council

As part of the transition to the new community council, an informal handover meeting was held on Freenode last Saturday to allow current and prior members of the council, as well as the community, to discuss history, current status and future plans: This meeting is intended to allow the community to meet and greet the new Council and take part in a discussion in which the old Council hands-over the reigns, etc. Discussion revolved mostly around the repercussions of February 11th, in particular, those affecting and its operation.


Intel's MeeGo Tablet UX running on N900

Ash, of MeeGoExperts fame, has shone some light onto a topic which certainly got by your editor unnoticed: News in today the N900 Hardware adaption team are progressing the Nokia N900 MeeGo image with the aid of the MeeGo Tablet User Experience (UX). This does mean that the previously closed Intel MeeGo Tablet UX is now Open Source and the code can be found here. This is a testament to the power of MeeGo and the Nokia N900 where a handheld phone is able to run a Tablet UX OS. There are the usual teething problems but the guys at Nokia are hard at work and we wish them all the success with it. The output has led Ville Vainio to ask, on the meego-community mailing list, if the project should target a unified Handset and Tablet UX in its reference designs.

In the Wild

Linpus MeeGo Touch, Glow on WeTab, Concept Tablet UI Brought to Life...

Intel's "appdeveloper" website has posted a "TweetCap" (think "recap"), which is a look back at recent tweets and links shared by us or our friends in the community. Todays tweetcap look at some cool stuff happening with MeeGo including the Linpus Lite Touch Edition for MeeGo, Glow running on the WeTab, and a concept tablet UI proposed by the community then brought to life by @Intelloware.


MobWebMail - Gmail for optimised online Gmail usage

Felipe Crochik, one of your new Maemo Community Council repressentatives, has ptu together a new package based on the Qt/WebKit-based browser Macuco: First class Gmail browsing on your Phone. This is a web browser optimized for one task: browse your Gmail account using your touch screen device. MobWebMail supports Screen auto-rotation, full-screen view, different zoom levels (using the volume buttons) and downloading attachments. On the top of a very simple interface it allows the user to switch between gmail accounts/sessions with one click. It's currently only available from Extras-devel, so care should be taken when testing.

My Little Artist drawing app

Dmitry Rizshkov has announced a port of his paint application for Maemo, My Little Artist. Just want to introduce you my drawing application - My Little Artist. This is a just first release on Maemo. App was designed for 'big' brothers - PCs, netbooks, but finally i decide to try to make Maemo version. MyPaint on the N800 was one of the earliest examples of a full-featured painting application for Maemo. Combined with the N800's resistive touchscreen, it provided an excellent sketchpad. My Little Artist should provide a similar sor tof experience. Unfortunately the application is only available as a .deb from Garage for the time being, so handle it with care.

Updated MeeGo input methods for Ubuntu

Michael Hasselmann has published new versions of the MeeGo Input Methods (framework and keyboard plugin) on the project's Launchpad PPA. [...] At first I thought I would do this packaging only for others but I have to admit that I start to enjoy using my host system for input method development - it's really easier than having to use the MeeGo SDK or scratchbox even. I also added some patches so that the on-screen keyboard docks itself to the bottom of the screen. For MeeGo Touch applications, focus widget relocation will work on the desktop now. If that's not enough for you then how about a slightly translucent keyboard background? Michael's blog post describes how to tweak, install and use these packages.

Opera Mobile 11 for Maemo

Opera Mobile has been updated for Maemo: No worries, you're still part of the band! Opera Mobile 11 for Maemo is now on its way into the extras testing repository. [...] One important change I'd like to point out is that zooming in have changed from a single to double click. Instead you can now interact with the page directly in overview mode. The big news for Maemo is that we now have support for the native on screen keyboard. It is implemented by overlaying Gtk textbox widgets, this means that also the hardware keyboard will work exactly as in other applications. More from the changelog: New option to use Droid fonts (requires ttf-droid package), add detailed geolocation settings, turn off GPS on inactivity, handle symbolic links to directories in the file chooser. Response to the new update has been positive. If you're interested in testing it yourself, you can get it from Extras-testing.

Smartcam server for Maemo, allowing streaming video to Windows

A Smartcam port for Maemo is being developed by a Talk user "azkay": This is a client side port of the Smartcam Client software. It lets you use your N900 to stream video from either video0 or video1 to your windows PC, using it as a webcam. It's compatible with most programs, Skype, MSN, etc. Currently only available as a tarball from the software thread, great care should be taken in venturing to test it.

Cricket World Cup 2011 app

Talk user "niloy" has posted a Web Runtime app to show information on the Cricket World cup, currently being held in Asia. He says: I know its a bit late, but my first app on N900. Hopefully, some of you guys will find it useful. With just under a week to go to the final, there should still be some use to be had.

Revestris - coming soon

A Talk member, "TheBurek" has announced the development of a new game, Revestris: Although not yet released, the developer has announced intentions to have it out within the next few days.

Kasvopus Facebook app gets minor updates

Prolific Web 2.0 client app writer Tommi Laukkanen has released a slightly updated version of his Facebook client, Kasvopus. This release contains the following changes and fixes: UI changes; you can view the photo from photo type status update; you can open related user’s wall from notification; fixes “commenting wrong status” bug; added new offline access right which should allow longer token sessions and wouldn’t need user to login daily. Tommi has mentioned an aim of getting these into Extras "at some point", but in the mean time they are distributed as binary packages from his project page.