In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • Nokia to lay off 4,000 staff - mostly in Symbian and MeeGo areas
    • MeeGo Conference keynote & schedule published
  2. Applications
    • Yahoo! Weather forecast on N900 lock screen
    • Opera widgets running as standalone N900 applications
  3. Development
    • How to have work for vendors, but eat its own dog food
    • Intel's AppUp "Submit Early, Submit MeeGo" deadline interpretation?
    • Qt homescreen widgets: failing with Maemo 5 CSSU?
  4. Community
    • Materials from MeeGo Day at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit
    • Add your quotes for the MeeGo Conference signage
    • What is the market for MeeGo?
  5. Devices
    • LG Electronics showing prototype MeeGo devices in San Francisco
  6. Announcements
    • QML-based MeeGo dialer
    • Oculo - dynamic web content on N900 home screen

Front Page

Nokia to lay off 4,000 staff - mostly in Symbian and MeeGo areas

Within a week of Nokia and Microsoft signing their "strategic partnership", the next phase of Nokia's change in direction has been revealed: a reduction in headcount by 4,000 and the move of 3,000 additional staff to Accenture to maintain Symbian:

Nokia laid out plans to align its global workforce and consolidate its site operations to deliver upon the new strategy, as well as the projected cost savings announced last week. Nokia expects the total reduction of personnel, across all sites and countries, to total 4,000 employees (out of approximately 65,000 worldwide, not including NSN) by the end of 2012. This includes an estimated 1,400 employees in Finland.

Reductions are expected to take place in phases until the end of 2012, linked to the rollout of Nokia’s planned product and services portfolio. The planned reductions will have the greatest impact on the Symbian and MeeGo R&D. In addition, approximately 3,000 employees are planned to transfer to Accenture to support the continued delivery of Symbian software development and support services. In accordance with local country legal requirements, discussions with employee representatives started today.

Our thoughts are with our friends at Nokia who may be affected by this move; and this also casts a dark shadow over the release of Nokia's Harmattan device later this year: with such a reduction in staff, the long term viability of Nokia's MeeGo efforts - even as an R&D project - must be called into question.

MeeGo Conference keynote & schedule published

The schedule for the MeeGo Conference, next month in San Francisco, has been published. Starting at 10am on Monday, 23rd May, Jim Zemlin's keynote will feature "many participants" and promises that the "future of MeeGo starts now":

A lot has happened since the last MeeGo Conference. Jim will begin his keynote by providing his perspective on the MeeGo Project today. He'll follow those remarks by bringing onto the stage a variety of project contributors and leadership to help attendees intimately understand the work that is happening on MeeGo and how it is shaping the future the Project.

With three weeks to go, your editors are looking forward to catching up with old friends and seeing the new developments. As at the Dublin conference, at the end of the warm-up on Sunday evening, and before the conference proper starts on Monday, MWKN will be "crowd-sourced" with live publishing. Bring your laptop, tablet or smartphone and help with contributions or fleshing out an issue. Location will be provided when we know what the venue's like: follow @Jaffa2 or @MWKN on Twitter, or hang out on the #maemo and #meego IRC channel if you want to know where we are.


Yahoo! Weather forecast on N900 lock screen

A Talk user "Alfred" has put together a how-to for placing a Yahoo! Weather widget on the N900's lock screen: I have played with the generationally's script and have decided to get my weather forecast up there, using the same command that QBW uses to get your Yahoo Forecast. The screenshots are impressive, although your editor admits he very rarely sees his N900's lock screen.

Opera widgets running as standalone N900 applications

Talk user "niloy" has put together a short process for getting Opera widgets running natively on the N900: Since both opera widgets and "Qt Web Runtime" uses open web technologies to make native applications, I was wondering if its possible to make opera widgets run natively on N900. It turned out to be surprisingly easy.


How to have work for vendors, but eat its own dog food

David Greaves has a proposal for how the MeeGo Project can interact with the MeeGo Developer Edition which aims, for the N900, to deliver a day-to-day usable operating system by the more technically minded: Justify the DE project by extending the "DE Project Vision" to include "Be a reference vendor". Extend the deliverables to include documentation about processes, organisational layout and tool usage. Test, challenge and improve the MeeGo <-> Vendor interface. Certainly the MeeGo Project needs to better define its deliverables: is it an end-user OS that people can download for their existing hardware (a la Ubuntu); is it the well-known stack which is delivered, with a few customisations, to consumers preinstalled on their devices (a la Android); or is it a stack, available to OEMs, which allow them to shortcut the development of their own OS (a la LiMo, or - increasingly - Android)? Without this clarity, every feature request and architectural decision will be discussed with differing viewpoints of what it is the project should be delivering.

Intel's AppUp "Submit Early, Submit MeeGo" deadline interpretation?

Attila Csipa (current Maemo Community Council representative) has raised an interesting issue on the MeeGo-community mailing list about the specifics of Intel's AppUp "Submit Early, Submit MeeGo" contest deadline rules: As many of you might know AppUp has a submit early, submit MeeGo program where they plan on rewarding some of the first MeeGo application developers... (very good, thumbs up for that). However, it seems the busy-bee coders managed to swamp the AppUp validation queue and the rule clarifications implied that only applications that actually get VALIDATED before the deadline are eligible. My question is, knowing that there are a lot of Intel/AppUp folks here: Would it be possible to (as a sign of good will and support for early No response from the contest organizers as yet.

Qt homescreen widgets: failing with Maemo 5 CSSU?

Alberto Mardegan has had reports that Oculo, his new web content home screen widget, does not work with the latest Community SSU: Some users running CSSU reported that my homescreen widget (written in Qt) does not appear in their homescreen. I did a quick search on the forums, and found that the issue affects also some other widget. Does anyone have any ideas of what could be wrong? It seems that the widget loads and works properly, but it's simply invisible.

In the latest email, Alberto is considering "conflicting" with the CSSU's version of Qt which is in testing. This is certainly in nobody's interest: the aim of the Community SSU is to get bug fixes out to users. In your editor's opinion, if the bug cannot be easily fixed, a stabilisation branch of the CSSU should be branched off without the Qt upgrade and this further tested and polished to become a "stable" release.


Materials from MeeGo Day at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit

The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in San Francisco in April was host to a MeeGo day again this year, and materials from the event are now available. Dawn Foster announces, Thank you to everyone who attended or presented at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit MeeGo Day on April 7. For those of you who weren't able to attend, I wanted to let you know that all of the presentations are available for you to download and read. Link to the materials after the jump.

Add your quotes for the MeeGo Conference signage

The MeeGo conference organization committee is seeking input on slogans to use for conference signage: Hello and thank you for participating in our user generated quote submission. If selected, your quoted text may appear on signage at the MeeGo conference in San Francisco. Please keep your answers short, fun, and engaging. Hopefully submitted ideas will be more positive than not. ;)

What is the market for MeeGo?

In a long, but good-natured, debate on Friday evening Andrew Flegg, Robin Burchell, Simon Pickering, Thiago Macieira and others argued about the commercial prospects for mass-market MeeGo devices, raising many important and difficult questions about the project, its direction, and ultimate place in the market. If I'm a relatively small handset manufacturer, Android look(s|ed) attractive to me because I could get it at low cost and start shifting devices which would be known to work; I could differentiate on cost or quality/features - but basically I had no concerns about [my ability to deliver] my software platform.

If I'm a relatively small handset manufacturer, MeeGo does *not* look attractive to me, because I have to do more of the work to get it to the same level to compete with the people using Android (say).

Now, if I'm a *big* manufacturer (let's say HTC (now) or Samsung): there's no way I would've made MeeGo the core of my business whilst Nokia were the only people shipping (or going to ship) MeeGo handsets. I'd wait to see how there's panned out. But I do want to differentiate from the other Android manufacturers. But if Nokia have done a cost/benefit analysis and decided MeeGo doesn't let them compete with *me*, why am I going to move to the platform they abandonned?


LG Electronics showing prototype MeeGo devices in San Francisco

LG will likely be showing the first MeeGo prototype from a major manufacturer later this month at the MeeGo Summit in San Francisco. In a session proposal which is no longer available (and doesn't appear in the schedule), LGE will present how LGE’s works on MeeGo IVI/Tablet/Smart Phone and how/what LGE will contribute for the future of MeeGo platform. Also some proposal on SW architecture will be presented. This session will include demonstration of prototype devices. (Will be updated) The original link is no longer working, so here's a link to MeeGo Experts' coverage of it instead.


QML-based MeeGo dialer

Tom Swindell has announced his new QML-based dialer for MeeGo to replace the (obsolete) MeeGo Touch Framework-based dialer from the reference UX. I've been working over the past few months, when I could, on replacing the current MeeGo Touch Framework based user interface of the reference dialer application with a QML based user experience. I've hit a good state to start publishing my work and have published and will continue to update a QML branch of the reference dialer on If you'd like to dig in, the source repository is available in the email.

Oculo - dynamic web content on N900 home screen

Alberto Mardegan has announced Oculo, which allows subsets of web pages to be embedded on your Maemo 5 desktop: Latest news, sport results, stock market quotes, currency conversions, web comics, picture of the day... The internet is filled with dynamic content that you might want to bring into your phone homescreen, but often you don't have a widget that supports the site you are interested in. But now, cry no more! Oculo is a homescreen widget for the Nokia N900 which can take any web site and render its contents into your homescreen. Not only it can render a complete web-page, you can also choose which specific parts of a web page you are interested in!

The application is currently in Extras-testing, but seems to have issues with the Qt in the latest version of the Community SSU. If you are testing the CSSU, you may have issues - however this should not be used to mark down Oculo, as it is CSSU which is introducing the issue.