In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • 2012 Device Program
    • When the chief editor's away, the interns will play
  2. Development
    • Writing a layout in QML
  3. Community
    • Coding Competition considering changing submission format
  4. Announcements
    • Initial alpha WhatsApp client for N900
    • Mustr sets random pattern backgrounds
    • Google Reader application for Harmattan
    • Unrestricted system-ui allows additional status menu plugins on Harmattan
    • ereswap swap fragmentation

Front Page

2012 Device Program

Editor: Ryan Abel

We mentioned the start of the 2012 Device Program last issue (well, more specifically, the Community Awards portion of the program), but we'd like to remind you both of its existence and its purpose again this week.

Nokia has alloted 100 devices (60 N9s and 40 N950s) for distribution by the community to community contributors. The devices will be distributed based on 4 categories of contribution (25 devices per category): for Coding Competition winners, in a manner to be decided once the format for this year's competition has been hashed out; for Community Awards, which aim to recognize contributions from community members with continuing histories of significant contribution; for community applications being published to the Nokia Store, to encourage the publishing of more community applications to the Nokia Stor; and for Qt 5 application ports, to encourage the porting of Qt 5 applications to Fremantle.

Discussion about the specifics for several of the categories is still ongoing, but submissions are open for the Community Awards (which seeks to recognize past and continuning community contributors) and should be open until June 12th. I'm once again encouraging you to poke your too-humble community contributor neigbors to file a submission if you believe they deserve a Community Award.

When the chief editor's away, the interns will play

Editor: GeneralAntilles

Andrew Flegg, our glorious leader, will be away for this issue and the next taking a well-deserved vacation. The rest of the editorial staff wishes him a safe and relaxing trip, and greatly hopes quality doesn't suffer without him. As that appears to be just me this week Since he's usually does the sourcing of news, any help on that front would be greatly appreciated for the next issue (just tweet your news tips @mwkn). See the link for additional details.


Writing a layout in QML

Editor: Ryan Abel

Robin Burchell, after finding himself fed up with the included layouts provided with QML, posted a short example layout: Sometimes, for whatever reason, the layouts provided "out of the box" in QML just don't cut it. Lately, I've been doing a few rather different things for experimentation and learning purposes that have meant I've run into quite a lot of these cases. When this happens, the first instinct is to fall into despair - but there's really no need for that. Writing your own layout really isn't that hard. Here's a small, fairly self contained example doing just that. Your editor ran into the same frustrations with the QML example code (especially trying to get QML PageStack to play nice). Check out the example code on the other end of the link.


Coding Competition considering changing submission format

Editor: Ryan Abel

lead-in Discussion about changes to the format of the 2012 Coding Competition have been ongoing after a proposal was put forward to remove categories from the setup altogether and simply lump all submissions into a single pile. Discussion has also ranged around how to deal with submissions for different platforms. If you're interested in jumping in on the issue, check out the thread.


Initial alpha WhatsApp client for N900

Editor: Ryan Abel

The first alpha release of a WhatsApp client for Fremantle, Yappari, was announced last week by Talk user "Scorpius": While we wait for Wazzap to hit the N900 I've decided to share with you all a Whatsapp client I've been coding for a while now. So far this will only work for people that have been using the peterbjornx's Java Whatsapp port and registered their real IMEI. If you've got an N900 and want to try it out . . . you're going to have to invest some effort. Probably best to wait for the beta if you're not planning on filing bugs.

Mustr sets random pattern backgrounds

Editor: Ryan Abel

Thomas Perl announced yet-another-cool-application last week: Mustr, which: is like Lucas Rocha's Pattrn, but for MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan. Funky patterns for your N950/N9! It uses the API of to download Creative Commons-licensed patterns (CC-BY-NC-SA) and set them as your lock screen wallpaper. Currently available only as a .deb, but due for arrival on Apps for MeeGo soon.

Google Reader application for Harmattan

Editor: GeneralAntilles

Grrok, a Google Reader application for Harmattan, was released last week by Jon Levell: I've been working on a Google Reader App for the N9 written in QML/Javascript. It still has rough edges but I use it for my day-to-day feed-reading at this stage. [...] Feedback welcome (once it's much more polished I'll put it in the Ovi Store (for free) or For the time being, it's only available as a .deb from the developer's website, but should, according to the developer, make its way to the Nokia Store once it's more polished.

Unrestricted system-ui allows additional status menu plugins on Harmattan

Editor: Ryan Abel

Now a story for you younguns: Once upon a time, statusbar plugins ran wild and free in the statusbars of Maemo devices everywhere. Now, Installation of the package requires that either Open Mode is enabled or Inception is installed, so this particular modification sits squarely in the realm of voided warranties.

ereswap swap fragmentation

Editor: Ryan Abel

estel has put together a series of scripts to help ease troubles caused by swap fragmentation on the N900: ereswap is a set of scripts, allowing to detect swap fragmentation and to refresh it. by re-enabling swap, when needed (or doing the latter no matter of conditions, if user decide to). Slow swap can be a particularly troublesome ailement on the N900, but these scripts should help speed up swap access if it becomes particularly fragmented. You can grab the .deb from Extras-devel (usual warnings apply, don't leave Extras-devel enabled or install any updates with it enabled, etc.).