Thursday, November 27, 2008

UKMP 1.83 released to repositories

A week of tuneups and I feel confident putting the portrait ukmp to maemo extras. It's there now available as update to previous users of ukmp.Album art downloading was greatly improved on version 1.82, so 1.83 will remove your existing cover art upon install. 1.83 added the final touches like play/pause button to work properly and some layout tuneups. Shuffle logic is still horrible and I really need to revisit that for the next version.

Other known irritations are that only fisrt 35 songs are visible on each album, so if you have e.g. Rolling Stones top 500 songs as one album, you'll be very dissatisfied with ukmp. I'm trying to bridge the gap between what is now and having 500 songs on an album, but it's not going to work on the next release. Also, everyone should be plesed to notice the exit button on top right corner, with me being the most pleased, because perhaps this will stop emails to me asking how to close ukmp. 1.82 also came with proper support for collection albums. Now the song artist is displayed in the song list view for collection albums. It's simple, yet very rewarding feature.

No more words: Click here to install .

Oh, I'll be posting a new video for the next version. Check out my previous post for the 1.80 release video.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

UKMP 1.80 and Zen of music player

Long time in the making bears fruit. I'm publishing ukmp 1.8 now. It's beta, I have worked today six or seven hours on it, which is probably more I've done to it for a few months. I've been doing some testing, but as you can imagine, it needs a bit more tests before I feel confident putting it to maemo extras repositories and download pages.

However, what is there is something I'm pretty proud of. It's now the music player I always wanted it to be. Very easy to use, very smooth and now that it's in portrait mode, it's finally usable with one hand. Mind you, the optimal hand is left hand.

What is so very nice of this portrait mode is that it works without any support from the X. I made it with the xrandr support initially, but later coded the version that doesn't require the x changes, because I know only a handful of people who have it installed (even though I do love the portrait mode on most of the applications, especially the browser).

Ah, back to ukmp. Well, Here is a camera grab playing on n800. And of course, it's always nice to give you guys a short video as well. I'm really a bit tired, so I only made a one shot presentation. I hope you guys forgive the shaky cam.

If you want to try the latest ukmp, please install first ukmp 1.7 from: Maemo Downloads

and then update it with this link: ukmp 1.83

(or check if later releases already exist: ukmp releases )

Zen of UKMP

UKMP is trying to be a great music player with as little features as possible in the limited space a mobile device has. There is one way to access your music : by album. All music is sorted with one criteria: artist. This way all of albums of one artist are next to each other. Music collections are bundler as artist VA (various artists).

When you open an album, there is again just one sorting criteria: song number (that is, the original sort on the CD),

If you click on a song, it starts playing. Simple.

Sure, shuffle mode needs to be there. Check.
Party mode / queue needs to exists. Check.

What this model gains is that you are at most two clicks away from playing a file. This is quite different from overly generalized music players. I'm not saying there is anything bad about having to do 8 clicks before a song starts playing, It's just not my cup of tea.

There is work to be done for sure. Volume should be more obvious ( + and - buttons on your device), there should be an exit button. Nothing more really comes to my mind now. Please comment your ideas.

An extra one that might need explaining is delete on click. This mode is convenient for e.g. podcasts or for weeding your music out of filler songs. Don't bug me if you delete accidentally something. It is for a reason the only colored (red) widget in the otherwise black and white UI.

[edit] added the dl link
[edit] modified link to point to 1.81 version. Will blog about 1.82 probably at some point. Will publish 1.82 to repositories. Please let me know of any bugs in 1.81.
[edit] modified link to 1.83. Please let know of ny 1.83 bugs. Perhaps 1.83 or 1.84 will go to repos.
[comment] ukmp code is pretty bloaded. 3500 loc.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Desktop search hackfest 1st day

First proper day of desktop search hackfest behind. We had good progress on the most important areas already and we are making now similar progress on the second day. The biggest one was that we agreed on the ontology changes that have been raised with variable solution candidates now for a year. The solution is clean and simple. It is future oriented by allowing proper object relations in the ontology, but still retaining the possibility to be efficient on the cases where you are only interested in a lablel-like property of the relationship rather than the actual object in the relation.

Check out mikkels post on the subject

Today we have also been able to extend the query api to reflect this ontological change. We also agreed to add proper support of nested queries that truly makes the search api powerful. Biggest issues remaining currently are in the area of live queries. Here is a very good example of a real world ;) use case. By the way, using Gobby (gnome application) makes document collaboration astonishingly easy.

Maybe we could try to draft a spec as well? Maybe just some notes?
Because it's still not really clear what everyone up to because everyone is up to slightly different things.

Match all documents with keyword "biology" which author comes from the
same country as any person with name Jim.
<query content="xesam:Document" hitFields="xesam:title, xesam:author/xesam:givenName">


<field name="xesam:keyword"/>

<field name="xesam:author/xesam:country"/>
<field name="xesam:author/xesam:birthdate"/>
<query content="xesam:Person" hitFields="xesam:country, xesam:birthdate">
<field name="xesam:givenName"/>
<field name="xesam:gender"/>
<field name="xesam:birthdate"/>



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cairoclock out

Khertan was kind enough to package the cairoclock and put it to extras repository. Now we can all easily install the magnificent clock on diablo/chinook.

What makes it so great? Well, it's much better looking than the default clock. You can resize it as you see fit. It's simplistic and looks good.

Take a look at the screenshots below.

Also, what is truly great on that is that it's a python applet and has a very nice and clean code to serve as an example to anyone interested in making cairo based applets for the device. I do encourage giving it a go. You'll get good control over the content and cairo seems to be drawing quite fast even on larger surfaces.

As some sort of future update, the clock could be setup to have option to not to include the seconds.

Link to install is at downloads

Monday, September 08, 2008

Theme Maker 1.1.7 now with support for icons

Theme maker now includes support for icons. Sure, it used to have the support earlier on as well, but now the support is proper and the icons are actually made into an icon gtk theme and the theme is then referred in the actual theme as the themes icon theme.

Confusing? Well the good thing is that no-one needs to care. Just open theme maker, set your theme name (no spaces), set your name, select bg file, select template file, select icon file, set theme version, top bar height (I recommend 60 - remind myself to put that as default, now it's 45), then set font sizes, font names, add a .ttf font if you want to install new font to the system. Click on the build theme and again on build theme on the next page and POW! You are done. Your own theme with your own font and your own icons. Currently only the home screens four icons are supported, I'll add the rest on later versions. Anyway, you still need to make the theme look your own, but to do that, all you need is photoshop (or any other similar tool) and a little patience. I've myself been especially using the fonts to get some sweet new fonts for my fbreader sessions.

Link to download: Download at garage

As you can see, I forgot to change the version number on the theme maker view. Will be fixed for 1.1.8. ;)

Please note that the icon template seems to be mandatory in this version. Looks like 1.1.8 is coming sooner than I thought! ;)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Tracker and vala goodness

I was just today looking at some examples of tracker use and stumbled on hum-gtk - a gtk music player that combines three very-close-at-heart projects together: gstreamer, vala and tracker. It's a simple app, the picture speaks louder than any description:

But the true greatness comes when you look at the source code of it. I dare you - do take a look at it:

You can see that you can make a decent music player (yeah, it's the 0.1 stage, so no-one is expecting a miracle) with just tiny amount of code.

Oh, by the way, I've published a new version of theme maker that has lot's of good fixes and font support and I'm now working on including icon support to the diablo.
[edit] The screenshot is from the 0.1 version that was written on c. The code is still very neat, but not just vala.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Wiicontrol for nokia n810 / n800

Let me start by telling you that wiicontrol is just marvelous piece of software. I allows you to pair your wiimote with your tablet. Result: Perfect controller for games and really nice controller for media applications.

So, emulators are now usable, doom / quake: check! pengupop / bomberman. Yeah baby! I cannot take credit of the wiicontrol, as it's really a project JL Diaz started, I just pimped it a bit. It's based on wiimote by Will Woods. GPL2+ for wiimote and gpl3+ for the wiicontrol.

Hey, please take a look at this video to see how very simple it is to use. If you toggle the gyro, it will currently produce wasd events when the you rotate your wiimote. Nice for e.g. strafing in quake/doom. Anyway, this is the first version and I'm sure me and JL will be bringing some cool configuration options and perhaps even mouse cursor support in the near future.

Link to install it is in here:
Wiicontrol 1.04

Monday, March 24, 2008

Theme Maker 1.1.3 out

I took a bit time off to polish the Theme Maker. The latest version, 1.1.3 now supports also background images. Background images will appear in the image list of the the 'select background image' dialog.

So, what is the Theme Maker anyway?

It's an easy to use tool for creating themes for the Maemo devices like N800 and N810. All you need is a image editor program like gimp of photoshop and a little patience. It works on OSX, Windows (all versions) and Linux. You'll need java from Sun to run it.

Basically, it's all about editing one single image file like this (this is a small part of a theme template only):

and then setting the theme details in Theme Maker like this:

And Clicking build in theme maker. It will produce a nice installable .deb file of your theme. Just copy that to your device (or publish it ... whatnot) and install it as normal. Now just set your theme on your device and it will transform to something like this (well, for NuvoPearl it looks like this):

And, as stated in the first paragraph of this blog, now themes also include the backgrounds so that your theme is more complete. Icons are still not changeable, but let's see what I can do about them in the future...

If you have a bit of artist in you, please try out the theme maker (install java if needed):

And if you liked NuvoPearl theme pictured above, you can install the latest version from here:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sneak peak to ukmp 1.8

A quick taster of how splendid the latest ukmp looks. Of course, an image is not enough to show how nice UI candy it contains, but it's a taster. As you can see (and deduce the rest), vanilla SDL and python are able to do some pretty nice stuff. Oh, even though there is the reflection, fps is still nice and above the blitting limit of the device.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Theme Maker

I completely forgot to talk about theme maker in my last post. Yes, I finally gave into the dark side. I moved to use Nokia official template for theme maker. This is good and bad. Bad in that if you had made something on the old theme maker, you'll have to port it to the new template. Good in the sense that you'll get all the features in exactly the manner god of this device intended (nokia).

Above, you can see the first test theme that I made with the new theme maker. It's there to also test out how 'light' themes look. As you've noticed, pretty much all the current themes are very dark. So, to balance the 'turn to the dark side', here is the latest (1.2) iteration of the nuvo theme.

So, many people probably don't know what theme maker is. It's an java application for windows/osx/linux that makes a theme out of an png file. So, you open the png in gimp or photoshop, edit it out, open theme maker, specify the theme name, font size and click on make theme. Wait a minute or so and you have a .deb file of your newly created theme. Current version doesn't set the bg, but you can't have it all on day one.

If you are interested in Nuvo, dl it from here:
NuvoPearl 1.2

and for theme maker:

When you have new themes, please put them to the for all the world to use!

Just to show the nuvopearl a bit more, here's a screenshot of file manager. Smaller font makes it much nicer looking as well. (and usable)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

USBControl and Theme Maker

Just a quick short blog post

As requested, I packed in the weekend USBControl as a seprate package. I also upgraded it so that it works even after a reboot. LOL. the previous one actually only worked until you rebooted the device and lost the access to edit your USB mode after that. LOL indeed. I didn't realize that, as I really don't reboot my device too often. Kudos to nokia for the stable device.

Anyway, the new package runs as sudo, so it's able to edit the file even later on. (security people can now cry iik!).

You can install it from here (yo need to have python installed before though):

I'll put it to repos in a few days time, but before that, try it out and let me know how you like (or dislike) it.

Current version also tells the status of the usb as well as the devices attached to your tablet.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

USB OTG the easy way

Some people have been writing about the USB OTG use with need to hack the cable by soldering a few wires together. Even Ars technica went the hard way of soldering a cable. This is not the way to do it my friends. On a computer-like device, the way is to 'solder software', not hardware. I found the instructions on software solution from muru and then thought:"This is still just too hard". So, what to do? Make it easy, of course.

Enter USBControl

I thought that this is worth a full hour of my time. So, today I put together a new application that you can use to switch the device (N800 or N810) between USB Host and USB OTG modes. All you need, is an USB Female-Female adaptor like this:

So, remember, that is USB A female to female adaptor. Costs pennies. Well, almost.

After you have the USB adaptor, just install ukmp from here: Garage

That version is beta. You may need to install ukmp first from here:

ukmp is my media player, but it now comes bundled with uktube (youtube downloader) and USBControl.

Finally, open USBController from your extras menu. Click on HOST. Attach USB cable and e.g keyboard to the other end and.... There you go. Nothing else needed. Open notes, xterm, whatnot and start typing. Or, remove the kb and attach a memory stick. For me, even wireless keyboards work just fine without any powered hub. Same for one memory stick, but another memory stick needed more juice than the device had.

If your peripheral needs more juice, just put a powered hub in between. Simple, huh?