Saturday, July 17, 2010

NuvoFre 1.10

NuvoFre 1.10 out with nice summer feel to it.

I'll add it to devel soon.

Direct link: NuvoFre 1.10

QML photoviewer demo on n900 with data from on-device webserver and tracker

Title says almost all.

I've been toying a bit with idea of adding a very lightweight http server to n900 to serve the primary data of the device so that development of the UI can be done nicely on PC while still accessing the real data. One might argue that just pulling the data to PC would solve this and using the existing APIs. Well, yeah, but that's also laborious if you are not linux developer, whereas this approach works beautifully for any web runtime developers as well as developers of qt quick apps.

Doing this on web paradigm allows reuse of many learnings from my past life and creates a very flexible middle layer between the data itself and the UI.

As the first thing to serve as the proof of concept, I created an ATOM image http service on the device. It follows directly the format of flickr, so any code written to show flickr images can be converted to showing n900 images - either on the pc or on the device itself. Data is retrieved from tracker and thumbnails are also trackers pre-generated thumbs.

And here's the beef of course. Once the UI code is working nice and all, it can be just copied to the device and it'll just work. As a demo, here's vanila n900 (no overclocking) running both the server and qt quick application without any noticeable lag. Of course the devices thumsbs suck, as they don't have an aspect-ratio retained version available.

Web server also works as a very nice access control layer between a runtime that can be now very sandboxed. Not that I care.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

NuvoFre 1.0.8

A quick peek at the next nuvofre is out in case you want to try it out.

I'll fix an issue in calendar coloring before I will put the next version of theme maker out.

Theme is using the nice bundled tahoma font, icons are oxygen icons from kde (kudos guys), transitions have been tuned to feel more flowy.

Download: NuvoFre_1.08

As said, grave issues with calendar, otherwise it should rock.

A few shots:

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Harmattan + Meego Here I come

I have moved now away from Fremantle to Harmattan and Meego. This doesn't mean that the maintenance is stopping for Fremantle in any way, just that the coordination effort on OS & MW has lessened and my presence is not needed so much anymore.

I would like to take just a sec also to address the comments about the leaked firmware. It is indeed not the final Pr1.2 firmware, and there are reasons for it. So, if you find severe issues in it, don't be surprised. If it only had minor issues, it would have been published already. We are often finding still some new major issues in the stabilization phase. It's normal for big projects.

So, what am I doing now then? I am looking after the Harmattan Maemo API to make sure we have a solid 3rd party API and there is a clear continuation path for everything that would change for Meego. At the same time I'm working as a catalyst for the Harmattan software program. This catalyst role is naturally a bit vague and I'm often afraid whether I'm doing more harm than good after being so long time away from Harmattan development, but it looks like I'm able to pick issues every day that do push us a clear step closer to the target. Let's see how long this continues. But what I really focus all the time is the Maemo API.

What does the Maemo API work mean in practice? It's about defining together with the architects the Application development APIs and the platform APIs. The distiction between these two is that every single API of the former should stay the same in Meego and maintain API and ABI compatibility. For the latter, we yield that they are needed for development of many applications but we deem those may be subject to change for various reasons (be that that we know a better one is around the corner, the API is unstable or even that we just happen to be uncertain what will happen to the API in the future), and thus if you use those APIs on your app, they might need tuneups before they work on the Meego handheld platform.

In addition to only the pick and mix work of selecting the APIs, I'm also actively trying to look for issues we might have in the APIs that restrict certain types of development. It's a common case that we have been looking solely for our own needs (or Intels) on many cases, but we have forgotten that small detail that would mean the world for some 3rd party developers. I would be naive to think that I can somehow find all the issues and get them miraculously fixed. Indeed not, but I have some talented help and I'm sure every improvement is a step to a better direction.

I'm not exactly certain if I can discuss about the inititives that I have started or the issues I have found, so I'll leave discussion on those until I have chatted with Quim Gil about it. In the meanwhile, please do contact me if you find issues in the APIs that has been published in the SDKs or in the open repos like gitorious for Harmattan Maemo API.

Oh, why is it Maemo API and not Meego? Well, we are still using the low part of the stack from maemo and haven't merged to meego lower levels, we use still different packaging system, and tons of other reasons that have been voiced out probably many times before.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Retrospective on 101

The first maintenance release is out. What you can see as the biggest news items is that application manager looks quite a bit different, and Ovi store is out. These two things go hand in hand. The work on application manager is on improving the user experience for installing applications from Ovi store. In addition to that, it's on improving the user experience of installing content from the community and nokia applications catalogues. Application manager is now fast enough to use - if only would be updated soon, then so would the community catalogues.

Ovi store content is not visible in the application manager installable applications. This is intentional, as we want the official Ovi store front-end to be the only place to browse for the great applications, backgrounds, ringtones and wallpapers. For this reason, the red pill mode was removed as well.

Here's a look at the application manager categories list (In finnish - it's time you all learned it ;) )
Great work from Vilja on the icons. Kudos! And for Gabriel for turning it to reality.

What you don't see immediately on the outside, is the work on preparation for the next big update. We have been working hard in making sure the OS update really works cleanly over the air and that it can be done with as little free space avaiable as possible. The end result is something to be proud of. I would like to thank especially Lokesh, Victor, Mario and David for the hard work, long days and tiresome weekends that resulted in the flawless update experience you guys are about to embark on. Without these guys raising to occasion when the going got tough, we would probably be pretty shaky about how the big updates will work. Now I'm content it will work great for all of you out there.

So, this is the step 1 only, you should be able to enjoy it and the Ovi store applications while waiting for the big update coming your way soon.

Hildon icon cache has been removed and update-icon-cache is now a no-op. Reason is that it was consuming vast amounts of space on rootfs and it was too slow to use on opt. Dropping has no human detectable differences in anything, so I'm sure it won't be missed by anyone. Computer measurable startup difference was within some percents give or take for most of the apps, but media player is 30 % faster without the cache, while maps is about 20% slower. Anyway, a good trade off.

Another thing that was removed is the red pill mode, as we didn't see any particular need for it anymore.

A word of warning: The next big update will require 45 megs of free space on the rootfs. This is pretty difficult for an end user to understand, so I'm calling all you developers who might have wasted end users rootfs space: please do what you can to optfy end users devices for every byte you can spare.

Read more detailed comments on the application manager work from here:

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Enhanced Calculator demo code

This is just a quick blog reply to requests to show the code of the Calculator of my previous blog post. I would gladly share the source in a nice zip as well, but wiki doesn't allow zip uploads (DOH!), so you'll have to accept badly commented wiki page.

Here be the WIKI.