Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Canola on the N900

Hey there. I've been extremely busy working on a very important project which is driving me and almost half of our crew mad. :P

Although it is true that the development of Canola is happening in a very slow pace, it doesn't mean that we have left the development behind. Actually many interesting things have happened lately, including of the closing of Google Summer of Code program. My very special thanks to all the people involved, students, mentors and administrators.

Coming back to the subject of this post, now that the new device is officially launched and all its features have been widely discussed all over the internet, I can share with you these pictures I've been holding for a while: Canola running on the N900.

It's still early work in progress and it is quite unstable, but I must say that it runs very smoothly, almost compared to Canola running on a regular computer. And it fits very well with the reduced size of the N900 screen.

It took me a lot of work to push all the dependencies to the extras-devel repository, always keeping in mind the backwards compatibility with Chinook and Diablo. We're still missing the proper package for Canola itself, because I wanted to make sure that it really worked before pushing it to the repositories. So, thanks to all the python goodness, it was just a matter of copying the source tree to the device and running it from the X Terminal. :D

Now back to work.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Bunch of Updates

Warning! Long long post ahead!

Well, I was supposed to post news here more often, but it's been quite impossible to do it due to the day to day work. Bullet point to the rescue!!!

  • Google Summer of Code

    Thanks to Valério who arranged everything, Maemo has got 10 slots in this year edition of Google Summer of Code. We received very good proposals for projects, but I never expected as much interest in Canola as we got in the end: 5 out of 10 projects are related to Canola. We'll surely have great results by the end of the program in August.

  • Mozilla/Maemo Danish Weekend

    The hackfest was really great. The idea of gathering together the main Firefox add-ons developers to get them ported to Fennec and the developers of Fremantle Stars at first seemed a bit weird in my point of view, but in the end it proved its worth. My travel was ok, but I felt really confused because of the jetlag. I only managed to get used to the timezone in Lisbon, during my trip back to Brazil.

    The IT University is a wonderful place, and the architecture of the building is just stunning.

    The opening party on Friday was a great opportunity to meet the already known and new faces. I could take part on some good discussions about Free Software, mobile devices, traveling, and many other things I can't remeber by now.

    In the way back to the hotel we realized how fun can it be to get a train in Copenhagen after having drunk some beers.

    It felt like we were traveling through time. Niels could express it better :D.

    Saturday morning after a quick kick-off by Quim and William, we had a track with presentations related to Mozilla. Time for the Maemo guys, myself included, to start working on their projects. I managed to get together with 3 of the 5 students that are participating in this year edition of Google Summer of Code: Andrey Popelo (Remember the Milk plugin), Andrei Mirestean (Picasa plugin), Lauri Võsandi (Bittorrent plugin).

    In the afternoon it was time of the Maemo track. We had very interesting talks: The first one about the new version of the platform and device. Quim showed us a development prototype unit and it seems really promising. Can't wait to see the final product. After that, quick presentations about the Fremantle Stars and a presentation about Canola, where I made the announcement about the exception in the GPLv3 that we adopted targeting new opportunities of adoption of our software.

    During my presentation I also demoed the new version of Canola, yet to be released, and the students working on the GSoC projects introduced themselves and their projects to the attendees. In the end of the talk, I presented some rough plans of the points we expect to work on for the near future.

    After my talk, we had the last two presentations about the awesome Mer project. :)

    On Sunday we were able to hack almost all day long. It was quite productive and I could help the students a bit and fix some nasty bugs in Canola and plugins. I also kicked off the work of porting the EFL packages to Fremantle, thanks to Jeremiah's valuable tips.

    It was a great event, thanks to everyone who worked to make it happen and also to Nokia/Mozilla for sponsoring my travel and accommodation. I really hope to be able to attend the Maemo Summit later this year in Amsterdam. :)

  • FISL

    That's what has keeping me busy lately. There are about 15 people from INdT going to Porto Alegre to attend the tenth edition of the Fórum Internacional de Software Livre (FISL). I'll give a talk about Canola and how it can be extended to bring new experiences to the users. Some guys from Qt Software are coming to FISL as well, and we're helping them to arrange everything with their booth.

    We are also organizing a challenge where the winner will receive a N810 Internet Tablet, Nokia Bluetooth Speakers and one week stay in Recife for a training on the latest Qt technologies which we're helping to develop.

  • Canola

    After the Mozilla/Maemo hackfest I started to work on the new release of Canola and consequently, EFL. At the moment we already have the core packages uploaded and working. Unfortunately I wasn't able to start working on the Python packages yet. Hope to start them on next week after we finish the arrangements for FISL. More to come soon. ;)

Monday, May 25, 2009

The N900 Internet Tablet?

Again, some late news, but I thought it would be of interest of the readers of Planet Maemo. This post in MobileCrunch reveals a lot of details, including release dates, of the so expected next generation of Internet Tablets.

If I understood correctly, by reading the article you'll see the most unexpected and exciting news, which is of course, the cellular voice, which turns the N900 in the first phone by Nokia running Linux. How cool is that? Now the launch makes perfect sense.

More links:

Discussion thread on Talk

UPDATE: Boy Genius Report points to CellPassion which shows a lowres photo of the new tablet:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Maemo GSoC: Deadline for students applications approaching

This is just to remember the students interested in participating in this year edition of Google Summer of Code that the deadline for submitting new proposals is today (Friday, April 3rd) at 19:00 UTC. If you want to develop a project related to the best software platform for mobile devices out there ;), becoming part of this exciting community and after all earn some money with it, this is your last chance. (At least until next edition of GSoc).

We have already received more than 30 project proposals, some of them very well written and complete. High quality stuff that may soon will be available for all Internet Tablet users.

Thanks to everyone involved in this effort, especially Valerio and all other guys that are willing to mentor the projects. Let's make Maemo rock this summer!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Looks familiar?

As seen on Engadget Mobile:

This is the new phone by LG, named GD900, first presented in Barcelona during the Mobile World Congress in February. By the time, they only did not have pictures showing the UI, only the piece of hardware with that shiny transparent keyboard.

But let's take a closer look on the UI, especially the icons:

The UI is named S-Class, and it is kind of familiar to me. You still didn't get it?? Let me help.

Did we influence the design? Hard to say, but who cares? :) I prefer to think so. This is a sign of the wonderful work of our design team. Thanks so much Patrícia and Marcelo. She had a nice presentation about the disturbing relationship between designers and developers during Bossa Conference this year. She even gives some examples of how things were decided during the development of Canola. A must see.

By the way, this is how the Canola main menu looks like from now on. If you've already downloaded and installed the software you may have noticed it. In fact we want to know the opinion of the users, if they prefer this kind of approach, with one access to all plugins or the other one, with categories for the plugins. Please post it in the comments.

Thanks Marcelo for pointing this out (via twitter).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Canola is free!

I'm pleased to announce that I've just closed bug #3881, which means that from now on Canola and all its components are licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3.

The source code of the former closed-source packages, Atabake, Download Manager, Terra and Canola, has been uploaded to our gitorious server a few hours ago.

The canola-devel mailing list for developers is already set up and working on garage. Everyone is very welcome to join us in the development of the project. For documentation, such as installation instructions, build dependency, and so on, I'm setting up a wiki that should go online by the end of this week under the domain.

With all this, Canola officially leaves the beta status. The packages of for the final 2.0.0 version will be uploaded soon, together with brand new Maemo-EFL.

Last, I'd like to thank everyone for supporting the project even before the very first release and especially for providing feedback on the various releases we had since December 2007. If today we were able to release Canola as Free Software, consider yourself responsible for it as well.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bossa '09 videos

Another edition of Bossa Conference finished and it was great as usual. I must admit I was really tired by the end of the event mainly because I had to switch between recording the presentations and actually preparing my talk.

One great thing is that Glaubert prepared a presentation template using the new logo/style and I was able to use it in the slides. I promissed to Andrew I would start a new page on maemo wiki and upload the images I used so we could have an unified template for anyone to use it. (Haven't had the proper time/mood to do it yet though. :P)

So, back to the subject of this post, we recorded all presentations given during the event. Actually some of them are already available at in the openBossa show page. Many many thanks to the guys that helped me somehow on this tough task. You know who you are! It would not be possible to do it without your help.

I'm still working on importing/converting/editing the remaining videos but you can already watch some of them.

Don't forget to subscribe to the RSS feed so you can get automatic updates in your favorite feed aggregator as soon as new videos become available.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Maemo @ Bossa '09

A year has already passed since the last edition of Bossa Conference and this years edition will happen in only a few days from now. Woohooo! I just can't wait for it to start.

Following the tendency of the previous editions, this year agenda brings a mix of many different subjects around the development of FOSS for mobile devices, from the basic platform components to the bling brought by the modern application development frameworks. Highlights: Kernel, Connectivity, Python, Qt, Webkit, Security, Enlightenment, Licensing, UI Design and Maemo.

Regarding Maemo, we'll have three presentations about it. Kate Alhola will give us a glimpse of the features of Freemantle with some live demos. Raul Herbster will talk about development for Maemo using the ESBox and Pluthon plugins for Eclipse. Definitely cool stuff. And finally, myself, for the first time presenting in Bossa Conference.

I will be wearing my hat as a member of the Maemo Community Council and my talk will focus on the Maemo Community, answering some questions such as: Who forms the community? What is it for? Why do we need the community? How to get involved? This is also the first time I'm presenting something on a non-technical subject and I hope to do it well.

I'm also trying to get some colleagues involved in the organization this year so we can get the presentations recorded on video and hopefully uploaded to the openBossa channel on youtube. Rock on!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

VMWare for Mobile

Just in case you haven't seen it yet, I'll post the video here so it get aggregated in Planet Maemo. Yesterday at VMworld conference, VMware's CTO demoed the mobile virtualisation platform, using a Nokia N800 Internet Tablet. The video shows it running Windows CE and Android virtual machines at the same time with impressive performance. Check it out:

If you can't see the video, just click here.

More information in ITPro (here and here), also in Gizmodo and WindowsForDevices.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Releases

If you've been following the updates in extras-devel repository you might have already noticed that we've been working on the new releases of the Maemo EFL stack together with Canola and Carman. Important to say, now that we have more applications (FTW!) depending on the core Enlightenment libraries we need to ensure that the upgrade won't break anything.

Anyway, it's unbelievable what Raster and the guys from E can do in order to optimize things. They are real freaks (in the good way)! Each and every new version released we have noticeable improvements in our user interfaces. And this time it wasn't different. You'll find the animations in Canola in Carman a lot snappier.

So, what's new in Canola?

  • Updated to latest revision of the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries

  • Videocasts support

  • Allow user to reset database

  • New configuration options added

  • Entire albums or directories can now be added to the OnTheGo playlist

  • New simple grid available for the Photos screen

  • Load images asynchronously, r

  • User can choose to scan for new media on startup

  • Fixed album cover discovery

  • Indicator of which music is being played in the list view

  • Improvements in Ogg and FLAC scanners

  • Improved feedback while scanning media, fetching album covers and generating video thumbnails

  • Bug fixes and optimizations

  • Pretty names in application manager

  • Canola theme maker. This is something that certainly deserves an exclusive post.

Yet to be released:

  • Home applet, where you can launch Canola and scan for new media, just like the good ol' Canola1. The code is ready, it's just a matter of providing the packages for it.

  • Source code!!! Yay!! Can't wait to close maemo bug #3881.

What about Carman??

Another topic for an exclusive post. Must sleep now. :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Contacts on Ovi Released (Also for Maemo)

I've just read on the Nokia Betalabs blog that the formerly known Nokia Chat application has been renamed to Contacts on Ovi. What really surprised me is to know that there is a version available for the Internet Tablets since last October. I have not been able to test it yet, but it seems that it is simply a plugin for the Accounts program which enables the user to register his Ovi account and start chatting.

In the FAQ page it is also noticeable that you can register your Ovi account as a standard Jabber/XMPP account in other instant messaging clients such as Pidgin and Adium.

To download the package, just point the browser of your tablet to this address or download it directly form here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Show me the code!

As part of my job at INdT, I was responsible for providing a unified solution for hosting the source code for our open source projects, such as QEdje, Carman and the yet to become free, Canola, amongst others.

There was only one major requirement: Git as our VCS. Of course we could simply provide a server with access for writing restricted for a few selected users and running gitweb for anyone interested in following the development of the projects.

We had already tried this approach with our projects internally, but it had proven to become visually a mess as the number of projects and users grow along time. Also, the amount of time spent with the server administration was really bothering many of us.

Enter Gitorious

Back in September, when some of our colleagues came back from a trip to Oslo, Norway, where they worked for a couple in collaboration with Qt Software guys, they brought with them lots of fresh and great ideas on how to improve our own processes.

One of these ideas was to make use of Gitorious as a tool for managing our git repositories. I had already used gitorious before, during the 2008 edition of Google Summer of Code, when I co-mentored a student in the implementation of bluez-python. One thing I didn't know though is that Gitorious itself is a Free Software project and its source code is available in the very own website.

Artur and Caio worked hard to setup an instance of Gitorious running on our internal server. We started using it for a few selected projects experimentally, and in a couple of months all of them had been moved to the brand new host. In time, this is just one the countless advantages of Git (and maybe others DVCS) over a centralized VCS. It was just a matter of adding a new remote and pushing the repository to it.

With Gitorious I was able to have contact with a completely new world in the Computer Science universe (at least for me): Web development. It is written in Ruby over the Rails Framework. At a first glance, everything looked awfully weird, from the language syntax to the Rails ways of doing things. It took me considerable time to get used to them, but I could successfully adapt the code to our needs.

You can see the final result in As it can be easily noticed, we have created just a few projects there, but the idea, as already stated, is to move all of our Free and Open Source Software projects to this new server as soon as possible. Notice that the site is not meant for openBossa/INdT employees exclusively. If you want to contribute to one of the existing projects over there, it is just a matter of getting in contact with the owner of the project and try to convince him you deserve an account. Even better, if you have a developed something related to one of our own projects, such as a Canola plugin, we are more than happy to host it. :)