Donnerstag, 29. September 2011

gPodder Maemo 5 Remota Usability Test Videos

Back in August, Jarkko Mikael Palonkangas has been looking for Maemo 5 users without any experience in using gPodder. His Master's thesis is about the Thinking Aloud usability testing method on mobile devices, and he chose gPodder as the example application. The application used for managing the test cases has been written by Jarkko for Maemo 5 and is called Remota - it takes care of displaying the tasks to the users, recording screenshots and audio and retrieving the logging output from gPodder.

Remota log viewer with UI action log at the bottom

If you are interested in seeing how this looks, or if you would like to help to comment on the usability issues and find improvement ideas, please feel free to click through the videos below, which have now been uploaded:

Unfortunately, user 4's logging output had problems, so you only have audio and video for these tasks - for users 1 through 3 we also have logging output about UI interactions, which was possible by patching the gPodder source to add additional handlers to buttons and other UI elements while the UI was created on application startup.

Please feel free to add comments to the videos - Jarkko is going to process them and include the finding in his final work, so that would be an easy way to contribute.

Montag, 19. September 2011

SwipEout - Python + OpenGL ES 2.0 on the N950 (and N900!)

Last weekend I've been toying around with Open GL ES 2.0 on the N950 after finding a nice Xlib-based Python example on the web for the N900. I modified the code a bit, replaced the Xlib code with a QGLWidget from QtOpenGL (via PySide), which makes the setup a lot easier and (apart from API differences of GL ES 2.0 and Desktop GL) allows me to test the prototype on my normal computer as well.

After I got the hang of it, I decided to come up with some fancy 90s-style hover racing game (only texturing, no lighting), or at least parts of it - right now, the small hovercraft just runs around the track and you can shift it left and right via the touchscreen and switching between normal and bird's view by pressing any hardware key.

As for the GL ES bindings (this is the interesting/useful part to developers who want to access the GL ES 2.0 API from Python), I put together a naive header-to-ctypes binding generator for the GL ES 2.0 API which you can run on "gl2.h" from the Qt SDK's Madde sysroot (too lazy to search for a working binding generator that surely exists somewhere out there already) - or just grab the generated "" from the SwipEout source tarball. The result? Video it yourself.

You can grab the source code and miscellaneous files from the SwipEout website. The code was tested on the N900 and N950, you only need Python, PIL (python-imaging), PySide and the Open GL ES 2.0 libraries ( installed. Removing the PIL dependency and replacing it with Qt-based texture loading is left as an exercise for the reader. Enjoy :)

Donnerstag, 1. September 2011

qw The Game 1.5.1 is here - for MeeGo and Symbian

Control the white ship to fill areas.
Last December, I started to work on a new game: qw ("cuvée"), an area filling game similar to Qix. Since the tech demo has been released, I've been working on a fancy QML menu, a balanced scoring system, nice rendering effects for enemies and the player's trail and obviously some more levels, which results in this new release, version 1.5.1, with 13 high-definition images that are waiting for you to get their colors back.

The game is now available from Ovi Store for N950 and N9 users, and also for Symbian devices - the advantage of the MeeGo version being that it has higher-resolution artwork (it fully utilizes the higher screen resolution) and sound effects (for some reason Qt Mobility's QML SoundEffect has its problems on Symbian). Both versions use the feedback motor of the device for feedback when you draw, fill or die.

Here's a gameplay video of the first 3 levels, so you can get a feeling of how the game plays: