Samstag, 28. Mai 2011

MeeGo Conference 2011 in San Francisco

I've been lucky to be among the sponsored participants for the MeeGo Conference 2011 in San Francisco this week (thanks to the Linux Foundation). As with the last events, it's always nice to meet up with fellow Maemo community members whom I already knew from previous summits/conferences and also to finally meet some new community members in person for the first time.

Intel loaned out ExoPC hardware running MeeGo Tablet UX for MeeGo development during the AppUp Event on the Warm-Up weekend. Conny had the great idea to start a multi-touch Pong game that we now call "Mong" (Gitorious repo) and that we now collectively develop with some community members (sounds - recorded live from the Air Hockey tables at the Hacker Lounge! - by Erik, graphics by Tim, code by Conny and me):

More photos of the event: Conference and Party on Flickr. Don't forget to add your photos to the MeeGoConf2011 Flickr group. My Python + PySide talk went well, too bad that Matti (who helped prepare the presentation - thanks!) couldn't come. Slides are already available, and check out the MeeGo-Python tutorial if you want to get started. I'd be grateful for any feedback on the session and the tutorial - especially the things that weren't clear and could be improved.

About the keynote, I mostly agree with Jaffa's thoughts about how it could have been better, and that there should have been some announcements or commitments to release MeeGo-related end user products to give the project some much-needed(?) backing from vendors. I also agree with "MeeGo needs Harmattan a lot more than Harmattan needs MeeGo" - even though it isn't "real MeeGo", it's presumably the single polished MeeGo-related handset product that will (hopefully?) be available soon-ish.

But again, from a community perspective, MeeGoConf SF 2011 was great (thanks to LF for the sponsoring and to the organizers for choosing a great venue), San Francisco the city was awesome and - judging from the rumors on TMO - I'm pretty sure that we're looking forward to a great June that will allow us to finally port our apps to new MeeGo-related hardware.

Let's hope that we have an opportunity to meet up again in some future Maemo/MeeGo-related event :) Thanks for a great week!

Mittwoch, 11. Mai 2011

gPodder on the N900 MeeGo 1.2 Developer Edition

If you want to try the MeeGo N900 Developer Edition for the N900 but think that clicking through the Widgets Gallery gets boring after 45 minutes, why not try out the QML UI of gPodder on it? It's pretty easy. This post assumes that you are using the alpha release of the N900 Developer Edition from a microSD card and boot via USB.

Thankfully, Python 2.6 is already preinstalled, but you need recent PySide packages for gPodder to work (PySide exposes the Qt framework to the Python world), you can get them from PySide binaries for MeeGo. You don't need to upgrade Qt, simply installing the PySide packages is enough:

zypper addrepo pyside
zypper install python-pyside

What you need now is a recent Git checkout of gPodder's "tres" branch. I suggest you do that on your computer:

git clone git://
cd gpodder
git checkout tres

Now there are two pure Python dependencies for gPodder that you also need. As there are no packages for them in MeeGo yet, you also have to provide them manually. The first one is the Universal Feedparser. Grab a recent release from the downloads page and copy the file to the src/ folder in your gPodder checkout. The second dependency is mygpoclient, a client library for the web service. You can check out the latest version from Git:

git clone git://

In the checkout, you will find a folder called mygpoclient - copy this to src/ in your gPodder checkout. Now you have a complete, self-contained gPodder checkout on your computer. Use rsync or scp -r to copy it over to your N900 (you can use USB Networking for that).

Now that you have everything on your N900, you have to add some subscriptions manually (mostly because the QML doesn't yet have the UI required to subscribe to new feeds) - use bin/gpo to start the command-line utility, then do something like subscribe fb:linuxoutlaws to subscribe to an example podcast. Quit the command line application and start the QML UI using bin/gpodder --qml, which should - after some loading time - show gPodder/QML on your MeeGo 1.2 Developer Edition environment.

If you have made it this far, don't stop here - try out the examples from the PySide/QML Tutorial and familiarize yourself with Python development on MeeGo - it's easy and fun!

Mittwoch, 4. Mai 2011

gPodder 2.15 available; QML UI plans and Diablo support

A new version of the open source podcatcher gPodder is now available for Maemo 4 (Diablo, N800 and N810) and Maemo 5 (Fremantle, N900). For Diablo, the package is already promoted to the Extras repository, so it should appear as an update soon, and for Fremantle, it's in Extras-Testing waiting for some reviews and votes from you (yes, you!). Please test and vote for gPodder 2.15-1 in Extras-Testing. This is a bugfix release in the stable 2.x release series, and also includes some translation updates as well. For full details, see the official release announcement.

Because I've been asked about the QML UI several times now: It's still not day-to-day usable, and missing some features. It's also only included in the "tres" branch, and won't be included in the 2.x release series. Judging from the current performance of QML UIs on Maemo 5, I also think that the Hildon-based Gtk+ UI might be better suited for Maemo 5, especially since it has been polished for the last 1.5 years - that's why the current Maemo 5 UI will most likely still be the default, even when gPodder 3 comes out (with the QML UI as an option).

Support for Diablo will be dropped in "tres", but as there haven't been any new features for Diablo in the last several months, that's not really a problem (bug fixes will still be made to the 2.x branch of gPodder, even after "tres" is released - you just have to report them).

That said, the QML UI will be available (and the default) for environments like the MeeGo N900 DE and probably any other MeeGo UIs (tablet, handset, etc..) in the future, and it will come with some exciting new features and a streamlined user interface.