Community Updates/2010-01-14

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Period 2010-01-01 to 2010-01-14


Since begin of year 2010 a lot has happened, both in application and distribution ground. But not everyone remembers, that all this progress would not be possible without middleware software layer. Following this thought we would like to remind FreeRunner's community about, often underestimated, FSO framework. Michael 'Mickey' Lauer, FSO's Framework lead stated, that 2009 was a turbulent year for FSO's team and thanked to all contributors and users of FSO APIs.

Concerning general problem of "invisibility", which affects all middleware, together with Sebastian Spaeth post and this one, which states that currently only one guy ('Mickey') is working, unpaid, on FSO development, we would like to call Community for help. Both, developers men-power and financial contributions are needed to keep up great progress of FSO Framework. Keep in mind, that this progress will affect all distributions and applications which use FSO Framework. Thus, if you have few spare coins on your PayPal account, and willing to donate to FSO project: , or particular FSO contributors, go for it!


New Applications

Browser-c c.png Elm-Browser 1.0_r0.4

This is an initial release of a very fast, finger friendly webkit-efl / elementary based browser.

  • finger scrolling
  • double-click to zoom in
  • triple click to zoom out (not working as of now - help needed)
  • layout optimised for max viewing space

Package: browser_1.0-r0.4_armv4t.ipk
Tested on: SHR-Unstable

Rtmom.png rtmom 0.1

rtmom is a Python client for RememberTheMilk. It is based on Elementary.

  • Currently, rtmom is more or less read-only:
    • you can download and display your tasks and
    • you may mark a task as complete
    • no editing or creating of tasks yet implemented
  • Check wiki for installation and usage.

Package: rtmom
Tested on: SHR-Testing

System boot.png Openmokontrol 0.1

Openmokontrol is a CLI-controlled application for the Freerunner to send input events to a remote X11 server caused by accelerometer events, well usable for games.

Package: Openmokontrol, Debian package
Tested on: SHR-Unstable,Hackable:1

Qcurrency.png QCurrency 0.1

Christian Rüb developed QCurrency. It is a simple currency calculator, with save exchange rate capability.

Package: qcurrency
Tested on: SHR

MKPRN v0.2.png MKPRN 0.3

MKPRN is a Reverse Polish Notation calculator. Currently it is in early stage of development. Suggestions and feature requests are welcome.

Package: mkprn]
Tested on: ?

System boot.png qspectemu

Radek Polak have just finished porting of Miklos Szeredi's spectemu - A Sinclair ZX Spectrum emulator for Linux/UNIX, to Qt on Freerunner. It's now in QtMoko package feed if you want to try it or you can compile from sources for your favourite distro. The main work was port to Qt, possibility to use touchscreen and creating GUI for loading/saving snapshots and creating mouse/touchscreen bindings. For QtMoko you will need v17 kernel to get decent speed. Emulator can now do following:

  • download my favourite games from internet
  • load/save snapshot
  • define custom on screen locations for spectrum keys
  • rotate, qvga
  • vibrate to notice if pressed border location of two keys
  • use virtual keyboard for input (longer press requited for some games)
  • autocorrect on screen key location during game playing

Package: QSpectemu binares are included in QtMoko default package feed, sources are in GIT repository.
Tested on: QtMoko

Application Updates

SpojeguiV4.png SpojeGUI

SpojeGUI is GUI program which use CLI program/modul which is used mainly for Czech and Slovak transport.

  • Save confing and link to DB.

Package: SpojeGUI
Tested on: SHR-Testing

Podboy.png Podboy 1.2.0

Podboy is a podcast aggregator/player written in Python/Elementary. Its interface aims to be easy and finger friendly. It uses Feedparser Python module for download/parsing of podcast feeds, Gstreamer for playing of episodes and SQLite for storing data. Changes since version 1.0.0:

  • New feature: possibility to show details of episodes before to play them via a new entry "Show Details" in the menu "Actions" of pages "Episodes" and "Downloads".
  • New feature: update only the selected podcast in page "Downloads".
  • New feature: episodes can now be tagged as "Ignore" in page "Downloads". All episodes with status "ignore" will be skip when the downloading of all episodes of a podcast will be requested.
  • New feature: unplayed episodes can now be identified by a yellow star. Unplayed/played status of episodes can be manually toggled via a new entry "Toggle Played Status" in the menu "Actions" of page "Episodes".
  • New feature: import of podcasts via an OPML file (new button "Import" in the page "Podcasts")
  • Fixed occasionnaly incorrect display size of podcasts covers.

Package: podboy_1.2.0-r0_all.ipk
Tested on: SHR-Unstable

Literki.png Literki 0.0.2-r6

Literki is a full qwerty keyboard with configurable layout, always transparent, therefore applications don't need to redraw screens and popup is therefore very fast. With literki comes the touchpad. With it use can use the bottom of the touchscreen to move a cursor around. You can then use left and right click with it. There are also four scroll buttons, which are useful if your application has very small scroll bars. Changes from previous version are:

  • page up, page down keys work now
  • $ key works now
  • can toggle between opaque and transparent mode

Package: literki
Tested on: SHR-Testing,SHR-Unstable


  • Sebastian Spaeth, responsible for testing images of SHR is calling for final bug reports before making a SHR-Stable image! It looks like recent SHR-Testing images have reached a stability level, which allows to make a snapshot of SHR-Stable! Although for this to be done, your help is needed, as there might still be some bugs hidden that need to be discovered. Do not hesitate, even one bug filed by you will greatly help to improve SHR-Stable!
  • Harald Welte is planning to create a GSM development board based on 100% open hardware design and 100% free software. The initial focus is to create a board that behaves like a GSM cellphone. This could be interesting for the gta02-core project.
  • Werner Almesberger posted another component update note. It states that there are plenty of mechanical parts left but electrical parts are more of a problem. There seem to be some inconsistencies in the inventory, so some positions may still change. If you are able to provide project with with missing parts, take a look at full inventory list and consult with Werner.
  • SHR is a community driven distribution and according to latest poll, is the most popular OS for the Freerunner. Although it has not made a stable release yet, it is actively developed. According to this thread, recently a substantial FSO upgrade (mentioned in Introduction) is hitting SHR. Thanks to reimplementation of FSO middleware API's in Vala, you can expect significant speed improvements. Specifically, SHR-Unstable now features fsodeviced, fsousaged and fsonetworkd, and introduces a more elegant separation of configuration files for each daemon. Images are now available for UBIFS, in addition to jffs and ext. The discussions about faster kernels is also affecting SHR among other distributions. MTD_NAND_VERIFY_WRITE kernel option, which should speed it up, is already pushed in. Experimental kernels (2.6.29-rc3-drm, 2.6.31, 2.6.32) are available for testing.
  • Gennady Kupava has been working on optimizing the speed of kernel and measuring the result. This has caused a great noise on the kernel list and irc. It seems that even after that many months of work on the kernel, one can still discover new ways of catching big chunks of speed improvements here and there. Some interesting results here.
  • Ghislain has prepared installer-image for Radek Polak's QtMoko V16B which is basically V16 with:
    • Kernel without debugging options (overall speedup)
    • TangoGPS to V0.99.2
    • Latest patch from Radek (mmap & mmap64)

Event News

  • 2009-01-19 Next Cyclic Openmoko "Stammtisch" meeting in Munich, Germany takes place at 19:00 local time. This time Dr. Mickey "FSO" Lauer has planned to visit. A location as usuall is "Die Wildsau", Balanstrasse 121, 81549 München. Please register yourself through doodle
  • 2009-01-29 New Hackable:1 and Openmoko Users Meeting in La Cantine (Paris) from 19h to 22h. If you plan to attend, please file the Wiki page. High risks of restaurant after closing time.
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