Twitter client for Maemo in Qt + Python: call for developers and UI designers

Introduction

My name’s Andrea Grandi, I’m italian and I’m a Maemo user/lover/contributor since the Nokia 770. I love Python as development language and few months ago I also gave some contributions to the PyMaemo project.

In these days I had the idea to start writing a Twitter client for Maemo with a precise direction in my mind. I’ll try to explain all my reasons here. First of all I’ve to thank the author of Mauku client. I use it since its first version and I’m quite happy with it. Then, why do I want to write another one?

  1. Maemo (MeeGo) is moving to Qt and for this reason I’m going to use Qt, while Mauku uses Gtk.
  2. I’m learning Qt and what is better than writing a complete (but not too complex) application to learn better?
  3. Mauku is not free as lot of people could think. Reading the source codeyou find this “You are NOT allowed to modify or redistribute the source code.”, while I want to write a client and release it under GPL2 or GPL3 license.
  4. Mauku is not updated since some months and we have no news about it.
  5. I love Python and I like to write free software in this language.
  6. I want to give to Maemo a stronger contribute.

My request for help

Before lot of people start writing their own client resulting in 4-5 twitter clients for Maemo, why don’t we join our strength and work to a common project? I’m not a Python expert nor a Qt one, but I’ve some experience as project/team leader and since this is not a complex project, I would be glad to lead it. So, I’m looking for Python developers, Qt developers, UI designers and whoever want to contribute to this project. I still have to find a good name and logo for this application.

Who want to help me?

Nokia N900: reboot loop after PR 1.1.1 upgrade is not a firmware bug

Few days ago I published some notes about my personal experience with PR 1.1.1 firmware upgrade in Nokia N900. In particular my device got an infinite reboot loop after upgrading the firmware and I had to flash the firmware image from scratch to fix the problem. Today I was kindly contacted by Max Waterman (I suppose he works for Nokia) and he explained me what was the problem. It was caused by a little bug in Harmattan UI demo and they fixed it (the fix is already available in extras-devel).

No surprise for me: extras-devel contains unstable packages and if user enables it, he does at his own risk. The most important thing is the fact that the official firmware without any unstable application doesn’t suffer of this problem at all. The thing that really impressed me so much (in a positive sense) it’s that I was contacted privately by a Nokia developer apologizing for the bug (no problem man, it’s part of the game if someone want to test extras-devel software) and explaining that they already fixed it.

This is what I like of Maemo (or should I already call it MeeGo?), I really feel to be a part of it!

Nokia N900: some problems with latest PR 1.1.1 firmware

I don’t know if it’s just a case or if I’m the only one who had these problems, but I’ll report them anyway, maybe somebody had my same problem and we could try to prepare a proper bug report to make the Maemo team fix them.

Infinite boot loop after upgrade

First of all I have to say that before upgrading to PR 1.1.1 I checked if I had enough space on the rootfs. I only had 27 Mb and so I decided to remove some unused applications, deleted some *.deb in /var/cache/apt/archives and disabled extras repositories. Of course I also did a backup of all my configuration. After the cleaning operation I had near 60 Mb free on rootfs, enough to install the upgrade.

I closed all running applications, started the application manager and began the upgrade. After the upgrade was completed, the device did a reboot… then another one, then again, again…. until I had to remove the battery to stop it.

Conclusion: I had to re-flash the device with the latest image to make it work again.

mafw-dbus-wrapper taking all the CPU

I was watching a video (using subtitles) and after some minutes the whole UI became unresponsive. Strange because I already did this before without having any problem. I tried to check the problem using “top” utility from terminal and I saw that there was a mafw process (mafw-dbus-wrapper) that was taking 80-90% of CPU. My fault is that normally there are at least 3-4 , mafw-dbus-wrapper processes and I didn’t check which one was causing the problem. Anyway I made a screenshot, just in case it can help.

I hope this short report can be useful to help Maemo team to fix or at least investigate what happened. Just leave a comment or contact me if you need more informations.

Maemo 6 (Harmattan) UI Screenshots

Nokia has published a demo application for N900, available in extras-devel repository, that shows a preview of Maemo 6 (Harmattan) user interface. Here there are some screenshots of the demo:

Demo application main window

Question dialog

Text entry dialog

Progress indicator

Information banner

Event banner

You can find more pictures in my Flickr album. Please note that installing this demo will also install Qt 4.6.2 on the N900 and about 52 Mb are required.

Fon: how long are you going to play tricks on users?

Introduction

As many of you already know, Fon is a spanish company that some years ago had the interesting idea of creating a wifi community to share the Internet connection. The idea is quite simple: each “fonero” buy a Fonera (the router sold by Fon), register it on the Fon system and get a username/password. If the fonero travels around the world he’s able to connect to wifi signal of other foneras and browse the web for free.

When I bought my first fonera few years ago, I was one of the first people in my city. I bought it because I was really beliving in this project. During these years Fon produced new models of fonera and I bought each of them (the WRT54 router, Fonera, Fonera+, Fonera 2.0g, Fonera 2.0n ecc….). Since first year, the Fon community has grown a lot and now there are a lot of foneros around the world.

Actual situation

Few months ago Fon launched a very interesting product: Fonera 2.0g. Thats’s not only a router. Fonera 2 is capable of managing torrents, rapidshare downloads, uploading photo on Facebook and Flickr, and much more. Whats’s wrong with this product? It’s very unstable! There are a lot of users that bought this router when it was anounced and they’re still waiting for a lot of bugs to be fixed by Fon developers team (composed by only ONE person!). Why users had to wait so long?

Simple! They were working to Fonera 2.0n! Wow! Faster router, more RAM, 4 ethernet port, wonderful! But… another very unstable router! And with unstable I mean: it disconnects/reboots often, connection is unstable, applications don’t work ecc…. I’m talking about a 79€ router, not about something that users had as preview product. Me and other users were still waiting for an uograde when… Fon announced a new product! Yes, another one!

Fon priority is not to fix a product that thousand of users have already bought. Fon priority is to produce and sell a new product!

Conclusion

It could be only my opinion, but I don’t trust you anymore Fon! I’m really disappointed about your behaviour you had with your customers. I’ve already spent (wasted) a lot of money with your not-working products and I’m not going to buy your products anymore! I’m tired of being illuded by your promises: how long are you going to play tricks on users?