marnanel: (Default)
I thought you might be interested to hear about the layout of chapters in my forthcoming MeeGo/N900 cookbook.
  1. Widgets - an overview of widgets which are specific to Maemo/MeeGo.
  2. Using DBus - how to get other programs to do work for you
  3. Libraries - more about code reuse
  4. The hardware - direct access to the accelerometer, vibration, etc
  5. Multimedia - sound, video, camera
  6. Packaging
  7. Clients - a set of basic clients for several online services (SomaFM, Reddit, Dreamwidth...)
  8. Polishing up your app
I'm just finishing off the manuscript of chapter 3, though much of the others exists in note form.  (Of course, as more information about MeeGo is released, I sometimes have to revise things I've already written.  Where nothing is known, I'm writing about the N900 and revising later.)  The book should be out in the autumn.
marnanel: (Default)
If I've seemed rather busy recently, it's because I've been working on a book for Packt. It will be a "cookbook" of ways to solve problems on MeeGo using Python and Qt. It started out as an N900-specific book, but it's grown in the telling.

How to place a phone call
(Of course, until a version of MeeGo with a GUI goes public, I'm testing everything on the N900.) I'm enjoying writing it immensely. It should be out sometime around the autumn.


Mar. 9th, 2010 10:39 am
marnanel: (Default)
How long do various kinds of tea take to brew?

I'm working on a port of kteatime to Maemo as a demo for something.  The idea of this program is that it times you making a cup of tea and alerts you when the tea is ready.

You get to choose what kind of tea you're making, so it knows how long to time for.  The current set I have, based largely on the data in kteatime, is:
  • black tea brews for 3 minutes
  • Earl Grey brews for 5 minutes
  • fruit tea brews for 8 minutes
  • rooibos brews for 3 minutes
Do any of you know whether these are particularly wrong, and can any of you contribute a few new figures?
marnanel: (Default)
  1. An app to look up zipcodes.
  2. A sort of Python incubator: it would listen on a given port and there would be a program on the desktop that would upload Python scripts to it, and it would run them straight away. This is for use during development if you don't want to use scratchbox. (I may actually do this.)
  3. An app which knew all the feed lines and audience responses in Rocky Horror, so you could take it into showings with you and know what to call out, if you hadn't memorised them all.


Mar. 3rd, 2010 11:02 am
marnanel: (Default)
Someone uploaded a menstruation tracker app for the N900.  This is a good idea.  But I was rather bothered to read the about box:

"Warning: This is not accurate or correct.  You cannot trust this program (or any other program) for accurate predictions.  After all, this is about women... how can one be sure :-) "

Is it just me that finds this kind of misogynistic?

marnanel: (Default)
I released maemo robotfindskitten 1.41 to extras-testing last night.

What's new:
  • portrait mode
  • tapping on the screen works more like the iphone port (thanks to Will Thompson for suggesting this)
  • the screen has markings to show where to tap
  • the demo button
  • the help is in-process rather than spawning the browser.

Go! Find kitten!
marnanel: (Default)
The program which will eventually become rfk 1.40 is here, and the source is here. I would like some people to playtest it. Changes:
  • you can move around by tapping parts of the screen, rather than tapping with respect to robot's position; this is more like the iPhone port (which I haven't played); this change suggested by Will Thompson
  • portrait mode
  • kitten is on the front screen
I would like to know
  • whether portrait mode is playable, in general
  • whether it would make more sense to spin the board around 90° instead of pivoting it in place
  • whether there are too few spaces on one axis to make it easily playable in portrait mode
  • why the GtkLabel with the message on it on the front screen does not expand to the full height of the window in portrait mode (I'm sure I'm missing something obvious here)
  • whether you think a picture like this one would be better for the front page
  • anything else you find
Thanks for your help, everyone who is helping.
marnanel: (Default)
If anyone would like to test Maemo robotfindskitten 1.40, please let me know.

Changes in v1.40 will include:

1) (done:) kitten is on the front page as well as robot

2) (done:) portrait mode!!

3) (done:) rather than taps on the screen being interpreted with respect to robot's position, the screen is divided into parts as with the iPhone port (which I haven't played). This idea is from Will Thompson.

4) (done:) optification (doesn't affect most users except that they will have slightly more free disk space)

5) (still to be done:) help will be in-process using gtkhtml, rather than launching the browser.

I need to know whether the new controls are usable, and whether portrait mode is easily playable. I also want to know whether it's less disorienting for the board to turn 90° in portrait mode, or to stay as it is but be stretched.

v1.40 will not include the ability to edit non-kitten items, unless someone says they really want this feature.

The current known bug, which will be fixed by release time, is that the front screen is too cramped in portrait mode.


Dec. 2nd, 2009 08:26 am
marnanel: (Default)
So suppose there was a spod client for the N900. Suppose it had a dialogue at the start to pick a talker. Which talkers should it come preloaded with?

(Snowplains, obviously; what else is still around?)
marnanel: (Default)
I have a program for the N900 called "Belltower" which finds belltowers. Currently its main screen looks like this:

Read more... )

But there are several apps for the phone which have a common design of front screen: a set of icons arranged horizontally with captions beneath them, all in front of a gradient fill. I wondered about making the front screen look like this:

Read more... )

(but with better-drawn icons; these were pulled off the net in ten minutes). The idea is:
  • By name allows you to type the name of a tower, e.g. "nicholas norton";
  • By area gives you a list of countries to choose from, and then counties within that;
  • Nearby uses the GPS to list all towers within fifty miles, in distance order;
  • Bookmarks is a list of towers you've bookmarked;
  • Recent is a list of the towers you've viewed recently.
Questions for you lot:
  1. Do you think the mockup is an improvement?
  2. Can you think of any better icons I could use?
  3. Any other thoughts?
marnanel: (Default)

Ten minutes' hacking around brings the Beeb to the N900. It has some keyboard focus issues which need seeing to. Also, beebem uses f12 to bring up an emulator menu, and the N900 has no f12. But with a little work we could see Elite running on this thing.

(If this was ever a serious project, some serious thought would have to be given to copyright issues about the MOS, the DFS, and BASIC: you can't do anything without the MOS, you can't do much without BASIC, and life without the DFS is painful. But they are all still © Acorn, whoever that is these days.)
marnanel: (Default)
Since a few of you have asked me about it, I've written a fairly detailed explanation of how to write apps for the N900 over at GNOME Blogs. Feel free to read it and comment on it over there!


marnanel: (Default)

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