Community Updates/2008-10-03

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  • The big affair was the release of Om 2008.9 Update on September 19th, the dot one ASU. Or was it a big non-event, because those who updated daily were already ahead when it was released ? Some users were surprised that the stable feeds do not update almost everything everyday anymore, but this is what stable is supposed to mean. You don't get the nice fixes in the latest kernel, but you don't get the nasty new bugs either.
  • Another big point release: Qtopia 4.4. It's now called Qt Extended. Many wiki pages will need updating, but we should still use the Qtopia name to refer to versions up to 4.3.x.
  • FSO repositories moved to Thanks Beartech for the interim hosting.
  • A startup announced NeoPwn, a distribution geared towards penetration testing. I am not sure if they are shipping yet. Their hat color is unclear to me, their slogan is Own it.. before it owns you.
  • FDOM is really gearing up. They now have a mailing list, a code repository, and a mission.


  • Sephora, settings manager in PyGtk for XFCE started.
  • Also, openmoko-panel-plugin went from 0.1 to 0.4. It is a gtk based plugin that draws the powerstate of some FR hardware devices(i.e. gsm, gps) to a gtk based panel. Theses panels are used i.e. in xfce4. so you can enable or disable the state of your gps receiver.
  • Brian Code from Koolu documented how he made Linphone, that is voice over IP, work fine for him.
  • A screen Rotate daemon was developed successfully.


  • Battery#DIY external battery pack from a Minty case, or how to run the Neo from batteries (NB: a pair of AA cells will not provide as much as 1 amp of current.)
  • Thanks to Claus and Lothar, the CAD files are now available in other formats (BRLCAD, IGES, STEP)
  • Michael negotiated with a custom-case making company, they could build something more rugged/waterproof if the demand was high enough.

Wiki and community

  • The Documentation Team recategorized everything using a two-levels scheme. Browsing should be easier now, try it! Of course we now need to clean up the pages inside each subcategory, but at least the big POS is not many small pos. Divide-and-conquer.
  • We also organized the list of applications. Now there is a master directory, then detailed lists by topic, and then application pages.
  • The search box now uses google engine instead of the mediawiki built-in. More goodness coming soon: "Add page in this category" and "Site directory" extensions.
  • Some nice artwork flew by on the community list. Raster is still with us. Following some advertisement, the Desktop wallpaper gallery grew from 1 to 4 images. Keep them coming !
  • We are having a defining hearts-to-hearts discussion on the community list in Risto's initiated thread The Lost Openmoko community. See also the Weeky Engineering News 38 for Om's plans to involve the community more in the release process.
  • Good things are in the pipeline for the Community Repository, including a submit by web interface (tickets 1518, 1543)

From the stars

  • There were many kernel patches about SD cards and bus speed. Confusion about which kernel version goes into which branch and about packaging strategies led to some module mismatch issues.
  • There are still interesting discussions on the kernel mailing list on the state of the wlan driver. For the rest of us, it means that the Wifi driver is still being actively developed. In plain English: likely to be full of bugs.
  • The alsa sound configuration still puzzles most users. I think that as long as alsa-mixer is based on a linear list of cryptic acronyms, we are in the dark. Internship idea: redo the mixer as a clickable image map based on the sound chip circuits. Make that work for all Linux distros.
  • Developers should be aware that the Meta-toolchain was refreshed.
  • The kernel guys have banged their heads together about how to send all their changes upstream. Conclusion: good luck, that is a tough job.

Outside Openmoko

  • The leading websearch company released their mobile OS called Android, nothing was said about an Openmoko port.
  • Pandora pre-sells thousands of their handheld linux gaming console. Sorry if you missed it, the next batch will be for 2009.
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