Community Updates/2008-12-15

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Welcome back everybody to the Seventh edition of our Community Updates newsletter. It was actually chilly around here, especially when John announced that the Optimization Team was disbanded, but there was still no release. A perfect weather to sip hot drinks from a fan mug bought at the newly opened Openmoko merchandise online store. The money will go to community projects, for example bounties set up at, where ideas and money-rich but time-poors users can meet the enterprising hackers.



These weeks, new or updated applications are arriving almost every day. I cannot wait for Chrismas break, when people will really have time to hobby code !


  • OpenTTD. An open source clone of the popular Transport Tycoon Deluxe game.
  • Enotes (formerly fido) a TODO list manager written with elementary, designed for distributions that use illume, like SHR.
  • OMoney a bookkeeping application to track daily incomes and expenses.
  • ePiano 0.1 A virtual piano keyboard to play simple songs.
  • SCR 1.432 (new on opkg) a alternative input method for entring text with your finger.
  • ZOMG! the embryo of a graphical package manager in Java.
  • Alex O. of the MokSec project released a call control firewall (ipk) based on a black- and whitelist system. Next up is integration with FSO, which needs a filtering extension.


  • TwitterMoko O.4. Packaging improvements following suggestions by experienced Debian Dev.
  • Gpsdcontrol 0.4. A Python script to turn on/off gpsd and gps antenna from the desktop. Add: icon changes to show GPS system state.
  • Orrery 2.3. Added a Planet Compass (on opts menu), dates of major moon phases, minor bugfixes.
  • neoqplayer 0.2 "sunset". Finger friendly, cover show, playlist view, nicer theme, bugfixes.
  • gtkaddpoi 0.5a, SHR compatibility fix.
  • Aphasia A very innovative project to communicate with images rather than sounds, experimental code. Now using dbus.
  • Paroli gets some documentation and a wiki page.
  • OMNewRotate 0.5.2, desktop icon and script, uses autotools, fix suspend bug.
  • Navit is a car navigation system with routing engine. Nathan K. wrote that the newer opkg were a vast improvement (the directory can also be used as a feed).

Note to project admins: Please consider announcing new releases/updates, as the GForge engine does not do it automatically.


Okay, we are still waiting to see which distribution will be the first to get out officially with the newer 2.6.28 kernel.

  • Android really jumped up in the hit-parade of the most popular pages. The wiki page with installation instructions has moved to Android on Freerunner, so from now on please use the page User_talk:Seanmcneil3 for discussion. Koolu's Android git is online at
  • The Debian wiki page still needs a good cleanup.
  • FDOM successfully moved its build system to an OpenEmbedded overlay and is considering jumping over from ASU stable to ASU testing.
  • Qt Extended (formerly Qtopia). The currently best version seem to be Hypnotize's unofficial ones. Lorn (our liaison Software Engineer at Nokia) will try to get an official snapshot out before the solstice.
  • SHR latest Dec. 9th image has fastboot patches in.
  • An FSO user suggested that it was time to test the newer kernel, that the needed changes described on FSO's trac were minor. He reported good things about it.
  • Hackable:1 build system is ready, image released and "how you can join" email.


  • The hottest and bloodiest kernels are at Andy's. They have Nicolas Dufresne's patches for WSOD, a power supply driver (pcf50633 rewrite), touchscreen reliability improvements, a WLAN driver using the mainline SDIO stack, almost Android-readiness, plus all the Kernel features and fixes between 2.6.24 and 2.6.28, especially resume/suspend improvements. As these kernels are larger than 2MB, one need to meddle with u-Boot or use Qi to test them and the newer /sys.
  • Openmoko used to build its distribution using its own copy of OpenEmbedded's Bitbake tree, hosted in its own git under project name That project has been terminated. Local changes are now being backported upstream so that FSO and everybody else benefits. From now on, further fixes or updates should be directly committed upstream to OpenEmbedded


  • Erin documented how to use the OBEX protocol to send files via Bluetooth.
  • Someone asked how to make new, original cases in quantities less than 100. The answer was that there are 3D Printing shops around that would gladly make any object you design, you just need to provide them with the CAD file.,, were nominated.
  • Following up on Graeme G's report on the steady but slow progress of the Xorg glamo driver, Thomas W. and Andreas P. reported promising initial progress on 3D acceleration. GG all !
  • Joerg released the draft of the technical paper describing the hardware fix to the buzz issue. Steve is working on the next difficult question: how to apply the rework to the A5/A6 units already sold ?


  • By popular demand, Openmoko opened a virtual merchandise store online. Everybody is invited to post cool t-shirts design. Profits will go to bounties and other programs to aid the community. pyneo fans note that their favorite distribution has its own online shop.
  • The FreeRunner is on the cover of December's Linux for You magazine.
  • The community is trying out the bounty system at As a start, there is one offer for the accelerated X driver, but media player, volume control/mixer, wifi network manager have also been discussed. This is still a social experiment. We need help and more discussion to define the bounties and claim conditions more precisely.
  • was updated. There is now a simple REST interface (API documentation) to query the database, and a "source code URL" field. Thank you Tobias for this useful community service !
  • Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment. Here is a small script to play it with TangoGPS.
  • JesusMcCloud created a finger friendly keyboard layout for Illume, with bigger Symbols. You can find more information and a photo in the german forum

Did you know it? Sean Moss-Pultz introduced OpenMoko's Neo1973 on November 7th, 2006. It was the "Mystery Guest" at the inaugural Open Source in Mobile (OSiM) conference in Amsterdam. The link to the presentation on Openmoko:Current_events is broken, but one can still web archive the PDF or read it online at linuxdevices. Oh, the screenshots looked so cool on the presentation !

Direct from Openmoko

The optimization team finished their work a few weeks ago. No formal update was released so far. According to testing reports, the image is only a little better than 2008.9 update. There are still about 10 critical bugs that an end user would not accept in a smartphone product. Three of those bugs should be already fixed in the latests (2.6.28) kernels, however. There are also GTK regressions remaining compared to 2007.2.

Wolfgang Spraul explained Openmoko's software strategy for the next 6 months as follows:

1. Current stable image

Our current stable image is Om2008.9 We are sometimes cherry-picking fixes into it, but admittedly not as many as we would like. If someone wants to step up to become stable maintainer for this image and cherry-pick more fixes into it, please let me know. Alternatively, a number of other images are available, see Distributions.

2. Mickey's framework milestones

As many people know, the next big thing for Openmoko will be Mickey's FSO OpenmokoFramework around D-bus and Python, and the Paroli telephony UI. A few weeks ago, Mickey released milestone 4. In late January, he plans to come out with milestone 5, in late March with milestone 6.

See here for a more detailed roadmap:

3. Next major release, Om2009

After the next 2 FSO milestones, Openmoko will fork off a stable branch, and spend 2-3 months on testing and bug fixing. This will lead to our next major release, Om2009. The telephony UI will be Paroli, see The way things are going right now, we will probably have this release mid-next year.

Position available

Openmoko is looking for a serious distribution maintainer. Someone who can do the exceptionally hard work of distribution integration, fixing bugs, small and large, from top to bottom of the stack, from UI to kernel, across many packages. Someone with a proven Free Software background. Any applications just email Wolfgang Spraul < wolfgang at > .

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