Thursday, August 27 2015

People Centric Phone UI
[13:02:55] matt []/Psi+ An article from 2013, suggesting people-centric phone UI:

This seems so incredibly obvious, that only after seeing the iOS screenshots did I realize that Apple doesn't (hasn't?) had this feature. I've had groups or individuals on my S60 phone for years, and Maemo (~2011) had you select a person, and then a protocol for communication (POTS, SMS, XMPP, AIM, IRC, Skype,etc.). The Maemo implementation sounds exactly like what's suggested, where you can select the person, and for protocols with status (SIP, XMPP, etc.) see if the person is online, and send a message. Or send an eMail instead.

Monday, June 3 2013

[19:44:28] matt []/Trip I wish I knew why the Android UI designers didn't see the benefit in providing an indication to the user when there is an input-validation error, something like Maemo's alert message which appears at the top of the screen for a brief time before fading in this situation.

Thursday, October 27 2011

[13:18:26] matt []/Merch Despite very similar hardware, the initial feel of WebOS on the Pixi Plus is faster than Maemo on my N900--although this is very likely down to running widgets on the N900, a feature that I find very useful that does not exist in WebOS.

Thursday, October 20 2011

WebOS 3.0.4 Upgrade
[15:06:45] matt []/Psi.dementia WebOS 3.0.4 fixed a number of issues for sure, such as the fact that the web browser would crash Luna(?) on certain large pages. However, it also means a lot of patches that made the device usablish no longer worked, the bluetooth keyboard (which previously didn't have key repeat enabled by default) now drops more characters, and often gets stuck repeating in X. Tab doesn't work--it outputs '9', whereas shift-tab does produce a tab sometimes (also ctrl-shift-i). Escape is oddly ctrl-shift-[ now, which makes it seem like the ctrl key is by default broken, or something else, until it is shifted. I should probably xev that.

The tweaks to start X without the keyboard space reserved are gone--all of tweaks is currently broken. X also doesn't want to start vertically now, whether or not the keyboard is connected--this might actually have been an existing issue if there were any record of a keyboard connected. I hadn't spent much time with 3.0.2 with a keyboard stored in the bluetooth devices but not actively connected.

The default WebOS browser and mail client won't connect to my server, and die with unhelpful errors "Cannot load page" for the web browser, and "error code 990" being one of the errors for the mail client (the other being simply indicating a socket connection error). The mail client also doesn't indicate whether the problem is with the IMAP server or the SMTP server. The problem in all cases only happens with TLS or SSL; removing encryption works. I've installed the root certificate, but that hasn't seemed to fix the connection issues--my kingdom for useful error messages. Of course messaging doesn't work with Jabber, and athe existing (7 month old) messaging-plugins package doesn't seem to work with 3.0.4--I hadn't tried with 3.0.2 but it sounded as if it worked from the forums.

It's arguable if I feel like it make sense to look further into these issues. I'll admit a big part of my reluctance is no fault of HP, Palm, or the community but from the results I saw with Nokia where patches just sat stagnant on bugzilla until Maemo basically died. Unrelated to the software front, it's nice to see that HP offers 90 day service, but the actual page reminds me of why I stopped buying Palm which was because when I called them for support on a new device they basically tried as hard as possible to chargre me for the call. Later it turned out they knew there was a static electriciy discharge issue which would often cause the device to lose stored data. I should have gone with Handspring.

Friday, September 9 2011

[15:32:46] matt []/Merch The new Maemo update finally supports home screens in portrait! And, it allows you to customize the widget layout for both view modes rather than try and shift everything automatically which is great for the low number of screens it supports by default.

Saturday, August 20 2011

[15:24:46] matt []/Merch Lots of Maemo updates recently, for no immediately apparent reason.

Friday, August 19 2011

[01:12:51] matt []/Merch The latest Firefox Mobile (on Maemo) seems even less stable than previous versions.

Monday, May 30 2011

[22:59:38] matt []/Merch Maemo usability gripe: when editing a field with an input restriction (e.g. phone number:no letters, defaults to function-shift on) there's no indication of such, except a lack of input. e.g. I hit fn+s to type a plus sign, but this un-shifts the fn so I'm actually typing "s", which isn't appearing because of an input restriction so it looks like the application or the keyboard isn't working.

Wednesday, March 30 2011

[23:04:01] matt []/mobile Symbian^3 schedule widget fail: it continued to show the last event of today (which had already passed) until I opened the calendar at which point it showed the next upcoming events (tomorrow's). In general, the two item limit is also dissapointing compared to the Maemo widget.

Tuesday, March 29 2011

[18:46:40] matt []/mobile However, despite some additional polish to the UI--which is significantly improved upon Nokia's first touch interfaces and those of th N97--it still lacks the feeling that is present in newer platforms like Android and Maemo.
[18:48:59] matt []/mobile The mail client is possibly a bit above Modest (Maemo's current default), feeling somewhat snappier much of the time, but I feel like bugs are much less likely to be addressed in it.

Monday, March 28 2011

[20:44:36] matt []/Merch Nokia had the right strategy before: Maemo on the smart-devices (mobile Internet devices/mobile computers) and Symbian on its phones (which should have filled the gap S40 is currently in).

Monday, January 10 2011

[21:24:14] matt []/Merch Maemo SSU issue apparently was caused by low root disk-space. Running apt-get manually worked.

Monday, January 3 2011

[19:57:35] matt []/Merch Maemo Fremantle's SSU is demanding a remote application on a PC; suddenly this seems less promising.

Thursday, October 28 2010

[20:53:50] matt []/Merch Nokia has done a horrible job of supporting Maemo since the release of the N900; it's dead, and I hope MeeGo fares better. Harmattan will be curious.

Wednesday, September 8 2010

[14:17:11] matt []/Merch MeeGo is effectively killing the best part of Maemo, the community. The draft of the spec is in RFC stage, but it sounds like it'll be an up-cliff battle at this point for MeeGo to have a full-fledged dependency-checking package managent system. Instead, the steering committee (Intel and Nokia) are hoping to convert it to use a restricyed Android/IOS packaging model in the hopes, apparently, of catching-up with the other platforms. The packaging system for Android is a simplicity for the system; it isn't an ideal, and it certainly isn't the secret sauce. If Nokia wants to try and copy Android/IOS it should look to the the development model (actions) of Android and the perceived simplicity of IOS' UI.

Friday, May 28 2010

[13:41:11] matt []/tkabber So the last comment was out of frustration. The OS was hosed from the apt-get failures:
<prox> So this is all a result of the dist-upgrade?
> Sort of.
> It's a result of the root filesystem being too small indirectly.
> The previous update failed; PR1.1 back in February.
> I did some cleaning and manual directory restructuring to clean that up, but the updater didn't like that it had failed. apt-get dist-upgrade installed the components after that, but I don't think it ever
+really realized what version of Maemo it was running after that.
> It didn't even *know* there was an update when PR1.2 came out this week. I think it'd borekd something.
> And so I did an apt-get dist-upgrade and it ran out of disk space again.
> 154MB in /usr/lib on a 255MB root partition.
<prox> Uhhh..
> I'd been able to remount /usr/share and a few thigns on /var off of the 2GB /home partition.
> but I couldn't do much with /usr/lib because it was in use ... I probalby should have just tried cleaning-up the microb-engine.
> But yeah; directly, the apt-get dist-upgrade failed a lot, and I wasn't able to fix it. Also, damned if I don't know what some of the config collisions really meant.
> but my N900 is flashed and running. yay.
> (That was quick!) Let's see if I can find my data.
> Hah! the zimbra connector or whatever it is ... mail for exchange ... is working !
> My dada is safe
> for now....

Thursday, May 27 2010

[17:47:57] matt []/tkabber I love my N900--don't get me wrong--but Nokia really is sucking in terms of managing external relations. And the world isn't exactly golden with the N900 either, as I've needed to mount -o bind several directories off of the 256MB flash image in order to upgrade the thing.'t_visible_on_my_Nokia_N900_device

Thursday, May 6 2010

Maemo Developer List : "Why should I write apps for Maemo?" posted by Michael Cronenworth
[14:48:12] matt []/kerberos Mr. Michael Cronenworth recently posted a well-worded question directly to the Maemo development community (and Nokia indirectly) which echos much of the sentiment around Maemo and the N900 right now. Personally, I love the devices promise, I like the software, but I wish Nokia were a bit more open with the community (release early, release often being just the start).

His missive read:
«The continued delay of PR 1.2 has caused me to pose this question.

Without customized packaging, I cannot reliably publish applications to
the global repositories at this time. Also having APIs in flux
without knowing when the new version is coming out makes me even less
interested. Sure, you can compile a new kernel or create a trivial
application all day long and ship it today, but I wish to write some
rather advanced applications that cover a broad range of APIs.

At most, the SDK should have been released two weeks ahead of the final
release. With a little over a month now on the clock, people can only
begin to speculate as to how poor Nokia's release management is working.
I, as a software developer, realize that unexpected issues can occur
causing unexpected delays, so this e-mail is not a "Nokia hurry up"
plea, but a concern that developing for Maemo requires a serious
commitment to add checks for multiple versions of APIs and packaging

If I relied on the ability to publish commercial applications to the Ovi
Store, I'd be living in the street. It's been six months and the Ovi
Store for Maemo is still without a commercial solution and is extremely
limited in general.

In closing, I have a few questions to propose since communication from
Nokia in general is hit or miss (some are better than others, I realize):

-Why was the PR1.2 SDK released at the time it was released?
-If there will be any updates >PR1.2, have there been discussions on
changing the staged release of the SDK?
-Is PR1.2 still going to be released? (I am not looking for a release date)
-Where are those Ovi Store applications that we have been taunted with
videos of?
-Will there be a commercial solution with the Ovi Store or should I
expect to create my own retail store?

Michael »

The delay in the release of PR1.2 has caused problems (and for a long time completely prohibitted any) applications from being updated on the device since the build environment was using an incompatible API from the end-user devices.

Tuesday, April 13 2010

Fancy Small Computers
[19:49:41] matt []/kerberos I remember a time, not so long ago, that it was difficult to find a small computer that was portable and had a long battery. The OQO looked intriguing, but it would continue to be vaporware for several years. The only thing I could find was the Fujitsu Lifebook P-series, which at the time was using the exciting new Transmeta Crusoe chips designed for energy efficiency. Unfortunately, even compared to the computers of the day, that laptop was slow.

These days "netbooks", much to the shagrin of Psion, are bountiful--often running on Intel's x86-compatible Atom processor, although increasingly running on ARM Snapdragons (supported by Maemo, Android, and Ubuntu Linux distributions among countless other variants). Jamie just got an Assus EeePC that's running Ubuntu; my mother has an Acer Aspire One running some MicroSoft version. I borrowed the EeePC and didn't want to give it back, it's really well done given a single-use mentality (the Netbook Remix variation of Ubuntu is very Mac-like).

The question I find myself pondering is what do I really want? I recently picked-up the Nokia N900 which runs at a decent clip, the Maemo 5 (Fremantle) interface is pretty snappy, and I've really gotten used to the touch interface for anything non-productive ("consumptive") tasks. It's actually a very amazing machine that in practice is very much like that P-2110 but smaller.

In the end there's a lot of small options, and they each have a different niche to fill--but I'm not sure how much overlap they all have. It could be that one covers too much of another's niche, making two distinct devices redundant. I can carry the N900 instead of the E61; but it doesn't replace the Neo when I need a small pocketable phone. I could carry the EeePC on trips where it would take-up less space than the MacBook, and still have a phenominal-for-a-laptop keyboard to compose messages or configure machines, or even do work albeit on a small screen. But what does that really get me? A slightly bigger screen (2") and a bigger keyboard, at the cost of another device--and one that doesn't have a ubiquitous Internet access at that.

If more areas had converted to municipal WiFi, it might be a different situation.

Tuesday, March 30 2010

[14:16:16] matt []/kerberos Waiting impatiently for Maemo 5 PR1.2 ... wondering if switching to the development repos will get me the needed libraries without hosing the system.
[14:42:54] matt []/kerberos <> mentions "emails in real time" (isn't e-mail an irregular plural?) although this seems to be missing completely--including in the context of Mail for Exchange--not just IMAP which still has bug 3888 outstanding (the highest voted Maemo bug not fixed !)