Friday, April 25, 2008

Autobuilder for extras repository public beta

A while ago we discussed the idea of an autobuilder for the extras repository. We have been working on creating such an autobuilder and have been testing it in private. As a result we now think it is time to do a tests with a larger group and make it publicly known. Please give it a try and tell us your results.

- What does the autobuilder do?

The autobuilder takes a source package from the incoming queue and tries to build it in a fresh environment. The builder fetches all dependencies from the extras-devel repository. If it can't find the dependency in extras-devel, it will fail and send a mail to the extras-cauldron-builds list.

If there are no problems with the package, the builder can create armel, i386 and source packages. Those will be put in the extras-devel repository after a successful build.

Instructions for the builder can be found at here.

The builder only handles building one package at a time. If you have dependencies that are not present in the extras-devel repository, please upload these first.

- web-based assistant

We have also created a web-based assistant to help you with requesting rights to upload and creating/uploading of source packages. You can upload packages to the builder with either dput or the assistant.

- How do I get my package into extras?

After a successful build a package will appear in the extras-devel repository. You can move your packages from extras-devel to extras with the promotion interface. Instructions for the promotion interface can be found here.

We would like to invite all developers to take a look at the autobuilder and try it out. Please discuss problems and feature requests on the maemo-developers list.

More information about our effort can be found at the extras-cauldron website.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

[RFC] Maemo package guidelines: mandatory categories

Here is my first suggestion to clean up the complete mess we have at the moment when it comes to package categories in the maemo extras repository. There is no official list of categories, which has brought us to state we are in now.

We have these nice categories for example: 'Boingo', 'Canola'. Those should never be a category by themselves. We also have a lot of duplicates like 'cli' ,'Commandline' and 'Web','www' and 'Utilities','utils'.

This really has to stop as this is confusing for end users. We, the maemo community, need to find a solution and fix this.

If we look at Debian, we can see that they have the following list of categories:

admin, base, comm, contrib, devel, doc, editors, electronics, embedded, games, gnome, graphics, hamradio, interpreters, kde, libs, libdevel, mail, math, misc, net, news, non-free, oldlibs, otherosfs, perl, python, science, shells, sound, tex, text, utils, web, x11

My suggestion would be to base our list off the Debian list and remove the categories that are not suitable for Maemo. We might also want to add some categories if we find some missing.

admin, comm, devel, doc, editors, games, graphics, interpreters, mail, net, news, utils

and add:

desktop, database, education, internet, multimedia, office, scientific, security, system, travel

Please feel free to suggest other categories. Try to keep them as broad as possible. I would really like to get a list of categories where every application can be in at least one category. It would be nice not to need the 'misc' or 'other' category.

Perhaps it would also be a good idea to have the Application Manager display the pretty name for each category. e.g. comm -> Communication. That might be step 2 though.

I also would like your feedback on this idea:
"For diablo we only accept packages in the extras/extras-devel repositories when they have a valid category."

I'm really not sure if we can do this in time for diablo, but at least we can try to get the community to agree on this. I don't think we can do anything for existing repositories, but at least we could try for the new ones.

Please respond with your ideas in the comments section, but keep it to the category subject only.


There seems to be a list of categories for the Application Manager. I don't think that list has enough categories, but it is a start.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Self charging N810

A while ago I found out that it was possible to charge my N810 via USB connected to a regular PC. This can be very convenient if you don't have a socket available for a charger.

The Nokia N810 has the ability to be a USB host. It can provide a little bit of power via it's micro-USB port. As you can see in the picture, the device notices that the charger is connected.

Tools needed for this trick:
  • Nokia USB charger
  • USB F-F adapter
  • Standard micro-USB cable

Urho Konttori's usbcontrol

By now you should probably already know that this about the same as Perpetual motion, a great idea, but impossible (Without rewriting the laws of physics).

But still, it is good fun to see the charging notification pop up.