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Posts: 34 | Thanked: 66 times | Joined on Jul 2010
#1
Hi,

Let me begin by stating that I've had my n900 for less than a month, and I know there's lots of hate going on around here towards people who want to drastically change things, so please don't spam me with reasons why I should use android or buy an iphone. I've used both and I like neither. So far, the n900 is the closest thing I can find to what I want in an phone/OS (apart from making my own which I have neither time nor money nor equipment to do).

I've been a Zaurus user since 2003 or so, and I've been running debian natively for the past three years or so, and would like to replicate as much of this behavior as possible with the n900 while keeping phone functionality. (Which AFAICS is not possible in debian yet).

I've been quite frustrated by the default n900 Xorg setup. Oftentimes, I don't want every window to be maximized. This is one of the main reasons that keep me using easy-debian in a chroot, but this has many problems too, and I don't wish to discuss it here.

One major benefit from doing this is that I am only consuming a small fraction of the memory taken up by the hildon-desktop system, and I am also able to interact with multiple windows simultaneously (gimp is a good example).

What I have done so far is try to replace the matchbox-window-manager and hildon-desktop with a lighter weight system, and so far I've discussed this in the following thread.

http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=56506 (Alternative desktop for N900)

However, there does not seem to be much enthusiasm there, and I'm getting a little off topic from that thread so I decided to start a new one.

What I want from Xorg seems to have already been done for the n8xx series; on diablo, they can run XFCE, KDE, fluxbox, etc et. al, but this does not translate into the n900/fremantle world yet, as there are no alternatives to matchbox/hildon that I'm aware of without changing the OS completely, and/or breaking the phone GSM system.

The following thread:
http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=43188 (Debian Etch, Rebuilt: 6,451 .debs for Maemo 5)
is the closest thing I've found so far to a repository that hosts alternate window managers, and I've only been able to get one window manager working from here (blackbox). http://blackboxwm.sourceforge.net/

Using the methods in the following thread,
http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=34412 (On-device development in C/C++?)
I've also been able to build the fluxbox window manager (http://fluxbox.org/) which is the most ideal for me, but have not been able to package it, or even make it run properly.

So for now, I am still trying to make blackbox my default window manager, and here are some major problems I'm encountering:

1.) (solved) The phone can receive calls on boot, but the hildon-status menu does not load completely across the screen, and bringing up the dialing pad is difficult.



2.) (solved) I cannot connect to any kind of internet when hildon-desktop is not running.



When opening the internet dialog from hildon-status-menu (as shown in the image above), the maemo menu does not load from the bottom. Presumably because hildon-desktop is not running.

Here is a video demonstrating what I'm saying.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2j_IqF8IV8

I need to find a way to fill the gap left by hildon-desktop. I have tried the methods listed at the following link:
http://wiki.maemo.org/Phone_control
to bring up the GSM or wifi internet, and have had no avail thus far. Querying

Code:
/etc/init.d/dbus status
claims that dbus is not started.

Code:
/etc/init.d/dbus start
claims that dbus is already started.


Any help would be appreciated, any hatred would not be.
Thanks.

Last edited by radiochickenwax; 2010-07-30 at 19:39.
 

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#2
That's pretty cool. I will try when there a bit more progress. (need the tinternet)
 

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Posts: 1,860 | Thanked: 2,837 times | Joined on Jun 2010 @ N900: Battery low. N950: torx 4 re-used once and fine; SIM port torn apart
#3
>hildon-status menu does not load completely across the screen
I see... Time, Bluetooth, battery do work, but Internet Connection doesn't...


> bringing up the dialing pad is difficult.
Try Qt Dialing Pad?
http://maemo.org/packages/view/qtmobiledemo-hyperui/

> dbus
The same with me, with default matchbox window manager. It's normal.
 

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Posts: 292 | Thanked: 131 times | Joined on Dec 2009
#4
I find that 256MB of ram is a little on the low side for a desktop. do you think a blackbox-based setup would give us more free memmory? (mabye also disabling some background tasks, like the browser daemon?)
 

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Posts: 34 | Thanked: 66 times | Joined on Jul 2010
#5
Thanks for the response guys, it's nice not to be alone in this ridiculousness!

Originally Posted by Tiboric View Post
(need the tinternet)
I need it too. Still trying to figure out how to start it.


Originally Posted by Wikiwide View Post
I see... Time, Bluetooth, battery do work, but Internet Connection doesn't...
That's right. That's a big problem for me, so I'm back to hildon/matchbox until I can figure it out.

Originally Posted by Wikiwide View Post
> bringing up the dialing pad is difficult.
Try Qt Dialing Pad?
http://maemo.org/packages/view/qtmobiledemo-hyperui/
Trying that now. Also trying some of the wifi-switchers.

Originally Posted by Wikiwide View Post
> dbus
The same with me, with default matchbox window manager. It's normal.
Odd, but I get the same here. Thought I might have messed something up. I still get errors when trying to bring up the internet with dbus-send in the terminal either way.

I was thinking about trying to write a little python script to do this, but haven't gotten around to it yet. If I really can't figure it out over this weekend, maybe I need a new forum thread. I'll also try asking around on irc. I'm having a hard time navigating all of these sub-forums. I think there might be a developer thread somewhere, but can't find it.

I really want to figure this out, fill in all the gaps and post it to the wiki. It would also be nice to have a boot option to decide which window manager/desktop environment to use. Thinking about GDM, XDM, KDM here.

Originally Posted by soeiro View Post
I find that 256MB of ram is a little on the low side for a desktop. do you think a blackbox-based setup would give us more free memmory? (mabye also disabling some background tasks, like the browser daemon?)
I save maybe 30-40 MB just by disabling hildon-desktop on startup. Your mileage may vary. It all ends up getting eaten up anyway once I start opening a lot of apps, and then I can't get out of swap without rebooting, but 30-40 MB helps a little.

Last edited by radiochickenwax; 2010-07-09 at 19:37.
 
Posts: 34 | Thanked: 66 times | Joined on Jul 2010
#6
Originally Posted by Wikiwide View Post
>
Try Qt Dialing Pad?
http://maemo.org/packages/view/qtmobiledemo-hyperui/
I think this is just a demo, and doesn't really work.

I also think I can start the hildon-deskop and kill it at will. The hildon-desktop process seems to start other processes that allow d-bus to connect to the web. I might be off on this. Still trying to understand how this works.
 
Posts: 34 | Thanked: 66 times | Joined on Jul 2010
#7
Just some small updates. I've been playing around with running blackbox as the default window manager, and managed to fix most of the problems I mentioned above. (not being able to connect to the internet was the biggest problem). I also rebuilt bbkeys for nice keyboard shortcuts, but don't know how to package this. I'm trying to create a personal clone of the hildon-desktop source from http://maemo.gitorious.org/fremantle-hildon-desktop/ and merge changes into it allowing for alternate window managers such as blackbox, fluxbox, pekwm, etc. I'm new to gitorious though, and am having troubles with this.

So the pressing issues are now:

1. Camera can't record video when the display timer blanks out.
2. xrandr still doesn't work, (reboots phone when called)
3. xmodmap won't remap pointer (for right and middle mouse buttons)


I've also discovered numerous benefits to NOT running hildon-desktop. The most notable is that everything runs a great deal faster and there is little need to run Xephyr at all. (except that right and middle mouse buttons work in Xephyr, and screen rotation also works).

In fact, you can use the debian window managers from the chroot, to act as the default window manager in maemo. I'll try to post some videos of this if I ever get the time to make them.

I still would prefer to use a more robust debian/ubuntu on boot, rather than maemo. Any help would be appreciated as usual.
 

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Posts: 255 | Thanked: 61 times | Joined on Feb 2010
#8
This is something I've wanted for a long time, Hildon is pretty but its missing alot of functionality I want/need.
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Posts: 1,091 | Thanked: 323 times | Joined on Feb 2010 @ ~
#9
@radiochickenwax: Could you possibly upload a video demo?

Last edited by ToJa92; 2010-07-30 at 20:10. Reason: typo
 
Posts: 490 | Thanked: 191 times | Joined on May 2010
#10
Did anyone try E17(for mobile) using this method ?

Nwm, I though there was a manual for this thing.

Last edited by aligatro; 2010-08-08 at 00:16.
 
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