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Posts: 2,530 | Thanked: 6,627 times | Joined on Mar 2008 @ UK
#1
MWKN Weekly News: 7 November 2011


Qt Mobility 1.2 packages for Qt Maemo apps

Attila Csipa, a former member of the Maemo Community Council, and currently in the employ of Nokia Developer has started updating the Qt Mobility packages in Maemo Extras. He's taken
a completely differently packaged libqtm-12 as the previous one, so I fully expect some breakage. On the flip side, the way I'm doing things should make it possible for applications depending on it not to trip over each other and avoid promotion deadlocks. This release will also be the migration path for apps depending on libqtm-11, which I will kill with fire in the not so distant future as it crossed the point of no return unmaintainability-wise (is that a word?).
Your editor recently tried to publish a QML application, which used Qt Mobility, but it refused to work on a freshly installed PR1.3 on his N900. Unfortunately, v1.1 was broken in Extras and v1.2 was an experimental version which had not been intended to be published as far as it did. Hopefully, Attila's efforts will soon bear fruit, as having these libraries up to date makes it easier for application developers targetting the N9 to also publish their app for the N900.
Read more (talk.maemo.org)



In this edition...
  1. Front Page
    • Qt Mobility 1.2 packages for Qt Maemo apps
  2. Applications
    • VoiceToGoog - Google-backed speech recognition for Nokia N9
    • Promoting Woodchuck apps to Maemo Extras
    • Capture screencasts directly from N9 and N950 screen
    • eBuddy demoed on the Nokia N9
  3. Development
    • tablet-browser-view-test source now available, for embedding Maemo 5 browser in apps
    • Open source Maemo 5 browserd
    • Testing IPv6 networks with Nokia N9
  4. In the Wild
    • Nokia N9 runaway sales success in October for Finland's biggest operator
  5. Announcements
    • Football Live Scores for N9
    • ProfileMatic - automatic N9 profile changing
    • Open Video Player (same codecs, new UI) for N9 and N950
    • SportsTracker now available, for free, for Nokia N9
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#2
Is the news about browserd as big as it sounds: the current Gecko/XULRunner components can be updated (with more standards compliant and HTML5-friendly JIT/CSS etc.) and made to work with the OSS version of browserd, while keeping microB's "front-end"?
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#3
Gecko could always be updated, but it's a really non-trivial job so no one ever did it. Microb doesn't use XUL.
 

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#4
If the Gecko engine could be updated to be the same as in Firefox Mobile, it would also improve peroformance of Firfox as the engine could be shared between both frontends (less memory consumption).
 

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#5
Originally Posted by lma View Post
Gecko could always be updated, but it's a really non-trivial job so no one ever did it. Microb doesn't use XUL.
Are you sure? Maybe it can just interpret XUL docs then? I am not an expert, merely an interested user with some programming/computing knowledge/experience. However, the following output suggests there are XUL elements within microB:
Code:
$ find / -name *xul* 2>/dev/null
Code:
/usr/lib/microb-engine/libxul.so
...
/usr/share/microb-engine/defaults/pref/xulrunner.js
...
/usr/share/microb-engine/chrome/browser/content/navigator/navigator.xul
/usr/share/microb-engine/chrome/browser/content/browser/browser.xul
...
NB. I do not have (and have not had) Fennec/Firefox installed on this device.

I was looking for info about Gecko and, AFAI can tell, Gecko is a part of XULRunner. Although, the Mozilla Wiki seems only marginally better than ours, in its somewhat circular referencing and slight tardiness, so I might be wrong!

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the role browserd plays (apart from being the always-on daemon)? I was under the impression it was the link between the closed UI and the open engine so opening it up would pave the way for the engine to be updated?

Firefox 3.5/3.6 (desktop equivalent, using Gecko 1.9.2rc3) was released when HTML5 was in its infancy so even though a number of features are implemented, they are done so in a non-standard way, e.g. "-moz-border-radius" instead of "border-radius". Other features, which have been adopted by HTML5 can be performed adequately on the N900, but the existing interpreter cannot cope with these features, e.g. mp4 baseline playback in a <video> element without flash but sites such as youtube.com/html5 fail.

Many of us still have a year or so to run on N900 contracts (some even more!) and based on the ever increasing presence of HTML5 combined with the device's capability*, I believe that trying to improve the browser engine is not only worthwhile but, in fact, vital to all users. Further, with an open daemon and improved engine, surely it could well benefit Harmattan users too?

*capability: i.e. HTML5 includes many new/unimplemented technologies such as SVG, MathML, WebSockets, CSS3, etc. - the majority of which would work well on the N900, even if some heavier features, such as WebGL, are too slow to be much more than a proof of concept for us.

... Ah well, I guess we should all be pleased that microB is, even now, more HTML5 compliant than internet explorer!
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#6
Originally Posted by demolition View Post
Are you sure?
Hm, not anymore :-/ I was going by the info on browser.garage.maemo.org, but perhaps I misunderstood something or things have changed since that was written.
 

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#7
The fact that XUL is part of microB is good - it's being actively developed. It's just (!!) a matter of using enough of it to reliably do what we need, while being memory-light enough to run on the device without freezing it up like Fennec seems to - that might be Fennec's UI though. There are recent versions of XULRunner in the Debian armel repository but might not run on the N900?
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