Posted by berto on June 23, 2011

The Nokia N9 is out.

Yes, after all what happened lately there are many reasons to be sad, cynic or pessimistic, particularly considering all the excitement and hopes that many people (including me) had when the N900 came out.

But still, even if this is a dead-end product and this team’s swan song, it’s a hell of a beautiful one.

Nokia N9

I’m happy to see the N9 out. Philip is damn right, and Urho is damn right. I think this is a great achievement, I’m personally proud of all the work we’ve put into it and also very glad for all the good reviews it’s getting.

Free software can produce amazing things, and this is just one more proof. Our hopes will not die here. No pasarán.

The GTK+ Artillery

Posted by berto on October 26, 2010

The GTK+ Artillery

Thanks everyone for coming to the GTK+ Hackfest.

GTK+ Hackfest 2010

Posted by berto on October 19, 2010

After the good results from last year’s WebKitGTK+ hackfest, we at Igalia decided to repeat the experience, but this time we are doing it twice: we’ll be hosting it again in December and we’re also hosting the GTK+ hackfest, which started yesterday in our offices in Coruña.

Orzán en obras

The agenda is to basically put GTK+ 3 into shape, and is detailed here. We’ve also been following and discussing comments from people who are not there, such as Havoc’s proposals.

GTK+ Hackfest 2010

Everything’s going quite smooth so far, and on top of that we’re having a wonderful warm and sunny weather this week, which is quite unusual in Galicia for this time of the year.

We’re doing our best to make everyone as comfortable as possible, and we want to thank all the people that’s helping make this happen, including Codethink for sponsoring the snacks and drinks, Lanedo for sponsoring the official dinner, the GNOME Foundation for paying for the accommodation and of course all the hackers that came to our city.

We’ve been uploading a few pictures to Flickr, using the gtkhackfest2010 tag.

And now, back to coding!

Twitter sharing plugin for the N900

Posted by berto on August 25, 2010

These days I’ve been playing with a sharing plugin for the Nokia N900. You can use it to upload pictures to Twitter, using a variety of services. Right now it supports Twitpic, Twitgoo, Mobypicture, img.ly and Posterous, but it can be easily extended to support other services.

Twitter sharing plugin for the N900

Right now it’s in extras-testing, so if you find it useful you can vote to help it reach the Maemo extras repository.

Click to install

As usual, feedback is appreciated.


New Igalia website

Posted by berto on July 29, 2010

This is the second day here at GUADEC (although I arrived a few days earlier for the GNOME Developer Training).

Fer and Xan at GUADEC 2010

Many other Igalians are here with me and we have a few talks this year about, but I won’t go into much detail since Juanjo has already summarised it pretty well in his blog.

What I just want to say here is that we have a brand new website. It’s been a few years since we published the previous one and we think this one represents much better who we are, so we hope you like it!

New Igalia website

GUADEC and GUADEC-ES are here

Posted by berto on July 22, 2010

In a few hours the 7th edition of GUADEC-ES is starting in the coastal city of Coruña.

Surf's up

I’d like to highlight that this year, and for the first time, this conference was to take place in Hispanic America, with Chile being the host country, but the unfortunate event of the earthquake forced the organisation to move it to Galicia instead. The local LUG (GPUL) has a lot of experience organising this kind of events (including the second edition of GUADEC-ES, which also took place here), so I’m sure we’ll all have a great time.

I am attending GUADEC

And after that me and a bunch of other Igalians are flying to the Netherlands to attend GUADEC. I had a great time in that country last year during the Maemo Summit and I was already looking forward to returning. This year I don’t have a talk as such at GUADEC, but I’ll be at the GNOME developer training sessions along with Dave Neary, Fernando Herrera and Claudio Saavedra, helping people to learn how to make the most of the GNOME development platform.

And as usual, GUADEC and GUADEC-ES are sponsored by Igalia and many of us are giving several talks in both conferences.

Hope to meet you there!

DudesConf 2010

Posted by berto on April 12, 2010

This weekend spring came to town, and me and some fellow Igalians went to DudesConf 2010.

This has been the third edition of the conference (sort of a Spanish Debconf), hosted -as usual- at the Corunha University by GPUL, a local LUG with more than 10 years of history.

DudesConf gathers every year some of the most active Spanish Debian developers to hack, discuss, have fun, enjoy Galician cuisine and drink Queimada.


There were talks about OpenStreetMap, Git, Debian Blends and Semantic Web among other things. I myself talked about Emacs and I think I even converted a couple of Vim users 😉

And here’s the group photo:

DudesConf 2010

As you can see, the weather was delightful, so I ran straight to the beach after lunch :)

Updates on Hildon and Vagalume

Posted by berto on February 04, 2010

It’s been almost two months since my last blog post so here’s a quick update on the things I’ve been doing lately.

Vagalume 0.8.3

The first thing that I’d like to mention is the upcoming release of Vagalume 0.8.3 (which will probably happen during this weekend). The only changes in this version are that menus and dialogs have been fremantlized using the Hildon 2.2 style. It’s not an enourmous change, but it was about time :)

Here’s a screenshot of the new preferences dialog (click to enlarge):

Vagalume preferences dialog

Note that this release is only interesting for N900 users. There are no significant changes in v0.8.3 compared to v0.8.2 for other platforms.

Hildon development

There’s been quite a few changes in Hildon during the last weeks. The maemo.org Bugzilla has been working reasonably well and I’m glad to say that some important bugs that have been fixed lately were reported directly by end users.

Apart from tons of bug fixes and speed improvements, perhaps the most easily noticeable change in Hildon that you’ll see in the upcoming Maemo update is the new “live search” feature for tree views.

Hildon Live Search

You’ve seen it in the “Contacts” application and Claudio talked about it some weeks ago. There’s been a lot of tuning since then (including the support for icon views) and now it’s essentially ready. I hope it’ll make the overall user experience of the N900 a bit better.


Last, but not least, tomorrow I’m flying to Brussels to attend FOSDEM 2010.

I'm going to FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting

Some fellow Igalians are giving talks there (Joaquim about OCRFeeder and SeriesFinale, Victor about the dspbridge for OMAP3 and Philippe about multimedia in WebKitGTK+ with GStreamer).

We’ll arrive soon so we’ll be at the beer event on Friday night.

See you there!

Remapping the N900 arrow keys

Posted by berto on December 17, 2009

Here’s a tip for those of you using an N900 with an English keyboard.

For those who don’t know it, this is how arrow keys are arranged in (some) non-English layouts:

N900 keyboard

Compare to the English layout:

N900 keyboard

My N900 has an English keyboard, and I like it because I use the X terminal a lot so having separate keys for the arrows is good.

However I miss the accents (in particular ‘ and ~) as I usually write in Portuguese and Spanish, and using the additional on-screen keyboard is not that convenient for a Jabber conversation.

Fortunately, arrow keys can be re-mapped to add extra symbols by editing this file:


Just go to the end of the file and replace the ‘arrows_4btns‘ entry with this:

xkb_symbols "arrows_4btns" {
key <UP> { type[Group1] = "PC_FN_LEVEL2", symbols[Group1] = [ Up, dead_circumflex ] };
key <LEFT> { type[Group1] = "PC_FN_LEVEL2", symbols[Group1] = [ Left, dead_acute ] };
key <DOWN> { type[Group1] = "PC_FN_LEVEL2", symbols[Group1] = [ Down, dead_tilde ] };
key <RGHT> { type[Group1] = "PC_FN_LEVEL2", symbols[Group1] = [ Right, dead_grave ] };

With this, Fn+Up/Down/Left/Right will produce a dead circumflex/tilde/acute accent/grave accent.

If you want these changes to take effect immediately just type ‘setxkbmap us‘.

Hope you find it useful.

Update 19 Dec 2009. Since some people have asked: of course even if you only write in English or another language that doesn’t need accents, you can still add useful symbols to the arrow keys such as ‘|‘, ‘<‘ or ‘>‘. You can use any of these keyboard layouts as an example. See also this thread and this other one.

Update 10 Jan 2010. The information on this post is now (in expanded form) in the Maemo wiki.

Vagalume 0.8 released, now with support for Libre.fm

Posted by berto on December 14, 2009

Vagalume 0.8 has just been released. This is the first version to come with support for Libre.fm and the Nokia N900.

Here’s how it looks (click to enlarge):

Vagalume on a Nokia N900

We also have a new logo designed by Otto Krüja:

Vagalume logo

Many things have changed since the previous version. These are some of the highlights (read the full list here):

  • Implemented the Last.fm Web Services API v2.0
  • Support for Libre.fm and other Last.fm-compatible services
  • Support for Maemo 5 (Nokia N900)
  • New logo and other UI changes
  • Sleep timer (i.e. stop playback after X minutes)
  • New configuration setting to download free tracks automatically

If you are interested in Libre.fm or the support for multiple servers you should read the Vagalume FAQ.

Very important for N900 users: as you may already know, Last.fm does not allow streaming music to mobile phones. If you are Last.fm user and you have a Nokia N900 then you should really read the FAQ (and also this post).

N900 users will also notice that the UI hasn’t been completely adapted to the Maemo 5 style. That is going to happen soon, but since I didn’t want to delay this release even more, this version uses the classic UI.

A Moblin version is also in the works. Expect a release soon.

Updated 15 Dec 2009: Some users are experiencing connection problems after upgrading to Vagalume 0.8. This problem has already been fixed, so expect a new version soon.

Updated 16 Dec 2009: I’ve just released Vagalume 0.8.1 with the aforementioned fix (see changes here).

Updated 21 Dec 2009: And Vagalume 0.8.2 is out, with one more fix for another connection problem (see changes here).