Category Archives: Igalia

Amost ready for the next Vagalume release

Now that the N900 is (almost) here, many people ask me if I’m going to release a new version of Vagalume for Maemo 5.

Progress in Vagalume has been very slow this year, partly because of all the work we’ve been doing in Hildon Widgets.

Fortunately, the next Vagalume release will be out very soon. And yes, I know I had already said back in May that it would only take a few weeks, but this time it’s true 😉 This version is already working (you can grab the code from the GIT repository and compile it) and here’s a screenshot to prove it (click to enlarge):

Vagalume running on a Nokia N900

And, as I promised back in May, this time it comes with support for

On another note, this weekend I’m flying to Barcelona for the Maemo-Barcelona Long Weekend.

Maemo-Barcelona Long Weekend

I’ll talk about GTK and the Maemo 5 UI, and my fellow Igalian Felipe will also be there, explaining how to port GNOME applications to Maemo.

In principle all training sessions are going to be in Spanish, but we’ll be around the whole weekend in case you want to talk to us.

You can see the agenda for the weekend here.

And that’s it for the moment. See you in Barcelona!

N900: a great milestone for the free software community

With all the fuss that’s going on around the announcement of the Nokia N900, I honestly didn’t want to write yet another post about it.

But I can’t resist 🙂

I’m not going to talk about its features or its specs. I just want to say that it’s really exciting for me to see the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones releasing a high-end handset with a GNU/Linux-based operating system.

I think that this is a great milestone for the free software movement as a whole, because none of this could have been possible without all the work that Linux, GNOME, Debian and other projects have been doing before this.

Being part of the N900 team, of course I want this new device to hit the big time; but what I really want to see is not just the success of this particular model, but the proof that free software has entered the mobile phone market to stay. For good.

Let’s make it happen.

Did I say I’m excited? 🙂

Back from Gran Canaria

So many things happened during the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit that it’s impossible to summarize them all, but here’s a list of the ones that come to my mind now:

  • Alfredo Kraus auditorium is a great venue, and its location couldn’t be better.
  • The University was less spectacular, but from a functional point of view I think it was more suited to this kind of conference than the auditorium (to begin with, Internet connection worked better). Its main problems: distance to the city center and lack of places to have lunch.
  • When Jos van den Oever said: we not only share specifications, we also share code, and everyone in the room started to applaud.
  • Despite that, and at least for me due to the packed schedule, I couldn’t attend any of the KDE talks. I don’t know if other people had the same feeling, but I left Gran Canaria a bit skeptical about the actual usefulness of having both conferences together.
  • All keynotes were good.
  • Moblin 2 looks promising.
  • GNOME Shell, Zeitgeist, Clutter, WebkitGTK+, client side windows.
  • The hacking sessions at the hotel lobby.
  • Nokia’s announcement that Maemo will switch away from GTK+. While this is a complex decision with a lot of causes (probably some of them political and some of them technical), I think it’s fair to say that this is (at least party) a failure of GNOME/GTK+, and deserves some debate inside the GNOME community.
  • Few women giving talks. I hope there comes a day when the number of women in free software conferences is not a matter of mention.
  • The weather was too hot for me (although at night it was fantastic).
  • The beach at night.
  • Canarian food at the dinner with the GNOME Hispano team.
  • Fernando and Xan’s GNOME 1, 2, 3 show.
  • The GNOME band.
  • Kimmo using a whiteboard for his talk.

Ready for the Desktop Summit

Following our traditions, last Tuesday we had a very big party on the beach where we set everything on fire (this pic is not from this year, though).

Bonfires of Saint John, Corunha

That means one thing: Summer is finally here!

That also means that in less than 10 days I’m flying to Gran Canaria, along with many other Igalians, for the Desktop Summit. We have a few talks there this year, I’ll give two: an introduction to the new Hildon 2.2 and a Git workshop (this one at the Spanish GUADEC).

I’ve already been to Gran Canaria once some years ago, and I keep very good memories of that trip. The island is not very big and has some amazing landscapes, specially in the central part. The Maspalomas Dunes in the south are worth a visit too (a trip is being arranged by the organisation, see here, and hurry up if you’re interested), although that part of the island is full of hotels and I didn’t find it particularly beautiful.

I was in Las Palmas for less than a day and I remember it as a nice city. I think it’s going to be a great place for the Summit. I’m looking forward to seeing many people that I haven’t seen for a long time, and I hope that grouping together the GNOME and KDE teams in the same place for such an important event bears fruit sooner or later.

See you in Gran Canaria!

Maemo SDK beta released: Hildon development is now open!

The Maemo 5 Beta SDK has just been released. Apart from the many changes introduced since the alpha release, one important milestone is that from now on the development of Hildon and Modest will be open and hosted at the Maemo Garage in a public Git repository.

For Hildon we now have a development mailing list where you can talk to us, make suggestions, contribute, complain or simply follow the progress of this project.

I’d like to thank Nokia for having taken yet another step towards openness, and of course all the people who have been supporting Maemo, using it, spreading it, developing for it and reporting bugs.

Let’s make Maemo 5 a success! is no longer free

Yesterday announced that from now on users will need a subscriber account in order to listen to their radio streams. The new API for streaming music has also been published.

I already talked about this change in my previous post and I think that I don’t have much more to add.

For those of you who are going to keep using I updated Vagalume yesterday and it’s already using the new API. I’ll try to test it more thoroughly during these days and release a new version soon.

I’m also interested in adding support for other compatible alternatives such as to start charging for their radio streaming service

Yesterday announced important changes in their radio streaming service.

The most obvious one is that from now on users will have to pay a monthly fee of €3.00 to continue using their radio stations (except in Germany, the USA and the UK, where the service will remain free).

This is sad news for all users (and music lovers in general) as it appears to be a consequence of the licensing agreements that has with labels and the royalties they have to pay on streaming music (this article from last month gives some details on this).

Besides this, a post in one of the forums adds a couple of things:

  1. The old API to stream music will disappear in a few weeks. Unless I’m missing something, that implies that all clients (official and third party) will stop working, and upgrading them is required to continue using the service.
  2. Streaming music to mobile phones will not be permitted (a comment in the same thread explains that this restriction applies only to phones, so Nokia tablets are not affected).

The new API and its details haven’t been published yet, and I don’t know how this could affect open source clients.

My plans are to continue using (since I still think it’s a great service) and to keep working on Vagalume, but right now the future is uncertain so we’ll have to wait for a few weeks to see how all this ends up.

Update 25 Mar 2009 18:16:03 +0100: Rob Taylor asked about open source clients and the answer is that Open source apps can apply for an API key at the moment, and that won’t change.

Update 28 Mar 2009 16:57:16 +0100: It had already been said in the initial post, but another comment in the same thread confirms that you need a subscriber account to be able to use third-party clients, even if you’re in the UK, US or Germany.