1. Played a bit with Maemo 5 SDK

    Today I found some time and played with Maemo 5 SDK. As I am one of those who do not like Scratchbox I used official image for VirtualBox. After boot I landed in GNOME session of Ubuntu 8.10 and after few moments I got Maemo 5 started thanks to instructions from forum.

    Ok, so let’s test it. As official release notes mentioned Polish translation I switched to it. What I saw was disaster… And the problem is that latest firmware has same version available. Examples:

    Desktop (here we have wdgt_va_24h_time)
    Desktop (here we have wdgt_va_24h_time)
    Statusbar clock (wdgt_va_date_long this time)
    Statusbar clock (wdgt_va_date_long this time)
    Calendar - new entry (wdgt_va forever!)
    Calendar - new entry (wdgt_va forever!)
    Calendar - today view (today in Polish is wdgt_va_date_long)
    Calendar - today view (today in Polish is wdgt_va_date_long)
    Calendar - week view (who will tell which day is today?)
    Calendar - week view (who will tell which day is today?)
    Calendar - settings (looks nice - except of wdgtbdsave)
    Calendar - settings (looks nice - except of wdgtbdsave)
    sfil_ap_name is good name for application
    sfil_ap_name is good name for application
    World clock (but which cities is has?)
    World clock (but which cities is has?)

    Note: I did system update by using “apt-get update;apt-get upgrade” followed by “fakeroot dpkg --configure -a” (because sbox root ‘emulation’ was too weak for “libosso-abook”). As a result translation “6.0+r7250+0m5” were installed (“calendar-l10n-plpl” package). Scary, isn’t it?

    Next thing which I looked at was instant messaging — which I was not able to use since there was no Jabber support. It has ICQ, Gadu-Gadu, MSN, Sametime, Salut, QQ, Groupwise, Google Talk, AIM, Yahoo but no Jabber. I even installed “telepathy-extras” but that added me yet another MSN and still no Jabber… Probably other package needs to be installed but why it has to be? OK, maybe SDK image does not contain same packages as device one but why it supports such poor thing like Gadu-Gadu out-of-box?

    Contacts app is improved when compared to Maemo4 one — finally something closer to application which I described some time ago in other post. Has some bugs (I can not enter “+48123456789” as number because only digits are available (and ‘p’ for internal numbers).

    Looks like there will be a long list of things to report as bugs when/if I will get my N900 (so far it is somewhere in deep nowhere). Why not reporting them now? Simple — I want to be able to check them on device itself.

    Other things I will check next time. Now it is time to sleep.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  2. Sim.One #0006 arrived

    Today I got nice package in post office — Simplemachines One developer board (Sim.One in short). It is based on Cirrus Logic EP9307 processor with Maverick Crunch floating point unit. I got board with #0006 serial number.

    Board is much better then EDB9301 which I used so far for EP93xx toolchain tests. What is on board:

    • EP9307 CPU
    • 64MB ram
    • 8MB NOR flash
    • MMC slot (connected over SPI so ~250KB/s max)
    • 2 USB host ports
    • VGA out port — XGA 8bit or SVGA 8/16/24bit
    • serial port in RJ-45 instead of standard DB9 (but cable is in package)
    • audio in/out jacks
    • many connectors with different signals — will have to check schematics for that.

    By default board boots into Debian ‘lenny’ system stored on 4GB SDHC card. But there are problems with it as this is MMC over SPI so speed is very limited (about 250KB/s only) and it time outs quite often so I plan to move to USB stick during next days.

    Next step will be adding it into OpenEmbedded and running Ångström as base distribution.

    BTW — how did I got it at all? That’s due my recent work on merging EP93xx support into OE — I was asked do I want developer board with this processor.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  3. Poky Linux 3.1.2 released

    Yesterday Richard Purdie released maintenance version of Poky ‘pinky’ branch. It contains mostly fixes to get it into buildable state in all distributions released since 3.1.1 was done.

    It got over 50 changes during 1.5 year of development. Most of them were done by me as part of my work for Bug Labs company and their BUG Linux distribution. As policy of handling fixes requires to make them also in development branch it was more then just make a fix for ‘pinky’ — I also had to take care of ‘elroy’ (which had to be next stable version) and ‘master’. Some time ago support for ‘elroy’ was dropped anyway.

    If you look at ‘git log’ output you will notice few authors other then just me. Thats because if fix was present in other sources such like Poky ‘master’ or OpenEmbedded I cherrypicked it and adapted to make it apply with keeping original author credits.

    Did I add something new into it? Yes, few things were added:

    • SPLASH support in task-poky so you can use own bootsplash tool instead of psplash
    • warning for ‘/proc/sys/vm/mmap_min_addr’ not being set to 0 (which would break qemu)
    • Python 2.6 compatibility
    • BP/BPN variables which were used in Jalimo repository which we use as one of overlays
    • automatic resizing of ext2/3 images if rootfs do not fit in default size

    What will future bring? I hope that new stable branch for Poky will be created in next few months so developers will be able to switch. I know that some companies did a move from ‘pinky’ to ‘master’ (or snapshot of it + own changes). We at Bug Labs are moving into OpenEmbedded ‘stable/2009’ as we need newer software and want some functionality which is not present in ‘pinky’.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  4. Back from OEDEM 2009

    During last weekend I was in Cambridge, UK where OEDEM 2009 took place. This time it was organized by Phil Blundell from Reciva company (they make nice Internet radio devices, new ones do also FM and DAB).

    I travelled by Berlin and Stansted due to fact that at those days there are no flights Londyn — Szczecin on Friday and Sunday. That gave opportunity to meet Henning and Robert in Berlin and discuss misc things during travel.

    Friday evening was spent in Red Lion pub in Histon. Nice, tasty English beers and interesting place. Both ways with taxi because of raining and price was comparable to public transport.

    On Saturday we walked to OEDEM place using Phil’s notes and got there with just one short cut missed (we found it next day).

    What was discussed during meeting? Many things, we had also OE e.V. meeting during which we voted for few new members, chosen new board, decided on sponsoring and selected Robert Schuster for PR guy.

    So what was on topic:

    • OE e.V. meeting (minutes)
    • Establishment of technical steering committee (summary)
    • OE and Poky (summary)
    • Software development for OE derived distributions (summary)
    • Learning to love distro flags, or, What’s a distro for? (summary)
    • State of the art in package management (summary)
    • Splitting the recipes tree (summary)
    • Future plans for stable branch(es) (summary)
    • Bugtracker Discussion (summary)
    • Hosting arrangements (summary)
    • Death to checksums.ini? (summary)
    • BitBake Future Roadmap (summary)
    • OE Core Changes (summary)

    Each entry was already summarized so I provided links for those who did not read OpenEmbedded development mailing list. Discussion was hot, many subjects had different opinions from audience and it was great.

    As usual it was nice to meet friends from OE in person and for few of them connect face to name. And again I did not had any spare time to look around the city of OEDEM — too many things in small amount of time. But maybe another time :)

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  5. Back to Poky Linux development

    In February 2007 I started officially working on Poky Linux. It was due to my contracting work for OpenedHand company. In August 2008 Intel acquired them so I ended direct development of Poky in October 2008.

    But that does not mean that I ended supporting this build system. I started contract work for BugLabs company and they are using Poky ‘pinky’ release. During that time I fixed some bugs (mostly by backporting fixes from Poky ‘master’ or OpenEmbedded) but most of time did not touched main development branch.

    Until now — I have customer which uses main branch for own development. So looks like I will provide some new code for development branch during next weeks.

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  6. Sheevaplug updates

    Half year passed since I started using Sheevaplug at home. Currently it is my IRC station (with self-compiled irssi due to Perl problems in OpenEmbedded) and today it will also became central file server as I just received 1.5TB Samsung drive + USB enclosure for it.

    It got several updates today:

    Yes, two storage serving daemons. Samba will provide access to multimedia data when NFS will be more used for developer board root file systems and such.

    Now hard drive is working connected via ESATA but after copying it will be connected to Sheevaplug instead of my workstation.

    Just to cut questions — I bought Welland ME-752H enclosure. It allows to use Serial ATA 3.5” drives and connect them by USB or ESATA interfaces. The bonus part is 2 port USB hub so I will not be out of USB ports in Sheeva ;)

    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
  7. ELC-E 2009

    Some time passed since ELC-E took place. I did not wrote about it before because I was busy with other things and wanted to wait for presentations to be available.

    The whole event took place in Grenoble, France on 15-16 October. I was there as a guest of ST-Ericsson company and had one talk there.

    There were just 3 tracks so it was much easier to choose which talks to attend. I was on:

    • Jon Masters “Porting Linux” — interesting and it was nice to see the person which do LKML summary podcast
    • Grégory Clement “How We Got a 3D Application Booting in 5 Seconds Under Linux” — author told about few tricks they tried in a bit boring way
    • Sascha Hauer, Marc Kleine-Budde “U-Boot-v2” — project looks nice and I hope that my devices will migrate to this one day
    • Cedric Hombourger “Why OpenEmbedded Proved a Good Foundation for MontaVista” — lot of people attended, interesting talk it was. Nice part was when Cedric told that they checked all of currently available free build systems and chosen our one.
    • Samuel Ortiz “Linux Wifi Solutions for Mobile Platforms” — lot of technical informations but now I know more about Linux WLAN stack that I did
    • Matt Porter “Mythbusters: Android” — nice talk about this system and which parts of it needs lot of work to be usable on other devices then just phones. I was also interested in it as I had Android on Nokia N810 during ELC-E but finally decided to go back to Maemo.
    • Alessandro Rubini “Use of the Fast IRQ (FIQ) in ARM-Linux” — again lot of technical informations but I really like how Alessandro do his talks.
    • Alex de Vries “Technical Features and Components of Open Source Build Systems” — nice summary of what open embedded distributions lacks and what needs to be done. Was fun to listen how Alex tries to not say “open embedded distributions” too often ;)
    • Pierre Pronchery “Hackable Devices: The New Possibilities of Open Hardware”
    • Michael Opdenacker “Small Business” — most of small companies which attended have OpenEmbedded services in a list of what they do

    I planned to attend few more but decided that Friday will be a good time to see Grenoble in other places then just hotel and conference centre.

    What was a nice surprise for me was the amount of people familiar with OpenEmbedded. Most of people which I spoke with used it for misc projects. I had a talk with one guy about “stable” branches and how our view differ. For me “stable/2009” branch is what has to be buildable all the time but can take some updates, he prefers project branches with halted development and just very important fixes related with project.

    My “Hacking with OpenEmbedded” talk got some interesting questions. Mostly about Maemo5 support but I do not know too much about it’s status.

    Was it worth going? Definitely yes. Met friends, got new contacts, discussed about different projects. Was good to be there. I just hope that next time it will be in a place easier to get to — I had to fly thought Amsterdam so whole trip took me about 12 hours (each way). But on return trip I had interesting talk with Ruud Derwig during flight :D

    Will something from ELC-E lands in OpenEmbedded area? Few things:

    • I had a talk with Atmel guys about their work on updating linux4sam website and their OpenEmbedded support. AT91 devices will get 2.6.30 kernel in OE and it will land also in “stable/2009” branch on which they plan to base their repository (instead of old stable branch).
    • my work on ST-Ericsson NHK-15 board starts to appear in official metadata. I still need to test it on board but base is added.
    • one company plans to release OMAP3 based developer board soon and this will be their first use of OpenEmbedded
    Written by Marcin Juszkiewicz on
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