Community update, october 3rd 2008

Minh Ha Duong haduong at
Mon Oct 6 09:48:59 CEST 2008


    * 1 Distributions
    * 2 Applications
    * 3 Hardware
    * 4 Wiki and community
    * 5 From the stars
    * 6 Outside Openmoko

[edit] Distributions

    * The big affair was the release of Om2008.9 Update on September 19th, the 
dot one ASU. Or was it a big non-event, because those who updated daily were 
already ahead when it was released ? Some users were surprised that the 
stable feeds do not update 
almos everything 
everyday anymore, but this is what stable is supposed to mean. You don't get 
the nice fixes in the latest kernel, but you don't get the nasty new bugs 
    * Another big point release: Qtopia 4.4. It's now called Qt Extended, we 
will need to update that string on about ~100 wiki pages!
    * FSO repositories moved to Thanks 
Beartech for the interim hosting.
    * A startup announced NeoPwn, a distribution geared towards penetration 
testing. I am not sure if they are shipping yet. Their hat color is unclear 
to me, their slogan is Own it.. before it owns you.
    * FDOM is really gearing up. They now have a mailing list, a code 
repository, and a mission. 

[edit] Applications

    * Sephora, settings manager in PyGtk for XFCE started.
    * Also, openmoko-panel-plugin went from 0.1 to 0.4. It is a gtk based 
plugin that draws the powerstate of some FR hardware devices(i.e. gsm, gps) 
to a gtk based panel. Theses panels are used i.e. in xfce4. so you can enable 
or disable the state of your gps receiver.
    * Brian Code from Koolu documented how he made Linphone, that is voice 
over IP, work fine for him.
    * A screen Rotate daemon was developed successfully. 

[edit] Hardware

    * Battery#DIY external battery pack from a Minty case, or how to run the 
Neo from batteries (NB: a pair of AA cells will not provide as much as 1 amp 
of current.)
    * Thanks to Claus and Lothar, the CAD files are now available in other 
formats (BRLCAD, IGES, STEP)
    * Michael negociated with a custom-case making company, they could build 
something more rugged/waterproof if the demand was high enough. 

[edit] Wiki and community

    * The Documentation Team recategorized everything using a two-levels 
scheme. Browsing should be is easier now, try it! Of course we now need to 
clean up the pages inside each subcategory, but at least the big POS is not 
many small pos. Divide-and-conquer.
    * We also organized the list of applications. Now there is a master 
directory, then detailed lists by topic, and then application pages.
    * Coming soon: "Use google search", "Add page in this category", "Site 
directory" extensions.
    * Some nice artwork flew by on the community list. Raster is still with 
us. Following some advertisement, the Desktop wallpaper gallery grew from 1 
to 4 images. Keep them coming !
    * We are having a defining hearts-to-hearts discussion on the community 
list in Risto's initiated thread The Lost Openmoko community. See also the 
Weeky Engineering News 38 for Om's plans to involve the community more in the 
release process.
    * Good things are the pipeline for the Community Repository, including a 
submit by web interface (tickets 1518, 1543) 

[edit] From the stars

    * There were many kernel patches about SD cards and bus speed. Confusion 
about which kernel version goes into which branch and about packaging 
strategies led to some module mismatch issues.
    * There are still interesting discussions on the kernel mailing list on 
the state of the wlan driver. For the rest of us, it means that the Wifi 
driver is still being actively developed. In plain English: likely to be full 
of bugs.
    * The alsa sound configuration still puzzle most users. I think that as 
long as alsa-mixer is based on a linear list of cryptic acronyms, we are in 
the dark. Internship idea: redo the mixer as a clickable image map based on 
the sound chip circuits. Make that work for all Linux distros.
    * Developers should be aware that the Meta-toolchain was refreshed.
    * The kernel guys have banged their heads together about how to send all 
their changes upstream. Conclusion: good luck, that is a tough job. 

[edit] Outside Openmoko

    * The leading websearch company released their mobile OS called Android, 
nothing was said about an Openmoko port.
    * Pandora pre-sells thousands of their handheld linux gaming console. 
Sorry if you missed it, the next batch will be for 2009. 


Thanks to all those who are helping to improve the wiki. As for the last 
issue, this page can be fixed at: 

And interesting events can be posted real-time at:


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