New Freerunner Owner wants to help out!

Helge Hafting helge.hafting at
Mon Aug 31 13:46:35 CEST 2009

Alex Teiche wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> I have had my Freerunner for 2-3 Months now(A6 no buzzfix), and I feel 
> like I finally have the time to help out:)  I sent an email a while ago 
> asking about peoples recommendations for developing a new chat app, but 
> I never found the time to get started.
> I am 100% self taught, but I consider myself proficient in Python and 
> most C.  I have done quite a bit of work with embedded 
> electronics(Mostly AVRs and ARM7s, and some FPGA stuff), but definately 
> not enough to be of much help on the GTA02-Core project.
> Can you guys recommend the best way for me to help out?   I would love 
> to learn about and work on the kernel level, but I know next to nothing 
> regarding this.  Can you suggest a way that I could learn short of 
> asking a lot of dumb questions on IRC?:P 

If you want to learn to work on the kernel, there is
the linux-kernel mailing list. Have a look at the archives, to
see what that is like. There are various driver problems on
the FR, for which help would be useful. Such as failure to
set up the screen right when resuming with the screen rotated.
The kernel is all C. Coordinating effort with other Fr kernel
developers would be a good idea.

> I have written some of my own 
> things with Python and Elementary, which projects need the most 
> help/what important applications are we lacking the most?

If you decide to work on apps instead, consider this:
What do you yourself want on the phone? Do you miss functionality in 
some existing app? You can fix that. Something that looks ugly or
is unnecessary cumbersome? Fix that.
Is there an existing linux app you would like
to see on the FR, something currently only available for PCs? Port it.

The point of working on something you will want to use, is that you 
won't get tired of it. Also, you will be a competent tester, so
the implementation will be good. People making features they don't use 
themselves, sometimes make quirky stuff that needs further fixing. 
Still, better than nothing, of course.

The SHR project (and others too I guess) have bug databases.
There you can find bugs to fix, and wishlists of features
to implement.

Some old ones:
* Support for "long" SMS. (Implemented by chaining several
   short messages.)  Currently, the FR receives a long message
   as several _unrelated_ short messages - not ideal. And of course
   long messages cannot be written at all.
* Support for receiving MMS. When you get a MMS, the phone first
   gets a SMS with an WAP URL for the content. (Picture, or perhaps
   a ringtone or something.) The FR can open a GPRS internet connection,
   but it there is currently no software for actually fetching the
   image/ringtone/whatever. That'd be nice to have. Others now and then
   send images to FR owners, not knowing that it isn't implemented.

Helge Hafting

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