start writing applications - how?

Chris Lord chris at
Tue Nov 13 12:59:34 CET 2007

Hi Andreas,

On Tue, 2007-11-13 at 10:13 +0100, Andreas Jellinghaus wrote:
> sorry for first asking on the wrong mailing list (community).
> Still I'm a bit worried that noone wrote back how he wrote his
> apps. if you wrote anything, even only a hello world, please
> give a hands up and share your experience with us. Thanks!

I've written/am writing openmoko-today2, openmoko-dates[1,2],
openmoko-worldclock2, openmoko-messages2 and libjana (the back-end
library for calendar/time/journal stuff).

> On the list I see next to no mails about people writing applications for
> moko. What would be the best way to start doing that?

As OpenMoko is based on GMAE, the best way to get experience in writing
apps would be to start off writing simple GTK apps (in my opinion)

> I'd prefer some script language over C or C++ by far. Has any script
> language been integrated into the openmoko default image these days,
> or would I need to install some ipkg files? Or even recompile to build
> my own package (something most people won't like, takes far too much
> time, cpu and disk space)?

As OpenMoko is based on GTK, all the GTK bindings potentially work - so
that's Python, Perl, Vala, Mono, Ruby, C++... You name it. The
openmoko-specific libraries still need bindings, however, but this would
be a very small job for anyone that knows how.

> Are there any examples written in some script language that features
> beyond "hello world", such as being optimized for the neo screen size
> and to be used with fingers, or even gestures, or are optimized to
> use the least amount of battery / cpu / memory? are optimized to be
> used / unused (e.g. is it preferable to save state and quit and be
> re-started or should the application rather sleep and not use the cpu
> unless it is selected by the user)? or any example app using data
> shared with other applications such as the address book etc? or some
> application with example code for syncing data with a pc/desktop
> application?

Unfortunately, there aren't many small demo apps :( As openmoko uses
evolution-data-server for PIM storage, any application that uses this is
a good example - this includes the core openmoko applications
(openmoko-contacts, openmoko-tasks, openmoko-dates), but also many apps
in GNOME/using GTK too. - These apps,
for example. Synchronisation is relatively unexplored, but if you're
interested in this, I'd suggest checking out Conduit, SyncEvolution or
OpenSync, whichever tickles your fancy.

> sure, I understand openmoko is new and has a long way to go, and I'm very
> happy about everyone contributing. but I'm somehow worried that I see
> no discussion about these issues, or only "I want" type of discussions,
> but not "how can I?" or "what is done / what can I do"? even if none
> of these features I mentioned are available so far, that would be fine
> for me, at least I would know where we are so far and what I can already
> do and what I can't. having more information what the current status is
> would be great.

Perhaps developers could be more vocal about what they're doing?
Certainly people are responsive to questions posted to this list. I
often blog about what I'm doing with OpenMoko on my site
( ) and I keep a TODO list on my user page
(ChrisLord) on the wiki, although I must admit, I've let the latter slip
a little...

> but maybe it is me spending too little time ont he mailing list and wiki,
> and I need to read up? in that case I'm sorry for waisting your time and
> will do so (still a few links would be quite welcome).

I think your concerns are valid, I'm sure people would be pleased to
have someone helping with these kind of things (community issues and



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