Thursday, March 15, 2007

Opie 1.2.3, Konqueror Embedded: The Resurrection

The Opie 1.2.3 release has been delayed - we are currently looking into some issues around recently added Bluetooth support, namely that it's somewhat broken. Hopefully these issues will be sorted out soon since there's a fair bit of useful stuff in the release.

The version of Konqueror Embedded for Opie in Familiar is from 2003, and since it has sat unmaintained for so long I had figured that was it. It turns out that a company called basysKom, who you may well have heard of since it is staffed by several KDE developers, has released an updated version just recently including most interestingly a version backported to Qt 2.x. It's not quite compatible with Opie out of the box since they are targeting Qtopia 2.0, but it's close. I have started trying to hack it to work with Opie, and if you are interested you can keep up with progress by monitoring the KonquerorEmbedded2007 page on the Opie wiki (you can even subscribe to the page so you get emails about changes if you want). Better still, grab the source and the patch and give me a hand :)

I've just signed up to be a mentor in the Google Summer of Code for Opie (under If you're a student interested in working on Opie or something else handhelds-related under the banner, please have a look at this page and start thinking about what you might like to do. There are a bunch of suggestions up there but we'd love to hear any new ideas so please let us know if you have any.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


A couple of months ago I got a surprise email asking if I would like to be part of the of the OpenMoko Neo1973 development phase 0. Naturally since this involved me being sent a free phone - and one of the first truly open phones at that - I graciously accepted. Thank you very much to FIC and the OpenMoko team!

A week ago my Neo arrived. It's a little larger than I expected, but then that's probably a good thing since it allows for a more readable screen. The software is in the very early stages and there are some issues with charging, but already you can start to see the potential of the device. I've nearly bricked it once already by updating the bootloader incorrectly, but fortunately the USB DFU (Device Firmware Update) was still working and I was able to flash a new working bootloader. Unfortunately though at the moment my desktop system is suffering from problems with USB devices which seems to be triggered by connecting the Neo. It's not nice to plug in a new device and then suddenly find that your mouse has powered down, and won't power up until you reboot. Mousekeys just aren't quite the same.

Hopefully I will be able to find a way to contribute back to OpenMoko soon - perhaps in the area of apps development, which is my forte, although I admit I would prefer to be developing with Qt than GTK. Still, that is the platform they have chosen (and not without good reason), and if it can be polished up to a state where it looks like the mockups on the website it should be quite a nice environment indeed.

Note that this does not affect my commitment to or Opie. In fact, on the latter front I hope that one day I will be able to run Opie on the Neo.