With the 1.3 release, Xbmcremote brings support for the upcoming Xbmc Frodo release. But also lots of other things have changed. Besides supporting the new Frodo features like Live TV, long awaited older features like subtitle and audio track selection has been added. The keypad has seen yet another rework, this time I’m confident that it really improves things though. Thanks to the work of contributing community members, the connection handling has been made a bit smarter and we have a bunch of new supported languages. One invisible, but equally important change was splitting up the codebase into a library and multiple frontend apps. This makes it easier to adapt Xbmcremote for different platforms. The first results of this are already visible in form of a Ubuntu phone version and some initial proof of concept code for a KDE Plasma applet.
Xbmcremote 1.2.2 is a bugfix release for the 1.2 branch that is supposed to work with Xbmc Eden. This will most likely be the last Eden compatible update as git master has gone towards Xbmc Frodo and does not work with Eden any more.
As promised, here is the fixed version of GetMeWheels that works with the new car2go servers. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to publish it through the Nokia store for various reasons. I have also tried publishing it through apps.formeego.org, but that one seems to be offline too . While the situation is not nice for MeeGo users, it is even worse for Symbian users. GetMeWheels needs a GPS signal in order to be useful but that one requires the use of the “Location” capability. Problem is, that using this capability, I cannot create a self-signed package any more which in turn means, there is no other possibility than distributing through the Nokia store. However, as GetMeWheels is free open source software, you can compile it on your own and request a Developer Certificate to sign it for your device. The code including all dependencies is hosted on gitorious. Read here for more information.
- Uninstall the broken version from your device
- Make sure you have allowed installations from 3rd party sources in the devicesettings.
- Download the package above with your device
- Open the file directly with the transfer list.
This week I wanted to publish an update to Xbmcremote and GetMeWheels in the Nokia store. Both updates are only minor bugfix releases with only few changes. Especially GetMeWheels did not change at all, except fixing the URLs to make it work with car2go’s new servers again.
You might think its easy to upload and publish the same binary for a second time. But it isn’t! Time has passed and Nokia has been busy to update their publishing guidelines for both Symbian and MeeGo. This rendered both of my apps being rejected for the following reasons:
- Donate button not allowed any more. Apparently it matches the rule “Restriction on Bypassing Nokia’s Billing Solution” nowadays.
- The app uses GPS without offering a switch to turn it off. Noone would ever want to turn off GPS in GetMeWheels but hey, Nokia wants that button.
- The app is not properly displayed on the Nokia E6. That one has a smaller screen and IIRC no touch screen. Still, it runs Symbian apps and app developers need to make their stuff adapting to this. To bad you cannot un-select this device and publish an app only to the others.
Note that all those things did not change since the very first releases of the apps but only lately they cause updates to fail. Especially the donate button thing annoys me. Not that people would actually make use of it, but it reminds me of why I have been hesitant to upload any apps to an app store at all. It just does not fit with the idea of free (as in speech) software.
After Nokia killed my last hope in bringing another Qt and Linux powered device I’m not going to put any efforts in fixing those issues. Instead I will publish any updates here on my website.
Highlights of this release are:
- Image caching
- Performance and battery life improvements
- UI bugfixes in things like the progress bar
- Improved the Keypad/keyboard
- Indication of the currently played item in the browser
- Added turkish translation
Of course this release also contains the usual amount of bugfixes. The package for the N9 is waiting in the Nokia Store QA process and should arrive at your phone in the next days. I will upload the N900 version to the maemo repository in the next days.
With this release I would like to welcome and thank Robert Meijers who jumped in and provided some very useful contributions to Xbmcremote.
There are also bad news. Because of the lack of interest I will drop support for the Symbian version. The 1.1 release will still be available in the store but there won’t be any upgrades any more.
After a bit of fighting with the graphics chip I’m running KDE now on a MacBook Pro with Retina display. KDE looks awesome on this screen after I increased every possible size option I could find in System Settings. Only the fonts scaled nicely with the huge DPI setting of 200 on their own – the rest needed to be tweaked manually. Nevertheless, at least KDE allows the user to change this stuff and this screenshot shows a few KDE examples which scale well and some non-KDE apps which do not play along that well:
As you can see, Dolphin and rekonq adjust quite well to my DPI settings, while Chromium ignores it completely. Tomahawk had most of the fonts hardcoded with setPixelSize().
But to be fair, not everything is perfect in KDE land too. Have a look at the notifcation area (aka. system tray) in the upper screenshot. Also KMix’s and PowerDevil’s OSDs looked like this:
Luckily enough, most of the times those issues are quite easy to fix. In this case it’s just about adjusting the icon and container size to the font size to make it look like this:
For more complex user interfaces like Tomahawk it’s obviously lots more work as just increasing the font sizes ends up in breaking all the layouts. However, I have already fixed most of the stuff there too. If you want to use Tomahawk on such a screen already, check out the branch “retina” in its git repository.
So if you find yourself typing the word “setPixelSize()” or some fixed size for a layout/widget/image/whatever for the next time, think twice. Even if your application is meant to run only on the Desktop, it does not mean that there will always be roughly the same pixel size everywhere. I’m sure we will see pop up high-resolution screens like the Apple Retina screen soon from other manufacturers too.
Here it is! My long overdue website. I know, I should have set this up like years ago, but I never managed to do it. Anyways, I’ll use this to publish my open source projects and may blog a bit about some GNU/Linux, KDE, MeeGo stuff (And hopefully lots more cool stuff )