[Gta04-owner] Experimental userspace with web UI, connman, dasher etc.

Neil Jerram neil at ossau.homelinux.net
Fri May 9 01:46:17 CEST 2014


For me the great thing about the GTA04 is how I can experiment with it.
It's wonderful that we have QtMoko and Replicant, but it's also fun to
try creating a system from scratch.  I'm particularly interested in a
few things:

- A userspace that is more like standard GNU/Linux than QtMoko or
  Replicant; for example by using Xorg for display, and more generally
  by reusing useful components where they already exist instead of
  reinventing lots (e.g. oFono, offlineimap).

- Trying out some particular stuff that I think is still newish on
  phones, e.g. Connman and Dasher.

- Exploring what are the quickest and nicest application development
  methods for the GTA04, for the cases where something new needs to be
  written.

I've been _very_ slowly working on this and have just recorded and
posted a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-b8kAdtHko.  Apologies
in advance that the audio quality is so appalling!

Some technical points...

- You can't tell from the video, but the Dasher input is controlled by
  tilting the GTA04 up and down.  In my view this works quite nicely,
  and I think will be faster with practice than using an onscreen
  keyboard.

- My Connman setup currently just handles Wifi; I hope to expand that to
  cover mobile data, bluetooth and USB connections.

- The main UI pages are HTML+CSS+Javascript pages running in the "surf"
  browser, with two phone-hosted web servers: lighttpd for static
  content and my own Guile Scheme code for dynamic content.  The next
  piece of infrastructure I need here is server-side WebSockets so that
  the server can signal updates without the web page having to poll.

- I use "xautolock" with a custom script to auto-suspend the phone when
  it's idle for a while.

I wanted to post all this because I'm aware that the mailing list has
been quite quiet recently, and also that I've tried but mostly failed to
help with any kernel work - so this is me saying that I am still slowly
experimenting with my GTA04, and presenting that in case it's of
interest to others.  Please do let me know if you have any comments.

Regards,
        Neil


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