[Gta04-owner] The future of QtMoko

Radek Polak psonek2 at seznam.cz
Wed Sep 24 07:38:08 CEST 2014

On Tuesday, September 23, 2014 19:19:36 Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:

> Hi,
> since I know that there are many QtMoko lovers out there who wait for
> new versions or new hardware that is supported, I have set up our own
> build system to compile QtMoko v58 and create GTA04-single-partition
> SD card images that might work with the newer DT based kernels we
> are working on.
> Here is the first result (installer for a 3.17-DT based GTA04 kernel and
> the last official rootfs):
> 	http://download.goldelico.com/gta04/qtmoko/
> 		makesd + unstable.tbz
> It boots well an the touch is working. But of course many /sys nodes
> have changed so that there is neither WLAN, Bluetooth or WWAN.
> And no battery charging, sensors etc. But GPS appears to do something.
> This raises some questions, especially as it appears that QtMoko isn’t
> developed any more. At least there have been no commits in the last
> 9 months.
> The first practical question is how to easily run the compile/test/fix
> cycle.

cross compiling in chroot is best for development, i used qemu for releases 
only. Check README in qtmoko git.

> It took several days on my setup (build within qemu-system-arm -M
> vexpress-a9) to build the qtmoko-gta04.deb, but finally it failed.

I could upload my qemu image used for qtmoko builds, but it's quite big...

> Q1: Is there a simple method to get the development cycle down to some
> minutes or even sub-minute?

The best workflow i found is like:

1/ install clear qtmoko image on some SD partition.
2/ work on new feature
3/ recompile the binary/.so library on PC
4/ scp the recompiled binary to device
5/ start QtMoko (from SSH to see output), check if it works

It is very comfortable and fast.

> Q2: The next question is how to adapt QtMoko to newer kernels since I
> assume that there are some dependencies - at least in the /sys file names.

Start QtMoko from terminal. It will spit out warning when something expected 
is not there.

Most of the sysfs paths are in devices/gta04 adaptation. Just grep from /sys 
in all the .cpp files, modify as needed and recompile.

> Q3: Another question comes from the idea that QtMoko should not only run on
> the GTA02/04 devices but others as well. At least Letux 3704 and Letux7004,
> but OpenPandora, Pyra and Neo900 are also nice candidates. Interested?

The "devices" directory is where the HW adaptations are.

> Q4: This raises a follow-up question: does QtMoko (and the apps) adapt
> automatically to different screen sizes (or orientations like Neo900)?

IMO no. It has different screen -> it's not the same device. But there is 
nothing preventing to share source code between similar devices.

Specifically the screen resolution: qtmoko uses xml for the whole phone UI 
design. This allows you to write your own GUI themes:


The themes probably could be written resolution independed, but when i tried 
e.g. on N900 it looked ugly.

> Q6: The next question goes @Radek (I hope he still reads here): do you plan
> to continue this work, i.e. accept patches? Or should we start and
> maintain a fork?

Doing fork is always encouraged with git. If you send me pull requests/patches 
i can merge them. I can also try to do releases if needed.

> Q7: Finally, who is interested in developing and contributing towards
> making QtMoko the most simple but greatest Telephony-GUI and helps to push
> the packages to the mainline Debian?

I was thinking about debian mainlining but IMO it's not worth it. You'll have 
to spend huge amount of time on internal things that wont make QtMoko better 
for the end user. Even if you succeed the result will be 2 years outdated 
QtMoko. IMO it's better to stay out of debian and deliver frequent up to date 
always improved versions.

It's similar to kernel - if you wanted kernel for GTA04 from mainline debian - 
you would be stuck with 3.2 version.


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