Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

26 Jan 2010, 17:11 p.m.

Tacky, Metacity, Encryption, tp-qt4, and Maemo

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2010 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

A few things Collabora folks have been working on recently (along with the constant stream of Telepathy-related releases):

Daf Harries released tacky, a simple python-based paste web app. Basically it's like a simpler version of pastebin, and you can install it on a private server in case you're talking about something confidential in private chat/IRC.

Thomas Thurman is looking for new contributors to mentor to help with Metacity (a window manager).

Cosimo Cecchi posted his TODO list for "a Telepathy implementation of the XTLS protocol, an end-to end-solution to crypt communication over XMPP". Cosimo and Eitan Isaacson are both working on encryption; Eitan has been plugging away at interactive certificate verification.

Andre Moreira Magalhaes is blogging to raise awareness of Telepathy-Qt4, a convenience library for people who want to use the Telepathy framework in their Qt applications.

And we've all been playing around with our N900 devices (Collabora company gifts). Tollef Fog Heen provides scripts & procedure to move SMSes and contacts from iPhone to N900, Felipe Zimmerle wrote an inclinometer, Jonny Lamb released a file transfer app and extra goodies to help you chat with people on lots of networks, and Thomas asks for testers for his new version of robotfindskitten.

Because we're hacking around, some of our apps you won't find in the default software repositories in the N900's applications manager. Here's a short guide:

Maemo Extras contains quality-controlled applications written by the community. It's installed on the device, but disabled by default.
To enable: Within App Manager, select "Catalogues" from the menu, find "", and untick Disabled.

Maemo Extras Testing contains the applications developers are preparing to update. There are lots of applications here and all need help in testing and validating. People can vote good applications up by visiting the application list; once enough people do that, an app moves to the regular Extras repo.

Still, these are not quite ready for prime time, so be cautious! One colleague offers this tip: "if you want to just find good quality applications within Extras-Testing, review this packaging list and find those with the most QA votes."
To enable: Within App Manager, select "Catalogues" from the menu. Click "New" and add the following details:

  • Catalogue Name: Maemo Extras testing
  • Web Address:
  • Distribution: fremantle
  • Components: free non-free

("Fremantle" means Maemo 5, the version of the Maemo operating system that the N900 runs. "free non-free" tells the manager that you want both open source and closed source applications; change this if you want.)

Maemo Extras-Devel: contains untested and wildly variant applications that might harm your system. Use this repository sparingly since the applications are unstable.
To enable: follow directions on the wiki.