Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

17 May 2012, 10:58 a.m.

Mysterious Dependencies

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2012 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 So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it!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.

The more I thought about buying a smartphone the more my sentimental side rose up in protest against buying an Android device. So I got a Nokia N9. I've compared the N900 to the Apple Newton. I don't know yet what I'll compare the N9 to.

Geeky details follow, for use by future searchers who happen upon this entry if they find the same mystery I did:

My N9 came running MeeGo 1.2 (Harmattan), PR 1.2, 30.2012.07-1_PR_005. When I went to manage my applications, I saw that various updates were available. But when I hit Update, I got this warning: "to complete updates, conflicting applications need to be uninstalled". Even when I just tried to update the User Guide to 0.3.5+0m7, I got the message: "Dependency notice: To complete updating User guide, conflicting applications need to be uninstalled".

However, there was no way to actually figure out what the conflicts were. I talked it over in the #n9 channel (thanks, mgedmin). I hadn't yet installed any new apps from the Ovi Store, so it couldn't be that. I tried enabling developer mode so that I could just use apt-get to check the dependencies, but got "Dependencies notice: To complete installation of developer-mode, additional applications need to be downloaded and installed. To complete installation of developer-mode, conflicting applications need to be uninstalled...." so I would have run into the same problem even before being able to use apt-get. So I didn't accept that offer.

So I decided to just inventory my user-visible applications and then check to see whether any of them disappeared after the update. It looks like none of them did. For reference, these are the apps visible on the app screen (NOT in order of how they appear on that screen -- generic stuff first, then branded stuff like Twitter):

  • Phone
  • Contacts
  • Search
  • Web
  • Messages
  • Mail
  • Calendar
  • Clock
  • Camera
  • Gallery
  • Music
  • Videos
  • Maps
  • Music Store
  • Store
  • Accounts
  • Settings
  • Calculator
  • Documents
  • Feeds
  • Notes
  • User guide
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • YouTube
  • Skype
  • Track & Prot. ("Protect")
  • AccuWeather
  • Angry Birds
  • AP Mobile
  • Drive
  • Facebook
  • Galaxy on Fire 2
  • NFS Shift
  • Ovi Music
  • Real Golf 2011
  • Twitter

Sometime soon I'll enable developer mode and see whether the logs tell me what got uninstalled today. Until then, if anyone has insight, please feel free to mention it in the comments.


20 May 2012, 3:27 a.m.

Arguments against Android?

20 May 2012, 11:49 a.m.

I preface these arguments with the disclaimer that I am generalizing wildly and probably wrong on some of this.

* hard to get upgrades

* Cyanogen exists but is a hack around the fact that Android does not by default just frickin' give you root on your own device

* Android developers just throw the code over the wall instead of being truly collaborative as an open source community ought

* I don't want Linux-on-mobile to be an Android monoculture so I will exercise my nonconformism and be an annoying edge case (see also: the rest of my life)

24 May 2012, 11:03 a.m.

<ol> <li>True<br/>2. True, sortof. Root by default is be dangerous - you'll have to trust the developer of every app in your machine to not do something dangerous. So having it off by default is sensible. I like how I can get root with a few simple commands. <br/>3. True. Closer to Microsoft's (Now Dead?) Shared Source stuff than a proper Open Source community. However, you still get to fork it and do whatever you want (see - CM9, Kindle Fire, tons of Chinese manufacturers), with the caveat that binary drivers are a PITA. <br/>4. Ah, yes :D More power to you, but you'll be running out of choices soon - I was surprised that nokia was actually selling N9 still!

Good luck getting it to work! Not too dissimilar to desktop linux from years back :)</li> </ol>