#Pebble App for #SailfishOS / #Jolla Updated: SkippingStones 0.10

In the last days, I put a little bit more work into my SkippingStones app that enables the usage of Pebble smart watches with Jolla smartphones. The result is SkippingStones version 0.10 which features the following improvements.

  • Improved Handling of Notifications (e.g., E-Mail, XMPP, Whatsapp (Mitakuuluu), etc.)
  • Auto-connect Feature
  • Simple App Cover
  • Fixed Unicode Support
  • New Icon

Furthermore, I uploaded SkippingStones to OpenRepos. Please also see this thread at talk.maemo.org in which the most discussion about SkippingStones happens right now.

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New Panoramic Photos

Below are two new panoramic photos. The first one was taken some time ago in Palmengarten Frankfurt.

20140301_006 - 20140301_018

The second shows clouds in the view from Bad Vilbel Heilsberg in the directions Frankfurt and Taunus.

20140408_103 - 20140408_125_c_cropped_3

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Control #crazyflie with #zeemote

Recently, I got a Crazyflie. As I also own two Zeemote JS1 remote controls, using these for controlling the Crazyflie suggested itself to me.

crazyflie_zeemotes

In a previous post, I introduced QZeeControl 2 which enables using Zeemote remote controls, e.g., on Linux Desktop systems. In fact, the main motivation for writing QZeeControl 2 was to control the Crazyflie via the Zeemotes. In this post, I briefly demonstrate how controlling the Crazyflie using the Zeemotes works.

In a nutshell, QZeeControl 2 creates a joystick input device via uinput that can then be used in the Crazyflie PC client application. In the video below, the basic interaction with the Crazyflie application is shown.

So far, I had been flying only a few times but it seems that controlling the Crazyflie this way really works well. Right now, I need to practice more. Hopefully, I can post a video of the actual Crazyflie being flown with the Zeemotes in future.

Also note that I use two Zeemotes because I want to control thrust, yaw, pitch, and roll via the joysticks and thus need four via joystick controllable axes. In other configurations, e.g., with automatic altitude control it could be sufficient to just use a single Zeemote.

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QZeeControl 2: Zeemote JS1 Bluetooth Protocol Implementation in Qt5

The Zeemote JS1 is a small bluetooth joystick remote control. In the past, I already created some apps that allow the usage of the Zeemote JS1, like QZeeControl (for Harmattan/MeeGo on the N9 and N950) and Zeecontrol (for Fremantle on the N900). In this post, I write about QZeeControl 2 which is a Qt5 port/re-write of QZeeControl.

Below are a screenshot and a video of QZeeControl 2 in action:

qzeecontrol2_screenshot

The dark gray area with the red square is used for testing the movement in general. The blue letter “A” to “D” indicate the four buttons on the remote control. The four blue text labels “Up” to “Right” indicate the triggering of the “digital joystick emulation” in QZeeControl 2. This emulation, in a nutshell, triggers a key press of a configurable key-code when certain threshold values are exceeded respectively underrun for the corresponding analog joystick axes. Additionally, as can be seen in the video, it is possible to control the mouse with the joystick remote control.

Generally, QZeeControl 2 supports an arbitrary number of remote controls and has configurable key-codes. However, as the current state is a very early prototype, there is no key-code configuration UI yet. At the time of writing, some configuration options can only be set via configuration text files.

The QZeeControl 2 source code can be found at github. I will also upload a tarball with a readily built version. The build will be for Fedora 20.

One of the problems that I encountered while writing QZeeControl 2 in Qt5 was that Bluetooth on Linux in Qt5 is currently only officially supported in combination with Bluez 4. See also another discussions about this topic. Generally, the Bluez API seems to be a source of some confusion.

Fortunately, it seems that the RFCOMM API which is used in QZeeControl for receiving data from the remote control works as-is with Qt5 and Bluez 4 as well as Bluez 5. The only part that had to be taken care of for getting QZeeControl 2 working with Qt5 and Bluez 5 was to re-implement the scanning/discovery part of the app using the new Bluez 5 DBUS API.

In the previous implementations, Xtst was used for interacting with the UI, like triggering key-presses etc. Perspectively, the plan is to port QZeeControl 2 to SailfishOS/Nemomobile as well. As these OS use Wayland, using Xtst is not an option anymore. Thus, in QZeeControl 2, uinput is used instead. Via uinput, QZeeControl, in a nutshell, behaves like a real joystick input device in the system and thus can be used accordingly.

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Pebble Protocol Implementation in QML and SkippingStones UI for #SailfishOS

This is somewhat an announcement as well as a call for participation. Some time ago, I treated myself to a Pebble smart watch. As my primary phone is a Jolla smart phone, apparently, the next “logical” step was to get both, Pebble and Jolla, work together.

Thereby, I had two aims. Firstly, the implementation of the Pebble protocol should be in “as pure as possible” plain QML. Secondly, of course, I wanted to have at least basic interaction with my smart phone like getting notifications about calls and SMS or controlling the music player.

I put the emphasis on plain QML for the protocol implementation for two reasons. On the one hand, plain QML, due to its interpreted nature, enables pretty quick hack and test cycles. On the other hand, plain QML also promises to be quite platform independent, as in, “Runs on all platforms supported by Qt.”.

I used the very helpful libpebble Python implementation of the protocol as reference. Thanks to libpebble the protocol implementation was actually very much straight forward.

The current result of my experiments is “SkippingStones”. SkippingStones consists of a “backend”, i.e., the Pebble protocol implementation and a “frontend”, that is currently only available for SailfishOS and provides the connection to the platform dependent interfaces such as DBUS as well as a user interface.

SkippingStones is still in a very strong work-in-progress state. However, basic functionality like controlling the music player and getting notifications already works. I even succeeded in uploading watchfaces to my Pebbe via SkippingStones. SkippingStones is released under the same license terms as libpebble and is hosted on github: https://github.com/ruedigergad/SkippingStones I uploaded an .rpm of the current state as well: https://github.com/ruedigergad/SkippingStones/raw/master/dist/harbour-skippingstones-0.1-1.armv7hl.rpm In order to use the media player control, you need to also apply another patch to the installed media player QML files (in “/usr/lib/qt5/qml/com/jolla/mediaplayer/AudioPlayer.qml”): https://github.com/ruedigergad/SkippingStones/blob/master/audioplayer_dbus.patch (See also: https://together.jolla.com/question/313/add-dbus-interface-to-stock-music-player/).

Please be aware that this is not an “end-user-ready” product right now. The UI as well as possibly many other parts are still pretty much unfinished and in a rough state. So please don’t be disappointed if there are many things that still need to be improved or if things fail. Generally, you use SkippingStones on your own responsibility.

All participation/help for further improving SkippingStones is highly appreciated. There are many places that need some love, in the backend as well as in the frontend. Furthermore, so far there is only a SailfishOS based UI while it might be worthwhile to support more platforms as well.

PS: Just to clarify, some parts of the backend are implemented in Qt/C++. However, I tried to limit the amount of Qt/C++. The only parts written in Qt/C++ are simple adapters to allow the usage of Bluetooth and QByteArray in QML. These parts are also written without any platform dependent APIs. Thus, in general, SkippingStones should work on all platforms for which Qt5 is available.

Furthermore, backporting SkippingStones to Qt4 should also be possible without much effort. I didn’t try it myself, but, off the top of my head, it might even suffice to adjust the version of the QtQuick import in the QML part.

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StultitiaSimplex for #SailfishOS is in Harbour.

Finally, my first app reached the Jolla Harbour. This is actually a rather small “toy” app of mine but nonetheless, that’s my first app in Harbour.

StultitiaSimplex is a simple sound recorder and sound player. It is intended as a sort of “sound board” like application; i.e., the primary use case I had in mind when writing it was to capture short snippets of audio and to have these quickly at hand for playback.

You can find a little more information about StultitiaSimplex, including an FAQ explaining the name ;), on the original homepage: http://stultitiasimple.sourceforge.net Unfortunately, that page is fairly outdated. Right now, the code is hosted at github and hopefully I’ll find a little time to create a proper new web page.

The general usage on SailfishOS is as follows:

  1. Use the pull-down menu and chose “Record Sound”.
  2. Enter a name and press “Record”.
  3. Once you are satisfied with the recording click “Stop”.
  4. Close the recording view.
  5. Choose “Add Sound” from the pull-down menu and fill all fields.
  6. Swipe “accept” to add the new file.
  7. Double-click the file to play it back or long-press on it for more options.

You can assign two sounds to the cover actions for quicker access. Please note that you have to assign both options for this to work. Currently, when assigning just a single cover action, the playback won’t work.

Below are some screenshots:

 

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Plasma Active 4: New Rootfs Tarballs for ArchosG9 and Nexus7

It has been quite a while since I uploaded the last rootfs tarballs of Plasma Active 4 for ArchosG9 and Nexus7. Now, I just used the holidays to generate and upload new ones.

In the meantime, the unpleasant bug with respect to the network manager applet was fixed. So, these new rootfs tarballs provide a fully working network management applet out of the box. In fact, all applets in the top bar seem to work properly now. Great thanks to whoever finally fixed that issue. :) PS: I just learned that this was fixed by Marco Martin aka notmart. Thanks a lot again, this bug was a really annoying one. :)

You can get the tarballs, as usual, from http://files.kde.org/plasma/active/4.0/. For installation instructions see one of my older posts.

Please note that I only briefly tested the Nexus7 version. The ArchosG9 version is provided untested in the hope that it works. I hope you enjoy these new versions. Great thanks to the Plasma Active development team. :)

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