So this is becoming a one-a-week blog, which is certainly a sign of how busy things have been for us. Among other things, here's what we've been up to:
We were contacted by Matthias Lee, owner of opentablets.org, a couple weeks back. Since then, they have put together forums for Vivaldi and have started posting news and information about our efforts.
I know some of you will ask "What about forums.kde.org?" Plasma Active forums and related KDE discussions will continue there, while opentablets.org will focus on our specific tablet (and other) future products. This is the beauty of open participation: everyone gets to add their own flavour.
We're really excited about opentablets.org as it is one more piece of the community support and interaction puzzle being filled in by the community itself.
Device Image and Mer Progress
We've been working with new OS images this week at a somewhat frantic pace. Mer now has NetworkManager packages, allowing us to use that instead of connman where it makes sense. This really shows the progress of Mer as a community project in my opinion. Kudos to the people who have made that happen, including our own Lamarque who has worked on all sorts of KDE and NetworkManager bits.
We've updated KDE PIM and other relevant packages as well to catch up with various fixes and improvements to improve performance and reliability. This comes along with updates from Plasma Active itself such as the new file manager and encrypted activities.
With newer images, I'm now getting ~7 hours of continuous usage on the device. Again, this depends on what I'm doing, but while flipping between activities, launching apps, doing some web browsing .. you know, the usual stuff .. the battery is serving us well. It is still possible to kill it quicker with more aggressive usage (true on all devices in my experience), this is quite reasonable. I'm hoping we can deliver with these kinds of lifetimes on the battery.
Image creation has started to creep into the publicly visible area as can be see on the Vivaldi page on the Mer wiki. Our collaboration with Mer, both on the technical as well as organizational level, continues to be excellent with Mer being put on ever more solid ground. And a non-profit organization is not far away, it seems, so we can help provide for the technical needs of the community. :)
Add On App
I've talked about the Add On app previously as said we were getting close to releasing code. We have been working in a private git repository trying various things, not all of which were successes along the way, looking for what we could utilize well as our add-ons delivery application. We still have a fair amount of work to do on the client side, but today I put together a git repository containing the current client side work and put it up on git.kde.org. You can grab it with a `git clone kde:scratch/aseigo/bodega-client`. Eventually, assuming all works out as planned, this will move through the usual review process and find a home alongside the other Plasma Active repos. This repository is where we will be working from this point forward on the client side, and we welcome others to join in.
Right now there are two parts in the repository: the library which is a Qt-only C++ wrapper around the json API which makes it easy to use in an async way, and a QML application which integrated nicely with the KDE Platform by using Plasma QML Components and things like KWallet.
On the non-technical side, one of the really exciting things we're doing is what amounts to profit sharing with app developers, via the points give away experiment we're doing with pre-orders. I really need to write some more publicly about this, but the concept is pretty straight-forward: we take some of the proceeds, turn them into points in the store, give those to people who purchase devices and they pick which content (apps, etc) should be awarded those points which results in the content creators being rewarded financially based on those user choices. What's intriguing to me is that this all happens really without anyone knowing that they are part of that process: to the device owner as well as the content creator is looks like business as usual .. except the device owner may perceive it as having received some free value in the store.
In Other News
Work continues on our corporate partner network (which I wish to make a little more generic as we work on this side of it to include non-corporate members more seamlessly) and we're in the "letter of understanding" signing phase. I'm really excited to be able to share this with the world as it will demonstrate nicely the dynamic nature of the ecosystem that is developing around the Make Play Live devices.
Oh .. and we've also chosen our 10" hardware for release later in the year. But more on that another time. ;)
Thursday, March 15, 2012
As a result of these efforts, and those of our community and company partners, a good number of really quite interesting things are afoot. I have news to share ranging from updates on hardware configuration to services available to owners of Make Play Live devices to application available and various other fun things. Now that I'm finally settled back into the usual routine after the last weeks of travel, I'll be covering these tasty morsels of news one at a time here with a new entry every day or two.
Today, however, I get to share with you an adjustment in our naming scheme. We ran into a problem with trademark for the name we had chosen, and this pushed us back to the drawing board. This may have been a blessing in disguise as we looked into some of the broader pictures around this topic. In the end, we decided to go with a musical theme that celebrates some of the brightest lights in human history when it
comes to making, playing and living interesting lives.
For our debut product, the tablet formerly known as Spark, we have re-christened it:
Given that Spring is right around the corner for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, here's some relevant music to enjoy: