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Native applications for Sailfish OS

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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Saturday, 04.Jan.2014 22:44    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Yes, I know, I didn't meant it to sound like this.

It's just that the situation is still very disappointing. Weeks pass and there is still ABSOLUTELY nothing being done about native software development: no news about support for paid apps in the store, the range of accepted Qt modules so small that it prevents any advanced applications from being published (no matter free or paid)... I wonder how much longer it may take for this platform to at least start NORMALLY supporting native software...

Please also note that currently available software (no matter if in the Jolla store or outside of it) comes from developers known from Fremantle and Harmattan ONLY. Literally NO ONE new. And Jolla does not do anything to attract any new developers. I wonder how much more time do they think they still have to at least START building a decent development ecosystem...

Shortly before Christmas I asked Marc Dillon about when they expect to start accepting modules like QtPositioning or Sensors in the store and when (at least roughly) do they plan to add support for paid applications. Marc forwarded my email to two people who are responsible for this stuff, none of them responded until today.
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Casanunda
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PostPosted: Sunday, 05.Jan.2014 01:22    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Michal,

actually in the TMO thread you linked to, five of your apps are lIsted in the first post as “has been ported to Sailfish OS” - starting from no. 183 orso...
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PostPosted: Sunday, 05.Jan.2014 01:53    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Jolla really needs to hurry up and concentrate more on native applications. It's nice to have ACL, but the focus must be now on creating the possibilities for developers to bring native applications. I wrote it often but I will repeat: if someone wants to have good Android applications, he can choose from a wide variety of Android phones.

Jolla doesn't support paid applications and is also not bringing support for all the Qt modules. Then it's not strange that there is a very small amount of native applications in the store. To bring more native applications needs to be one of the first priorities for Jolla.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Sunday, 05.Jan.2014 04:13    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

actually in the TMO thread you linked to, five of your apps are lIsted in the first post as “has been ported to Sailfish OS” - starting from no. 183 orso...

Wow, thanks. They weren't there last time I checked sometime in December. So there's some progress... I'll add the missing ones then.

Quote:

Jolla really needs to hurry up and concentrate more on native applications. It's nice to have ACL, but the focus must be now on creating the possibilities for developers to bring native applications.

Especially that ACL on the Jolla is quite poor, much worse than it was on BB10 when it was launched a year ago, as on BB10 right from the beginning Android apps could fully multitask and use all hardware features (GPS, sensors, camera, etc). Then it took RIM a year to actually master their ACL, so I guess for Jolla it may take two years to reach that state. Without starting to properly support native software development they will be a platform with both no native software and with mediocre Android compatibility/functionality.
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PostPosted: Sunday, 05.Jan.2014 04:31    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I think they should start classifying libraries in multiple categories. I think that makes it easier to support essential features. Here is my thoughts:

1. level, which is known to be stable and that they feel confident that they can support. This is the supported level developers should use if they should be reasonably sure that they won't have to rewrite parts of their application in the future. These are typically pre-installed and Jolla want to make these libraries a priority in case of bugs.

2. Level should be libraries that they want to support, but don't feel very confident that they can support in the future, or libraries that is developed so fast that they can't gurarantee it won't break existing code in the future. They exist in Jolla's repositories, but it can take a while before it's fixed depending on how serious the issue is.

3. Level should be libraries that's confirmed to work by community and not blacklisted. It's okay to use them as long as they work, but they can be blacklisted or removed from this list on short notice. The developer is responsible for his code and the code of the library. There should be no known security threats, although the responsibility of reporting those threats lies within the community. Warns users that these applications only receive community support if any. This is not permitted for applications that cost anything. Those in store requires developer to respond to questions.

4. Unlisted libraries. Not sure if these should be supported in store or not, but I believe it should provide a stronger warning. Expect them to be most common in third party repositories.

5. Blacklisted libraries. These libraries are not allowed to distribute through any of Jollas official channels and the only way to install such applications is by installing them from command line. Should be enough effort that only experienced users may want to install them, and I myself would probably only do that if I want to fix something so they hopefully could be removed from this list in the future.

I see 1. level as about what whitelisted libraries and qml imports are today. Essential libraries should at least become lvl 2 as soon as possible and even then most of them should be a priority for reaching lvl 1. I think the 3rd 4th and 5th isn't as important as 1st and 2nd and can wait until they get their native software stack up to an acceptable level.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Sunday, 05.Jan.2014 07:49    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

GeoCoder has been ported to Sailfish OS



Detailed information can be found in this thread.
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PostPosted: Sunday, 05.Jan.2014 22:19    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Michal Jerz wrote:
[...]

Especially that ACL on the Jolla is quite poor, much worse than it was on BB10 when it was launched a year ago, as on BB10 right from the beginning Android apps could fully multitask and use all hardware features (GPS, sensors, camera, etc). Then it took RIM a year to actually master their ACL, so I guess for Jolla it may take two years to reach that state. Without starting to properly support native software development they will be a platform with both no native software and with mediocre Android compatibility/functionality.


Completely agree with your post. Jolla needs to avoid the situation you wrote above. If they want to make progress then they need to hurry up and release the support for all the Qt Modules and accept paid applications in the Jolla store.
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naytsyrhc
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PostPosted: Monday, 06.Jan.2014 10:00    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Yeah, I can also only repeat myself. Great work Michal and it's sad that there is no (official) way to distribute your applications yet...

It came to my knowledge, that Meecast ist being ported to Sailfish OS (see https://together.jolla.com/question/1967/weather-application/) and I wanted to share that info with you, because I think, it's great news Very Happy

And I found a list of apps coming from N9 to Sailfish that lists your apps (or at least some of them) too, Michal:
http://www.jollausers.com/2013/06/sailapps-unofficial-third-party-app- list-for-sailfish/

This list states, that e.g. Battery Usage Monitor is also ready already but waits for API access from Jolla side.

So maybe that's also a reason for not yet having more native apps, lacking APIs from Jolla.

Hopefully they start the new year with fixing those issues.
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PostPosted: Thursday, 09.Jan.2014 17:07    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

There is an app called warehouse available now which you can use to install and upgrade apps from openrepos.net:

https://openrepos.net/content/basil/warehouse

Quite useful, as a lot more apps are available through openrepos.net compared to official Jolla store.

Almost better sorting than the Jolla Store app.
Still beta - it has some bugs and glitches mainly in the UI.
Installing and updating of apps works fine.


I don't know if there are any security measures that prevent installing malware or extremely buggy apps, though....
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naytsyrhc
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PostPosted: Thursday, 09.Jan.2014 17:27    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Thanks for sharing. Was waiting for it, but didn't check. A few days ago it was still not available...
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PostPosted: Thursday, 09.Jan.2014 19:18    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

another quite interesting file manager called Cargo Dock is available in Jolla store now.
it is a bit hard to actually understand the way it works, but then it's really useful!

- It has a two- panel view, but not visible on one screen - you can switch between right and left view by swiping right or left.
- moving up in directory hierarchy is done via pulley menu.
- most interesting features compared to other file managers:
-- multiple file selection possible
-- change permissions of a file
-- rename file
-- "copy to other side"
-- "link to other side"

For the last two, think of e.g. Norton Commander, Total Commander , mc...
so you can select the target directory on one panel, switch to the other panel to find the source files, select the files and then copy selected files to the folder opened in the other panel.
Really useful for file handling.
And creating symlinks is just great this way - good way to use data on the SD card.
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PostPosted: Sunday, 12.Jan.2014 17:22    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

There' a nice alternative web browser called webcat available through openrepos.net and installable via warehouse app.

It's based on QtWebkit and allows landscape mode as well as "real tabbed browsing" where tabs in background stay loaded and can actually load in background.

Page rendering seems slower than stock browser, but display of pages works fine.
Still some bugs (i.e. when typing in landscape mode, you only see a tiny window with the text box), but really usable in my view .
To install via wafehouse app, I had to enable the repository for Tiny Webbrowser as well, which was the code base for webcat.
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PostPosted: Sunday, 12.Jan.2014 19:11    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I have just installed webcast through warehouse succesfully w/o enabling the tiny webbrowser repo.
There are some issues as pointed out by Casanunda but in general it works well.
Good alternative to stock browser, no need for fallback to Firefox anymore
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Sunday, 12.Jan.2014 19:55    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

There' a nice alternative web browser called webcat

Nice idea! Technically, it is not really a standalone web browser - it is actually simply a QML's WebView (or actually in this case Silica's SilicaWebView), so the whole page loading/rendering/displaying is provided by default by QtWebKit. Webcast just adds to it some code to handle separate tabs (separate multiple WebView instances), bookmarks, etc.

... which of course is still a great thing as it actually allows anyone to quickly create quite fully functional WebKit based web browser within hours, by not having to spend any time on the actual browser engine itself, and instead fully focusing on the "UI", i.e. usability.

Quote:

There are some issues as pointed out by Casanunda but in general it works well.

It's not really the application to blame for issues. WebView (and thus also SilicaWebView both based on QtWebKit 3.0) are stable only in its 'core', quite limited functionality, and all advanced functionality is currently available as an 'experimental' subset of WebView's properties, methods, etc., not yet stable. So any issues you may experience with applications using WebView (and its advanced 'experimental' functionality) are actually caused by the WebKit module itself.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Monday, 13.Jan.2014 04:55    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Emumaster (NES/SNES/GBA/PICO/Amiga emulator) has been ported to Sailfish OS as well. Not yet a final version but already now it works fine. I've only tried the Amiga emulation but performance is excellent (~50 fps with sound in demos).

http://repo.merproject.org/obs/home:/wonko:/emumaster/sailfish_latest_ armv7hl/armv7hl/
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