Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Follow up to yesterdays post

So our Canola posts yesterday created a long thread on and Marcelo has been really busy answering most of the questions that have come up.

Artur wrote a blog entry giving a bit of light on our new media framework Atabake, as well as posted a screenshot of Canola playing back an episode of the Office (screenshot above).

Last evening there was a little hackaton here at work. Andre had spend the last week writing a new input framework(*) for EFL, much in the spirit of, and inspired by that of GTK+ and QT, and just couldn't resist trying to port Gustavo iPhone like keyboard to it.

It is currently only possible to write input methods in C, so Andre ported Gustavos code and made it into a real input method. Later, together with Gustavo and with input of a lot of excited co-workers we modified the interface and hooked the keyboard up in Canola.

Though, we are not going to use this exact keyboard, it shows what is possible, and if we find it worthy we might consider develop a new Canola integrated keyboard based on this code ;-)

(*) This work was done, in order for us to use the Hildon keyboard from within Canola.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

So does it run on a real device?

It does, and it is really smooth :-)

Have a look at this video. It is not the latest version, but it demonstrates the responsiveness of our user interface.

High quality version at
High quality version at

Canola video from the World Usability Day

So Marcelo Oliveira posted a video to YouTube of him demonstrating Canola at the World Usability Day here in Recife. The video shows one of the concepts that we have used to develop the new Canola, more specifically the photo view and the new player view (including cover arts). It also shows our kinetic list, which has evolved a bit since our prototypes.

High quality version at

Most of what is shown in the concept is already implemented and fully working. I especially love the photo view, and when the concept was first presented to me, it rocked me away; but it also left me scared for a moment.

How to implement this in a way that it is usable and fast of the N800 device? Lots of problems came up as anticipated, but Leo Sobral has been working hard and has come up with a lot of clever solutions, and I must say that his work has been bearing fruit - the result is just astonishing, and it is now a joy viewing my photos on my N800!

The audio view is also quite nice, especially the cover view, which lets you view your music by album, showing tracks and album cover. The actual player has also evolved, and it now feels a lot slicker.

Though, it mostly looks the same, all of the code is new, and Artur Souza has been hard at work making sure that everything works smoothly and fast, but he will tell you a lot more about this in an upcoming blog post.

During the last week, I have been busy working on adding support for podcast, but now I'm back at working on the mapping view for at least a week. Afterward, I will try blogging about the podcast support.

Oh, and now to forget...

...our new framework provides scaling with very little work; imagine what the future might bring ;-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Insights on the new Canola menu

As a follow-up to my video post yesterday, our UI-guru Marcelo, shares some insights on the ideas behind the redesigned Canola menu.

If you are into user interface design, this should appear to you. The blog post can be found here:


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another glimpse of Canola

As promised, I just posted a video demonstrating a part of our Canola framework. Actually, I'm demonstrating a plugin that is not scheduled for inclusion in the first public release, but it shows some of the possibilities.

It is a car module showing RPM, average gasoline consumption, etc, using the python-obdlib from the Carman project (Another INdT project). It communicated with the car using the OBD-II protocol or, as in the demonstration, simulates.

The plugin was written in about a day, excluding the time spent by the designers.

Next up, some mapping action...


Our UI expert Marcelo recently went to the World Usability Day, here in Recife to talk about usability and the upcoming Canola release. If you pay close attention to the photo below, you will see a part of the new Canola photo view - enjoy ;-)

See ya!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The harp starts playing again...

Great, it seems that I will be getting a N810 anyway :-) as today I found the activation code in my email inbox!

Thanks you, Nokia!

I'm sure you won't regret, and to let you know, I already helped Marcelo Lira getting started with creating packages for Chinook.

So this post is really about Canola; it looks like all the lucky N800 owners out there is going to get themselves a Christmas present this year. Yes, about 5 months in the works, the new version of Canola is finally starting to take form and we are aiming at a Christmas release for the public.

Canola has been totally rewritten, using new libraries mostly developed jointly with the open source community and using our beloved python. And it is filled with nice new features, cool, usable effects, and not to forget, it is fast!

With the use of python and our new Canola framework, it is going to be easy to extend Canola in many ways, by writing plugins. Actually, Canola is just a framework and a bunch of plugins, tied nicely together.

Some might say that you could compare it to Google's Android ;-)

Doing the last months I have been writing plugin for interacting with automobiles, more or less providing what Carman provides, but integrated with Canola, using the new framework. I have also worked on GPS navigation, and map exploration, so it is now possible to use Canola for getting around the city :-) This will not be on the December release, but shows our explorations and the possibilities of the framework.

To show you all what we are working on, I will try to post some videos one of the days.

I will keep you posted!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

So, long time since I have blogged about work, but to let you know, things are progressing quite rapidly and I'm quite sure that you will all love the new Canola ;-) Still stuff to do, but christmas is coming soon... and if things go well, maybe there will be a nice present for all of you.

As most of you know I work at INdT, and I must say that I am enjoying it. It is a lot of work, but I work with a great team of talented people and we sure have a lot of fun at the office, especially due to my malpracticing Portuguese and my lack of shyness... but hmm.. let's not talk more about that :-)

Unfortunately, I didn't get accepted in the N810 device program, so for the time being I will stick to bora for developing Canola. It seems like a very nice device though, and I especially like that it has an integrated GPS now that I work a bit with that, but unfortunately I heard some people comment that the FM radio seems to have been removed. If that turns out to be true that is really a shame, as I used that in the trains quite some times.