Side project: Fixing Spaz

webOS always had tons of twitter clients, most of them great. But then came the most recent death of webOS some time later the API change of twitter. This lead to tons of formerly great twitter clients for webOS now being obsolete and not working anymore.

Screenshot of Spaz HD with columns for multiple accounts and unified Mentions column.
Screenshot of Spaz HD with columns for multiple accounts and unified Mentions column.

Ever since I discovered for my TouchPad I loved Spaz HD. It has this nice configurable column interface where you can easily have timelines of multiple accounts next to each other. Yes, I have two twitter accounts, one for my webOS-ramblins (mostly written in English for the international people) and one for my more political discussions (written in German). With Spaz HD I could manage them easily from one single card.

The other advantage of Spaz HD over the only remaining twitter client out there, Project Macaw, is that it feels more responsive. Macaw is a great client, too. I like it on my phone, very much. But to be hones, I can’t stand to use it on my TouchPad. Especially interacting with the App-Menu feels so damn laggy almost all the time. Probably someone has to go through the code and add “enyo.nextTick” into UI callbacks, so that the come back faster and the UI stays responsive.

Anyway, a few months ago Metaview fixed the API issues in Spaz HD (and Spaz) (and also enabled unified columns, so you can have mentions and messages from all your accounts in one column. Great!). I used that for some months, but noticed that sometimes tweeting would fail. Today I investigated that issue a bit more and found out that some characters, namely !, (, ) were not encoded correctly on their way to twitter. Apparently the 1.1 API got more selective there. So I fixed that and Metaview build some new packages (so most of the credits belong to him anyway!):

Install them via Preware and have fun. Maybe we’ll somehow get them into App catalogue some day.  Until then, spread the word.

Some Preware 2 screenshots

Ok, I’m not the guy behind the UI… credit for that still goes to @shiftyaxel. But I did some work at the settings stuff and fixed a few bugs with Preware 2 not displaying packages on Open webOS. Yes, this is taken from Open webOS (but only the emulator).

downloadingfeeds

packagelist

There is still a bug, the Grabber Toolbar is missing. I’m not sure why that is. But that means you can’t install / uninstall / update packages right now.

CardDav and CalDav connector

I always wondered, why there was no CalDav/CardDav synergy connector for webOS. CalDav is one of these web (or at least web-like) open standards that webOS usually uses.

Since some time webos-ports put some effort in creating a synergy connector for CardCav. The repository can be found here. The day I recognized that activity I got in touch with them and moved the connector forward quite a bit. Especially the CalDav part and that it is using the webOS Mojoservice-Sync-framework which takes away a lot of the pain doing a synergy connector was my idea and my work. Currently I am using the connector fine on my Veer and my wife’s Pre 3 for calendar and contact sync (contact only one way from server, calendar two way). I still have a private fork with more experimental version here.

The software sadly did not make its way yet into Preware or the App catalogue… you can apply as beta tester by contacting me ;-). I am still testing with my eGroupware server. Owncloud also seems to work fine, now. I did some rudimentary tests with Yahoo (calendar seems to be fine). Google Calendar is not yet working, though.

I think if webos ports gets this synergy connector into a stable release, open webos will solve one of it’s more pressing issues: That there are no synergy connectors delivered with it.

I must admit that I like the caldav connector that much, that I stopped using SyncML. Therefore that is bad news for all my SyncML using friends: further development of the SyncML connector is rather unlikely. SyncML support seems to be fading out in most server implementations, because CalDav is much easier to implement (actually it’s very similar to webdav and most is done by the webserver already…). A lot of the knowledge I gathered in writing the SyncML connector and quite some bits of the code did go into the CalDav connector. So I’m quite happy with the current situation. :-)

Actually the most pressing issue in SyncML was the slow sync that did happen from time to time and liked to mess up my data a lot.

Maybe, if there are people that are really in need of the SyncML connector and can’t use anything else and are willing in testing (and risk loosing/messing up their data), I’ll reimplement the SyncML connector in the Mojoservice-Sync-framework also, which takes away some of the issues the SyncML connector always had. Till then it might benefit from some improvements in iCal/vCard parsing and generation. But nothing happened on this front, yet.

Google Reader replacements

In a previous post I was looking for a Google Reader alternative for webOS. Shortly after that post I found a TheOldReader app in the app cataloge. Actually this is a modified feeder version. I tried it and it is a decent app (I had some issues with TheOldReader itself, though with missing articles and not updated feeds).

Another possible alternative is to run your own server with Tiny Tiny RSS. This works quite nice and has a web interface which is simple. For webOS there is only an inofficial client though: tt-rssenyo. It is a bit rough, but works nice, too. Currently you’d have to build it from the source yourself, sadly.

What about feedly? I abandoned feedly for some reasons. One of them is that I never got any feedback on any of my requests. Neither for API access (which is now public) nor for APP keys (which are now required) or anything else. So I’m not willing or even able to build a webOS client for feedly. Would be quite fast to implement based on the open source client feeder. Maybe someone else will stand up, someday?

I’ll maybe invest some time in improving the tt-rss client from above, which I am using regularly now. The original author switched to Blackberry, but it’s enyo and quite platform independent. Maybe we’ll get that into the App cat someday, or at least into Preware.

Export Notes

There was some public demand to have an app to export notes from webOS similar to the export messages app. And who am I to deny such public demand? ;)

I finally found the time to create the app and here it is: Source, App Galery

Of course there is a new patch needed. This is also submitted to the Preware Patch portal and will show up in the Memos feed sometime in the future. Alternatively the patch can be downloaded from here: https://raw.github.com/Garfonso/ExportNotes/master/permission.patch

I hope some of you find this useful, not only for leaving webOS behind. ;)

Export Messages on a Veer

Hi,

I recently was asked by someone where to get the Export Messages Permission Patch for a Veer. I didn’t have the chance to test the patch with webOS 2.1.X which is the latest version on the Veer.

People can download  the patch from here (press save as) and apply it with Internalz or WOSQI.

Alternatively you can still run

luna-send -a com.palm.app.messaging -n 1 palm://com.palm.db/putPermissions '{"permissions": [{"type": "db.kind", "object": "com.palm.message:1", "caller": "info.mobo.exportmessages.service", "operations": {"read":"allow"}}, {"type": "db.kind", "object": "com.palm.message:1", "caller": "info.mobo.exportmessages.service", "operations": {"read": "allow"}}]}'

from the command line on the device. I’ll try to find the time to mark the patch as compatible to the Veer, if people report back that it works for the Veer with webOS 2.1.2 and 2.1.1.

webOs in need of a Google Reader alternative

Google Reader will die soon. That’s sad.

I see two alternatives:

The first version would be better, because you don’t need to set up your own server… But: A client does not yet exist. So currently the second option is the more likely one.

If I get access to the feedly.com api (I applied), then a solution for feedly.com can become likely, too. There are quite some webOs feed readers that got open sourced:

If I get access to the feedly.com api and the api really is similar to the google reader one, that I might be able to update one of the above mentioned feed readers to use the feedly.com cloud service quite fast and publish it in the HP app cat. That would be great.

Let’s see what the future holds.

I’m still around

It is getting quite in webOs land. I fear people already noted that. Many developers left us and also a lot of users. I’m not sure if anybody is still using anything I ever published to webOsnation. Maybe?

If you got here, be asured: I am still actively using my webOs devices (a Veer, a TouchPad) and so does my wife (a Pre3 and also a TouchPad). So I am still in need to sync them with my eGroupware Server (i.e. I am still working on my SyncML Plugin).

Additionally I bought a Galaxy Nexus nearly a year ago and did play with that and Open webOs. Issue with Open webOs is: It has no Mojo. Therefore a lot of apps for the Pre won’t work on Open webOs and this also includes Preware. So I got in contact with webOsports and was working a bit to get Preware rewritten in Enyo2 and running on Open webOs (yeah, future.. here we come. :)). That took a bit time away from my SyncML efforts… but then again I did not have thaaaat much time to spent on them, anyway.

I hope that will change again, a bit, in the future… I got some ideas on how to best sync tasks. Maybe I’ll look into that in the near future. I looked a lot into contact sync in the last week.

There still is an issue one of my french friends had. The app is not really nice to the memory consumption and gets killed if it tries to sync too many items at the same time. I need to restructure that to only load the items into memory that get send during with the next message. That will limit memory consumption to some managable level. I did not achieve that, yet… this really needs a lot of restructuring and will break a lot of things. I hope I’ll manage to look into that someday soon.

Anyway, feel free to look into Preware 2 (the Enyo2 version) and give me some feedback.

Export Messages

As short side project I created an app that exports messages from the webOS 2.x and 3.x message database and writes them into a text file.

There were some people on the webosnation forum who asked for a way to get their messages into Excel: http://forums.webosnation.com/hp-pre-3/311205-sms-mms-transfer.html

Because they had some thousand messages my advices with command line stuff did not help them so much, so I figured I write a small app. The issue with the app is, that it needs access to the message db, which apps usually don’t get in webOS. To circumvent that issue, there is  either a command line that you have to execute or you can install a patch. The app is published in the preware feeds: http://www.webosnation.com/export-messages

Also the code for the app is on github: https://github.com/Garfonso/ExportMessages

The patch has been submitted to the patch portal. But you can also download it from github: https://raw.github.com/Garfonso/ExportMessages/master/permission.patch

I hope that helps some people.