ia: Benvenite! In mi blog io scribe in interlingua, italiano e anglese.

it: Benvenuti! Nel mio blog scrivo in interlingua, italiano e inglese.

en: Welcome! In my blog I write in Interlingua, Italian and English.

How not to get support from an open source project


Lately many people have been writing to me by e-mail, IM or to my maemo.org account, mostly asking for help on how to use Mappero or request new features. While I'm glad to see that there's some interest about the project, I feel a need to tell everybody that writing personal messages to the developer is not the best way to get help. I'm sorry to say that I couldn't answer most of these requests: it would have simply killed off my time, which instead was spent working on Mappero (see below in the post for some news on what i did).
On the other hand, I understand that the Maemo community is growing a lot, and many new members might not know how to find their way through all the amount of information in maemo.org and related projects. Unfortunately I'm not going to deliver any solutions to this, but I can at least write here a few pieces of advice that I think are generally productive.

Where to file bug reports or feature requests

This is the case when writing to the developer is the most ineffective solution (at least if the developer is me :-)): even in the best case when he has enough time to dedicate the needed attention to your message, in most case he won't be able to solve the problem right away, and he'll simply forget about it. And please, don't keep reminding him about the issue, it's just going to piss him off. And pretty please, don't think that the issue you are reporting is so simple to fix that he'll be able to fix it right away: there are billions of reason why a change that seems trivial to you might be enormously complex to the developers.
So, just use the tools that are meant for this goal: bug trackers. You can probably find the web address of the bug tracker in the About page of the application, if it has one (tap on the application title to open the main menu; if you are lucky, the About item is there!), or in the maemo.org downloads page you can search for the application and, once found, on the page there should be links to the project's web page and bug tracker.
Filing a bug report usually requires you to log in into the bug tracker (and create a free account if you don't have one) and fill in a simple form where you'll have to describe the bug you encountered or the feature you want to request. Once done, you'll be notified by mail when someone replies to your request.

Where to get help, or just talk about the application

You need a place for discussion. Sometimes it is because you need help on using the application, sometimes it is because you are not sure whether the application has a problem, and would like to check with other users before going and filing a bug. Well, first of all use google or search the forums at talk.maemo.org; here you might find that people have already asked your question or are discussing the same issue that you had in mind.
If you need to start a new discussion, it's better to do first check the application website and see what's the recommended place for discussion. In Mappero case, we have web forums in the Garage project page.
The other option is of course talk.maemo.org; but there's always the risk that if the application has its own project page somewhere else, they might not be checking the maemo forums frequently (this is especially the case of applications which were not especially developed for maemo only). Anyway, as far as I am concerned, I'm trying to be as active as possible in the maemo forums as well — but that depends a lot on my free time (usually I've just time to browse out of curiosity, but not to answer).

When to talk to the developer directly

Practically never. Well, this is a bit exaggerated now, but in practice if the application has its own user base there should almost be no reasons why you'd want to write the developer directly. Except thanking him, if you feel like doing it: a short message in with you express your gratefulness is always welcome. :-)
Other than that, why would you want to write a message to the developers which other people cannot see? Unless it's something secret, don't. Just think about the opposite question then: is there anyone else who could be interested in the discussion? In most cases, the answer it yes! Then don't be shy (or selfish?), and instead ask the question on a public forum. One of the advantages of doing that is that everybody could answer you, not just the developers (who might be busy, or simply unwilling to answer private messages); you might get the answer earlier, and the answer will stay there in the forum, publicly available to any other users who would otherwise ask the same thing later.

The bigger the user base, the more you are saving developers' time, and let them work on their projects. Speaking of which...

So what's new about Mappero?

It has been a rather long development cycle: I've been changing many thing on how Mappero works internally (now it's split into an application, a library and dynamically loadable plugins), which you probably won't notice now but has been quite a big work which hopefully will bring some sweet fruits soon. Other than that:

  • Finnish topographic maps (you don't need to upgrade to get them; just follow these instructions)
  • The localized voice navigation should finally work.
  • Added voice samples for German (contributed by jav_maemo) and Finnish (by Steffe69)
  • Reduced memory usage by a few megabytes (about 3-4, according to top)
  • Add support for KML files, make Mappero handle GPX and KML links directly from your N900 browser
All this is in version 3.0+beta9, which is now available in Extras-devel repository and soon in Extras-testing too. Due to the deep changes in the code, I'm almost sure that some new bug has been introduced, so I'm not pushing you to install this version, unless you want to help with testing.

Un frigide die de estate

Un septimana retro il habeva un sol splendente (contrarimente a hodie), alora io e Yulia vadeva a Suomenlinna pro facer alicun photos e pro relaxar se con un picnic. Le picnic non esseva particularmente successose perque, nonobstante le sol, le temperatura esseva moderatamente frigide, assi que nos non remaneva static pro longe tempore. Ma ante le picnic, nos promenava un poco e io photographava mi modella in differente locationes. Le album complete es, como usualmente, in le galleria.
Io portava le flash con me, perque io sapeva que il non haberea essite facile photographar mi modella in plen sol e del altere latere quando on misce umbra e sol in le mesme photo il es difficile obtener imagines con ambe partes (sol e umbra) ben exponite — a minus de photo-editing extreme. Le flash pote adjutar in illuminar le partes in umbra, al minus partialmente, e producer un imagine plus balanciate. Le puncto negative es que le lumine producite per le flash genera umbras con contornos multo ben definite e grande constrasto, que es generalmente un elemento nocive al qualitate del imagine. Certemente il ha multe manieras pro diffunder le lumine e render le umbras plus morbide, ma toto lo que io habeva esseva solmente un parvissime diffusor cuje effecto es quasi nulle. Isto es mi tentativa de justificar le umbras troppo dur que il ha in alicun photos. :-)

Le possibilitate de usar le flash positionate distante del camera, e operante in modalitate wireless sin necessitate de instrumentos additional es un del characteristicas del cameras Sony α que plus io ama. Isto non es un functionalitate necessari pro le photographos professionista, qui usualmente in lor studios ha a disposition systemas de illumination multo plus avantiate; ma pro situationes simile, quando on vole viagiar sin portar troppo de peso in le bursa, isto es un ver jolly.
Le operation de balanciamento del lumine natural e del flash me requireva plure tentativas, perque il ha differente variabiles que on pote cambiar: io fixava le apertura, e postea modificava le tempore de exposition (pro alterar le incidentia del lumine natural) e le potentia del flash (pro le areas in umbra). In un de iste tentativas, quando io voleva photographar Yulia sedente sur un panca, io habeva iste resultato (le flash esseva positionate inter Yulia e le rocca con le aqua):
Le fallimento monstrava que il haberea essite possibile photographar le reflection de Yulia in le aqua, e anque haber le celo e le rocca in correcte exposition. Io non haberea pensate a iste possibilitate, perque le aqua in le rocca esseva multo surdide (on pote vider lo in altere photos) e io dubitava que illo poteva reflecter ulle cosa. :-)
Le resultato, post alicun tentativas, es isto:
Infortunatemente il non habeva ulle nube in ille momento (illo haberea rendite le fundo plus interessante), e le aqua nunquam esseva completemente static a causa del vento, lo que ha causate alicun deformation in le reflection.

(pro le plus maliciose: le indumentos del modella cambiava, ma non perque io esseva lente e illa sentiva frigido — illa se vestiva simplemente perque con ille jachetta le photo pareva melior!)

Mappero brings you turn-by-turn navigation in your favourite language

If your favourite language is interlingua, that is. Or if you are willing to record your voice and submit it for inclusion, chances are that the next version of mappero will support your language, with your voice too! :-)

Just follow the detailed instructions in this thread, and have the community enjoy your voice. :-) All languages supported by the N900 are supported by Mappero voice navigation too.

Mappero 3.0+beta7 is now in extras-testing, and with the advent of the PR1.2 release it shouldn't make the device unstable anymore. Please install it, test it, and report your feedback and hopefully it will get promoted to Maemo extras soon.

Digitalisation de photos in pellicula

Un del plus grande disavantages del photographia analogic, in mi opinion, es que le processo de digitalisation prende multe tempore. Io ha un scanner Epson Perfection 4490 Photo que supporta le scannerisation de pelliculas e pro le qual il ha programmas de controlo sia pro Windows sia pro Linux. Illos functiona bastante ben, ma infortunatemente le procedura de digitalisation automatic non es satisfaciente: le exposition non sempre es correcte, e le algorithmo de remotion del pulvere (que normalmente se attacha al pellicula si tosto que illo es exponite al aere) pote remover alicun detalios del imagine. Pro iste ration, io usa le procedura manual, e successivemente io edita le photo in The Gimp pro remover le pulvere e altere imperfectiones. Iste operation pote prender multe tempore.
Alora, le septimana passate io ha decidite de lassar iste carga al boteca photographic, Kuvatehdas, que se trova sub le station central de Helsinki: io les ha domandate que illes digitalisava le photos e los poneva in un CD. Iste operation ha costate 15 euros, contra le 6,50€ del sol developpamento del pellicula, ma le resultato ha essite horribile: le exposition de quasi totes le photos es — in mi opinion, ma io crede que vos essera de accordo con me — errate, il ha troppo de contrasto e multe areas del photos es blanc. Io vos monstra un serie de photos, assi como illos esseva digitalisate per Kuvatehdas, e a latere io pone le version digitalisate manualmente per me:

Infortunatemente il non ha un maniera facile pro balanciar le colores, assi le coloration de alicun photos non es perfecte. Ma io spera que comocunque vos es de accordo con me, que le photos in le columna a dextera es melior. Illo poterea esser ancora melior, si io usava un technica de exposure blending (mixtura de expositiones, un technica pro componer un imagine a partir de duo o plus differente expositiones del mesme photo); infortunatemente, illo anque prenderea multo plus de tempore.

Io probara a demandar le mesme servicio de digitalisation a un altere boteca photographic, e comparar le resultato. Ma usque nunc, io debe dicer que le qualitate de digitalisation offerite per Kuvatehdas es multo deludente.

Le estate ha arrivate!

In iste dies Finlandia es, apparentemente, un del paises le plus calide de Europa; durante le die, le temperatura in le sud del Finlandia es circa 22 grados, e in le nord (Lapponia) il ha 26 grados, un calor probabilemente insupportabile per ille homines de glacie.
Iste vespere, le splendor del sol me ha incoragiate a exir del casa e currer un poco. De facto, io ha currite multo plus que io expectava, e sin troppo de effortio (benque io initiava a sentir alicun micrissime dolor in mi gambas); io mesmo extendeva le route que io habeva programmate, perque le climate e le natura esseva tanto agradabile que io non poteva stoppar. Al fin, io ha currite per quasi un hora — quasi vinti minutas plus que mi standard. E si io considera que io non curreva desde plure septimanas, io debe vermente congratular con me ipse. Ma vamos vider si deman io pote ancora levar me del lecto.