This blog is very silent in last few months. There are two main reasons: I publish mostly on gopher and at work I am too busy.

I do lot of boring office work but sometimes I am able to do something more interesting: some computing, modelling and so. In these cases my desktop looks like on the picture.

Some boring work...

I needed to co some computing with use of my FEA package. Of course, I have found several bugs. I also found that some features are already implemented… (I forgot that they exists – fortunately they were describen in the manual). That was funny.

There are some issues: the GUI of software is written in Gtk+ 2.x (and there are fallbacks to Gtk+ 1.2.x and to the basic CLI + GLUT interface). And it’s old and very slow. I wrote most of the GUI before 2006 and I mostly didn’t touched it after that. So portability to Windows or Mac is limited and it is not posssible to run it natively on Ubuntu Touch (nor run it under the Android at all). I though about making of Motif GUI but I never started to code it. And now it probably makes no sense as Motif is even les portable than the Gtk+.

Freshly compiled uFEM on Ubuntu Touch

Honestly, the GUI is fully functional in the Ubuntu Touch but only inside the Libertine container (via the XMir) so it looks ugly and it requires external hardware keyboard to be usable. But that’s a small problem. The bigger one is that the only Ubuntu Touch device which I can use for such task is the Aquaris M10 tablet. And it is surprisingly slow when doing this type of computing (but speed in GUI is OK). I’m thinking about Qt5 port but it looks like a long-term problem now.


Ubuntu Phone in Use

Well, I still not use the Ubuntu Phone as my main phone. I have sent several SMSs and somewhat more e-mails from this device and I use it as a camera and as a feed reader.

The main part of the time that I spend with the device is testing what it can do and how comfortably.

Below are my observations and notes:

  • RSS Reader – Shorts – is great. There are some minor things that can be better, but nothing important. Searchning could be nice and more configuration options, too (to set default view at startup, for example).
  • Notetaking app – Reminders (now renamed to Notes) – is near as good. Better cut and paste functionality could be nice, and some export options can help, too. I often need to select a part of note (a text or an image) and paste it to other application (an email client, for example).
  • E-mail client – Dekko – is OK but I have problems with default view. It simply shows nothing and I have to find the ‘inbox’ folder… maybe it’s my misunderstanding of something? The Gmail webapp is nice but it doesn’t work off-line. But when it works then it is better than the Dekko. The only caveat is that the e-mails are too wide and I have to rotate phone to landscape in order to read them easily.
  • WWW browser – some JavaScript things don’t work (it’s not a big deal) but it doesn’t remember passwords which is extremelly annoying. It also lacks possibility to search on a page, among others.
  • Documents viewer – works well but only on a limited number of file formats: no DJVU, no office formats.
    Contacts – there is probably no way how to sory contacts. Sorting by first name seems to be suboptimal.. Also the Dekko doesn’t user data from the Contactd, unfortunately.

The environment itself is relatively stable but there are issues:

  • after switching from the Airplane mode it is sometimes impossible to enter PIN
  • in some cases the applications are mysteriously closed – it looks like out-of-memory cases but there is no warning or explanation
  • it is better to restart the phone every day to prevent dome of the abovementioned problems.

And at the end there is my wishlist:

  • Easy CalDav/CartDav synchronization
  • Pebble Smartwatch support
  • Off-line navigation (partially solved by presence of the OSMScout)
  • Real text editor in GUI (with syntax highlighting)
  • Tool for (at least) viewing of office files

That’s all for the moment…

Ubuntu Phone in Use