Maemo Weekly News

MWKN Weekly News

Digest of news in and around the Maemo and MeeGo communities every week.
Maemo Weekly News


There are a lot of facets to the Maemo community, whether it's Bugzilla, maemo-developers, #maemo, Planet, Talk or Brainstorm. With the N900 and Maemo 5, there's been a noticeable increase in traffic in all these areas.

There have been suggestions of Maemo magazines before, but they've fallen over because:

  1. The people involved haven't been integrated into the community.
  2. They've been a lot of work to create.
  3. They tried to move away from

Similarly, there are blogs (like Reggie's Maemo Talk) which highlight key important things; but some of them also suffer from the same problems above.

With the increase in volume, and limits on my own time, I'm finding it harder to be aware of all the things going on. In particular, little asides and so on on talk which are key to the community, but buried in a thread. The old complaint of "too much happening outside of" is now reversed, IMHO, but the SNR is too low to follow "New Posts" religiously *and* develop software at the same time.


A weekly news digest of key useful/informative/interesting/insightful news from all Maemo news sources. Similar in style and approach to Linux Weekly News, and Wine Weekly News.

This is, in many ways, a continuation of Ryan's "Community Highlights" but doing less work, being more encompassing and more repeatable.

This is NOT an attempt to aggregate ALL Maemo-related news, but provide a selection of highlights during the week; of interest to those who are involved in the platform and the community, but without the time to follow enough of the conversations in all the places to find the ones interesting to them. By acting as a filter, more people will be able to be involved in the things which interest them, resulting in an increase of higher quality submissions for members of the community who might not be heard from as much.


The key to its success is to produce something which is useful, integrated and deterministic; but without being a massive resource hog.

Produced weekly, every week, with a series of sections - probably similar to those on tmo:

  • Front page (front)
    The front page of the issue. Most of the content here will be decided by the sub-editors and editors whilst pulling the issue together.
  • Applications (apps)
    Applications, games and utilities. Substantial news or exciting new developments.
  • Development (devel)
    News impacting the development of Maemo applications.
  • Community (community)
    Community news, events, efforts. For example, council elections etc.
  • Devices (devices)
    OS news, device news, ...
  • Maemo in the Wild (wild)
    Exciting instances of Maemo being discussed outside the main Maemo community.
  • Announcements (announce)
    Key announcements from around the Maemo community which don't go anywhere else.

To gather the news, a series of sub-editors/contributors would have access to a Twitter account (@mwkn). The posts to this feed would consist of the section, a few keywords and a link to the content (thread, post, email message, blog) which triggered it. For example, recently this may include:

 Apps wazd helping qwerty12 on Transmission:
 Devices Release firmware available to download:
 Community Move official community discussion to tmo:
 Devices DDP recipients' limited warranty

Anyone would be able to suggest content by directing a message @mwkn from their own Twitter accounts. The sub-editors would then be able to pick and choose from these if it's something they'd missed.

As each issue is being pulled together, one or more sub-editors would then review the posts to that Twitter feed for their sections and flesh it out with a longer paragraph/quote. Full-blown stories would also be possible, but I imagine that being a rarity (if ever). There would then be an overall editor(s) making sure there's no duplication and also including things from (top 10 apps, and new apps this week) and the bug jars (top 10 activity, probably).

The completed digest would then be posted to a site and the front page syndicated to Planet and a thread opened at

Hopefully this shouldn't be too much work; and sub-editors/contributors would be able to post to the feed during their daily review of their slice of the community.

Contributor Reference

Using your favourite Twitter client (browser-based ones like Echofon may be particularly effective), post tweets during your Maemo day (on anything interesting/useful that's found) in one of the following forms:

 @mwkn <section> <message>
 d mwkn <section> <message>

If your "<section>" isn't one of the valid ones above (case doesn't matter), you will receive a direct message from the bot informing you of the problem.


These bookmarklets help you find a URL to post:

  • Gmail -> mailing lists:
  • Current IRC log for #maemo:
  • thread (from post):
javascript:(function()%20{location.href=location.href.replace(/^(https?:\/\/[^\/]+).*/, "$1/showthread.php?")+document.getElementById('threadtools_menu').childNodes[1].action.toString().replace(/.*?(t=\d+).*/,"$1")})();

Wiki problems prevent these being drag & droppable, so when is up & running they'll move there.

Sub-editor Reference

This is a stop-gap, pending the full blown drag & drop site below.

On Sunday, a skeleton issue.txt file will be shared with the sub-editors containing all the tweets made by the contributors. It will be of the following format:

 Quote=... (optional)
 LeadOut=... (optional)

In the lead-in and lead-out, { Username} can be used to put in someone's name and profile link.

The order of the entries overall is not significant, but the order they appear within the document determines the order within their section.

The sub-editors should fill out most of the content for their section, and the order of items within it, before the editors ensure consistent style and pull out some content for the front-page. However, whilst the "fleshing out" has to be done on a Sunday, everyone should get stuck in to ensure the issue is published on time.



Well-respected members of the community to volunteer to highlight content they see during their Maemo day. This could be whilst sat on IRC, reading the mailing lists, watching, contributing on Brainstorm or reading Talk. The only extra work should be to use their favourite Twitter client to post links that should be in the digest.


The people with ultimate responsibility. People who are also willing to flesh out the links each week by selecting a representative quote; who make sure the whole thing is consistent.

Technical implementation

Sebastian Lauwers has volunteered to assist with the website tooling. The key to the success of MWkN is streamlined tooling and process to make the editions as easy to pull together as possible.

Imagine an issue being put together as:

  1. Log in.
  2. Open the current in-progress digest to edit.
  3. Select a section from a drop-down. A list of Twitter posts from the MWkN account in that section appears in a side-bar.
  4. Each Twitter post can be clicked on to add the lead-in text, an appropriate quote and any lead-out text necessary.
  5. Items can then be dragged on to the section, and re-ordered. Possibly with WYSWIWYG editing. (i.e. steps 4 & 5 could be combined)
  6. Changes are instanta-save and, ideally, shared between any sub-editors looking at the section (one step at a time).

Using lots of tools like JQuery and YUI! to make it really quick and simple to flesh out a few links into a paragraph each and pull each section together.

So, for example, the links above:

Applications - wazd helping qwerty12 on Transmission:
Title: wazd helping qwerty12 on Transmission <--- auto-created but editable
Lead-in: {user:wazd}, our prolific community graphic designer, is

helping {user:qwerty12} with the UI for his port of Transmission, a Bittorrent client; allowing the user to download (legal) content from various places on the Internet.

Quote: [none]
Lead-out: [none]
Renders as:
<h3>wazd helping qwerty12 on Transmission</h3>
<p><span class="lead-in"><a href="" class="user" title="wazd">Andrew Zhilin</a>, our prolific community graphic designer, is helping <a href="" class="user" title="qwerty12">Faheem Pervez</a> with the UI for his port of
Transmission, a Bittorrent client; allowing the user to download (legal) content from various places on the Internet.</span></p>
<div class="link"><a href="">Read more</a></div>
Devices - Release firmware available to download:
Title: Summit N900 owners rejoice: release firmware available to download <--- defaulted, but edited.
Lead-in: Those of us who received loan devices at the Maemo Summit have been using pre-production firmware; until now:
Quote: The Nokia N900 is landing in the hands of real users with the Maemo 5 final release that we have been polishing in the last weeks. The fortunate users of a pre-production Nokia N900 are encouraged to flash completely their devices in order to have them as they come out of a sales box.
Lead-out: Simultaneously released is the final release SDK, allowing developers to run the same environment on their device and in Scratchbox.
Renders as:
<h3>Summit N900 owners rejoice: release firmware available to download</h3>
<p><span class="lead-in">Those of us who received loan devices at the
Maemo Summit have been using pre-production firmware; until
now:</span> <span class="quote">The Nokia N900 is landing in the hands
of real users with the Maemo 5 final release that we have been
polishing in the last weeks. The fortunate users of a pre-production
Nokia N900 are encouraged to flash completely their devices in order
to have them as they come out of a sales box.</span> <span
class="lead-out">Simultaneously released is the final release SDK,
allowing developers to run the same environment  on their device and
in Scratchbox.</a></p>
<div class="link"><a
Devices - DDP recipients' limited warranty
Title: Device programme recipients' limited warranty
Lead-in: {user:milhouse} has asked the Forum Nokia folks behind the device discount programme (DDP) as to the warranty included in the half-price N900s available to high-profile members of the community, and the news isn't good:
Quote: The devices that are sold through the Discounted Device Program (DDP) do not have Nokia's standard Product warranty. If the device that you receive is defect, you can return it within one (1) week from the purchase with a written note explaining what the defect is.
Lead-out: Obviously, this has caused some consternation; and it's not yet clear what happens after the one week has expired.

Next Steps

Next tasks as of 2010-01-17:

  1. Register and
  2. Design logo & Twitter avatar (above is, a, err, draft ;-))
  3. Decisions:
    • Should contributors need access to @mwkn, or is it fine for them to be followed by mwkn and they just post with an "@mwkn" prefix?
      I think posting with @mwkn works just as well as anything. --timsamoff 13:43, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
      The advantage of having everything which probably will be included in the issue go out under a single Twitter account is that it's similar to Slashdot's "Firehose". Perhaps it could just retweet anything it gets from the contributors it's following? --Jaffa 14:03, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
      I like the idea of retweeting, but in that case, I'd ask people to use a #mwkn Hashtag rather than posting to @mwkn. Then, everything on the @mwkn page remains contained to posts and retweets. --timsamoff 14:28, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    • Release date/time: every Monday, 6am UTC? Gives time on Sunday evenings to pull it together.
    • Section list.
  4. Get sub-editors responsible for pulling together category pages.
  5. Build site for pulling together issue.
    Spoke to crashanddie, thinking PHP + MySQL from editor interface; static HTML output for the issue; collection from Twitter using its RESTful API, in one of Perl/Python/PHP; host on (infrastructure already present) --Jaffa 21:26, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  6. CSS/HTML for resulting issues.
    • Front page has some entries pulled up from other sections.
    • At end, contains headlines from first 5 items in each section.
    • Has "Download issue" link which returns all issue in one HTML file for easy downloading and offline reading.
    • Otherwise, each section is in a series of pages, linked together. See LWN for example.
  7. Pull together launch issue
  8. Put out & promote
  9. Rinse, repeat.
  10. Profit.