SDHC bugfix release + updating software in the Nokia tablets
– Sorry for the SDHC bugfix release, but the other option would have been just to wait for Chinook. We thought it was worth going ahead to avoid more hassle to certain SDHC owners doing certain long downloads over the air.
– The only change is the memory card bugfix. All the rest stays the same. As you know Chinook is already in beta stage and trying to include other bugfixes or improvements in yesterday’s release would have a) given a wrong message (“So this is the new release???”) and b) caused delays in the Chinook release.
– About the tablets being Debian GNU/Linux based computers and not mobile phones. Yes, true, but this bugfix was done in the kernel and as for today kernel + initfs are not deb packages in the device. Otherwise we could probably have pushed the fix via single click install file instead of whole IT OS image to reflash.
– The good part of this is that actually reflashing the kernel is enough to implement the bugfix. You can keep all the rest (including your extra applications) untouched.
– About Nokia plans to improve the updating software process in the tablets. I don’t know much about the past but I can tell about the future:
1. Chinook comes with a process to backup the data about the extra applications you have installed. Reflashing will be still needed since kernel + initfs still won’t be packaged, but at least users will get their extra apps back as part of the reinstallation process instead of having to manually install everything they had.
2. Chinook supports also the configuration of multiple repositories in the install files. Note that a lot of the hassle and conflicting dependencies were caused when one install would require pulling dependent packages from more than one repository (i.e. the famous Python runtime issue).
3a. Between Chinook and Diablo we plan to address The Repository Issue(s). We can’t do this without the maemo developers at large. Part of the issue seems to be that many developers find their reason to create their repositories elsewhere instead of using extras. We need to discuss and fix what can be improved so extras and the official Nokia/maemo repos are the main reference for everybody.
3b. There was this discussion in maemo-developers of having an extras repository with a community-based quality control. We are all for this. Once this is in place and all we are happy, Nokia will start recommending 3rd party apps in the extras repository to end users. In fact extras is going to be preconfigured in the application manager already in Chinook, but users will need to activate it manually.
4. The plan is to have by Diablo a set of improvements in the application manager that would make software updates seamless to end users. We could then push bugfixes and feature upgrades without waiting for a next IT OS release. At this point we should have Full IT OS based on packages, including kernel and initfs. We will be careful with the full upgrade based on packages since it will need a lot of testing (automatic & human, internal & public) before being offered as the default option.
5. Minor or major software updates compatible with your mum should be a consolidated fact by Elephanta. No more PC needed to get your updates. Reflashing would be still kept as an option but having a more “start fresh” approach.
Of course these plans might change over time but this is the path to go. The Application Manager is developed quite openly, with fresh code ready for testing available in Sardine and a lead developer quite responsive in the maemo lists. We will continue sharing plans and development about seamless software updates (but before we need to get the Chinook release out).
Filed under: maemo | 18 Comments
Tags: chinook, Debian, diablo, elephanta, GNU/Linux, kernel, maemo, N800, Nokia, repository, SDHC, update