import all news posts as HTML jekyll posts (closes #19)

This is done using HTML since the original source is in HTML. This
does not move the image locations, it leaves the <img> tags as is, so
it gets them from the wordpress locations.

Since only @CiaranG has access to the Wordpress database, I didn't use any
of the import methods. They all require direct database access.  Instead, I
used a little bag of tricks:

* wget --span-hosts --recursive --page-requisites --html-extension \
  --convert-links --include-directories=/posts,/news-and-reviews \
  https://f-droid.org/news-and-reviews/
* and this python script:

import glob
import os
import bs4

for f in glob.glob('posts/*/index.html'):
    print('parsing', f)
    outputname = os.path.basename(os.path.dirname(f)) + '.html'
    body = '---\nlayout: post\n'
    with open(f) as fp:
        soup = bs4.BeautifulSoup(fp)

        title = soup.find('title')
        if title:
            body += 'title: "' + title.text.replace(' – F-Droid', '')

        author = soup.find('a', {'class', 'url'})
        if author:
            body += '"\nauthor: "' + author.text + '"\n---\n\n'

        post_entry = soup.find('div', {'class', 'post-entry'})
        if post_entry:
            body += str(post_entry)

        date = soup.find('time', {'class', 'updated'})
        if date:
            filedate = date['datetime'].split('T')[0]
    with open(os.path.join('output', filedate + '-' + outputname), 'w') as fp:
        fp.write(body)
parent d87c51fb
......@@ -9,7 +9,7 @@
title: F-Droid - Free and Open Source Android App Repository
header-title: F-Droid
description: >
© 2016 F-Droid Limited and Contributors
© 2010-2017 F-Droid Limited and Contributors
baseurl: "/fdroid-website" # the subpath of your site, e.g. /blog
url: "https://fdroid.gitlab.io" # the base hostname & protocol for your site
include:
......
---
layout: default
---
{% include assets.html %}
<article class="post" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/BlogPosting">
<header class="post-header">
<h2 class="post-title" itemprop="name headline">{{ page.title }}</h2>
<p class="post-meta"><time datetime="{{ page.date | date_to_xmlschema }}" itemprop="datePublished">{{ page.date | date: "%b %-d, %Y" }}</time>{% if page.author %} • <span itemprop="author" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"><span itemprop="name">{{ page.author }}</span></span>{% endif %}</p>
<p class="post-meta">{% if page.author %}<img src="{{ assets }}/{{ page.author }}.jpg" alt="{{ page.author }}" width="40" /><span itemprop="author" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"><span itemprop="name">{{ page.author }}</span></span> • {% endif %}<time datetime="{{ page.date | date_to_xmlschema }}" itemprop="datePublished">{{ page.date | date: "%b %-d, %Y" }}</time></p>
</header>
<div class="post-content" itemprop="articleBody">
......
---
layout: post
title: "F-Droid Is Here"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p>F-Droid is dedicated to Free and Open Source (FOSS) software on the Android platform. Here you will find news, reviews and other features covering all things Android and software-freedom related.</p>
</div>
\ No newline at end of file
---
layout: post
title: "K-9 Mail"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><img alt="Yes, master!" class="alignright size-full wp-image-14" height="48" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/k-9-logo.png" title="K-9 Mail Logo" width="48"/>Everyone needs an email client, and unfortunately the stock Android client is very poor indeed – presumably because most of the development focus was on the GMail app. Luckily for those that don’t use GMail, or use other accounts too, the developers of K-9 Mail came to the rescue with what must be the best mobile mail client around.</p>
<p><span id="more-7"></span></p>
<p>K-9 deals easily with multiple accounts, of both POP and IMAP varieties, and Push IMAP is supported too. With this, notifications of incoming mail are instant, via the standard Android notification bar.</p>
<p>The support for dealing with large volumes of mail, one of the many shortcomings of the stock Email app, is excellent. Multiple selections are easy to use, as are multiple folders and combined virtual folders for multiple accounts.</p>
<p>Other useful features are encryption and signing, in conjunction with <a href="http://www.thialfihar.org/projects/apg/">APG</a> (I’ll cover that in a later review) and Microsoft Exchange integration, which I haven’t tried.</p>
<p>The ability to customise almost everything via the settings pages, both globally and on a per-account basis, is fantastic too. I’d almost suggest that if you can’t get K-9 to behave how you want it to, the problem is you, not the software. Even then, of course, the source is available!</p>
<p>My only real problem, ever, came when one of those nasty ‘Sent from my…’ default signatures sneaked into an upgrade without any warning, but even that was easy enough to disable.</p>
<p>K-9 is a mature, high quality and actively developed app which I use every day. Highly recommended.</p>
<h3>Vital Statistics</h3>
<p><a href="market://serach?q=pname:com.fsck.k9"><img alt="market://serach?q=pname:com.fsck.k9" class="alignright size-full wp-image-304" height="120" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/k9_qr2.png" title="K9 Market QR Code" width="120"/></a></p>
<ul>
<li>License: Apache 2.0</li>
<li>Web Site: <a href="http://code.google.com/p/k9mail/">http://code.google.com/p/k9mail/</a></li>
<li>Issue Tracker: <a href="http://code.google.com/p/k9mail/issues/list">http://code.google.com/p/k9mail/issues/list</a></li>
</ul>
<p>Available in the Android Market (scan/click the QR code opposite) or, of course, via the <a href="../f-droid-repository-alpha/index.html">FDroid repository</a>.</p>
</div>
\ No newline at end of file
---
layout: post
title: "No such thing as a free beer?"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p>Ars technica <a href="http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2010/09/some-android-apps-found-to-covertly-send-gps-data-to-advertisers.ars">is reporting</a> on a study that reveals that, unbeknownst to the user, some Android apps are sending personal information such as telephone numbers and GPS coordinates off to unknown recipients. The only surprising thing here is that anyone is surprised.</p>
<p>When we talk about FOSS we talk about free as in freedom, not free as in beer. I like to extend the free beer analogy to describe three kinds of software.</p>
<p><span id="more-50"></span></p>
<p>First we have FOSS – the beer really is free, and we know it’s so because of the freedoms we’re granted. It’s served up in a clear glass with a list of ingredients, and if you’re still not sure you get the recipe – make it yourself if you like, it comes out just same. Or vary the recipe to suit your taste.</p>
<p>Then there’s the beer you pay for. The seller is keeping the recipe a secret so you don’t know what’s in it and can’t alter it, but at least the deal is clear – you get the beer and the seller gets the cash. If he starts poisoning people with dodgy beer the money stops flowing and that’s not what he wants. It’s usually safe to drink.</p>
<p>Finally, a very odd kind of beer indeed. The guy is giving this stuff away as fast as he can make it, but he refuses to tell you what’s in it. Why’s he doing that? And why would you take even a sip through the straw of the opaque cup he insists you drink it from?</p>
<p>Although it seems a bit extreme to suggest that every app with hidden source code and no cost is out to get you, I do wonder about the motives behind such things sometimes. If you must dabble in the stuff, and I think it’s risky on a device that knows everywhere you go and everyone you speak to, then at least take the time to check the required permissions carefully before installing. Does that Silly Sound Effects app really need access to your location, or the internet? I don’t think so.</p>
<p>A better option, where possible, is to seek out the FOSS alternative. One of the aims of this site is to help you find it.</p>
</div>
\ No newline at end of file
---
layout: post
title: "Connect Your Charger"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p>I always think popping up a “Battery Low – Connect Your Charger” message is a very thoughtless thing to do, and with battery life being what it is it’s something I get to think about quite a lot.</p>
<p>For one thing, if I was able to connect my charger I wouldn’t have ended up 5% battery in the first place, would I? And for another, if I’m desperately trying to get those last couple of things done before the power goes completely, the last thing I need is to be interrupted by a pop-up message that I have to clear before I carry on. I can see the battery is low – it’s right there in the status bar, that ominous looking red battery with a line through it. Every Android user’s worst nightmare.</p>
<p>Luckily I have several spare batteries, along with a stand-alone wall charger to make sure they’re always ready for action. They’re very cheap, if you know where to look, so long as you’re not hung up on brand names. So I might be about to run out of power again, but only for the time it takes to stick the next one in.</p>
</div>
\ No newline at end of file
---
layout: post
title: "Permissions"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p>Following on from <a href="http://f-droid.org/posts/no-free-beer/">yesterday’s article</a> about app permissions, here’s some more practical help in the form of an app that lets you review the permissions you’ve granted to everything that’s currently installed.</p>
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/permissions1.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-62" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/permissions1-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/permissions1-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/permissions1-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/permissions1.png 320w" title="The permissions list" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>The imaginatively titled Permissions shows all the available permissions on your phone in a big list, with those it considers dangerous highlighted in orange. Each entry also has a description of what it allows an app to do, and how that might affect you. For example, for the “coarse (network-based) location” permission, you’re told <i>“Access coarse location sources such as the cellular network database to determine an approximate phone location, where available. Malicious applications can use this to determine approximately where you are.”</i> It might seem like stating the obvious in this case, but for some of the more obscure permissions the description is essential.</p>
<p>The main purpose of the app is not just a list though – you can expand any of the entries in the list to see what applications are using that particular permission. This allows you to spot things you may have let slip through your defences when you first installed them, like the proverbial Fart App that strangely requires access to your contacts and the internet to make its amusing noises.</p>
<p><span id="more-61"></span></p>
<p> <a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/permissions2.png"><img alt="" class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-67" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/permissions2-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/permissions2-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/permissions2-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/permissions2.png 320w" title="An expanded entry" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>Selecting one of the applications in the expanded list takes you to the standard Android Application Info screen, where you can see all the information about how much storage the application is using and whether it’s running or not. If it’s running, you can force it to stop, and you can also easily uninstall it from here in one click. You can see the full list of permissions too, in the same format as it’s given in when you have to accept them before installing. Effectively Permissions presents this information in reverse, for all your apps at once.</p>
<p>Permissions is a very useful app for reviewing who you’ve allowed to do what on your phone, and for learning some details of the Android permissions structure. As a tool for the casual user to do a quick security audit on their phone though, it’s a bit too detailed. One improvement in that direction might be to make the default mode a) show only ‘important’ permissions – perhaps those the app already highlights in orange, and b) show only user-installed apps, and leave out the system apps. A menu item could allow switching between this and the current full detail mode.</p>
<p><img alt="" class="alignright size-full wp-image-70" height="125" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/permissions-qr1.png" title="Permissions Market QR Code" width="125"/></p>
<h3>Vital Statistics</h3>
<ul>
<li>License: Apache 2.0</li>
<li>Developer: Christian Mehlmauer</li>
<li>Web Site: <a href="http://code.google.com/p/androidpermissions/">http://code.google.com/p/androidpermissions/</a></li>
<li>Issue Tracker: <a href="http://code.google.com/p/androidpermissions/issues/list">http://code.google.com/p/androidpermissions/issues/list</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
\ No newline at end of file
---
layout: post
title: "LifeSaver 2"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p>LifeSaver 2 is a simple but very useful app that backs up your call log and SMS messages to your SD card, and allows you to restore them later. This is useful for general everyday backups, as a means of exporting this data in an easy format for use elsewhere, and also (the intended usage) if you’re changing your phone, or wiping and reinstalling the OS.</p>
<p><span id="more-84"></span></p>
<p>For my utilitarian tastes, the whole thing is visually a bit too jazzy – I’d rather have the extra free space on the phone and more functionality on the screen than those giant images and animations, but plenty of people like things this way I suppose, and I must admit it does <a href="http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/201x/2010/04/25/LifeSaver-Lessons">look slick</a>. I forgive it the eye-candy-bloat because it gets the job done quickly and without any fuss.</p>
<p>Once you’ve “Saved your life” the information will be in a directory called LifeSaver-F on the SD card, in two files called MessageLog and CallLog. Both of these are text files, starting with a count of the number of entries, and then a simple JSON-encoded chunk of data for each one. This makes it easy to use this data elsewhere once you have it saved.</p>
<p>One amusing point of interest – it’s not called LifeSaver 2 because it’s a big upgrade or improvement over the original LiveSaver. In fact, the developer lost the app signing key for the original, so had to publish it as a whole new app. (Android won’t upgrade an application in place if it’s signed with a different key to the existing installed one, so to not do this would have broken the upgrade path for all existing users). I find the loss of the key particularly funny given the saving-things nature of the application, but it’s a lesson for all application developers and who better to provide it than Google’s own Developer Advocate?</p>
<h3>Vital Statistics</h3>
<p><img alt="market://search?q=pname:com.textuality.lifesaver2" class="alignright size-full wp-image-85" height="120" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/lifesaver2-qr.png" title="LiveSaver2 Market QR Code" width="120"/></p>
<ul>
<li>License: Apache 2.0</li>
<li>Developer: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Bray">Tim Bray</a></li>
<li>Source Code: <a href="http://code.google.com/p/lifesaver/">http://code.google.com/p/lifesaver/</a></li>
<li>Web Site: <a href="http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/201x/2010/04/25/LifeSaver-Lessons">Tim’s original blog post</a>
</li><li>Issue Tracker: <a href="http://code.google.com/p/lifesaver/issues/list">http://code.google.com/p/lifesaver/issues/list</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
\ No newline at end of file
---
layout: post
title: "MythMote"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/mythmote1.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-99" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/mythmote1-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/mythmote1-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/mythmote1-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/mythmote1.png 320w" title="mythmote1" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>If you use <a href="http://www.mythtv.org/">MythTV</a> (and if not, why not?) then you need MythMote. It’s a remote control that communicates with all your MythTV front ends over the network. Why is this better than a normal remote? Just some of the many reasons:</p>
<ul>
<li>The interface is better</li>
<li>No infra-red – the dog can’t sit in the way</li>
<li>The same device works in every room</li>
<li>No infra-red – you don’t have to point it</li>
<li>You always have it with you</li>
<li>No infra-red – you don’t even have to be in the same room</li>
<li>Everyone can have their own remote</li>
</ul>
<p>To use MythMote, you need to tick the ‘Enable Network Remote Control Interface’ in the MythTV frontend setup, for each frontend you intend to use it with. You also need network access to these machines, which normally means using WiFi on the Android end. In theory, you could use cell data by exposing a port for each frontend at the edge of your LAN, and routing them to the appropriate machines, but I don’t know if I’d consider it safe to do that.</p>
<p><span id="more-34"></span></p>
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/mythmote2.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-100" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/mythmote2-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/mythmote2-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/mythmote2-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/mythmote2.png 320w" title="mythmote2" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>Once you’re all set up, you just need to select the appropriate frontend (‘location’) from your list in MythMote and it’s connected almost instantly. You then have three tabs, with lots of on-screen buttons, plus the ability to send keyboard input – useful for searches, for example. Not every function you’d ever want is available, but most of the everyday ones are. An example of something that’s not there, unless I’m missing something, is that you can’t delete a recording. Actually, you can, by sending a ‘d’ as keyboard input, but that’s not something you’re going to want to have to do very much.</p>
<p>A great addition to a future release would be the ability to configure the layout, adding different functions and removing unused ones. In the meantime, of course, you could always tinker with the source if you really needed to.</p>
<p></p><h3>Vital Statistics</h3>
<p><img alt="market://search?q=pname:tkj.android.homecontrol.mythmote" class="alignright size-full wp-image-121" height="120" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/mythmote-qr.png" title="MythMote Market QR Code" width="120"/></p>
<ul>
<li>License: GPL v2</li>
<li>Web Site: <a href="http://code.google.com/p/mythmote/">http://code.google.com/p/mythmote/</a></li>
<li>Issue Tracker: <a href="http://code.google.com/p/mythmote/issues/list">http://code.google.com/p/mythmote/issues/list</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
\ No newline at end of file
---
layout: post
title: "Beem"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/beem-settings.png"><img alt="Settings Screen" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-134" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/beem-settings-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/beem-settings-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/beem-settings-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/beem-settings.png 320w" title="Beem Settings Screen" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>Beem is an XMPP client which, as yet, offers a fairly basic range of options but is under active development. There are a few quirks that mean it’s probably not quite ready for prime time yet, most notably the fact that it doesn’t always handle disconnections very well.</p>
<p>One of the biggest limitations currently is that you can only configure a single XMPP account. Ideally I’d like to be able to have several, which I could enable and disable individually.</p>
<p>Another problem, for those with small screens and no physical keyboard, is that due to the way the chat output is formatted, you’re not left with much room for reading once the virtual keyboard has taken its share of the display.</p>
<p>Despite these problems, it’s a good enough client for my purposes. There may be better options (what do <i>you</i> use?), but as far as I’m aware not that I can get the source code for – a feature I rate very highly.</p>
<p>Depending on whether you use XMPP heavily from your Android device, Beem may or may not be the client for you, but even if it’s not it’s worth keeping an eye on because it’s improving all the time.</p>
<h3>Vital Statistics</h3>
<p><img alt="market://search?q=pname:com.beem.project.beem" class="alignright size-full wp-image-132" height="120" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/beem-qr.png" title="Beem Market QR Code" width="120"/></p>
<ul>
<li>License: GPL v3</li>
<li>Web Site: <a href="http://www.beem-project.com/projects/beem">http://www.beem-project.com/projects/beem</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
\ No newline at end of file
---
layout: post
title: "Book Catalogue"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat1.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-143" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat1-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat1-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat1-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat1.png 320w" title="bookcat1" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>It’s hard to know how to start a review of an application with a name so descriptive you know exactly what it is from the title. The standard cliche doesn’t work – Book Catalogue is a book catalogue application. Can’t write that. Somehow we seem to have got started though, so let’s move on.</p>
<p>More specifically, this is an application for building and maintaining an database of all your books – the old kind, made out of paper, rather than those new-fangled e-book things. There are three ways of adding a book, as follows:</p>
<p>If you have the excellent ZXing Barcode Scanner (review coming soon) installed, Book Catalogue will use that to let you scan the barcode directly. It then looks up all the details of the book, grabs a thumbnail of the cover if it can, leaving you to just fill in details like notes and location.</p>
<p><span id="more-23"></span></p>
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat2.png"><img alt="" class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-144" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat2-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat2-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat2-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat2.png 320w" title="bookcat2" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>Sometimes the book is too old to have a barcode, or it’s too dark to scan it, or for no apparent reason it just won’t scan. The last one is rare, thankfully. Then you’re on to method 2, which is to find and type in the ISBN, at which point everything carries on just as if you’d scanned it. You do have to be careful, and this applies to scanning as well, that the data you get back is what you expected. It’s not unheard of for a book to have completely the wrong ISBN on it – out of a couple of hundred I’ve done so far, two or three have been like this.</p>
<p>Finally, there is the evil third category of book – no barcode, no ISBN. For these you have to type the information in yourself, which starts you wondering why you’re doing this in the first place, if you weren’t already.</p>
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat3.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-145" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat3-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat3-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat3-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bookcat3.png 320w" title="bookcat3" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>Once you have some books in there, you can view and sort the data in various ways, but some of the basic features you might expect aren’t there (yet) – you can’t search, for example. On the other hand, there are some quite advanced features you might not expect, such as keeping track of loans, and the very nice ability to completely remove any fields you don’t use from the views.</p>
<p>Book Catalogue can export all your data into a CSV file on your SD card, which is easy to read and work with, and can also import data in the same format.</p>
<p>All in all there is room for improvement, and a lot of features that could be added, but Book Catalogue is a very solid and reliable application which is updated regularly. All you need to do is figure out <i>why</i> you’d want to catalogue all your books. Or, like me, just get on with it, and worry about that later.</p>
<h3>Vital Statistics</h3>
<ul>
<li>License: GPL v3</li>
<li>Developer: Evan Leybourn</li>
<li>Web Site: <a href="http://github.com/eleybourn/Book-Catalogue/wiki">http://github.com/eleybourn/Book-Catalogue/wiki</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "FBReader"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/fbreader2.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-165" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/fbreader2-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/fbreader2-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/fbreader2-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/fbreader2.png 320w" title="FBReader Catalog List" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>Yesterday we looked at <a href="../book-catalogue/index.html">real books</a> so today it’s the turn of e-books. FBReader is an e-book reader based on the desktop application of the same name.</p>
<p>Although it’s currently at what sounds like a lowly version 0.7, the reading interface is slick and flawless. You have full control of the fonts and colours used – double control, in fact, because there is a day mode and a night mode, each of which retain their individual settings. Navigation between pages can be done by swiping the screen, but the more sensible option is using the volume buttons. For broader navigation, you can access the table of contents or set and jump between bookmarks.</p>
<p>When you come back to FBReader it immediately resumes exactly where you left off, and also remembers your place in any other books you’ve had open.</p>
<p><span id="more-22"></span></p>
<p>The only e-book formats supported currently in the Android version are <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPUB">EPUB</a> (and its predecessor Open eBook) and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FictionBook">FictionBook</a>. These have been good enough for my purposes so far, but a few other formats are supported in the desktop versions and there are plans to port these over. Notably missing, and this is a plus point as far as I’m concerned, is any kind of support for DRM.</p>
<p>Book files placed in the Books directory of the SD card will be automatically available, but the built in ‘Network Library’ allows you to search and download easily from multiple sources. Any source that provides information in OPDS (an extension of Atom) is supported, and a number are preloaded into the application. OPDS and FBReader allow for both free and paid books, but it seems like for a paid book you have to leave the FBReader interface and conduct the transaction via the web browser. This is not something I’ve had to do yet, as there are so many books I want to read in the public domain. I suspect from what I’ve seen though, that in most cases it would be easier to buy them on a ‘real computer’ and stick them on the SD card.</p>
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/fbreader1.png"><img alt="" class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-166" height="200" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/fbreader1-300x200.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/fbreader1-300x200.png 300w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/fbreader1-150x100.png 150w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/fbreader1.png 480w" title="FBReader reading" width="300"/></a></p>
<p>I’ve never really bothered with e-books before, much preferring the paper versions, but I’ve been using FBReader for a while and have found the whole experience to be a lot better than I expected. Before writing this review I intended to try out the much talked about Kindle app, just to compare the reading interface (although I don’t see how it could be better than FBReader’s). However, it wanted my credit card details before I even started. It’s hard, with e-books, not to keep making comparisons with ‘the real thing’, so in other words they wanted my credit card details at the door, before I walked in to their book shop and got to see if anything was worth buying. I thought this was a bit rude, as you would, and headed back out into the street. I was quite pleased to be let of the hook really though, as I could see through the window that there was DRM going on inside. The more distance I keep from that kind of thing, the better I feel. FBReader will do nicely for me.</p>
<h3>Vital Statistics</h3>
<p><img alt="market://search?q=pname:org.geometerplus.zlibrary.ui.android" class="alignright size-full wp-image-164" height="120" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/fbreader-qr.png" title="FBReader Market QR Code" width="120"/></p>
<ul>
<li>License: GPL v2+</li>
<li>Web Site: <a href="http://www.fbreader.org/FBReaderJ/">http://www.fbreader.org/FBReaderJ/</a></li>
<li>Source Code: <a href="http://github.com/geometer/FBReaderJ">http://github.com/geometer/FBReaderJ/</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "gvSIG Mini"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gvsig_osm.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-186" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gvsig_osm-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gvsig_osm-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gvsig_osm-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gvsig_osm.png 320w" title="gvsig_osm" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>There are plenty of options for mapping on Android, including the virtually ubiquitous Google Maps. However, none of them are even in the same league as gvSIG Mini.</p>
<p>One of the main things that sets this app apart from the competition is that it’s a generic viewer, rather than being tied to a specific map provider, or a particular company’s commercial interests. Any tile map source can be used, either in online or offline modes.</p>
<p><span id="more-25"></span></p>
<p>Online mode involves reading tiles from the server as you go, which is fine if you have a good connection. Offline mode uses tiles cached on the SD card, or even pre-downloaded before a trip. You can achieve this pre-downloading using the gvSIG desktop app (also FOSS) along with the Phone Cache plugin (yes, FOSS too).</p>
<p>A wide range of tile map services (or layers) are configured in the app by default, but additional ones can be added as required. Amongst the preloaded layers are:</p>
<ul>
<li>OpenStreetMap (various renderings)</li>
<li>Google, Yahoo, Microsoft map/satellite</li>
<li>Ordnance Survey</li>
<li>Specialist maps, such as geological data</li>
</ul>
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gvsig_ord.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-thumbnail wp-image-184" height="150" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gvsig_ord-150x150.png" title="gvsig_ord" width="150"/></a></p>
<p>The ability to access all these different maps makes gvSIG the only choice for many uses. If you’re in the UK, for example, and venture away from roads, you have little option but to use the Ordnance Survey maps, and gvSIG is the only sensible option for that. Yet the same time, you have the ability to instantly switch to other sources such as OpenStreetMap or satellite. For this, and many other purposes, this is the best (or indeed only) application for the job.</p>
<p>There are a whole load of other features I haven’t even mentioned, but if you aren’t ready to try it for yourself by now you probably never will be.</p>
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gvsig_geo.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-thumbnail wp-image-183" height="150" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gvsig_geo-150x150.png" title="gvsig_geo" width="150"/></a></p>
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gvsig_ord2.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-thumbnail wp-image-185" height="150" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gvsig_ord2-150x150.png" title="gvsig_ord2" width="150"/></a></p>
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gvsig_sat.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-thumbnail wp-image-187" height="150" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gvsig_sat-150x150.png" title="gvsig_sat" width="150"/></a></p>
<h3>Vital Statistics</h3>
<ul>
<li>License: GPL v2</li>
<li>Developer: <a href="http://www.prodevelop.es/en">Prodevelop</a></li>
<li>Web Site: <a href="https://confluence.prodevelop.es/display/GVMN/Home">https://confluence.prodevelop.es/display/GVMN/Home</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "NetCounter"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/netcounter.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-199" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/netcounter-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/netcounter-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/netcounter-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/netcounter.png 320w" title="NetCounter" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>NetCounter is a simple but effective application to keep track of your data usage. It counts cell and wi-fi data separately and displays a summary of both in an easy to read format. You can see the total used ever, and the amount used in the current calendar month, as well as figures for today and the last 7 days.</p>
<p>If you want to get fancy, you can long click on the interfaces and items in the display to get pretty graphs, add new counters – maybe you want the last 14 days, for example. You can also set up alerts on any of these counters, so if you’ve got a monthly cell data allowance, you can get a notification when you’re getting close to it.</p>
<p><span id="more-30"></span></p>
<p>You can also export the data to the SD card, and import it again, which is handy if you’re changing phones or wiping for an upgrade. It also means you can take the data elsewhere to analyse in more detail.</p>
<p>NetCounter is an essential tool if you need to keep an eye on your bandwidth usage due to carrier limits or charges, and even if you don’t it’s nice to have around just out of interest.</p>
<h3>Vital Statistics</h3>
<p><a href="market://search?q=pname:net.jaqpot.netcounter"><img alt="market://search?q=pname:net.jaqpot.netcounter" class="alignright size-full wp-image-206" height="120" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/netcounter_qr.png" title="NetCounter Market QR Code" width="120"/></a></p>
<ul>
<li>License: GPL v3</li>
<li>Developer: Cyril Jaquier</li>
<li>Web Site: <a href="http://www.jaqpot.net/netcounter">http://www.jaqpot.net/netcounter</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "StatusNet Mobile"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/statusnetmobile.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-226" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/statusnetmobile-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/statusnetmobile-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/statusnetmobile-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/statusnetmobile.png 320w" title="StatusNet Mobile" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>This is the official client for StatusNet microblogs, including the popular Identi.ca.</p>
<p>On one hand I expected great things from this, because it comes direct from StatusNet’s excellent development team. On the other, I had grave reservations when I heard it was being developed using <a href="http://www.appcelerator.com/">Appcelerator Titanium</a>. When it came to it, I decided I was right on both counts.</p>
<p><span id="more-224"></span></p>
<p>It’s a very slick and well designed application that does everything it sets out to. Although not as feature-rich as established clients like Mustard, it isn’t missing a great deal, which is good considering how new it is.</p>
<p>The main downside is, as I expected, the Appcelerator thing. Appcelerator is a major win from the developer’s perspective, as they can write the application once and have it run on many platforms. From the user’s side though, you get something that isn’t designed for your platform. Consequently, StatusNet Mobile’s interface is very non-Androidy, which I found very off-putting. Others might like it though, who knows? You might even particularly like it because you can get a client from StatusNet, with pretty much the same functionality, across several different mobile AND desktop platforms.</p>
<p>I also found it to be quite sluggish in operation, and in particular slow to start up. I instinctively want to blame Appcelerator for this too, but with no facts to base that on, I won’t.</p>
<p>The lack of support for Android 1.5 is also worth noting – this is a big problem for many Android users, and seems totally unnecessary based on what the application is actually doing.</p>
<p>If you’ve come away from the above with the impression of lots of negative points, that would be unfair. This is a great client, especially for one so young, and it’s definitely worth a try to see if you like it. Personally though, I prefer <a href="http://mustard.macro.org">Mustard</a> at this point in time.</p>
<p>.</p>
<h3>Vital Statistics</h3>
<div class="wp-caption alignright" id="attachment_225" style="width: 130px"><a href="market://search?q=pname:net.status.client.mobile"><img alt="market://search?q=pname:net.status.client.mobile" class="size-full wp-image-225" height="120" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/statusnet_qr.png" title="StatusNet Mobile Market QR" width="120"/></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Market QR Code</p></div>
<ul>
<li>License: Apache</li>
<li>Compatibility: Android 1.6 or later</li>
<li>Developer: StatusNet, Inc.</li>
<li>Web Site: <a href="http://status.net/wiki/Client">http://status.net/wiki/Client</a></li>
<li>Source Code: <a href="http://www.gitorious.org/statusnet-client">http://www.gitorious.org/statusnet-client</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "F-Droid Repository Vapourware"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p>The observant amongst you will have noticed the “and more” in this site’s tagline. I thought I’d write a little bit of an introduction to that side of things, since I’ve briefly mentioned it to various people already anyway.</p>
<p>The plan is to implement something that’s sorely missing from the Android world – a repository of FOSS software. Development of this is well underway, and soon there should be code to be seen and alpha versions to be played with. As of right now there’s nothing to see though, hence the ‘vapourware’ in the title of the post.</p>
<p>Even so, I think it’s worth outlining the basic plans for the sake of soliciting feedback. There are several components to this, as follows:</p>
<p><span id="more-231"></span></p>
<h3>The F-Droid Application</h3>
<p>This is similar to Google’s Market application in that it sits on the Android device and allows you to search available applications, install them and uninstall them. It’s easier to describe the ways it’s different:</p>
<ul>
<li>There is better metadata – as well as less-constrained descriptions, there is the stuff we care about – the license, for example, and links to source code, issue trackers and the like.</li>
<li>Multiple versions are available. You can install a release candidate or nightly build. You can downgrade to an earlier version.</li>
<li>Multiple repositories can be added. (By entering the URL, by clicking in a browser, or by scanning a QR code).</li>
<li>There are no prices, and no “FREE”. Everything is free, as in freedom. As far as free as in beer goes, you should donate to an application’s developer(s) as you see fit.</li>
</ul>
<h3>The Repository Front-End</h3>
<p>A repository can be hosted on a standard web server, as it’s just files. Ideally, but optionally, a repository will serve using HTTPS for the sake of security. A repository consists of an index file, which also contains all the metadata, plus any number of APK files, and their associated icons. Tools (a.k.a. a simple Python script) are available to automatically generate a repository index from a set of APK files and additional metadata files containing information that APKs do not. MD5 hashes of all the binary files are also part of the index.</p>
<p>This simple setup allows a developer, or anyone else, to host a simple repository for their applications. All a user needs to do to access it is add the address of the repository into the F-Droid application.</p>
<h3>The Repository Back-End</h3>
<p>The simple repository described above deals purely in binaries. There is no verification that those binaries match any particular source code. This matters. There is at least one application in the Android Market now that claims to be GPL, but the source published does not match the binary distributed. (In fact, it’s a blatant GPL violation too, since most of the code is from another, genuine, GPL app).</p>
<p></p><p>The repository back-end generates the relevant files for the front-end directly from the source code of the applications, by tracking the project’s source tree and building the binaries of release versions (or nightlies) from known project states. You can liken this to the way Debian’s packages work, for example – built from source packages, not upstream binaries. Thus, if you trust the repository owner, you can trust that the binary you download and install via the F-Droid application matches the source code. If you don’t trust any repository owner, you can run it yourself, since all this is obviously free software itself.</p>
<p>I envisage that there will be one or more large repositories containing many applications (I intend to host one at f-droid.org), and also that application developers may want to host their own repository for their application. Additionally, people may have their own personal repositories – either for trust reasons, as mentioned above, or as an easy way to facilitate running customised versions of applications.</p>
<p>Note that in this scenario APK files will be signed with a different key, depending on where they come from. I don’t think this presents a big problem, since all that’s necessary if you wanted to switch from one version to another is uninstall before installing the other, which the F-Droid application can do automatically.</p>
<h3>Current Status</h3>
<p>The F-Droid application itself is nearly usable, and the server front-end scripts work. The more complex server back-end stuff is still at the design stage.</p>
<p>This is strictly a spare-time project so progress is not rapid, but I hope to release code, and a working version of the application, fairly soon. In the meantime, all feedback is appreciated.</p>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "MathDoku"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/mathdoku.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-241" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/mathdoku-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/mathdoku-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/mathdoku-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/mathdoku.png 320w" title="MathDoku" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>I’ll start by saying that I hate Sudoku, it always struck me as very tedious, and I’ve never heard of KenKen, the variation on which this game is apparently based. In case you’re clueless too, it’s like Sudoku but bits of the grid are boxed off and have to ‘solve’ the simple arithmetical puzzle for that box. If that doesn’t make sense, look at the screenshot – the three squares at the bottom right are boxed off and have to add up to twelve. </p>
<p>On a 4×4 grid, the smallest you can have, it’s pretty easy. You can choose any size from there up to 8×8, which is, let’s just say slightly tricky.</p>
<p><span id="more-240"></span></p>
<p>A nice little feature is that you can mark squares as being ‘maybe’ one of several numbers. Again, look at the screenshot – I decided the two squares in the top right were maybe 1 or 2, so marked that in to remember later. That might seem a bit unnecessary until you get to the larger grid sizes, then it’s probably essential.</p>
<p>Everything looks good and works properly, so whether this game is for you or not really comes down to whether you like this kind of thing or not. Having said that, I claim not to like this kind of thing, but I’m still playing and enjoying the game.</p>
<h3>Vital Statistics</h3>
<p><a href="market://search?q=pname:net.cactii.mathdoku"><img alt="market://search?q=pname:net.cactii.mathdoku" class="alignright size-full wp-image-242" height="120" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/mathdoku_qr.png" title="MathDoku Market QR Code" width="120"/></a></p>
<ul>
<li>License: GPL v3</li>
<li>Developer: Ben Buxton</li>
<li>Web Site: <a href="http://code.google.com/p/mathdoku/">http://code.google.com/p/mathdoku/</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "F-Droid Repository Alpha"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p>Following on from the <a href="../repository-vapourware/index.html">earlier post</a> (read first if you don’t know what this is about), you can now try an alpha release of the software. There’s a lot of planned functionality still missing, but it’s fully functional and useful.</p>
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/repo1.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-262" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/repo1-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/repo1-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/repo1-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/repo1.png 320w" title="repo1" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>Source code for the application is on <a href="http://gitorious.org/f-droid/fdroidclient">Gitorious</a> and you can install the current binary release, via the <a href="https://f-droid.org/repository">Repository</a> page.</p>
<p></p><p>A quick overview – open the FDroid application, press the menu key, and choose update. The lists should then be populated with the FOSS apps already in the repository. Stuff you already have will be automatically detected, and put in the ‘Installed’ tab, and the rest will go in the ‘Available’ tab.</p>
<p><span id="more-259"></span></p>
<p>Selecting any item from the list takes you to the details of that application. From there, hitting the menu key will give you the option to install and uninstall, as well as taking you (in the browser) to the application’s web site, issue tracker and source code. You can also choose to view the application in the Android Market.</p>
<p>Additionally, if there are multiple versions available, you can select that version directly in the list and install it. You would use this, for example, for installing an older version or for installing a newer beta or nightly version.</p>
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/repo2.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-264" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/repo2-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/repo2-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/repo2-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/repo2.png 320w" title="repo2" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>Some of the things that are missing, but coming soon (time permitting) are:</p>
<ul>
<li>Filtering of unsuitable SDK versions – e.g. if you have Android 1.6 and the app (or a version of it) requires 2.1, you won’t see it.</li>
<li>The same filtering for device capabilities – e.g. if your device doesn’t have a camera but the application NEEDS one, you won’t see it.</li>
<li>A more complete repository – there are only <s>32</s> 47 apps in there currently.</li>
<li>Searching</li>
<li>Categories</li>
<li>Lots more. Plus your suggestions and/or contributions!</li>
</ul>
<p>Comments and feedback are, of course, welcome, either in the comments here, or via OStatus – <a href="http://identi.ca/fdroid">@fdroid@identi.ca</a>.</p>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "Missile Intercept"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/missile2.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-279" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/missile2-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/missile2-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/missile2-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/missile2.png 320w" title="Missile Intercept" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>Missile Intercept is a game modelled on the classic Missile Command, complete with retro-style graphics. You’re defending three cities at the bottom of the screen from destruction by incoming enemy missiles.</p>
<p>The gameplay changes somewhat due to the touch screen interface, because you aim your counter-missiles by simply touching the appropriate point on the screen – no need to manoeuvre a crosshair around. In addition to this though, are two non-standard things – your counter-missiles explode immediately where you target them, which means you don’t need to account for the time they take to get there, and also you seem to have a virtually unlimited supply.</p>
<p><span id="more-276"></span></p>
<p>These differences all conspire to make it a bit to easy and thoughtless – until you get a long way in, you can almost get away with poking away madly at the screen. I definitely think the game would benefit from a limited supply, launched properly from launchers.</p>
<p>Despite those gameplay grumbles, I’d still recommend this for a bit of retro action fun. If nothing else, you get a trip back in time to the days when you knew governments and their war machines were the enemy of sane people. In a modern version, you’d be fighting off a horde of (mostly) imaginary terrorists, while somewhere off screen the real enemy (same as in the original) used the imaginary terrorists as an excuse for all kinds of nefarious activities. The retro version is definitely more fun.</p>
<h3>Vital Statistics</h3>
<ul>
<li>License:GPLv3</li>
<li>Web Site:<a href="http://www.kirit.com/Missile%20intercept">http://www.kirit.com/Missile%20intercept</a></li>
<li>Issue Tracker: <a href="http://support.felspar.com/Project:/Missile%20intercept">http://support.felspar.com/Project:/Missile%20intercept</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "The Donate Pledge"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p>A while back I read about the <a href="http://www.androidguys.com/2010/07/02/paid-app-pledge/">Paid App Pledge</a> over at Android Guys. I didn’t want to sign up to that – the last thing I want to do is encourage more hidden source code.</p>
<p>The intention is a good one though – encouraging more high quality software on the Android platform. Not that I think there’s a shortage of it, but more is better.</p>
<p>With that in mind, here’s my alternative pledge:</p>
<p>Any time I can afford to do so, I’ll take a look at the FOSS apps I’m using on my phone that I haven’t donated to yet. Then I’ll make a donation to the one I use most.</p>
<p>As well as financial donations I’ll make the effort to contribute in other ways too. That can include reporting bugs, suggesting features, or contributing code. Everything helps.</p>
<p>Care to join me?</p>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "ConnectBot"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/connectbot.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-298" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/connectbot-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/connectbot-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/connectbot-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/connectbot.png 320w" title="connectbot" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>ConnectBot is an essential tool for the sysadmin on the move, or the stationary sysadmin on the beach. It’s a fully functional SSH client packed with useful features, including:</p>
<ul>
<li>Multiple concurrent connections that stay open in the background</li>
<li>Port forwarding</li>
<li>Key management, for password-less logins</li>
</ul>
<p>A clever feature is ‘URL Scan’ which grabs anything that looks like a URL from the terminal and presents a list where you can click to open it in the browser.</p>
<p>Ideally you’d use this with a physical keyboard, both for speed and screen space reasons. Even so, it’s perfectly usable with a virtual keyboard and there are plenty of customisable features to make life easier in that scenario.</p>
<p>ConnectBot is extremely useful to have around, especially in an emergency, and is actively developed. Highly recommended.</p>
<h3>Vital Statistics</h3>
<ul>
<li>License:Apache2</li>
<li>Web Site:<a href="http://code.google.com/p/connectbot/">http://code.google.com/p/connectbot/</a></li>
<li>Source Code:<a href="http://github.com/kruton/connectbot/">http://github.com/kruton/connectbot/</a></li>
<li>Issue Tracker:<a href="http://code.google.com/p/connectbot/issues/list">http://code.google.com/p/connectbot/issues/list</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "Repository Client 0.14"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p>The latest release of the FDroid Repository Client, version 0.14, is now available. You can get it from the <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository">repository page</a> or, if you already have an earlier version installed, just update.</p>
<p>The main changes since the previous version are:</p>
<ul>
<li>Background updating of the repository index, and notification of updates to your installed applications. (Both of these features must be enabled on the preference screen).</li>
<li>Control over caching – all downloaded applications can be cached on the SD card – again, you need to enable this on the preferences screen.</li>
<li>Now in Italian and German, as well as English.</li>
</ul>
<p>As the application is developing rapidly, the translations may lag behind on new features for a while. If you want to help translate into your language, see <a href="http://f-droid.org/translate">here</a>.</p>
<p>If you have problems or feature requests, talk to the <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository/issues">issue tracker</a> or visit #fdroid on FreeNode.</p>
</div>
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layout: post
title: "Sokoban"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/sokoban.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-354" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/sokoban-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/sokoban-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/sokoban-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/sokoban.png 320w" title="Sokoban screenshot" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>No prizes for guessing that Sokoban is an implementation of the classic game Sokoban. Unless you’ve never heard of it of course. I’ll assume that’s the case, otherwise this would be a very short review.</p>
<p>Sokoban is 30 years old, and is a puzzle game that involves moving your character around and pushing multiple things onto targets. Originally the things were boxes (Sokoban is Japanese for warehouse man) but in this version they’re some kind of shiny red gem. Sounds simple? The tricky part is that these things get in each others way, and your way. In practice, it’s hard, and in the process of completing the first 67 levels I’ve declared many of them impossible and closed the application in disgust before going back and trying again later. Clearly it’s addictive too.</p>
<p>This version has a total of 354 levels to play through – the only question is whether you can complete that many without either frying your brain or smashing up your phone.</p>
<p>The graphics are nothing to write home about, and the menu screens are particularly sparse (standard Android buttons and nothing else) but this doesn’t matter at all. The game plays perfectly, with nice touches such as zooming in and out with the volume buttons, and undoing a move with the back button. You can move with the direction buttons/pad/whatever-new-fangled-thing-your-phone-has but it seems much easier to use the other option of just dragging your finger around the screen.</p>
<p>Definitely give this one a try if you like puzzle games.</p>
<p></p><h3>Vital Statistics</h3>
<ul>
<li>License: GPL</li>
<li>Web Site: <a href="http://mobilepearls.com">http://mobilepearls.com</a></li>
<li>Issue Tracker: <a href="https://github.com/mobilepearls/com.mobilepearls.sokoban/issues">https://github.com/mobilepearls/com.mobilepearls.sokoban/issues</a></li>
<li>Source Code: <a href="https://github.com/mobilepearls/com.mobilepearls.sokoban">https://github.com/mobilepearls/com.mobilepearls.sokoban</a></li>
</ul>
<p>You can install it from the <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository/">FDroid repository</a> client, or <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdid=com.mobilepearls.sokoban">download</a> the APK directly if you prefer.</p>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "Repository Client 0.17"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p>The latest release of the FDroid Repository Client, version 0.17, is now available. You can get it from the <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository">repository page</a> or, if you already have an earlier version installed, just update.</p>
<p>The main changes since the previous version are:</p>
<ul>
<li>Search – this has started to become an essential feature as the repository grows. Use the Search option on the menu on the main screen to search for applications.</li>
<li>The Updates tab now shows the number of updates available on the tab itself.</li>
<li>Various minor bug fixes and improvements.</li>
<li>A warning if you attempt to install an application with a different signature to the version you already have installed. (This will be explained fully in an upcoming post about signatures).</li>
<li>Settings, disabled by default, to allow the client to show applications with various types of ‘antifeatures’ – for example, applications that include adverts. There are no such applications in the repository currently, but this would allow us, or someone else, to include them in a repository later, while still allowing you to opt in to seeing them.</li>
<li>New languages – French and Swedish. As the application is developing rapidly, the translations may lag behind on new features for a while. If you want to help translate into your language, see <a href="http://f-droid.org/translate">here</a>.</li>
</ul>
<p>If you have problems or feature requests, talk to the <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository/issues">issue tracker</a> or visit #fdroid on FreeNode.</p>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "Repository Client 0.20"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p>The latest release of the FDroid Repository Client, version 0.20, is now available. You can get it from the <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository">repository page</a> or, if you already have an earlier version installed, just update.</p>
<p>The main changes since the <a href="../repository-client-0-17/index.html">previous official release</a> are:</p>
<ul>
<li>Signed repository index. Although all the applications in the repository are cryptographically signed, and also verified by an md5 sum before installation, the index itself was not previously. It is now. The client is still compatible with unsigned repositories, and will automatically upgrade to using a signed version where available.</li>
<li>Faster repository updates – the signed repository index is a JAR file, and is therefore compressed. For the main FDroid repository, this makes it a fifth the original size.</li>
<li>Fixed a crash that happened if you rotated the screen while a repository update was in progress!</li>
<li>New language – Serbian. As the application is developing rapidly, the translations may lag behind on new features for a while. If you want to help translate into your language, see <a href="http://f-droid.org/translate">here</a>.</li>
</ul>
<p>If you have problems or feature requests, talk to the <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository/issues">issue tracker</a> or visit #fdroid on FreeNode.</p>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "FOSDEM Schedules"
author: "CiaranG"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/fosdem.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-397" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/fosdem-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/fosdem-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/fosdem-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/fosdem.png 320w" title="FOSDEM" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>It seemed like a shame that although there are two choices of FOSS application to keep track of the busy <a href="http://fosdem.org">FOSDEM</a> schedule on your phone, you were told, or indeed forced, to use proprietary software to get your hands on them. Well no more – they’re both in the repository now.</p>
<h3>FOSDEM</h3>
<p>Option one is the dedicated FOSDEM application, as seen in the first screenshot.</p>
<p>On my device, this had quite a few visual flaws – half chopped off text in the lists, and even in the main logo.</p>
<p>Also, a greyed-out button tells me I need to press a ‘Search’ hardware button I don’t have in order to search Hint: the <a href="http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/search/search-dialog.html">SDK docs</a> explain how to do search properly.</p>
<p>On the other hand, being a dedicated app it’s easier to use, packed with detailed information and works very well.</p>
<h3>Giggity</h3>
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/giggity.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-398" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/giggity-200x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/giggity-200x300.png 200w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/giggity-100x150.png 100w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/giggity.png 320w" title="Giggity" width="200"/></a></p>
<p>Option two is Giggity, which is a more generic solution. Although it comes preloaded with the data for this year’s FOSDEM, it’s a generic schedule viewer that can load and display xcal/Pentabarf XML files for any kind of event.</p>
<p>This one could save you from having to have a different app for every conference you attend.</p>
<h3>Summary</h3>
<p>Both apps can remind you of upcoming events you’ve favourited. Each application has its strengths and weaknesses – maybe you should grab both to be on the safe side. Search for ‘FOSDEM’ in the FDroid client, or get the APKs direct from <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdid=org.fosdem">here</a> and <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdid=net.gaast.giggity">here</a>.</p>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "Repository Client 0.21"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p>The latest release of the FDroid Repository Client, version 0.21, is now available. You can get it from the <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository">repository page</a> or, if you already have an earlier version installed, just update.</p>
<p>The main changes since the <a href="../repository-client-0-20/index.html">previous release</a> are:</p>
<ul>
<li>Donate option – for applications where we have a link to a donate page, hitting ‘Donate’ from the menu on the application’s page in the client will take you straight there. You’ve been able to do this when browsing on the web site for a while, but now it’s available direct from the client too. If you’re an application developer accepting donations and we don’t have a donate link for your application yet, please let us know.</li>
<li>The application list now shows the build type for each package (APK, or version) available. This can either be ‘source’ or ‘bin’. Source means it is built automatically from the source repository and signed by the FDroid build server. It’s a guarantee that the source is actually available, and matches the binary file you’re installing. For this build type, you can also download a source tarball from the web site, which is ‘normalised’ such that simply downloading it and running ‘ant release’ should always work. Bin means it’s a binary file released by the original developer of the application and signed by them. Note that due to the signatures, switching from one type to another requires you to uninstall the old version first. There will be more detail about signatures and related issues in a forthcoming blog post here.</li>
<li>For Galaxy S devices, and possibly others, there is a major performance improvement when updating the repository index from the server.</li>
</ul>
<p>If you have problems or feature requests, talk to the <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository/issues">issue tracker</a> or visit #fdroid on FreeNode.</p>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "Repository Client 0.22"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p>The latest release of the FDroid Repository Client, version 0.22, is now available. You can get it from the <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository">repository page</a> or, if you already have an earlier version installed, just update.</p>
<p>This release contains numerous minor fixes and user interface improvements, but the main changes since the <a href="../repository-client-0-21/index.html">previous release</a> are:</p>
<ul>
<li>Applications that are incompatible with your device (e.g. requiring a different Android version, or hardware you don’t have) can now be filtered from the lists.</li>
<li>Applications that require root privileges can be filtered from the lists.</li>
<li>Various translation updates.</li>
</ul>
<p>If you have problems or feature requests, talk to the <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository/issues">issue tracker</a> or visit #fdroid on FreeNode.</p>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "Repository Client 0.23"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/cats.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-932" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 180px) 100vw, 180px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/cats-180x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/cats-180x300.png 180w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/cats-90x150.png 90w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/cats.png 480w" title="Now With Categories" width="180"/></a></p>
<p>The latest release of the FDroid Repository Client, version 0.23, is now available. You can get it from the repository page or, if you already have an earlier version installed, just update.</p>
<p>The main changes in this release are:</p>
<ul>
<li>Categories – a filter at the top of the main screen now allows you to filter the current list by category of application.</li>
<li>New ‘Dependencies’ anti-feature – on the preferences screen you can choose to filter out applications that have dependencies on non-free software.</li>
<li>Various translation updates, and several new languages.</li>
</ul>
<p>If you have problems or feature requests, talk to the <a href="http://f-droid.org/repository/issues">issue tracker</a> or visit #fdroid on FreeNode.</p>
</div>
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---
layout: post
title: "Andor’s Trail"
author: "F-Droid"
---
<div class="post-entry">
<p><a href="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/andor.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-938" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 180px) 100vw, 180px" src="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/andor-180x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/andor-180x300.png 180w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/andor-90x150.png 90w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/andor.png 480w" title="Andor's Trail" width="180"/></a></p>
<p>Andor’s Trail is a classic RPG. Your brother, the Andor of the title, has disappeared, and via a series of interlinked quests your job is to find out what’s happened to him.</p>
<p>The action takes place on a tiled top-down map, which although not complete yet, covers a very large area with a wide variety of environments. The world is populated by various humans to help and hinder you in your quests, and the obligatory range of wild animals and mythical beasts, all of which deliver up the usual combination of gold, experience and dropped objects when killed via combat in the classic turn-based stats-driven style.</p>
<p><span id="more-937"></span></p>
<p>The conversation system works really well, and provides the means by which all the quests are driven. The dialogue can seem rather strange at times, but once you get used to the idea of wizened old wizards talking in the style of a grumpy American teenager, it’s not a big problem.</p>
<p><a href="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/andor_conv.png"><img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-939" height="300" sizes="(max-width: 180px) 100vw, 180px" src="http://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/andor_conv-180x300.png" srcset="https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/andor_conv-180x300.png 180w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/andor_conv-90x150.png 90w, https://f-droid.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/andor_conv.png 480w" title="Andor's Trail Conversation" width="180"/></a></p>
<p>If you have any interest at all in this style of game, you’ll find a vast amount of gameplay here already, with a lot more to come as time goes on. Although this is definitely a work in progress, in terms of the map and quests being expanded, everything that already exists is very polished and not at all buggy.</p>
<p>Additionally, the availability of various editing tools for the maps and quest systems means it would be easy to get involved with the building of the world.</p>