vrijdag 3 juni 2011

Android hacking

So I bought an Android Archos 32 for my 5 year old daughter. A tiny device, ideal for fun things she can do (without spending money, it's wifi only).

I also want to see with it what is possible with python on this device, and if perhaps I can port a part of Gramps to there. Well, it will not be easy it seems, but something is possible. I'm thinking about an reader that can understand the Gramps xml fileformat.

So, what is needed to try things out?
  1. SL4A (scripting layer for android), so download it on your phone by clicking the barcode on : http://code.google.com/p/android-scripting/
    Then when downloaded, go to downloads on your android phone, and click the download to install it.
  2. Next, install python for SL4A, latest version of PythonForAndroid from http://code.google.com/p/android-scripting/downloads/list
    Again, click it in the Downloads to install it, then open run in and the app you see will have an install button at the top. Click that to install python and extra python modules/scripts
  3. You are now ready on your phone, click the SL4A app and you will see a list of scripts, click one to run it in a terminal or run it standalone
  4. To develop, you need to have a good PC/laptop, and install the android emulator there. Follow eg the walkthrough on this blog. So download the SDK, install it, and run it by typing in the tools directory ./android, then in the emulated phone, install again SL4A and python4android.
  5. Write a script on your PC. Eg, I write an application in
    push it to the open emulated android, go in the platform-tools directory from the SDK and run
    ./adb push ~/gramps/android/ /sdcard/sl4a/scripts/
  6. On the emulated phone, you will see the script in SL4A, and you can click it to run it.
  7. Once your script is not crashing your emulated phone anymore, you can push it to your actual phone: connect the phone to your PC in usb-mode, and move the file to /sdcard/sl4a/scripts/ on the phone. You can now run it in SL4A on the actual phone.
So, what is my first android script? A framework to read gramps xml files, so

# Gramps - a GTK+/GNOME based genealogy program
# Copyright (C) 2011 Benny Malengier
# This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
# it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
# the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
# (at your option) any later version.
# This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
# but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# GNU General Public License for more details.
# You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
# along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
# Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA

# $Id: gramps.py 17390 2011-05-03 14:38:54Z nick-h $

# Python modules

import android
import os
import sys

BASE_PATH = '/sdcard/gramps'
if not os.path.isdir(BASE_PATH):

#different states

class grampsA:
def __init__(self, droid ):
self.droid = droid
self.state = ST_START
self.error = None

def run(self):
while True:
if self.state == ST_STOP:
elif self.state == ST_START:
print 'Unknown State'
#check if we have an error, if so alert user and exit
if self.error:

def showerror(self, error):
self.droid.dialogCreateAlert('Error encountered: %s' % self.error)
response = self.droid.dialogGetResponse().result

def setxmlfile(self):
title = 'Select Gramps xml file from %s' % BASE_PATH
files = [item for item in os.listdir(BASE_PATH)]
if not files:
self.droid.dialogCreateAlert('No files found in %s! Move a file there.'
response = self.droid.dialogGetResponse().result
self.state = ST_STOP

self.droid.dialogCreateAlert('Select file')
response = self.droid.dialogGetResponse().result
if response.has_key('which') and response['which'] == 'negative':
self.state = ST_STOP

sel = self.droid.dialogGetResponse().result['item']
self.xmlfile = files[sel]
self.droid.makeToast(self.xmlfile + ' chosen')
self.error = 'Wrong response from file selection'
#next the xml file must be loaded, we import it in a dict database.

def main( ):
grampsA( android.Android( ) ).run()

if __name__ == '__main__':

donderdag 20 januari 2011

A fresh DiffusionIT install

Guide for DiffusionIT install on a freshly installed ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install python-numpy python-scipy python-matplotlib python-gnuplot git git-gui spe
sudo apt-get install python-dev
The last is needed to allow weave compiling inline.
Now configure git
git config --global user.name "Your full name"
git config --global user.email "mymail@mail.com"

git config --global color.diff auto
git config --global color.status auto
git config --global color.branch auto
To just use the code, we make a directory to extract the code to
mkdir diffusionit
cd diffusionit/
git init
git remote add origin git://gitorious.org/diffusionit.git
git fetch
git checkout origin/master
git checkout -b master
git branch -a
If you have commit rights, you can push to the code to update it, but you must setup your remote repo differently. You can change this in the file diffusionit/.git/config. If you are doing things from scratch, change the git remote line above by
git remote add origin git@gitorious.org:diffusionit/diffusionit.git
You do need to create a login on gitorious and set up ssh passwords to use for the connection, see eg this post.
Once that is ok, a typical development cycle is
git status # check if ok
git add . # add changed files
git diff # check your changes if ok
git commit -m "blabla
git push
To obtain changes that happened remote by somebody else
git fetch
git rebase origin/master
Those are the main commands if you don't intend to become a code-master :-)