Thursday, October 19, 2006

ViewML on the ZipIt

First I should probably mention that I only compiled Pixil which is just the graphical environment you see here, the whole idea of Linux on the ZipIt started here the place to get most information about it is the eLinux wiki and I'm using a slightly modded version of Stephanie's linux flash image (the server's running on her ZipIt) I didn't have anything to do with the linux part (besides adding an already existing pivot_root script to an already existing flash image :-)

I've managed to produce a buildroot that's uClibc is close enough to the one in Stephanie's image, so I can use dynamic linking now without stuff instasegfaulting.

I've managed to compile ViewML, Pixil's browser.. found some patches to get the source compiling with newer gcc versions but it's really ugly still, not to mention unstable. (an older libwww might solve that but it would be better to fix it and keep the new one :-) I've recompiled nano-X with libjpeg libpng libtiff and freetype2(didn't set that one up to work yet though)

Positive sideeffect of having a compatible buildroot is that Pixil screentop widgets (backlight and battery meter) and the Sysconfig's config pages work fine now as seen below. Well okay the backlight thing and the battery meter doesn't actually work but at least they start up and are visible. And the sysconfig pages don't really like 320x240 (problem not apparent on the one below)

ViewML can be controlled from the keyboard to some extent.. You can't actually open links you'd need a softmouse driver for that but you can scroll around and enter new addresses. Now forms appear to cause some problems and it segfaults if you try to submit them so that needs some serious fixing.

Images (even really large ones) show up fine, tables are rendered correctly as well, and while it's no Gecko it beats using lynx or the PalmOS4 browser. However it takes 30 seconds or possibly more to render some sites.

So I decided to try it out live and briged the wifi stick's connection with the server's.

Submitting the query from the google mainpage generates a segfault but if I open the url directly the result page shows up fine.. Oh and I've decided to try and take a few pictures of the screen again.

and the picture below shows why a softmouse driver is needed


  1. Hi. i want to modify my Zipit Z1, i want to use a serial mouse... can I use a regular ps/2 mouse with a serial adapter or I need a special mouse?

    1. Good question.. You do need mouse-side support for these types of adapters and I'm unsure if rs232 mode is present in modern ps2 mice. My guess would be that it isn't, but that's all it is.