Anyhow, the visit was really great and interesting. Mobile computing is an exciting area and, thanks to the Nokia internet tables, Moblin, Android and what not, opening up for open source.
Nokia employees presented the roadmap of their internettablet. Some insight talks about UI design. With years of experience with small form factor devices and their Symbian OS, definitely a good learning experience.
So the next device will include OpenGL-ES and on top Clutter for eye appealing applications. From what I recall, the desktop will be Clutter based. Applications remain Gtk based. They’re pushing Gtk offscreen rendering for use with Clutter and there seem to be an effort for a Symbian port. So I don’t suspect this is likely to change anytime soon.
Qt is coming though, Ari Jaaksi talked about this toolkit for enabling multi-platform support for their applications. Also a Howto was presented by Nokia as one of the parallel sessions. As a froglogic Squish developer, I’m of course quite happy about this.
Exciting times for both toolkit, now competing on the same GUI. Obviously, the linux desktop as a whole will benefit from this downscaling and speedups.
Nokia UI designers seem to be quite modest about using animations though, avoid wow first, annoyance later experiences. I do suspect things like roll-down menus and such will be there. I think that animations may help hiding latencies for e.g. application loading and such.
One addition to my last blog, I already talked about the ‘handhelds GUI != desktop GUI’ thing. An UI design talk presented the minimal space for finger friendly clicking is nine millimeter, with a screen of 225dpy gives (9 mm * 225 px/inch) / (25.4 mm/inch) = 79.7 px. Now that is almost an inch on for destop screen.