We are starting a blog series where we interview our Ubuntu App Heroes. We want to learn more about how developers found the experience writing apps for Ubuntu, what their plans are, what they do and who they are.
Kicking off the series, we had a quick chat with the two guys working on the beautiful Weather app, Martin Borho and Raúl Yeguas.
Can you introduce yourselves?
Raúl: My name is Raúl Yeguas, I’m a frontend developer and I live in Seville in Spain. I studied IT at the University of Jaén where I organised some free software events. I’m a great Qt fan and a proud KDE user.
Martin: My name is Martin Borho, I’m 37 years old and I live in Hamburg, Germany. I work as a freelance programmer, mainly coding Python.
When and how did you get involved in the Ubuntu Core Apps project?
Martin: As Ubuntu Touch was announced, there was a little form at the webpage, asking for interested persons willing to contribute. As I was searching for a project I could join at that time, I filled it out….
Rául: I noticed Canonical’s call for developers on QtPlanet. When I subscribed to Canonical’s first announce I thought that it was for helping developers to write their own apps for their platform; but when I received the emails from them asking me what core app I wanted to work on I was so surprised and excited. I’m part of the Core Apps Developers from the beginning.
Have you developed apps before?
Martin: Yes, I’ve started doing a mobile app, named “Ask Ziggy”, on my Nokia N900 in 2010. In 2011 I’ve built an app for Google News called “NewsG” for WebOS. Which I later ported to Qt/QML, to get it on my Nokia N9/N950.
Raúl: Yes, mainly C++/Qt apps and HTML/JS webapps.
What was your experience learning everything involved to work on the Weather app?
Martin: Hmm, initially I had no idea what to expect. After all I have learned quite a few things (and still do). Contributing to a large scale project with people from all over the world is one, how various parts have to fit together is another one. It is fascinating to see how Ubuntu Touch has evolved over the last months.
Raúl: I have to say that this team is awesome. I learned too much from them, mainly about working in team with distant people and about designing new ways to interact with an app.
Weather App Designs
Is there anything you are proud of or feel is solved very well in the Weather app?
Raúl: Yes, the gestures to change between daily forecast and hourly forecast. I think is too easy to use and intuitive.
Martin: Hard to say, perhaps: It’s quite easy to add more weather data providers to the app, without having to deal much with the UI part. And having a distinction between fast and slow scrolling, to flip between days, respective hours, is quite nice.
What can new app developers learn from your app?
Martin: Can’t say… as I’m doing Qt/QML only in my spare time I don’t think it’s very sophisticated in that regard.
Raúl: I think that our app has well organised and differentiated graphics components so I think that it could be a good example for learning how to create complex QML components by creating simple parts. It also has a very good API to call weather info providers.
What can users of the app expect in the coming months?
Martin: The integration of Weather Channel as a second weather data provider is nearly finished and will be ready to get merged into trunk very soon. Apart from that, Raúl is currently working on new animated icons, which will be very nice when ready.
Raúl: Yes, expect some new animations for eye-candy and a new weather information provider.
Do you have any other hobbies apart from working on Ubuntu?
Martin: I like biking. And as the stadium of my favourite club is only a 5 minute walk away, I like watching football too …
Raúl: Yes, like non-IT people have. I like watching movies, playing videogames and traveling. When I have enough time I produce electronic music. But I have to confess that sometimes I contribute on other open source projects \o/