TomTom HOME and add-ons

Posted

I have been writing very little about what I am doing in my day job, maybe it is time to change this. As some might know, I am a developer in the team behind TomTom HOME, an application that allows users to manage their TomTom navigator devices (e.g. installing new content on them, sharing it with other users or doing backups).

TomTom HOME is based on XULRunner, it runs basically on the same code as Firefox. This has many advantages for us, amongst others — support for add-ons comes with the platform, almost for free. Still, the usual add-on manager user interface don’t fit into the TomTom HOME concept which is why only developers have been using add-ons until recently (DOM Inspector, Venkman, Live HTTP Headers, they have all been ported over). It has been a bumpy ride (bug 407329) but with TomTom HOME 2.2 end users can now install add-ons as well.

This doesn’t mean that the work is done, it actually just started. The extension manager UI still needs some improvement, in particular updating add-ons should be easier. Also, currently you can only install add-ons from the TomTom server, anything else will have to be installed manually. We are still in the process of discussing how we can support installing add-ons from third-party sites while keeping security in mind. Most available add-ons right now are device emulators that will install automatically if you click “Operate my GO,” those don’t even show up in the add-on manager (yet?). Actually, there is only one user-visible add-on and virtually no documentation on creating add-ons for TomTom HOME. Fortunately, I have four (4!) hours allocated during the current development cycle to create some documentation :)

While we are still solving these issues, Roland Boon already started working on an add-on to convert Google Earth points into TomTom Overlay points. Roland is a fellow TomTom HOME developer but he is working on the C++ part of it and has relatively little knowledge about the XUL/JavaScript part. He tries to use public information sources only and document the whole process. Want to contribute? His email address is on the page quoted above.

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Comments

  1. Roland Boon

    Thanks for the pitch.

    I was able to install Venkman. As expected, it does not work out of the box because the overlay points are for FireFox.

    How I can get access to the ported version of Venkman and DOM Inspector?

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    It is currently hosted on this server: http://adblockplus.org/tomtom/venkman.xpi

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Oh, and DOM Inspector of course: http://adblockplus.org/tomtom/inspector.xpi

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    I uploaded new versions of the extensions that will work in release builds as well (meant to do this for a while already). These should hopefully be available via development server as well soon.

  2. Roland Boon

    Thanks.

    At present, I am documenting my findings in a simple HTML page. The ASP.NET server does not inform the browser that the page has changed. Please press refresh until I get it fixed.

  3. Roland Boon

    If I remember correctly, these extension use menu item not found in the release version of TomTom HOME. We need a stripped version of the extension that adds the extra menu items.

  4. quanta

    Wow, I never knew TTH was built on XULRunner. Great job, it’s actually a nice program to use.

    I do have a question not related to TTH add-ons but is related to the overall extensibility of the TT device itself. Why has the SDK been discontinued? There are a lot of cool programs such as SunTime and Tripmaster that no longer work 100% with the GPS device with the latest software upgrade because it inteferes with the GPS menus. This decision seems to have effectively killed the developer community behind Tomtom. :(

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    I really have no idea. But looking at http://create.tomtom.com/#sdk – it seems that some version of SDK is still available for download, sure it was discontinued?

  5. quanta

    Correct Wladmir, the link provided goes to the legacy SDK for devices running the Navcore 6.x firmware. However, all new TTs since mid-2007 use v7.x and are not fully compatible with the SDK.

    Even some SDK documentation would be useful at this point! Anyway, I know it is not your responsibility, but if you do bump into any of the hardware engineers in the hall, give them heck.

  6. Jason

    Is TT Home 2.2 available for public use/testing? I’ve been eagerly waiting TT Home to run on Linux. I submitted the request to TomTom for a Linux version a few months ago, and just got a “we’ll look into it” response.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    The download for “TomTom GO and ONE devices” on http://www.tomtom.com/home/ is TomTom HOME 2.2 right now. But there is no Linux version so far, we just managed to figure out most of the issues with the Mac version.

  7. Jason

    Ah, ok. The http://www.tomtom.com/home/ link doesn’t show any downloads when using a Linux browser, which confused me for quite a while. Looks like the homelanding() javascript function on that page is detecting the OS and trying to displaying relative content. Unfortunately, if the OS isn’t mac or windows, nothing displays.

    Anyway, I’ll keep waiting patiently. :)

  8. Randy Bigari

    I would like to find out about U.S. truckers atlas maps?
    Would something you have for add on maps be comparible with a Rand McNally Truckers Atlas?

  9. Yuri

    “…the link provided goes to the legacy SDK for devices running the Navcore 6.x firmware…” — Really that link goes to “Byu SDK now” option (for £99.95 UKP) – a little bit too much for a preson, but almost nothing for a company…

  10. Frode Nilsen

    I have been trying to get TT Home to work on Linux Mint 4 by using Wine. Since there currently is no Linux-version of TT Home availible to download, although I really hope it will be here soon!

    I can get TT Home 1.5 to work just fine as long as I connect my TT GO720 before I start up TT Home. It recognizes my device and I can use TT Home to manage the device.

    I have been wanting to use TT Home2 so that I can use MapShare. But I can not get it to work in the same way. I have tried version 2.3 on Wine, and it starts up and runs normal.But I can not get it to recognize my GO720, and it just keeps asking for me to connect the device to the PC.

    Do you have any tips or ideas why I get Home 1.5 to work just fine, but can’t get 2.3 to work in the same way??

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    No, I am afraid that I have no idea. I am not familiar with device recognition in HOME, and even if I were – I wouldn’t know which part of it fails in the emulator. I can only tell you that work on a Linux version is underway though I don’t know the timeplan.

  11. Frode Nilsen

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my question!Looks like I have to borrow a friends Windows PC to do the updating while I wait for TomTom to release a Linux-version of TT Home!

    If you need help with the beta-testing of the Linux-version I would be more than happy to help out! Just contact me!

  12. Denis Walrave

    Please add me to the list of potential TT Home Linux version (Ubuntu ;-) beta tester volunteer!

    Denis

  13. Steve

    Hi, its nice to meet someone who writes for tomtom that actually know whats going on !. I write a bit of software called FreeICE that is free for CarPC users. Sadly (or good for tomtom) no one has written decent touch friendly gps software for the pc. whilst updating my tomtom go I noticed the tomtom emulator in tomtom home 2 and was most impressed with what it could do. Its such a shame that tomtom have coded up such an app that they dont sell to the public. Having tomtom on my carpc would make it fantastic. do you know if they would be releasing such software of if the emulator.dll could be adapted to work ?

    thanks for your time

    Steve

  14. pedja_portugalac

    I plan to buy GO 930 tomorrow and I am so sad to see that linux based car GPS can update only with windows or mac.They use linux kernel and a lot of other open source packages but they don’t think (?) linux users worth tomtom home package to menage they devices. 10 000 000 of users world wide, they pretend, 400€ is the price of one TTGO 930 and they still can’t make it available for us. I am some kind of furious about this fact but thank you Wladimir for keeping us up to date with their plans. I don’t like windows nor mac and it hurts me so much thinking about dual boot with those systems. Any idea on some workarounds or testing I am also ready to test from tomorrow on. Cheers everybody

  15. Dean Williams

    i am looking for 2 things for my tom toms
    1 i would like to be able to copy to my computor where and when i have been.
    2 i would like to be able to enter all my addresses on my desktop eather in to favouries or recent.

    cheers

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    I should be the wrong person to ask for any enhancements.

  16. Norbert

    Hello,
    I found this page during my search for a tomtomhome feature.
    I’m in charge for support for more then 20 tomtom. With TTH I need for every device a new email-address. To much ;-)
    Is there a solution available to manage more than one device with one email-address?

    Thanks in advance Norbert

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    I don’t think there is any solution so far. The scenarios like the one you mention are being looked at and some features for those are on the list – but I am unsure whether there is any idea on how to allow managing multiple devices from one account.

  17. Sergei

    Hi Wladimir,

    the following two links are not currently available… would you please put me in the right direction for these tools, as i have been looking for them everywhere :) thank you

    http://adblockplus.org/tomtom/venkman.xpi
    http://adblockplus.org/tomtom/inspector.xpi

    Thanks! :)

    Sergei

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Supposedly, DOM Inspector should now be available via http://create.tomtom.com/developers/dom-inspector.html – but when I checked the link was broken of course. I’ll try to get that fixed (and make sure Venkman is published there as well).

  18. Another Tom Tom Owner

    Please make a Linux version of TomTom home. You are making use of open source software to make your development easier, so please pay back the community by supporting us with a Linux version of TomTom home.

  19. Dariusz

    Hi,
    I would like to sign upon request to make somehow possible to update your TomTom under Linux or at least wine. This application is not such as sophisticated. Is it? Is Microsoft paying you not to publish Linux version?
    Regards
    Dariusz

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    The last sentence made me doubt whether I should even bother to reply. The developer resources in the HOME team are stretched pretty thin at the moment so there is simply nobody available to work on a Linux version (not to mention supporting an exotic environment like Wine). Sorry, I don’t have any good news for you.

  20. Dariusz Panasiuk

    TomTom GPS devices are working as USB flash drives. Why not make it possible for users of non “the only right operating system on the word” to download updates from TomTom web site and copy them manually to the device?

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    I obviously wouldn’t know the answer to that question since the website has nothing to do with TomTom HOME and a different team is working on it. I see at least one possible explanation however: by copying things manually it is very easy to make your device unusable, who will have to fix the mess if TomTom recommended this way of installing things?

  21. Rod

    Well they would presumably always back it up first wouldn’t they? There is a script circulating for doing map updates you may have noticed.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    There is a difference between an unofficial script with the potential to void your warranty and an official recommendation from TomTom. As a business they have to worry about things like liability. Oh, and just because somebody should make a backup doesn’t mean that they will do it.

  22. tim

    You don’t need to write a linux version of TTH. Just release the information needed and the community will write it for you, after all that’s the mechanism that gave you an arm kernel to run the device itself.

  23. Robert Brown

    Could you please advise me if it is possible to download an updated map of the Geelong Ring Road, Vic.

  24. Mauro Cicognini

    Hi Wladimir,

    thanks for your great work on AdBlock Plus and TomTom Home, and congratulations to TomTom for hiring a brilliant coder :)

    I stumbled upon this post looking for TomTom Home extensions: are there any already available, besides the Map Status Indicator, and the couple posted on the create.tomtom.com website?

    To be specific, I was looking for an easier way to do map corrections (speed limits in my area seem to be really variable, and selecting the right piece of road from the device UI is a pain in the neck). I think I get there’s no good news for me, but just to be sure…

    Thanks
    Mauro

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Yes, I’m afraid there is no good news for you. There is some developer documentation under http://create.tomtom.com/developers/ but TomTom HOME extensions never picked up. Other than the map status indicator which I wrote and a bunch of extensions that were used only internally – there are no extensions. And writing this extension would be very hard anyway because HOME cannot read map corrections, it only acts as a mediator between the device and the server here.

    Oh, and I’m no longer working at TomTom – the blog post you are replying to is pretty old :)

  25. Hans Breuer

    I ´v got a navig.sys.on DVD in my Audi A8 and bought a Tom-Tom XL for driving in Estonia and Italy this year.
    I updated the Tom-Tom before going to Freiburg,Germ. on 10-09-´10 and drove back on 18-09-´10 via Strassbourg-Metz.
    There are works on the Highway around Metz since some month but my Tom-Tom only sent me on the usual way, neglected the works, while my DVD informed me of the changed situation. I expected more actuality of the Tom-Tom
    Sincerely, Hans Breuer

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Sorry to hear this but what do you expect from me? I don’t even work for TomTom any more – and I never had anything to do with the maps. You might want to take a look at MapShare, contacting TomTom support is another option. Writing a complaint in a random blog which happened to mention TomTom won’t help you.

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