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So I have a Motorola Xoom, and I mostly love the thing. It can handle the majority of my computing needs that don’t involve SSH’ing to a server and using a console–and on a good day, with a bluetooth keyboard, it can handle most of that, too.

It doesn’t have everything, of course. So here’s my quick wishlist for apps which should exist on Android, but don’t.

X11

It needs an X server. Yes, there’s VNC. Yes, there are NX clients. Those aren’t really enough. VNC can’t hold a candle to X11’s integration and performance in most settings. NX would be nice, but I’ve had no luck, so far, getting FreeNX to work. If I ever do, you can expect to see a blog post about it.

For me, I’d prefer both X11-over-TCP and X11-over-SSH, but X11-over-SSH is the most widespread usage I’m aware of.

SSH

Yes, there’s ConnectBot. Yes, there’s IRSSI ConnectBot, which is ConnectBot plus a few modifications for irssi+screen users…but that seems to be about it.

They’re reasonably nice applications…but when your SSH connection drops every time your device’s DHCP lease comes up for renewal (even if it gets the same IP it just had), you can go mad quite quickly. I had DHCP leases at 900s on my network to improve DDNS behavior…I finally bit the bullet and upped it to 86400, because I was tired of what felt like inscessent connection droppages.

They also have a strange problem where your key encodings can get completely fubar’d. I notice this especially when I use a bluetooth keyboard, where I can type quickly enough that I sometimes typo and chord keys. I don’t think it’s the keyboard’s problem; this keyboard works great with the PS3 and with Linux desktops. On Android, under the ConnectBot suite of applications, things like Ctrl-A and Ctrl-D work fine initially, but the Ctrl key eventually stops working chorded. Around the same time, I usually lose things like the entire upper form of the numeric row…all of ~!@#$%^&*( and ) began coming back as ~. Imagine being stuck in a Python REPL, unable to hit Ctrl-D or type exit() to get out. Ouch.

Generic MediaWiki

MediaWiki has a powerful, straightforward and well-documented API, both through index.php and api.php. It seems silly that there hasn’t been a MediaWiki-specific browser, editor and monitor.

Others

There are other apps which don’t yet exist, but should, but that’s a discussion for another time.

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