Open source push emails and contacts sync

I got a new phone and was terrified about the manual work that would be needed to sync all of my contact details. But then I thought, we’re in 2008 so there must be an open source way of doing this!!

Funambol MobileWe did the trick perfectly! Funambol allows syncing over the air emails, contacts, calendar, tasks and notes with mobile devices. The site reports syncing capabilities with 1.5 billion mobile devices and thousands of online services. You can sync your information from GMail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, Thunderbird, AOL, MS Outlook (if you’re still using it), and emails from POP and IMAP access.

If your contacts are scattered all over the place, like I had, with Plaxo, GMail and other cell phones, first centralize everything in one spot. I chose GMail’s Contacts since I can then sync it nicely to my Evolution.

Then, create an account at  MyFunambol, select your mobile device, go to your profile link, and configure your email and where to sync your information from. After all the configuration is set, you will receive a message on your mobile to download the needed sync app.

After everything is installed, with a click of a button on your phone, all of your contacts will be synced and you’ll even get push emails! Much better then Blackberry and Apple’s MobileMe. With MobileWe you will have a safe backup of contacts, receive push emails and sync contacts even with multiple devices.

End result for me? Contacts nicely synced and my phone displayed even the pictures of my contacts I had created in GMail.

*Note: also supported but not endorsed by this author are iPhones and Windows Mobile OS.

Allow your website members to invite friends from all over the web

I’ve seen countless times websites that would allow me to dig through my GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo, contact list to invite friends over. A pretty neat piece of code that can help a website to grow its userbase quite well.

Open Inviter is the open source bit of code that can allow users to install this functionality wherever needed. The list of supported communities and CMS platforms is huge! Open Inviter can link to users to their contacts in GMail, AOL, Yahoo!, MySpace, Orkut, Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, LinkedIn, and loads more.

Having this integrated with any “Invite a Friend” function on a website is essential. Written on php 5, it runs on Apache so should be easy to install and integrate.

Have a look at their demo. I’ll have to give a try to their installation process soon!

Managing bugs with Bugzilla

If you’re working with a team of people to build a software, a website, or a plain and simple group project, Bugzilla is a very good task management web based tool.

I’ve used in the past the commercial application JIRA which in some ways resembles Trac, so my familiarity with Bugzilla is pretty recent.

This web based app is pretty simple to use: you report bugs, change requests, new feature tasks, and calls for investigation, assign it to someone and follow this task’s progress until its resolution and QA check.

The really nice thing with Bugzilla is the number of applications you can find around it, from Firefox sidebar, desktop programs, Wiki integrations, and even a customizable firefox search engine. With bugzilla you can also have scheduled customized reports, email alerts, time tracking analysis, patch viewer, a nice file attachment management system, and many other features.

When starting to use it, I thought this was an incredibly confusing and poor application. But, giving some time and working with it more, I started to find it very resourceful. One thing I miss though is some extra features on its graphics and charts capabilities, those look darn right ugly and from my point-of-view, not very informative.

Ma.gnolia is going open source

Bookmarking social web service Ma.gnolia has announced that they’re building a v2.0 of their platform, aka M 2, that will be completely open sourced. We already love Ma.gnolia from the fact that it uses OpenID, eliminating the need to create yet another username and password to use the service.

M 2 will be a rewrite of the entire Ma.gnolia platform so all of the current features should be kept for the open source community. Users will be able to create their own branded social bookmarking service. The sites bookmarked on the self-hosted version will also be indexed by the main Ma.gnolia site.

We’ve announced that Reddit also made the open source move back in June. Reddit’s intent is to increase features by having the assistance of open source enthusiast coders. Ma.gnolia can also benefit from added functionality but even better for them, increase its popularity and amount of content indexed.

Ma.gnolia promised to release the first codes in September. Meannwhile, another good open source bookmarking platform is GetBoo.

Open source micro-blogging

First, my truest apologies for the disappearance. Due to health reasons, work, then more health reasons my tech life was drastically minimized. But, now all is well and coming back on track.

And, we’re coming back with a sweet web service called identi.ca. Once Twitter got all crazy and full of never-ending glitches, many web services jumped in the opportunity to win the hearts of frustrated users, identi.ca being one of them.

But, what is so special about identi.ca? First and foremost, the software that powers it, called Laconica, is completely open source!! (released under the GNU Affero General Public License) Which means that the community can jump in and produce a much better service in a shorter amount of time. For example, translation to several languages are already in the works.

Secondly, anyone can download the source code (Laconica) to make their own branded identi.ca, creating a de-centralized micro-blogging platform. This is possible because Laconica uses the OpenMicroBlogging protocol, allowing the user to post a message in his own Laconica-based microblog hosted in his/her own server which will then connect directly with other microblogs using the platform.

Other features I love: API (same codes pretty much that Twitter uses), GTalk integration, and OpenID login.

So far, the folks at identi.ca are doing an awesome job, kudos to them! If you’d like, add my identi.ca account here.

Reddit.com goes open source!

Reddit logoReddit is trying to strengthen its web presence, as a competitor to Digg, by releasing their code to the open source community.

Being released under Common Public Attribution License, reddit is now allowing users to download the full code that powers its website. The real intent is to have developers provide improvements for reddit itself, making it a bigger and more powerful platform that only their small team of 5 can not possibly manage.

There are more Digg-like open sourced platforms for you to choose, such as Pligg. So, the real threat of someone building a strong competitor for them is weak. The community is what powers these sites, not technology. So, by opening their code they are trying to engage the community more and allow the possibility for faster development time.

In summon, by no means an altruistic approach but an action that is nevertheless applauded since now they at least reassure users that their algorithm is clean and fair.

You can download the full code here. For more info, read the official blog post annoucement or watch their video announcement:

Open source search Wikia Search

Wikia SearchJimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia is now coming out strong with Wikia Search, an open source collaborative search website. It was first released in alpha months ago, but most recently some new features have been announced.

It isn’t a Google killer (yet), but it surely has the potential to one day become quite visible.

Wikia Search takes on the same principles that Wikipedia does to generate and moderate content, but here for your web search results. Search for any term and if you don’t like something you see from the results, you can alter it the way you’d like. You can:

  • add a different website to the search results;
  • change the description of sites that showed up;
  • rate the results so you can vote on the links you think are most important for that specific search query;
  • leave comments on a result found or even delete any of the links!

Wikia Search

The database powering Wikia Search comes from Grub, a distributed search indexing system. At this moment it counts with 30 million indexed pages, but as Grub becomes more familiar and different users install it on their machines, these numbers can grow pretty quickly.

I like the concept of Wikia Search from the fact that eventually with enough user activity it can probably give better results than Google itself. Eventually though.. If you’re an early adopter and have time and interest to test new web projects, give it a try!

Build your own Del.icio.us website!

GetBoo logoPligg is for Digg as GetBoo is for Del.icio.us.

I was happily surprised to have found this open source project. Besides from being a website that can organize my bookmarks, GetBoo also releases the entire platform for download under GPL license. So, not only can I use their services but I can also copy it freely!

The project was created in 2005 and the website already has 14000 registered members sharing their bookmarks.

GetBoo.com has quite a good number of features to make organizing bookmarks easy. After you’ve gone through their free registration, you choose to import your bookmarks stored in your browser. There are detailed tutorials for IE, FF, Safari, Opera, and Netscape.

GetBoo import

Afterwards, you can install a Firefox extension so you can submit sites to GetBoo with a click of a button. One button is to make the submission and the other is to go directly to your GetBoo page.

Getboo firefox extension

Now, bookmark away! The submission page is pretty similar to other existing websites with title, description, tags, and the option to organize it all inside specific folders you choose.

GetBoo submission

The frontpage for GetBoo will display all publicly stored bookmarks. But, it looks like submissions from newbies will not be displayed there. You need to have an account older then 60 days to share public links.

There are also other options you can mange from your account’s page. Including import from Del.icio.us, exporting, and stats.

GetBoo account page

The platform itself seems to be very easy to install. Find our more and download link are GetBoo’s SourceForge page. It seems the only difference from this package and the released version for download is Firefox’s extension which isn’t available forgeneral release (yet).