Messaging, not email

During the past weeks in the mobile world at Funambol I’ve started deepening my thoughts about how computers are still inefficient and largely too hard to use. One thing that I hate is how the whole online things are separated from the file system.’  I keep my hard disks organized in folders separating my work projects from my home/fun activities.’  Down the tree the classification is done by clients and individual projects.’  I’ve always found this strict classification too limiting, because after many years I have now duplicate files and finding things gets harder.’  Software like beagle or spotlight are only a partial solution.

What is really annoying me though is the separation of all web activities from the files on the disk. Is an email related to a project and a client?’  Why are bookmarks and web pages so difficult to retrace? I would like to find such information grouped in the project folder, available on my disk, tagged properly. I don’t like Google’s idea to move everything online and keep my files there, out of my hands and off my disks.

I look forward to see the new Mozilla Thunderbird. They seem to start on the right foot: it’s not just an email, it’s messaging.

The name Mozilla Messaging is supposed to indicate that it’s focusing on the Internet messaging and communications space as a whole, not just e-mail.

My hope is that within a short time frame Thunderbird will innovate messaging as much as Firefox did in the browser world.

Mozilla Thunderbird Gets Its Own Company @ ENTERPRISE OPEN SOURCE MAGAZINE

Using Funambol on iPod Touch

Even if I don’t have an iPod (and I won’t buy one … I’ll tell you why one of these days) I’ve asked Funambol’s community to translate into English an article by Luis Medina written in Spanish. Paulo Sergio Lopes Fernandes and German Viscuso contributed the translation.

I liked the article not only because it’s a good hack, but mostly because it demonstrates the importance of being able to tinker with the hardware you own. You should always be able to improve, evolve, fix whatever software comes with any device. While we wait for Apple to open up its system releasing its awaited SDK, here is a good read for you iTouch users and Fedora 8 (easily portable to other GNU/Linux distributions).

Synchronizing contacts iPod Touch – Evolution

This guide should also work if you are using an iPhone although… no guarantees.
How to synchronize contacts from my iPod Touch and Fedora 8?

1. Register at myFunambol

2. Install syncevolution

# yum -y install syncevolution

3. Configure syncevolution:

 Continue reading 

Girl Geek Dinners Italia: ci sono

Sono molto contento di essere tra i 20 fortunati invitati alla cena delle Girl Geek italiane venerdì prossimo.

La lista dei Guy Geek (invitati ognuno da una sola Girl Geek) è stata annunciata con tanto anticipo e si è riempita in due giorni (e pensavamo di meno!)!

Spero di riuscire a fare 4 chiacchiere con Sarah visto che anche lei è interessata al mobile. Ci sarà  anche una mia collega di Funambol 🙂

Liste d’attesa per il 29 febbraio « Girl Geek Dinners Italia

Qualche indizio per trovare i 10 milioni

Ecco la tabella allegata alla lettera di cui parla Flavia, ovvero la risposta alla richiesta di chiarimenti al ministro Nicolais sui 10 milioni di euro stanziati a favore del Software Libero. Innanzitutto, sono contento che qualcuno abbia risposto, il che non è da dare per scontato, purtroppo: la lettera aperta che mandai da presidente di FSFE Italia riguardo al privatizzazione dei CAP al ministro Gentiloni è rimasta lettera morta.

Ora sono curioso di sapere ora come sono andate le gare di appalto, chi se l’è aggiudicate. Stefano Quintarelli non è molto entusiasta. Qualcuno ha notizie ulteriori?

Decreti attuativi: stanziamenti previsti e azioni in corso o in preparazione

Decreto 16 maggio 2007

Linee di intervento

Stanziamenti

Azioni in corso/preparazione

Innovazione nella scuola 2.050.000,00

Bando di gara per realizzazione “laboratori virtuali” (1,0 Meuro) in preparazione

Bando di gara per realizzazione strumenti di eDemocracy (0,5 Meuro) in preparazione

Avviso finanziamento progetti presentati da scuole elementari (0,5 Meuro) in preparazione

Convenzione con Ministero dei beni culturali per “Mostre pittoriche in contemporanea” del 19 dicembre 2007 (0,05 Meuro)

Innovazione nella sanità  4.000.000,00 Azioni di supporto alla creazione e diffusione di infrastruttura di FSE federata e interoperabile in fase di definizione
Innovazione nel settore del lavoro 1.500.000,00 Convenzione con il Ministero del lavoro del 8 ottobre 2007 (1,5 Meuro)
Studi e ricerche per la società  dell’informazione 2.450.000,00 Convenzione con Regione Toscana e Pogas del 21 dicembre 2007 (0,3 Meuro)

Convenzione con Provincia di Trento — in preparazione

Attività  di studio per armonizzazione soluzione di FSE — in preparazione (0,1 Meuro)

Progetto pilota per realizzazione piattaforma tecnologica di supporto al TSE (0,1 Meuro)

TOTALE 10.000,00  

Decreto 23 gennaio 2008

PROGETTI

Stanziamenti

Azioni in corso/preparazione

Innovazione nella scuola 3.500.000,00 Avviso finanziamento progetti presentati da scuole elementari (3,5 Meuro) in preparazione
Innovazione nella sanità  2.000.000,00 Azioni di supporto alla creazione e diffusione di infrastruttura di FSE federata e interoperabile in fase di definizione
Innovazione nel settore del lavoro 2.000.000,00 Convenzione con il Ministero del Lavoro in fase di preparazione (2,0 Meuro)
Cittadini digitali all’estero — servizi consolari on line 2.500.000,00 Convenzione con Ministero affari esteri — in fase di preparazione (2,5 Meuro)
TOTALE 10.000.000  

Open position at Funambol: Symbian developer

I’ve just received from Funambol’s Engineering a request for a Symbian developer. announcement remembering that I became Funambol’s Community Manager after reading Roberto’s blog.

Here is the announce:

The development team is looking for a motivated, highly-technical Symbian developer with excellent development and problem solving skills. You will join a dynamic team responsible for the development of the Funambol client on the Symbian platform. The successful candidate will join our Client Software Team in Pavia(Italy). The candidate must have good knowledge of C++ and a genuine enthusiasm for software development. This is a unique opportunity to work in Italy for a fast growing Open Source project.

Apply here. Good luck.

Wengo stopped developing wengophone

Some disappointing news today: Wengo stopped developing Wengophone, the VoIP SIP and XMPP/Jabber multiplatform client.’ ’  They announced it in the developer’s mailing list.

Update: the’ development of OpenWengo software has been taken over’ by an experienced Wengo programmer.

I wonder why Google isn’t contributing its gtalk code to free software projects like Kopete, Gaim or Adium: they use an open standard (XMPP) and they should have all interests to increase their user base.’  My quest for a free software alternative to Skype continues.

Upgraded wordpress, closing the week

This WordPress needed some maintainance, but this time instead of upgrading ‘manually’ I decided to use the WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin: boy, it was fast and simple. It seems to be working fine.’  If you spot any glitches let me know. Now for me it’s time to go play with the RC minihelicopter and away from computers.

Tomorrow I’ll meet Hal in person for the first time at Malpensa while he is flying to Barcelona for the MWC: I’ll take pictures 🙂

Bruce Schneier on Wired: ‘Security’ Is Code for ‘Control’

I couldn’t agree less with Schneier’s post on Wired: lock-in is bad for users.’  I liked this sentence that explains well how I’m feeling now after having used a Mac for 2 weeks (I promise, I’ll write a long post about this experience in the next days):

With enough lock-in, a company can protect its market share even as it reduces customer service, raises prices, refuses to innovate and otherwise abuses its customer base. It should be no surprise that this sounds like pretty much every experience you’ve had with IT companies

Read the rest of it on With iPhone, ‘Security’ Is Code for ‘Control’

Openness is a value

Doc Searls asks on LJ:

What if Yahoo’s main value isn’t its search engine or its advertising business, but the openness that makes it more Net-native and hacker-friendly than Microsoft?

Right… what if? I don’t think that today’s Microsoft understand the value of openness. But (possible) new Microsoft starting in June probably will. We’ll have to wait until then, but I’m not holding my breath. I just hoped I bought Yahoo shares a week ago 🙁

It’s worth reading the whole article Yahoo’s Openness Asset | Linux Journal

Affero GNU GPLv3 evaluated by OSI

As Fabrizio reported, Funambol submitted the Affero GNU’  GPLv3 to the Open Source Initiative for approval (it was my first task as Funambol Community Manager).’  OSI’s stamp on AGPLv3 makes business sense for Funambol, afaik the first big free software project to adopt AGPLv3 as soon as it was announced. Open Source is a recognized brand,’  a magnet for media attention and helps drive value to companies.’  Free software business needs a common brand as a marketing tool and OSI provides that.

I still believe that OSI’s refusal to talk about principles is its biggest weakness (even though lately Raymond noted that there are principles behind licenses) and a very dangerous one.’  On the other hand, OSI has no competition (or help) especially after the failure to launch the GNU Business Network by FSFE.

What’s interesting is that Funambol’s management has got the Free/Libre Software principles right.’  As Fabrizio writes:

Big Google, a company that could not stand the ASP loophole because they built their entire business on it, manages to get that provision out of GPL v3 and runs to get it approved by the OSI (BTW, it was approved).

Now it is the Funambol turn. Hoping more people will choose AGPL versus GPL, because giving hosters and portals a free lunch is just a bad idea. If they want to use it for free, at least get their code back.

The market will give the answer about the AGPLv3 adoption, but I’m confident that this year will be fun to be into this community.