Getting Funambol 8.5 on Ubuntu Lucid LTS

Ubuntu4.10 and Funambol running in VirtualBox
Ubuntu 10.04 and Funambol running in a VirtualBox

I wanted to make sure that newest Ubuntu 10.04 being a Long Time Support one would be capable of running the newest Funambol DS Server version 8.5. I can confirm: not a problem there. I downloaded the 32bit .bin package from Funambol Forge, issued the install command with sudo sh funambol-8.5.0.bin and I was ready to sync with Gnome Evolution and my Nokia E71 in a breeze.  While I was at it, I have created a VirtualBox appliance that you can download and use for an even faster test drive (username: funambol, password: fun2test). It’s a massive 1.3gb download: if you find it useful, I may use some help to make a torrent file. Since this virtual appliance doesn’t have an X server, you need to run the Funambol Admin Tool (for  Windows or GNU/Linux) from your desktop machine. Have fun.

How To Read Open Document Format ODF documents on Symbian

My previous post on the topic generated quite a discussion about Open Document Format (aka ISO 26300) documents on mobile platforms. My argument was that ODF support on most mobile platforms is still poor compared to the proprietary counterparts. From the discussion that happened on identi.ca I learned about a quite decent Symbian reader for ODF files, called Office Reader. I tested it using Funambol email push and sync client on my Nokia E71 and the results are quite good. You can see from the screenshots below (taken from a pretty complex ODT test file) that the text rendered correctly.  I’m confident that I would be able to get an idea of the attached document and, if it was a press release, for example, I think I would OfficeReader would present enough information to approve it or not. This is the  if you want to compare to the mobile version. I’ve tested also a couple of ODP presentations and spreadsheets: they are rendered good enough to get an idea of what kind of document it is, but not as well as the text file.

I downloaded and installed OfficeReader directly from the phone’s browser, but of course all other options are valid. Check the FAQ if you can’t install or run it (I had to allow your phone’s operating system to run unsigned apps).

PS I took the screenshots with the free software Screenshot application (GPL license but the install screen says ‘freeware -not to be sold’ ?!?).

Things I said on 2010-04-25

Earn cash hacking on the iPad

This is the presentation I gave at iPadDevCamp last weekend. Since the offer for Funambol to give Code Sniper grants is always valid, I decided to share it also here. Let me and the Funambol community know what you would like to sync and push to the newest Apple device.

.prezi-player { width: 550px; } .prezi-player-links { text-align: center; }http://prezi.com/bin/preziloader.swf

Come una tassa sulle locomotive elettriche

Leggo sul corriere il pianto greco degli editori italiani tramite il suo presidente Malinconico (dei tempi passati? –nomen omen), i quali non sanno come fronteggiare il cambio di scenario imposto dalle nuove tecnologie. Sono rimasti a guardare mentre Internet arrivava e si mangiava lettori e con questi si spostava online la pubblicità. Mentre a occidente dell’Italia si sta sperimentando modelli di business alternativi, i nostri non sanno far altro che lamentarsi o attaccare i concorrenti.

«non solo non è intervenuto per attenuare gli effetti di una congiuntura difficile e per allentare quei nodi strutturali che soffocano il settore, ma ha operato in senso contrario con la soppressione delle tariffe postali agevolate».

Capito? Il problema sono le tariffe postali, la carta! Mi viene un nervoso a sapere che i cittadini stavano pagando per un contratto tra privati, tra un editore e il suo abbonato! Ma negoziatevi le tariffe migliori tra voi, senza far pagare alla nazione.  La parte migliore però viene dalla soluzione proposta dalla FIEG:

una mini tassa per chi si connette a internet e usa i contenuti editoriali online, come misura transitoria per consentire all’editoria di far fronte alla crisi

Ridere o piangere? Come se il mancato rinnovamento degli editori a fronte del ricambio tecnologico sia colpa dei cittadini e per questo devono pagare affinché il dinosauro sopravviva un po’ più a lungo? Quando arrivarono le locomotive elettriche, i produttori di locomotive e gli estrattori di carbone probabilmente hanno fatto lo stesso pianto greco; ma le locomotive a carbone sono solo una curiosità per appassionati.

Funambol gets good grades at SOSOpenSource

When it comes to software selection, free software can be challenging to evaluate with the usual methodologies. The open source strategist and old time friend Roberto Galoppini has put together an easy to use methodology called SOSOpenSource and a tool to evaluate open source software based on strength (stable, mature and backed by a viable community), level of support (by a community or vendors) and potential for evolution (e.g. code quality).

Roberto run the method on Funambol and the results are really good. Of course, we knew that Funambol is a stable, mature, reliable free software project but it’s always good to see all confirmed by an objective analysis. Enjoy the presentation (slides about Funambol are at the end).

Whitehouse.gov contributes to Drupal.org

I’m amazed by the cultural vitality of the US free software scene. I have realized  listening the keynotes of Tim O’Reilly yesterday and today’s about eGov at DrupalCon 2010 in San Francisco that Italian scene lacks the same vitality (while still placing worldwide leaders on top of big project). I have the impression that 20 years of lack of innovation are starting to take a hit over the most innovative crowd of the country. Free and Open Source is all about innovation, imagining the future that is not there yet: if the future is the same for 20 years there is little to imagine further.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ocean the WhiteHouse.gov released Open Source Code and I was there to hear the announcement. Well done for Drupal, congratulations to the free software community as a whole.

An Italian is the new Debian Project Leader

As one of Funambol’s t-shirts say, Italians do IT better. I’m really glad to learn that Stefano ‘Zack’ Zacchiroli has been elected Debian Project Leader for 2010/2011. He graduated and took his PhD at Università di Bologna, where long time Free/Libre Open Source software supporter professor Renzo Davoli also teaches. Congratulations.

Debian — News — Debian Project elects Stefano Zacchiroli as next Project Leader.

Things I said on 2010-04-18