Two Funambol community projects to monitor during holidays

There is an interesting movement around two Funambol community projects: the syncml clients for Thunderbird and for Palm WebOS.

Mozilla Messaging is rapidly pushing Thunderbird 3 out of beta and Funambol’s community is ramping up interest in its addon. Carlo Codega, the main developer, started working on a port to Thunderbird 3 of the plugin. There is a first build for Windows, but it has issues and it’s only recommended for developers to fix it. Since the Thunderbird plugin depends on Funambol’s C++ SDK the Thunderbird addon needs to be ported to Linux and Mac OS X. Funambol offered a bounty under the Code Sniper program to prepare the builds for these two operating systems. If you are looking for a way to fill the afternoons and evenings during the holidays go to Funambol addon for Mozilla pages and get the chance to win $50 or more.

Somewhat connected to Mozilla, is the community effort to port the Funambol Java SDK to javascript in order to build a syncml client for WebOS, Palm’s operating system. An informative discussion sparked on Funambol’s forum around the Code Sniper grant and the first attempt of the javascript port done by long-time contributor Mathew McBride. This project and Mozilla’s are connected because if Thunderbird’s addon used a javascript syncml engine instead of the  C++ libs, it would improve its multiplatform support. Anybody interested in helping please join the discussion and start planning the development of the Funambol client for Web OS.

3 ways to get cash over the holidays with Funambol

The winter holidays are a provide a good opportunity to  do something useful in that downtime between celebrations. Funambol’s community programs provide three ways to have fun and earn some cash, too.

1. Participate in the Code Sniper program: it rewards the efforts of the open source community to help build the open source mobile cloud. The Funambol project provides the basic framework, including server and clients, that implements an open standard (SyncML, also know as OMA DS and OMA DM). You can propose to develop new clients and connectors or to help improving an existing project. Each contribution counts, although developing code counts more: writing work items, writing full bug reports and testing them is worth $10; fixing issues and developing new features is decided by the community and it can reach $500. If you want to start a new project you may want to read How to develop a SyncML client the Agile way. Or you can help an existing project, like Thunderbird: check the list of active requirements. Bounties go up to $500. Find details about Funambol Code Sniper and also on Galoppini’s blog.

2. Test your new phone with Phone Sniper program: if you get a new mobile phone as a present, make the most out of it and rush to myFUNAMBOL, sign up for  an account (if you don’t already have one) and test its sync and push capabilities. Send a report back to Funambol and earn $25.  Check the list of phones that need testing on Phone  Sniper program pages.

3. Translate a Funambol client with L1on sniper program: one simple way to get started with Funambol is to download the code and compile it yourself. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to translate the client into your local language and earn $250. Once you’re done, send the patch with the translated files and some screenshots of the application. Detailed instructions are on L10n Sniper program pages.

Pimp your addressbook with Avatargrabber

Who said that syncing is boring? Alfredo Morresi developed the ultimate time-wasting-syncing-social-tool to pimp your addressbook. Did you know that your phone and desktop addressbook can associate an icon to any of your entries? But, honestly, who has ever wanted to spend time associating a name with a picture? I didn’t, until Avatagrabber was released, that is. Now it’s become a perfect time wasting machine. All you need is a myFunambol account (or another SyncML compliant server). Here is how it works: Avatargrabber grabs the list of contacts from myFunambol; you can pick a name you want to ‘pimp’ with an icon and let Avatagrabber scout the web in search of images of your contact on various social networks or Google image. It’s only a matter of seconds before you become addicted :)’  Not bad for a Funambol Code Sniper application. Grab it here: isn’t it cool?

Everybody loves iPhone

To confirm that Jobs got everything (not!) right, Sybase jumps on the iPhone bandwagon for enterprise users.

Sybase on Tuesday said it’s adding Apple iPhone support to its suite of mobile middleware, making it possible to access IBM Lotus Domino or Microsoft Exchange e-mail servers through a secure environment.

May I just add that Funambol can already be used to connect Domino and Exchange servers to iPhone?’  There is also an open Code sniper bounty’  to develop a plugin to connect only to Lotus Notes client.

* Of course I pity Jobs for not respecting user’s freedoms.