How to sync Mac OS with Funambol (part 3)

I noticed that my posts about using Funambol on Mac part I and part II are two of the most viewed posts on my blog, so I decided to update them with a new tutorial using the official Funambol Mac OS Sync app. Since I was at it I decided to test also Prezi, a pretty good software for presentations.  Although not free-as-in-freedom software, I hope it inspires other developers to write better tools for presentations.

Here is the result: enjoy it!

http://prezi.com/bin/preziloader.swf

Back from school, Funambol community grows

I haven’t been writing too much here because I was spending whatever leftover energy from my real job on myMBA project work. With that put to bed, it’s time to celebrate the end of two long years studying topics that I fell in love with. I feel so good, I’d start over (just kidding).

I have received satisfaction not only from school, but also from work. Funambol community is growing real fast, but it’s not just the pure numbers that rock. The quality of some contributions are just stunning. Recently, there has been a new release of the Funambol connector for LDAP, which now makes it easier to write DAO classes for different DirectoryServers. Also, Mailtrust developed a new special connector that syncs directly from server to server. For example, say you have your contacts in Google Mail and you also use an MS Exchange server, with Gnome Evolution on the desktop and an old syncml-based Nokia phone: before the Server-To-Server sync you would have to orchestrate the synchronization between the Exchange and Google accounts through the clients, being careful not to mess up. Now the S-t-S connector can take care of keeping all the accounts in the cloud in sync. That’s not the only scenario, there are more and all go in the same direction: empowering users of cloud based services to keep their data with them.  I think Mailtrust contributed s a very important building block of freedom in the cloud.

Funambol on Mac OS X, part 2

Update Jan 12th 2010: the best way to sync Funambol on Mac OS X is to use the official Mac OS Sync app. Check How to sync Mac OS with Funambol (part 3).

Yesterday I talked about SyncEvolution as one of the two options to sync contacts on Mac OS X using myFUNAMBOL. Today it’s time to introduce the other option: the Funambol Plugin for Mac OS X, contributed in his spare time by Kevin Lovette (a hacker of the Funambol Professional Services team). Like Patrick started SyncEvolution to be able to sync his SyncML devices with his GNOME desktop, Kevin had the same kind of itch on his Apple desktop and started to scratch it.’  Funambol Inc allowed him to develop this software in his spare time in exchange of knowledge about the Mac desktop platform.

Funambol Plugin for Mac OS X is a System Preference application. You can download the binary (version 0.1), unzipped it and double-clicked on the resulting .PrefPane file. You can install it only for your user or for all users of the machine. Once the plugin is loaded, enter your myFUNAMBOL username and password, and make sure that the URL is http://my.funambol.com/sync/.

On the next tab, Sync, tick Contacts selecting the ‘Card’ option from the dropdown menu. If you want you can also enable syncing Tasks tick it and select ‘Tasks’ from the meny. The other options are not selectable because they’re still not supported. Now you’re ready to hit the Sync Now button and wait for the sync to finish. The notification area has a bug and it doesn’t notify clearly what is happening.

Being in such early stages of development, I’m sure there are more bugs waiting to be discovered. You can help Kevin to improve this software: look at the project pages on Funambol Forge and discuss it on the Funambol Users discussion list.

Funambol on Mac OS X, part 1

Update Jan 12th 2010: the best way to sync Funambol on Mac OS X is to use the official Mac OS Sync app. Check How to sync Mac OS with Funambol (part 3).

While the world goes crazy with the iPhone, I decided to spend some time testing the two options for syncing on Mac OS X using myFUNAMBOL. There are two options available, both are community contributions. Today’s post is about SyncEvolution, contributed by Patrick Ohly.

Patrick Ohly’s SyncEvolution provides the missing link between Mac OSX and SyncML. The application is’  *nix style, command line based, originally for GNOME Evolution GNU/Linux and later ported to iPhone, OS X, Maemo.’  Old school *nix users will find it very easy to setup and run on Apple’s system.

Download the package from the Mac directory (I used the latest version, SyncEvolution 0.7). Expand the tarball and copy the binaryes in ~/bin (modify the .bashrc PATH variable to include your $HOME/bin, as follows).

PATH=$PATH:~/bin

Then create the directory ~/.sync4j/evolution/myfunambol and copy in it the files share/doc/syncevolution/funambol from the original tarball. Since I couldn’t find a way to make Finder show the hidden directories, I used the unix cp and mkdir commands (I’m at home with those, but YMMV).’  Now it’s time to edit the configurations. I use smultron as text editor,

$ smultron /~.sync4j/evolution/myfunambol/spds/syncml/config.txt

Change deviceId to something unique (especially if you’re syncing from many computers or more than one account on the same computer) and add your myFUNAMBOL username and password.’  Then it’s time to edit the addressbook configuration:

$ smultron myfunambol/spds/sources/addressbook/config.txt

change the type to the Mac type and make sure that the sync is configured as follows (unless you need different setup)::

type = addressbook
sync = two-way

That’s it. Now go on with the sync:

$ syncevolution myfunambol

and that’s it.’  SyncEvolution doesn’t support tasks nor calendar yet, but at least the AddressBook support is pretty good and stable. If you are a Mac programmer or you want to try becoming one, help Patrick to add a GUI to SyncEvolution and extend its functions.