Re: GSoC project - Synchronization with Mobile Devices

On Thu, May 7, 2009 at 9:12 PM, John Stowers <john stowers gmail com> wrote:
> On Thu, May 7, 2009 at 12:46 PM, Peter Somlo <peter somlo gmail com> wrote:
>> Hello everyone,
> Hi Peter,
>> first of all, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Peter Somlo,
>> I'm a computer science student at Czech Technical University in
>> Prague. For the upcoming summer I have decided to apply for a Google
>> Summer of Code, fortunately my project proposal has been accepted, so
>> I'm getting ready to do my best :).
> Excellent, I look forward to it!
>> A significant part of my project will be connected with the lovely
>> software you are developing, therefore I'd like to kindly ask you to
>> comment upon my proposal published on my blog (don't be confused by
>> the word “blog”, it's just a single article for now). I know, that
>> there has been a lot of work on the plugins I've mentioned in the
>> proposal and I'm not 100% familiar with their current state, so some
>> information might be inaccurate. From the plugins, I would like to
>> focus on the support of Gammu, as my mentor in the GSoC is a developer
>> of it.
> There is currently a partially working phone support module that uses Gammu
> in conduit/modules/UNSUPPORTED/PhoneModule/. I know Jc2K is also working on
> phone an syncml support, so I will let him outline how this fits in with his
> work.
> There are a number of limitations in PhoneModule/, but basically
> * Phone discovery seems a bit messy. I basically copied the discovery code
> from Wammu that uses Gammu to try and connect to every phone over every
> connected iterface. I know Jc2k has developed a tidy solution for bluetooth.
> At a guess, you should use his work to check for in range phones using
> bluetooth, and use gammu to check for phones connected by other means.

I opted to only concern myself with phones that are paired. That way
probing is really cheap because it doesnt involve firing up the
bluetooth radio, lol. I'm also talking to hadess about extending the
pairing wizard so that you can click 'Sync my contacts' and 'Sync my
calendar' while pairing your device.

I think there might be some plan to have HAL like data about bluetooth
devices, too.

> * There is code for getting contact and calendar data from phones using
> Gammu. It was always quite messy to know if a given phone supports notes,
> contact, calendar, todo, or all of the above. You will need to discover some
> way to find this about each connected phone.
> * It was also hard to know ahead of time, what fields in a contact/calendar
> that a given phone supports. Name/Email/Phone number, more, less?. I think
> that for each phone, a test contact will need to be stored, and read back,
> in order to know the level of support. Conduit core also needs to be
> extended to deal with sycing with dataproviders that store less than the
> full amount of data.
> I will talk more about the last point in another email.
>> For now I'm trying to gain better insight into the whole
>> Linux-Mobile-Synchronization world. I'm planing to start coding in the
>> beginning of June, by that time, I would like to iterate to a more
>> exact plan about what has to/can be done, and I'd appreciate your
>> advices also on the parts not directly related to Conduit. Right now,
>> I'm preparing for my exams, so I don't have much spare time, but I'll
>> definitely join you on IRC :)
> I look forward to working with you. Please email the mailing list if you
> have any furthur questions.
> John
>> Cheers,
>> Peter

Thought i'd update you on a few things i picked up on in your blog post.

The opensync code in Conduit was turned off and removed. OpenSync is
still a moving target and they broke python support at some point too.
There hasnt been a stable release for quite some time. While opensync
support is welcome and would have brought some interesting features,
until 0.40 is release it mostly just brings bugs and crashing. And as
distros are advised not to ship the 0.3x series, its not like having
it in a Conduit release does us any good. So for point 4 of your plan,
i would advise you to concentrate on the native SynCE support in

For point 5 you mention Google Calendar support. We already have that,
though its turned off because it lacks a maintainer. There are some
patches to re-enable it in my google-calendar branch on github

Hope this helps, and look forward to working with you.

John (Jc2k)

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