Thursday, February 26, 2009

Making the GNOME desktop location-aware

Here comes the first GSoC '09 post of the blog, from kr0y. Hopefully more of these will follow, from both l0nwlf's and my contribution.
Being a silent watcher last year, I decided to gear up for participation in this year's GSoC partly due to the fact that its my last year in college and I won't be officially a student anymore. GSoC has been a great experience so far in the sense that I have actually begun to appreciate and understand the real steps that need to be done which can help you contribute to the FOSS movement. After going through the list of tentative organisations which might be participating this year, I have been happy to be introduced to two, Gnome (which needs no introduction to Linux literates) and Open64. It doesn't matter whether or not the project ideas I am going to submit under these two, get selected in GSoC, but because of the event I have finally given my shot at open-source development and am absolutely loving it :D If selected, I'll get luckier but if not, I am still lucky.

Starting with the Gnome project which was mentioned in the list of ideas for 2009 and caught my attention was "Making the GNOME desktop location-aware". The project, as the topic states, will help the Gnome-desktop know the location of the machine, and hence the user, through the use of smart technologies (GPS, GSM, IP Address, WiFi, User Tracking, Proximity etc.) Although initially proposed to just help the clock get automatically updated about the location and hence change the time and weather settings accordingly, it can be extended to include various other Gnome applications as well, as suggested by Henri Bergius & Jussi Kukkonen. The other functionalities which are proposed to be considered in the project are listed as follows:
1. Tracker can store the edited documents in the location-specific order.
2. Clock can not only automatically update the time & weather settings but also display the appointments specific to a location.
3. Evolution can show where the contacts are present and their local time.
4. Setting the Internet messengers' default status, location dependent on the location (Available at home and Busy in office, for eg.)
5. Displaying map of the locality (using Google maps or OpenStreetMap).

Jussi has already worked on the implementation of automatic updation of clock depending on location. A screenshot of the same from here:

More about the same can be found here and here.

Coming to Open64, all I can say for now is that working on compilers is challenging and exciting at the same time. The proposed list of ideas can be found here. More will be said about it later. So keep watching this space.

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