NOV
10
2005

OpenSync and KDE Cooperate on Unified Data Syncing

The OpenSync and KDE teams have joined forces to create a unified
library to synchronize data from mobile devices with the data on the desktop.
OpenSync, the successor to the MultiSync project, provides a modular
desktop-independent synchronization platform. It can be extended by plugins to support additional devices and data types. Plugins for the most commonly used devices and applications such as Kontact, Palm, Windows CE, mobile phones and more are already available or under development. KDE has now adopted OpenSync as the base for its future synchronization tools.

With KDE making use of the desktop-independent OpenSync project, a unified
syncing platform becomes a reality. Other desktop applications and projects
already use OpenSync or have signalled interest in using it. With OpenSync as
a unified platform vendors of mobile devices and other parties interested in
integrating with the desktop syncing platforms have a single point of contact.
By writing a simple OpenSync plugin they enable desktop users to sync their
devices with all other devices supported by OpenSync and most applications used
on the desktop, independent of the desktop environment.

At the end of August leading members of the OpenSync and KDE projects met for a
three-day coding session
at Nuremberg in Germany, sponsored by SUSE. At the meeting a KDE based graphical user interface for OpenSync was created. A presentation of the results of this meeting is available on the OpenSync website. The code for the KDE frontend, codenamed KitchenSync can be found in the
"opensync-integration"
branch
in KDE's Subversion repository. It has been constantly improved over the last few weeks and already represents a usable application to operate the OpenSync backend. Not only can it be used on the KDE desktop, but also on all other GNU/Linux or UNIX desktops.

The combination of OpenSync and the new KitchenSync frontend will replace
great parts of the current variety of KDE syncing solutions by a unified
approach. The old versions of KitchenSync, KSync, Kandy, libksync have already
been removed from the code base for the upcoming next generation of the KDE
desktop, KDE 4. KPilot is planned to be replaced once all functionality is
available with the new framework in an equivalent way.

The first official stable 1.0 release of OpenSync is planned for the beginning
of 2006. The KDE based frontend will be released in parallel to OpenSync 1.0.
This release will contain support for syncing Palm Pilots, SyncML, Evolution,
Kontact, files and IrMC capable devices like mobile phones.

Comments

where does the kitchensync name come from?


By patcito at Wed, 2005/11/09 - 6:00am

probably a developer joke.
software that can do allmost everything is often refered by "this application contains everything but the kitchensync"
And of course, the name contains the famous 'K' and the phrase 'Sync' :)


By rinse at Wed, 2005/11/09 - 6:00am

ans what is a kitchensync? (excuse my french)


By patcito at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

It's a corruption of "kitchen sink" as in the English saying "everything but the kitchen sink".


By Paul Eggleton at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

k thanx, and for those that are as clueless as me in english and still didn't get what is a kitchen sink, here it is http://images.google.com/images?q=kitchen%20sink :)


By patcito at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

Wo! I didn't expect that link to show hot chicks in sinks.

fetishes these days...


By Vlad Blanton at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

It was an old joke/phrase about ppl packing. You packed everything except the kitchen sink. That is, you have far more than you need.

But in this case, KitchenSync is simply a play on words of Kitchen Sink. It has nothing to do with the phrase. I would guess that it was the only thing that they could think of that contained a K and Sync (apparently, synk was either taken, meant something in a different language, or was just not like).


By a.c. at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

The joke does apply to KDE, and I think that the name is intended to play up to this. As in:

"KDE includes everything, including the KitchenSync"

I think it was convceived shortly after 3.0, when there were cries that KDE was bloated & before the Kwhatever naming scheme became accepted.


By another ac at Sat, 2005/11/12 - 6:00am

Yeah i like this !!!! go kde dev's go !!!


By ch at Wed, 2005/11/09 - 6:00am

So the long-anticipated, but stalled, kitchensync project has finally been killed. And replaced by KitchenSync, the OpenSync frontend?

Is this the correct reading, i.e. has all the underlying kitchensync architecture been demolished?


By ac at Wed, 2005/11/09 - 6:00am

There is no code from the old KitchenSync or its underlying libraries used in the new solution. OpenSync is based on the same design concepts that our old code was, but it's actively maintained and developed, more stable, and it's desktop-independent. So we decided to not duplicate efforts but go with a unified solution.


By Cornelius Schumacher at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

Excellent decision Cornelius, thanks for all the work!


By MandrakeUser at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

I read about this earlier on the OpenSync website - well done to all involved.

Lately I've been working on an OpenSync plugin for syncing with Opie, and I have to say I'm very impressed with the design - simple and yet still quite flexible. It's also not tied to any particular major library (other than glib) so it can be adopted across the entire open source spectrum. OpenSync has got to be the best way forward for universal syncing.


By Paul Eggleton at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

"KPilot is planned to be replaced once all functionality is available with the new framework in an equivalent way."

Reminds me of the editor that is just kept for BiDi...


By gerd at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

Yes, and the old kitchensync, that is now no more, was also supposed to replace KPilot.


By Martin at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

that's cool we're gonna get it in KDE4 and by the way, when does 3.5 comes out? it's been a little while since beta2, getting impatientttt hereeee :)


By patcito at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

Better yet, get off your butt, run the beta, and report bugs if you find them!

I've been running it since it came out. GREAT work devs! Way to go!

Chipper


By Chipper at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

Hmm,

according to the release plan the RC was released yesterday, but afaik it wasn't. Is there any specific problem with the Beta that has to be fixed or is it just a normal delay / nothing special?


By christoph at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

Will I be able to sync korganizer with my WinCE phone with the 1.0 release, or do I have to wait for KDE4 until that is implemented? I really prefer Kontact/Korganizer over Evolution, but for now I'm stuck with the latter due to the syncing support..


By bsander at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

We plan to release a GUI for KDE 3.5 slightly after KDE 3.5 gets released. You definately don't have to wait for KDE4.


By zecke at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

Yes, but I was talking about this:

"The first official stable 1.0 release of OpenSync is planned for the beginning of 2006. The KDE based frontend will be released in parallel to OpenSync 1.0. This release will contain support for syncing Palm Pilots, SyncML, Evolution, Kontact, files and IrMC capable devices like mobile phones."

Which doesn't mention WinCE (though earlier in the article it was mentioned). So I was wondering if the WinCE plugin is going to be available with that release or with a later release, and if so, when?

Thanks :)


By bsander at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

As far as I know, MultiSync (the codebase on which OpenSync is based) already supports WinCE (via the SynCE library). So when OpenSync comes out, it will most certainly support WinCE. Given that the KDE part will only be a frontend, then it should be able to seamlessly support WinCE as well.

This is an excellent decision. Supporting all these devices is difficult and duplicated efforts are a waste of already-thin resources. The status of KDE tools for WinCE devices has always been sub-par, and this could finally solve the situation. Great move!


By giacomo at Fri, 2005/11/11 - 6:00am

Yeah and Finally we have a solid syncing framework to use ;)


By zecke at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

Friends. Here is my situation. We use linux at home, each person has an account.
We need to sync with our PDA's , and that's working great with Kontact. Only
thing we are missing is: we would like to share/sync part/all of our appointments
and contacts. Maybe part of them. Say, just the "family" group of contacts. We
want to have the same kontacts on this group, and it is multiplication of work for
all of us to enter each contact in their account.

I know that this is feasible with a groupware solution, but this seems overkill
for 3 users, none of which has the time to set up a server, etc. Is there any
simpler solution in the horizon ? Maybe with KitchenSync ? Or may be a simple
solution for a quick and basic groupware miniserver for a home desktop within
KDE ? Something nice with a config wizard and pretty interface ?

Many thanks in advance!


By MandrakeUser at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

You can share data by sharing files:
For sharing contants export all contacts you want to share as vCard 3.0. Move the exported vCard file to a folder all of you can access. Now add this vCard as a second address book (Settings->Show Extension Bar->Address Books, then click on the Add button, select File, enter the file name).

For the appointments you can do it similary, i.e. export to iCalendar and add the calendar file via Settings->Sidebar->Show Resource View as "Calendar in Local File".

If you also want to access you data from remote locations then all you need is an account on an IMAP server. There's no need for a fullfledged groupware server.

For more information: kdepim-users at kde.org.


By Ingo Klöcker at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

Thanks a lot Ingo! I'll take a look tonight.

In principle it looks like this solution would imply having duplicate entries, when the same contact is entered by two users (say me and my wife). Unless
the info is somehow merged, but then again, I'll take a look and see ...

Cheers!


By MandrakeUser at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

Just a guess, but can't you just add a shared contacts resource that's readable and writable for all your users?


By Andre Somers at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

First, thanks for the good work. Syncing data is getting more important every day.
Allthough WinCE devices are mentioned in the article, they do not appear with the supported devices for the 1.0 release, and in my opinion that is really a missed opportunity.

For Palm devices there is a lot of excellent software, but not so for WindowsCE/Windows Mobile based devices. Where I live (The Netherlands) those are by far the most used PDA's, and honestly, my Palm can't beat the features of even a modest Ipaq.
The only disadavantage is that it is near impossible to synchronize the agenda with Linux. And the agenda is the most elementary feature of those devices...
A few attempts have been made, but nothing really works.

Decent "ActiveSync" support would make OpenSync/Kitchensync the new standard overnight.


By CAPSLOCK2000 at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

waht is active sync ? some windows "standart" :-) ?


By ch at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

Dont worry. Support for windows ce devices is definitely on the roadmap. There already exists a synce plugin. its in the subversion repository if you would like to try it. i just didnt release it with 0.18 since i dont know if it is stable enough already.

But the author of the synce tools is already working on a replacement called midasync which will make the synchronization of windows ce device a lot better.

Armin


By Armin Bauer at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

...the amount of geekiness in KDE. Don't get me wrong, I like it, but my girlfriend, mum, or friends are not so fond of it. What am I talking about here? On OpenSync website, there are a couple of screenies presenting KitchenSync; one of them is 'select plugin' dialogue, and it has an entry that says 'plugin to synchronize files on the local filesystem'. Oh, yeah, gimme some more... This nice definition could really use a substitution, something like 'sync files on your computer' perhaps? And the next one is even worse... Only the palm syncing makes a comprehensible entry. Work on this lads, and make KDE even better :)


By Petar at Thu, 2005/11/10 - 6:00am

A pda is a computer as well though.


By ac at Fri, 2005/11/11 - 6:00am

Nope. A PDA for normal people is an electronic agenda on steroids.
Computer == PC.


By Davide Ferrari at Fri, 2005/11/11 - 6:00am

This is one of the last things I miss from the windows world. My mobile phone contains my "life"...okay, maybe not quite, but I do use the calendar and addressbook quite a bit - loosing that info would be quite annoying.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I look forward to using this :)


By Joergen Ramskov at Fri, 2005/11/11 - 6:00am

Much more I want sync Kontact adressbook laptop <--> desktop <--> homedesktop.


By Syncar at Fri, 2005/11/11 - 6:00am

Hmm, do I overlook something? I see no default config files for kresource or kio_pim?!

Bye

Thorsten


By Thorsten Schnebeck at Sat, 2005/11/12 - 6:00am

Is there some standard way to sync several kmail/kontact installs? I run kde on three different machines, and I would like my mail folders, addressbook and whatnot all in sync.


By namor at Sat, 2005/11/12 - 6:00am

check out KitchenSync, it already does that between KDE installs


By giacomo at Mon, 2005/11/14 - 6:00am

The address book and calendar, to-do list, etc, can all be stored on an IMAP server. Configure kmail->Misc->Groupware->Enable IMAP resource functionality, then adding a "Kolab server" address book resource will give you shared contacts without the hassle of syncing.


By Yrrebnarg at Mon, 2005/11/14 - 6:00am

In addition to calendar and address book I would like to synchronize also konqueror's bookmarks, kwallet's passwords, kopete's contact list and knotes. Will Kitchensync do that or is there a better way?


By Romans at Tue, 2007/10/23 - 5:00am