Tag Archives: linux

Rainy’s first release, Tomboy sync server deployment made easy

** UPDATE: All Rainy related stuff can be found in a Wiki at http://dynalon.github.io/Rainy – See the NEWS section there for latest release and feature information **

It’s been a while since I blogged about me hacking on Rainy, a note synchronisation/cloud server for using with Tomboy and drop-in replacement for the somewhat unmaintained Snowy. But though not blogging, development  went further and I came up with a releasable first version, that I invite everyone to try out (source & binary download links are at the bottom of this post).

Attention: Canonical has announced removal of the public note synchronization service offered with UbuntuOne for around end of February, so now would be the perfect time to help testing and report bugs, so that Rainy can be shipped as a stable and mature, free alternative for all Tomboy (and Tomdroid) users!

Single-file deployment

Notes are usually very personal, and not everyone feels comfortable storing them in the cloud, which is IMHO why Tomboy is still a good competitor to Evernote and alike. This is why I want the deployment/installation of Rainy to be easy and hassle-free as much as possible, so that everyone can setup his own instance on his own private home or cloud server.

That is why I am so happy I found the IL-Repack project on GitHub, which enables me to link all required assemblies (including those from the System.* namespace) together with my own code into a single, dependency-free CIL executable (“Rainy.exe”), which is less than 900kb of size.  You will still need the mono runtime installed, but that is nothing difficult to do, a simple “apt-get install mono-complete” or “zypper install mono-complete” should do the trick on Ubuntu/Debian or openSUSE. If you are running Tomboy, you are already running mono, so no need to install anything!

This Rainy.exe is the preferred deployment target, as it runs on all system with mono available. The intermediate code it is compiled to, makes a binary deployment quite easy, and there is not much need for a user to compile from source. I’ve tested it on Linux & Mac, and it also runs on Windows if  you (a) use mono (since we need Mono.Data.Sqlite) and (b) install a feasible native sqlite3.dll.

Building the packed executable is already part of the Makefile (“make pack” ), so feel free to roll your own blobs from the source code.

What else is new?

Compared to the initial state that I had come up within the first two weeks, there are some major changes:

  • Introduction of sqlite3 as backend, which replaces the basic JSON plain-file which lacked scalability and safe-transactions
  • Using ServiceStack.OrmLite as an OR mapper, so that sqlite can be easily replaced by mysql/postgres/ms-sql in the near future
  • Two backends can be configured to use:
    • full sqlite, storing all notes and OAuth metadata into a single “rainy.db” sqlite3 file. Makes backups very easy, as only the “rainy.db” file needs to be backuped.
    • the XML backend that comes with tomboy-library, which stores each note in readable, plain XML files. This is perfect for small installations, as notes stay readable in any text editor and it is easy to write 3rd party Apps. However the OAuth metadata is still stored in a sqlite database when using this backend.
  • Lots of additional unit tests, modelling different synchronization scenarios

How stable is it?

This is actually the very first release of Rainy, as I’ve only maintained a source tree on GitHub. I’ve tagged it “0.1”, and to sum up the stability and maturity: I’ve tested it on my private machines, using Tomboy on two different Ubuntu 12.04 and latest Tomdroid (0.7.2). Tomboy works good, I did not lose any notes in my testing, nor did I encounter any crashes. Tomdroid has some bugs, but if you start with a note and hit refresh a few times upon setup, you will get to a point where syncing works without any noticeable flaws, at least to the extend I’ve tested (which isn’t that big, I have to admit). But nevertheless: Be warned that this is beta quality software, and always do backups before testing.

Please report any bugs or issues you may find into the GitHub issue tracker. And of course, if you are a C# coder, contributions are always welcome! Find the code at http://github.com/Dynalon/Rainy

Public open beta server

I own a small virtual server instance I installed Rainy upon, which I am hereby offering as a testing playground to the public. While Rainy still lacks HTTPS support, (though this can be worked around through setting up a secure nginx reverse proxy, which I will blog about if there is demand), Tomboy does not yet have client-side note encryption, so I do not even start to pretend that this public instance is a secure cloud space. It is just not. I provide it for testing and experimentation only. Since it is not meant to be private, I have created 50 public username / password combinations that can be used by everyone. If you randomly pick one for testing, there is a good chance you won’t be disturbed by anybody else while testing 🙂

Click here for more info about the public server

Downloads & Docs

The Documentation reside in the source code as Markdown files in the GitHub repo and are also viewable in a wiki-style layout on http://dynalon.github.io/Rainy

The single Rainy.exe binary releases can be found at http://rainy.notesync.org/release/

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Hello GNOME, Hello GSoC!

This is my first post in a series of posts about my Google Summer of Code project. I was accepted by the GNOME Project to spend this summer coding on the famous banshee media player. I’ll focus on the Mac OS X port of Banshee, which needs quite some love and polish to shine as much as it’s linux port.

But first, a brief little introduction of myself: My Name is Timo Dörr, I am currently enrolled as a student at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (fomer University of Karlsruhe) and  will soon finish my studies in the field of computer science. I’ve used linux since more than a decade as my one-and-only operating system until I bought myself a Macbook and played a little with Mac OS X. Since then, I would call myself a “dual-user”  hopping between both universes. I therefore am really excited about the GSoC assignment, which not only allows me to work with the banshee team and improve one of the best media players out there, but also enables me to get a closer insight into developing in C# with Mono on OS X – which I’ve already learned to love in the Linux world.

I’ll work on different parts to (hopefully) bring banshee’s OS X up on pace to its linux port, but to shortly sum up my proposal (which eventually got accepted by GNOME & Google), here is my TODO list:

  •  Integrate the Banshee Community Extensions (BCE)  into bockbuild (the OS X buildsystem currently used to build banshee on OS X) so OS X users can enjoy existing plugins, too
  • Select and propably adjust native code parts within the plugins to work with OS X
  • Work on simple hardware detection support of mobile devices, which is currently not working at all on OS X
  • Make lots of smaller improvements that make banshee feel more “native” on OS X, like usage of the media keys, native file dialogs and more.

I will regularly post about my work and the problems I faced, and am always open for tips and suggestions. Though I’ve made a reasonable schedule of what to complete when to successfully finish the assignmet, I think there is quite some room for further small tasks. So if you ever wanted to use banshee on OS X (or other platform) but found anything weird, quirky or missing feel free to email me: timo (at) latecrew (dot) de – I might end up working on it during or after the GSoC period 😉