IntelligentMirror: GSOC Project Update

Brief Introduction

IntelligentMirror can be used to create a mirror of static HTTP content on your local network. When you download something (say a software package) from Internet, it is stored/cached on a local machine on your network and subsequent downloads of that particular software package are supplied from the storage/cache of the local machine. This facilitate the efficient usage of bandwidth and also reduces the average download time. IntelligentMirror can also do pre-fetching of RPM packages from fedora repositories spread all over the world and can also pre-populate the local repo with popular packages like mplayer, vlc, gstreamer which are normally accessed immediately after a fresh install.

Definition for a lay man

Think of Internet as a hard disk, your proxy server as a cache and your Intranet as a CPU. Now, whenever your CPU needs to process something, it needs data from cache. If data is not there in cache, it’ll be fetched from RAM and/or hard disk. IntelligentMirror sits on your proxy server and keep caching packages in a browsable manner which can be served via http for subsequent requests.

For further details about IntelligentMirror, go here.

Update

After getting the hosting space on fedorahosted.org, I pushed the code I have written. You can check the source tree here.

We are buidling IntelligentMirror as a plugin to squid which taps requests from clients and checks them against a cache. Checkout how to write a custom redirector or how to tap requests to squid. And acts accordingly. We are working on live streaming the partially downloaded package to the end user while caching it.

If you have any suggestion, feel free to leave them as a comment here or edit the wiki page :)

 

Review: Spicebird – A Collaboration Platform

Well, I happened to attend this workshop on “How to build business around open source tools” organized by Twincling Society and IIIT Hyderabad. There I came to know about Spicebird. Spicebird is a single platform for many collaboration needs. It provides e-mail, calendaring and instant messaging with intuitive integration and unlimited extensibility. Spicebird is being developed by a Hyderabad based Indian start-up named Synovel (All four founders are alumni of IIIT Hyderabad). Below we look at some features that Spicebird provides.

1. Tabbed Interface

The tabbed interface for different utilities like mail, calendar, contacts, tasks etc. looks pretty clean. The interface is not at all cluttered in any way and navigation to different utilities is straight forward. You don’t have to brainstorm before getting something done.

2. Familiar Interface & Crisp Icon Set

Spicebird has an interface similar to loads of mozilla based application out there. The settings, preferences and the way things have been managed are familiar. So people who are switching from other open source email clients will not face any problems at all. Spicebird uses icons from Tango Project. The icons used are really good looking.

3. Nice Home Tab

The way Home tab has been organized is really appealing. You can add applets which includes rss feeds from you favourite blogs, mail folder views, calendar, upcoming events and Date & Time. Geeks love rss feeds. And what can be better than having it on your home tab all the time along with your mails. Event applet comes handy to remind you of the upcoming meetings and deadlines. And its on home tab all the time :) Date & Time is specially helpful when you collaborate with people in different timezones. So you can add their timezone on home tab and you know when is the right time to ping them.

Spicebird Home Tab

4. Email

Email experience is more or less like any other open source email client. But Spicebird provides some intitutive features like if it finds that the content of a mail is about a meeting, it’ll give an option for creating a calendar event for the same. This is a really good feature and this is just the begining. Spicebird is still beta.

SpiceBird Intutive Mail

5. Instant Messaging

This is a really cool feature from collaboration point of view and which makes Spicebird different from the masses. Spicebird is supporting IM via any jabber server. So if you are a startup, setup your own jabber server on Intranet and use it for collaboration. Mind blowing!! This also includes Gmail/GTalk. So you can just say bye bye to your messenger and start using it right away with GTalk. Plus this will import all your contacts to your local address book. Another real good feature which is not there in lot of other email clients.

SpiceBird Instant Message using Jabber, GTalk

6. Calendar & Task Management

Another good feature. Integrated calendar and task management. You can quickly add tasks and events. And you need not check your calendar for upcoming events, add upcoming event applet on home tab and you will have them all the time in front of your eyes :)

Spicebird Calendar and Task Manager

Conclusion

Whether you are a startup which is looking for tools to collaborate or a user who is excited about using open source tools, just go and download Spicebird from here and explore a new way of managing things at a single place :)

You can look at Spicebird Roadmap here and checkout the video demo of Spicebird here.