Monday, November 23, 2009

New Tomboy Releases with Ubuntu One support on all platforms, and other goodies in the Tomboy world

On Monday I announced our new stable release, Tomboy 1.0.1, and our new development release, Tomboy 1.1.0. They both share the following fixes:
  • Official support for Ubuntu One (and any other server that implements the Tomboy Web REST API and uses OAuth 1.0a...Snowy uses OAuth 1.0). This patch comes from friend and Canonical employee Rodrigo Moya.
  • Always show note icons in the recent notes menu.
  • Link to correct version of our help document on Windows and Mac.
  • Translation updates, etc.

With Tomboy 1.1.0, you also get these fixes and features:
  • New D-Bus methods for manipulating notebooks thanks to Clemens Buss.
  • New Synchronize Notes menu item for the panel applet.
  • Cleaned up the sync dialog so it shouldn't cut off text anymore.
  • A ton of great fixes for Windows users from Stefan Cosma, and printing should now work on Windows Vista and Windows 7.
  • Translation updates, other fixes, and another new D-Bus method from Matt Jones.

For openSUSE users, packages are available in GNOME:Apps:Tomboy and GNOME:Apps:Tomboy:Unstable. Ubuntu Jaunty and Karmic users can use packages from our stable PPA or our development PPA.

But the most exciting things happening in the Tomboy world right now aren't really about Tomboy at all. :-)

You may have already seen Eitan Isaacson's new Note Statistics add-in. It's not the first add-in like this, but it seems to be the most comprehensive, and it's up on github for added coolness. I'm trying to decide if I should add this to the upstream Tomboy add-ins, or use it to kick-start a community add-in repository. Any opinions?

Back on the subject of Ubuntu One and note synchronization, I want to first say that Snowy, the AGPL web service for Tomboy notes, is still an active project, and we still plan to have Tomboy Online in beta in the next few months. Having both main developers on the same team at Novell just means we both get busy with work at the same time. :-)

Manuel's Tomboy Online Logo Mockup

But recently, Manuel Holzleitner has posted some mockups for the following:
  • A front page for Tomboy Online
  • A new website for Tomboy
  • A new project website for Snowy
  • New logos for all
  • (Somewhat hidden) A new layout for Snowy:

Manuel's Tomboy Online Mockup

I'm not a designer or UI expert, but I'm a big fan of these mockups. For one thing, I've been wanting to revamp the Tomboy website for a long time now, and Manuel's idea of unifying the design of all of these sites seems obvious in retrospect. I also think the proposed logos are ridiculously cute and web-appropriate. There seem to be a few folks interested in helping us out with our HTML/CSS, etc, so I'm really looking forward to having a better-looking Snowy in the near future.

Once we expand our test suite a bit and work through our deployment story, I don't think there will be much standing in the way of a Tomboy Online alpha running Snowy.

Manuel's Snowy Logo Mockup

Of course, in the mean time, people can use Ubuntu One, since those guys were awesome enough to use the same REST API for sync as Snowy uses. In fact, as I've mentioned before, Rodrigo and Stuart from Canonical both helped out with the design of this API, and even the implementation in Snowy. It's still proprietary software, but at least the guys working on it are awesome. ;-)

And if you have been wanting to get your notes from Tomboy to Ubuntu One to your Android device, there is now working code to do this in Tomdroid's web-sync branch. Thanks to Benoit Garret holding my hand, I was even able to contribute a patch. :-P With Benoit's latest code in bzr, you can now sync Tomdroid with Ubuntu One. There are still a few fixes needed to make this releasable, but for anyone who's looking to get involved in Android development, here's a fun project to hack on for you!

In a similar story, Cornelius Hald has been updating Conboy (a C port of Tomboy for Maemo devices) so that it, too, can sync with Ubuntu One. It already supported Snowy sync last I heard, so the only hurdle was (again) supporting the changes in OAuth 1.0a. Last week Cornelius got it working, so I wouldn't be surprised if he has a release soon.

In other fun news, about a month ago Mohanaraj Gopala Krishnan emailed me to discuss a presentation he was planning for the conference in Malaysia. The topic of the presentation was Tomboy, Snowy, web sync, Ubuntu One, etc etc. Go read his fun slides on his blog .

That's all for now! I'll talk to you again after non-Canadian Thanksgiving.


Benoit said...

Thanks for the kind words, I'm really looking forward to getting the code in a (hopefully) near Tomdroid release.

Anonymous said...

why do you continue to maintain this fork of Gnote? Is it only for rewriting everything in Mono?

Sandy said...

@Anonymous lol, good one! :-)

On the off chance you're serious, Gnote is an unmaintained port of Tomboy, rewritten in C++. This is about the opposite of what you imply in your question, which should pretty much clear everything up for you. ;-)

Sandy said...

@Benoit sweet, looking forward to it

Andreas Nilsson said...

The website layout looks amazing!

Sandy said...

@andreasn Cool, glad you like it! :-) If you read the email thread associated with the mockups, you'll find that the artist could use help refining his proposed logos. I'm sure he'd be grateful for any advice from you guys.

Cornelius Hald said...

Thanks for mentioning me Sandy - guess now I´m famous :)

A couple of days ago I made a small screencast demoing the synchronization between Conboy and Ubuntu One. Maybe someone is interested, so here it is: conboy_sync.avi

Dan said...

I've been patiently awaiting the release of Tomboy 1.1 for Jaunty so I could sync my notes with Ubuntu One. I was already doing it with my main machine on Karmic, but one machine I have to keep back at Juanty.

But I have to say, I'm stumped. I upgraded from the dev PPA. The "About" dialog confirms I'm running Tomboy 1.1.0. However, in the preferences' Synchronization tab, there's no option at all for Ubuntu One like there is under Karmic. There is the Web sync, like there has been in the previous 1.0 release, but pointing that at doesn't work.

Are you sure 1.1.0 has Ubuntu One support?

Sandy said... Yes, I'm quite sure. :-)

You're putting in the wrong URL. According to the Ubuntu wiki...

...the URL you should be entering is

If Karmic has "Ubuntu One" available from the drop-down menu, that is a custom patch that I was not aware of.

Dan said...

Oh, quite right, there is no drop down "Ubuntu One". Sorry if I sounded snarky - when I re-read my comment it sounded worse than it did in my head while writing it. I guess I forgot about that wiki doc in the past month.

It would be nice if Ubuntu One would link to that wiki page on their own currently terrible docs for Tomboy

But, that's not your problem :)

Daniel said...

not sure if this is the right place to ask, i searched the web a little but didn't find a satisfying answer...

are the notes encrypted before they are sent to the ubuntu one server? or are they just stored like normal files (which aren't encrypted by default yet, if i'm not mistaken)?

just want to know how safe my notes are, i.e. if i can sync stuff like pw lists or bank account numbers...

Sandy said...

@Daniel You should ask in #ubuntuone on Freenode. I don't actually recall whether or not U1 uses HTTPS or not.

Daniel said...

as far as i know the connection is via https. i was talking about the files that are stored in the cloud. are they readable for anyone with access to the U1 filesystem?

anyhow, thanks for the fast reply!

Sandy said...

@Daniel That one is *definitely* a question for folks who actually work on U1. Since their note sync stuff is all closed-source I don't know the answer to that question for sure.

But I would guess that they do not do any encryption, because that would add extra work when converting back and forth between Tomboy XML and HTML.