.Mac like service

Christoph Witzany mail at doublemalt.net
Wed Apr 30 13:47:09 CEST 2008

Alexey Feldgendler schrieb:
> On Wed, 30 Apr 2008 02:54:08 +0200, Shawn Rutledge 
> <shawn.t.rutledge at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>  my list starts with:
>>>  *backing up phone settings, including list of installed packages (in
>>>  case i need to re-install everything)
>>>  *backing up e-mails/text messages
>>>  *storing gps coords in case the phone's stolen/lost
>>>  *backup/storage of any other arbitrary files
>> You would want it to be a commercial service like .mac, with a
>> subscription fee and guaranteed reliable service, and use GPRS to
>> access it?  Or you would want to just do that stuff with your own PC?
> The difference between an open technology and a closed one is that 
> while Apple is the only one who runs a .Mac server, anyone can run a 
> server in an open technology. Someone can install software based on 
> open standards and run a server, and even charge for its use if they 
> like. Don't like paying for it? Set up your own!
> I believe that an open standards based server solution for assisting 
> mobile phone features should be created. The most important thing here 
> is that the data formats and protocols are open, so that anyone can 
> implement a client or a server. There are several proprietary services 
> with their closed data formats out there, but no really open one, as 
> far as I know. Developing a consistent and comprehensive specification 
> is an immensely important step.
> I would define the scope of the technology as “sycnhronization, backup 
> and remote control for mobile devices”. Here is a very vague, draft 
> list of requirements:
> * Allow backup and incremental synchronization of typical data items 
> stored on mobile devices:
>     * SMS/IM histories
>     * last dialled/received calls
>     * contact lists
>     * browser bookmarks, histories and cookies
>     * calendar events
>     * various account information (GPRS, HTTP proxy, email, IM)
>     * stored certificates
>     * global preferences like language, time zone, visual theme
>     * software-specific settings
>     * user documents
>     * information about installed downloadable addons
> * As much as possible should be synchronizable across devices and 
> software platforms.
> * Leverage existing open standards wherever possible, e.g. use vCard 
> for contact information.
> * Provide automatic conflict resolution.
> * Be bandwidth-efficient.
> * Survive long periods without connectivity and synchronize reasonably 
> afterwards.
> * Don't insist on complete synchronization before parts of data become 
> usable.
> * Be secure so that even passwords and certificates can be trusted to it.
> * Do not require server-initiated activity because it's often 
> impossible, i.e. rely on pull only.
> * Allow for interchangeable transport layers to make use of various 
> connectivity options available on devices:
>     * HTTP
>     * various serial port-like connections like IR and BT
>     * maybe offline synchronization via memory card
> * Allow automatic offloading of data that's typically moved from 
> device to PC:
>     * pictures, video and audio recordings
>     * various logs
> * Probably allow sharing or publishing parts of user's data.
> * Provide remote control and reporting infrastructure that allows:
>     * upgrades of device software
>     * activation of special modes on lost/stolen devices and obtaining 
> information from them
> * Transparent expansion of device's storage, e.g. the user can 
> continue taking pictures without thinking about where they go, and the 
> older ones are pushed off to the server.

This is an excellent starting point. I also like very much the ambition 
to reach out beyond Openmoko (even if it is the natural platform to 
start such a projec).

I would very much like to participate at such a project (or even kick it 
off ftm), as my the plans for my PhD work include creating a service 
that would fulfill an important part of this: The transparent storage of 
data in the [Web|Cloud|Grid|<newest_buzzword_for_distributed_networks>].

Who's in?


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