Pavol Rusnak #cypherpunk #hacker #openhw #privacy #bitcoin #newmediaart

Announcing Connect!

During the last openSUSE Conference we (Benji, Brent, Bryen, Francis, Michal, Petr, Stephen and me) had a brainstorming meeting about social aspects of our community. We were able to come up with lots of ideas and I want to thank all of you for your participation!

We felt that openSUSE is missing something similar than Ubuntu Launchpad or Fedora Community. The discussion happened two months after Canonical released their Launchpad sources to the public, so I had time to investigate both these solutions before the Conference (Fedora stuff was of course open-sourced from the start). Unfortunately, it turned out that none of these existing solutions were good for us. :-(

My next step was to investigate social networking frameworks built on Ruby on Rails platform, because most of our web infrastructure uses this framework and Ruby development stack is in a perfect shape in openSUSE. I played a lot with Community Engine, Insoshi and Lovd By Less, but finally I decided to go for Tog. This was the only solution that was modular (not monolithic) and seemed pretty well hackable.

I created a Tog application, ported all anonymously visible pages to our Bento theme and finally deployed it on connect.opensuse.org address, so you can look at it. In the end we would like to replace the old users.opensuse.org application with Connect and make it a new central place for users. We also plan to add extra features like for example:

  • user groups
  • user karma or XP points
  • user management (GPG+SSH keys, location, mailing lists subscriptions, IRC cloak, etc.)
  • ribbons/buttons to put on your site, wordpress/facebook plugins
  • business cards printing
  • public API for retrieving all user information

There are plenty of ideas and I’m sure you can come up with even more! I’m announcing this in a VERY early stage of the development so you can jump in and take part in a discussion and development from the beginning. The full sources are available on gitorious and if you are interested in helping us (that does not necessarily mean coding!) don’t hesitate and contact me using my work email.

For the comparison I added screenshots how my profile looks in applications I mentioned in this post:

fedora-fas

launchpad

opensuse-connect