As everyone knows no efficient hack-o-ton can be done without
sufficient amounts of premium
So when the OGo hackers and the Kontact geeks decided to join forces to develop an awesome groupware connector, SKYRIX was so kind to sponsor sufficient amounts of beer to configure the developers for top-notch performance.
To elaborate, KDE has a storage abstraction called a Resource which implements the connectivity to arbitary groupware servers. Indeed, Kontact already supports a set of groupware backends, including lovely Microsoft Exchange, stone age Novell Groupwise - and now, the awesome OpenGroupware.org.
On the other side, OGo supports a variety of methods to access the services offered by the software. This includes the native client integration server called ZideStore as well as OGo specific protocols like XML-RPC or the PalmOS Network Hotsync Protocol, as outlined by the high level OGo architecture diagram.
Saturday Morning, Progress: 24%
As you can see
looks a bit, well, tired and is hardly able
to stand on his own feet.
Unlike the KDE wizards, ZNeK already arrived on Friday to
prepare stuff and that
(as always) turned out to be a 'till 4:00 AM session
discussing each and every feature of the latest MacOSX 10.4
Getting some Icecream
Prior getting in touch with KDE-PIM we at OGo used
to think that
is quite slow. Fact is, compared to g++, cc1obj is blindingly fast.
Since the cluster increased productivity by about 300%, we can rightfully claim a completion of 24% even though no line of code was written ;-) During the setup, ZNeK and Helge started to condition the KDE wiz to use a WebDAV based approach for the client / server interaction.
Saturday Evening, Progress: 39%
After getting some coffee, Till
started the design phase by opening the first bottle of beer in
The discussion focused on two connected things: a) which protocol to use and b) which existing Kontact Resource to use as a basis. Various options were considered, including SOAP, XML-RPC and the Exchange WebDAV protocol.
Since OGo already worked to some extend with the Exchange protocol, this was initially the suggested way to go. This approach was dropped in favor of a very clean and pure WebDAV based protocol to avoid all the E2k hacks (like having some things only available using binary MAPI tags).
Because the protocol being used was going to rely on iCalendar and vCard as the transport format, Cornelius and Till had the clever idea to streamline their Resources into a single KIO slave which acts as an iCalendar store. Due to this, they decided to create a new resource from scratch and adopt all the others later on to use the new way of connecting data.
Sunday, Progress: 61%
implemented the Resource to retrieve the
individual iCalendar entities from a
folder (and discovered some issue with KIO which currently
does not allow nested KIO slaves),
worked on the user interface to create new OGo
The design decision was made that a Kontact Resource can represent an aggregation of the contents of multiple folders. This way you can create arbitary views which can be enabled/disabled with a single checkbox. Subresources were avoided since they seem to provide no significant additional advantages but require a lot of additional code in the implementation.
At about 2:00PM (when ZNeK finally finished his nap ;-) we went out for American breakfast at Lara's which is now called Bonnie's Diner ...
The afternoon produced a first working version of the Resource. It allowed reliable online retrieval of events from ZideStore.
Sunday Night, Progress: 88%
After finishing the read only Resource people got hungry and certainly deserved some quality food. Since no one was able to name preferences, we selected the nearby Kartoffelhaus (potato house). Potatos are a somewhat local specialty given that the Magdeburger Börde has quality ground which exceeds the scale used to measure ground quality in Germany.
Back at the desk, the support for editing operations was started
already has awesome support to ensure consistent updates and
While Till implemented support for PUT
of iCalendar entities in the Resource,
Helge added support for HTTP
headers in ZideStore.
To quote Cornelius: "This is the first protocol which makes sense. We have already implemented almost any available protocol in a Kontact resource and this one is the first which really makes sense.", Till added "Yup, this really open my eyes on how cool HTTP actually is" and ZNeK contemplated "It roxx.".
We are going to write an RFC for the protocol. Basically it is
for managing a calendar resource and it is standard
with some special resource types
for doing calendar discovery.
Monday Morning, Progress: 100%
Minor fixes and final cleanups in the morning, checkin. All the development went surprisingly fast and well, which can only be attributed to the magic powers of Staropramen (or maybe to the broad experience of both, KDE and OGo developers with groupware protocols and how to properly deal with that problem domain).
After just 1 1/2 day we not only produced a working Kontact connector which even features offline synchronisation capabilities, we were also able to write a TODO file, according to Cornelius a sure sign that everything is up and running ;-)
So odds are good that the KDE 3.4 release will feature an awesome OpenGroupware.org Resource, and that, together with the upcoming OGo 1.0 release, we are soon going to see an excellent, pure Linux, groupware solution which is not restricted to a web client.
Pending: Calculate SLOC per litre beer.
Finally, thanks Cornelius and Till! This was a great and productive sprint and I hope we will meet again in a not too distant future :-)
|... mixed up by Helge Heß|