Ubuntu One – The KDE Way

Over the past couple of months I had the great opportunity of taking part in this year’s Google Summer of Code. I moved out to bring Ubuntu One to the KDE desktop and I think I was rather successful with it, now all I need to do is find someone who is willing to maintain it … 😉 Now that Google Summer of Code is over I will continue focusing my efforts on Kubuntu and general distribution development which is the reason I would very much like to find someone who is willing to maintain it.

But first let me outline what exactly you can expect from this first iteration of an Ubuntu One client.

It basically consists of a couple of libraries that allow fast creation and enhancement of client applications of any kind. In fact I suppose most of the code was produced as either a library or in a form that could become part of a library. I will blog about the underlying technology in a bit. Based on those super useful beasties I created also some user visible applications that cover basic use of Ubuntu One on the local desktop.

The foremost component is the Ubuntu One Status Notifier (posh name for tray icon). As one would expect from a thing that calls itself status notifier, it notifies about the status of your Ubuntu One client. In particular it will show you whether you are connected to the Ubuntu One server and in general what exactly is going on with your client, for example it also shows when a download or upload is occuring and which files are currently being processed. In addition to the status notifications it also is a sort of starting point for general things you might want to do with your Ubuntu One client. For that it provides 3 key capabilities:

  1. By clicking on the status notifier you will get a minimalistic browser widget that takes you directly to your Ubuntu One web interface. Should you not want to connect your client for one reason or another, or if your client is busy synchronizing gigabytes of data while you need one file you just have to click on the status notifier and have direct access to the web interface.
  2. In the context menu you can start Ubuntu One Share which is a very nice program that helps you set up a new share. The nice thing about this is that you can select the people you want to share with directly from your Akonadi addressbooks.
  3. Also in the menu you can access the configuration dialog.

Talking about configurations. Ubuntu One also embeds in System Settings’ network area. Using these awesome configuration modules you can not only get information about your space usage and Ubuntu One subscription data but also configure maximum bandwith usage or whether the Status Notifier should autostart. Of course you can also look at your shares and mange which folders ought to be synchronized with Ubuntu One.

To drive ubiquity one step further -> Ubuntu One is also in your KInfoCenter 😉 As a side product of the regular configuration modules Ubuntu One also provides information in your KInfoCenter, which is of course the most natural place to provide information in. Thanks to the supreme design of the KDE platform doing such things is super easy and takes very little effort.

There are also some less polished components (that I do not want to talk about right now ;)). I think this is a very good starting point and much greatness can be created based on what is here. All it takes is someone to step up and take on maintainership and care for the code and improve it and polish it and make it a diamond.

How to get it you ask?
Just check the mail I recently sent to the Kubuntu development list: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/kubuntu-devel/2010-August/004622.html

Update: development on my end is done, please refer to the Launchpad bug report for UbuntuOne-KDE for status updates.

Should you have questions, suggestions or maybe even want to join development please join the Kubuntu development mailing list or ping me on IRC.

27 thoughts on “Ubuntu One – The KDE Way

  1. Wonder why Canonical was too cheap to pay for the development itself and instead relied on Google to pay. I had rather seen a project taking the SOC slot that benefits every user.
    (Obviously that’s merely my private opinion.)

    • Canonical isn’t a very big company, and probably can’t afford to invest in developing for a platform that they may only find to be different in Desktop Environments. Most of Ubuntu’s development goes unpaid and is done for the good of the community. Really most of the code development is put forword and then developed upon later. Ubuntu One is a project that I find interesting but hard to use. I don’t understand why it can’t just be compiled for KDE, but beyond this fact, I don’t know. As for Google, google donates a large amount of money to fund projects, and keep project that are worth while from dieing off.

      • Ubuntu One is a commercial service by Canonical. Strictly speaking from an economical standpoint without caring whether it’s Canonical or not:
        A commercial service provider should handle in its own interest and try to deliver the paid service to the most broad audience possible to get more revenue.
        Canonical didn’t do that and that confuses me.
        What also confuses me is that Google sponsors a project specifically targeted at increasing the revenue of another company — a company that will compete against Android in the Tablet market in the future — and not a project that (for example) improves the interaction with the vendor-neutral and completely FOSS ownCloud project.

    • That comes off like a cheap shot imo. Canonical has to allocate its limited resources like any other organization. In the future i too hope that more of their resources are allocated towards Kubuntu-related projects, but i won’t jump to the unwarranted conclusion ‘they simply don’t care’.

    • That is one of those bits I did not want to talk about 😉 The thing is, right now the only plugins one can write for Dolphin are VCS plugins (SVN, Git and the like) and I actually created a basic Ubuntu One plugin using these interfaces (there is not that much difference), however I found it a bit too limiting.
      I will propose necessary changes to the dolphin developers (or do them myself? ;)) so that the user experience becomes more suiteable.

      For now if you want to test it… place a .ubuntuone file in your Ubuntu One folder(s) and turn on the plugin in Dolphin’s settings. But it will not do much other than trying to get the right icon for whether it is up-to-date, needs upload or needs download …

  2. Awesome. I’ve been waiting for this. It’s a great service to add to Kubuntu. Thanks for all your work – Hopefully someone will step up and run with it from here!

  3. Great news! Thanks! Does this client advertises to Ubuntu One server that it’s yours KDE client, not the original Gnome based Ubuntu One client? It would be good if it could so and this way it could be counted how many Kubuntu users do use Ubuntu One with yours client.

    • While this is a very good idea it is unfortunately not really possible due to the way the client works.

      I will post a blog post about the internal bits of the client soon which should then explain why the client cannot communicate that it is the KDE client (despite that I think the Ubuntu One server does not provide itnerfaces for that anyway, so that would first need to be created).

  4. Thank you for all your efforts, they’re much appreciated! I’m looking forward to the next great release of Kubuntu to use Ubuntu One.

  5. Harald, thank you so much for your herculean efforts to bring Ubuntu One to KDE/Kubuntu. I think before long we’ll find a way to complete the whole package and it is largely due to your great effort.

  6. This is wonderfull. I didn’t know that Ubuntu One hadn’t been released for other distros of Ubuntu nor did I think of it being that much work as all should have had to do was compile it from source. I understand now thst it isn’t so simple and one must integrate it with OS with proper Icons and suck. It wouldn’t look right either as it would like installing an application designed for gnome in kubuntu it would fail to integrate. It makes a lot of sence what your doing, I don’t see people moving to Ubuntu one untill there is some sort of relyable cross platform support and support for mac and Windows. also I would like to ask what theme you are using in the snapshot…

  7. what happened to this repository of ubuntuone-kde? has this been moved? Does this package exist anymore? I could not find any more info on web! Missing this app in Natty a lot 😦

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