Installing Mozilla Raindrop on Ubuntu Karmic

Raindrop is a project of Mozilla Labs, which aims to create a unified messaging application and a social networks aggregator. It's in an early development stage, but still promising.

While I do see a current need for aggregation of centralized social network sites, I'm convinced distributed social networking will succeed at last. Raindrop might however be able to support this issue by offering a unified personal interface for social networking.

Since Ubuntu Karmic already comes with Pyhton and CouchDB, installing Raindrop is quite straightforward:

cd ~
# Install all dependencies and tools
sudo apt-get install mercurial python-setuptools python-twisted
# Checkout the raindrop source
hg clone -r 0.1 http://hg.mozilla.org/labs/raindrop
#
Get paisley (which isn't packaged yet
wget http://launchpad.net/paisley/0.1/0.1/+download/paisley-0.1.tar.gz
#
Install paisley
tar -zxvf paisley-0.1.tar.gz
cd paisley-0.1
sudo ./setup.py install
cd ~
# Check if all dependencies are satisfied
./raindrop/server/python/check-raindrop.py

Raindrop does not yet offer a graphical configuration utility, so you will need a text editor.

gedit ~/.raindrop

Here's an example configuration file:

[account-twitter-yourusername]
proto=twitter
kind=twitter
username=yourusername
password=yourpassword

[account-imap-yourusername]
proto=imap
kind=imap
host=mail.example.com
port=143
username=yourusername
password=yourpassword
ssl=False

[account-rss-markusthielmanncom]
proto=rss
uri=http://markusthielmann.com/feed

After you created a configuration, you might want to tell Raindrop to fetch your messages:

cd ~/raindrop/server/python
./run-raindrop.py sync-messages --max-age=5days

After the script finishes, you're able to have a look at your inbox:

http://localhost:5984/raindrop/inflow/index.html

A word of warning: Raindrop does currently not support desktop-couch. This means, every user on your PC is able to access your inbox via the given URL. So if you're running a multiuser system, be warned.

Google pushes site performance

Google recently started an initiative to push site performance.

Reading the question "How fast is your site", I was wondering when the engineers last visited YouTube. Besides still relying on Flash as a content delivery technology, YouTube is a JavaScript and iFrame mess. Everytime I visit, I subconsciously expect the marquee-tag rising from the grave.

Today, Google introduces the Feather Beta, a streamlined theme, which still uses too much JavaScript, but at least removes the iFrames. Give it a try!

Intelligence Squared

Intelligence Squared is Britain's premier debating forum, providing a unique platform for the world's leading figures in politics, journalism, and the media to contest the most important issues of the day, be they political, social, intellectual or historical.

I really like how Intelligence² offers all it's debates as video on demand for free. It's a bit like TED, but does not limit its topic selection to inventions and ideas.

Don't miss these talks:

Google Wave: Invitations left

I do have about 20 "nominations" for Google Wave left.

If you're interested in getting nominated, just drop me an e-mail.

Please notice Googles disclaimer:
Invitations will not be sent immediately. We have a lot of stamps to lick.

Royal Society: Trailblazing, an interactive timeline

"Trailblazing is a user-friendly, ‘explore-at-your-own-pace’, virtual journey through science. It showcases sixty fascinating and inspiring articles selected from an archive of more than 60,000 published by the Royal Society between 1665 and 2010."

Don't miss Maxwells publication on the "Theory of the electromagnetic field".

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