Identica

Posting to Identi.ca From Ubuntu 8.04 Using Gwibber Client

Instructions are available on the Internet on how to download and install Gwibber microblogging client(twitter/identica/etc.) on a Debian-based operating system. The Gwibber page on Ubuntu Wiki, for example, has a really long/detailed procedure to install it; below I have documented the quick and dirty procedure that has worked for me to install Gwibber on Ubuntu Hardy Heron distribution(it should work on other Debian-based GNU/Linux distributions with little modifications).

Quickets and dirtiest way:

# sudo apt-get install bzr python-simplejson
# cd $HOME
# bzr branch lp:gwibber
# sh gwibber/run

Go to Accounts -> Create to add your microblogging/social networking account details.

Gwibber Webkit Branch:

Guys on Identi.ca have been recommending installing the webkit branch of Gwibber, so below is a bit longer procedure to get this version of Gwibber installed.

  1. Install the Gwibber pre-requisites. Run the following command in a shell:
    # sudo apt-get install bzr python-cairo-dev python-simplejson
  2. Checkout the webkit branch of Gwibber source code on your machine:
    # cd $HOME
    # sudo bzr branch lp:~segphault/gwibber/webkitui
  3. Change the directory and run the Gwibber client:
    # cd webkitgui
    # ./run

  4. If all goes well, install it:

    # sudo python setup.py install

Go to Accounts -> Create to add your microblogging/social networking account details.

Some Gwibber Tips:

  • You can run Gwibber any time by pressing ALT-2 key and entering “gwibber” as command.
  • If you want to create a desktop shorcut, right-click on the desktop, click on “Create Launcher…” and enter “gwibber” in the command field.
  • If you want to see Gwibber in the desktop panel/tray, select the “Tray Icon” option from View menu.

Screenshots:

Here are a couple of screenshots of Gwibber connected to the Identi.ca microblog.
Gwibber for GNU/Linux supports Digg, Twitter, Facebook, Jaiku, Pownce, Flickr and Identica microblog and social networking web applications.
Gwibber for GNU/Linux supports Digg, Twitter, Facebook, Jaiku, Pownce, Flickr and Identica microblog and social networking web applications.

Witty Twitter + Darrel’s Identi.ca patch = Witty Identi.ca Client

Witty Identi.ca Client?

Finally found some time to play with Darrel Miller’s Identi.ca patch for Witty Twitter client. Good news: it works.

Witty Twitter client patched for Identi.ca.

If you want to try it too, this is what I did:

  1. Checked out the source code of Witty Twitter client using TortoiseSVN subversion client on Windows Vista.
  2. Downloaded Darrel Miller’s Identi.ca patch for Witty.
  3. Applied the patch using TortoiseSVN(no patch/cygwin tools for Windows needed!).
    (I got errors related to ITweet.cs in the patch file, so I edited it manually; http://ur1.ca/0tx. Use my modified patch file if you get similar errors.)
  4. Built the patched Witty source code in Microsoft Visual C# Express Edition 2008(with no configuration changes).
  5. Ran Witty(from “Release” directory), entered Identi.ca login details(alas, you are out of luck if you use only OpenID based login), and there I have all my contacts’ Identi.ca messages :)
  6. I can upload the patched source code/built binary files somewhere if anybody wants to play with it without going through the patching/building business.

So this is fun.

Additional information:
What is Witty: “Witty is a free, open source Twitter client for Windows Vista and XP powered by the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). ”

What is WPF: “Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) provides developers with a unified programming model for building rich Windows smart client user experiences that incorporate UI, media, and documents.”

What is Identi.ca: “Identi.ca is a micro-blogging service based on the Free Software Laconica tool.”

Free Software Community Catching Up to Social Networking Trend

The Free software community has never lagged too behind in any technological development field leaving it completely to the closed platform and service providers to rule the market. The first good GPL software that I came across many months ago targeting the social networking domain was Elgg. I liked it, yes, but more importantly, it confirmed the fact that, it may happen late, but the open source community will sure catch up with the new technology domains eventually if they show the potential to become popular and useful.

Another Free software product that I came across today was Laconi.ca and it powers the microblogging service called Identi.ca.

Identi.ca is a microblogging service. Users post short (140 character) notices which are broadcast to their friends and fans using the Web, RSS, or instant messages.

So Identi.ca is a microblogging service like Twitter, Jaiku and Plurk. Yes, yet another micro blogging service you may say. But is there anything new? From Identi.ca’s FAQ:

Our main goal is to provide a fair and transparent service that preserves users’ autonomy. In particular, all the software used for Identi.ca is Free Software, and all the data is available under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, making it Open Data.

The software also implements the OpenMicroBlogging protocol, meaning that you can have friends on other microblogging services that can receive your notices.

This is huge. The support for OpenID based login itself had impressed me in no time. Then the whole service runs powered by Free software. It uses the OpenMicroBlogging protocol which means that the other similar services can easily interact with it and the users don’t have to create different accounts with different services leading to isolated communities. (And we have to recourse to poor integration alternatives like Ping.FM and HelloTxt.com).

The service is in its infancy still, so use it only if you want to get a feel of it or submit bug and feature requests to help improve the product. Look at the roadmap to and tell me if you are impressed or not. To host it on your own server/domain, you can download laconi.ca source code from its darcs repository(a tar ball is also available). To see an example of laconi.ca being hosted on a private server, go to Foozik.

[ I was not able to login to Foozik.com using my OpenID account though. I wonder if it was intentionally disabled or if there was a glitch in the service. Russell Beattie, the guy who installed Laconi.ca on Foozik.com, also explains why the current architecture of laconica/identi.ca is not scalable. (Also reproves Twitter.com) ]

Another open source social networking software written using Ruby on Rails framework is RailsSpace, which was originally created as part of the book RailsSpace: Building a Social Networking Website with Ruby on Rails. [ Sidenote: Excellent write-up on how to upgrade Rails applications to Rails 2.1 version: A Rails 2.1 case study: upgrading the Insoshi social networking platform ]

Elgg is another open source social networking web application software that is closer to Facebook in functionality than Twitter. You are supposed to download it and install it on your server. Lot of educational institutes are reportedly using this software.

Mugshot is RedHat’s hosted social networking service. I don’t know how easy it is to get its source code and install it on a private server.

Didn’t satisfy your palate yet? Check the list of 10 open source social networking[1] software on Mashable.com. So see you at Identi.ca, let’s turn the heat on!

[1] term used in the broadest sense of its meaning

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