{ Hi! I'm Mike }
I'm a core developer with The Horde Project and a founding parter of Horde LLC - the company behind the world's most flexible groupware platform. This is my personal blog full of random thoughts about development and life in general.
September 27, 2009

Ansel, Kronolith, and more...

Wow, it's been since June 10th, almost 4 months since my last entry. Time flies...especially when you are busy. In the interest of keeping people informed, here are some of the new things I've been working on with regards to The Horde Project,  with an indication as to what version of Horde the work applies to:

Horde_Service_Twitter (H4 Only)

Since stating to use twitter, I figured it would be helpful to have my Twitter timeline appear in Horde, since that's what is usually loaded in my browser. Following my typical NIH rule when it comes to Horde, the result is the new Horde_Service_Twitter library and the twitter_timeline block for Horde's portal.  Horde_Service_Twitter supports authentication to Twitter via both the standard http authentication method as well as via OAuth. The latter making use of the Horde_Oauth library. The portal block allows you to publish a new tweet,  shows the most recent tweets by the people you are following and allows you to reply to a displayed tweet.

The addition of Horde_Service_Twitter, along with Horde_Service_Facebook, adds some exciting possibilities for integration points with other Horde applications. Horde already has some address book and calendar integration with Facebook, but other possibilities include things like automatically posting a notification to Twitter or Facebook when a set of new images are uploaded to Ansel, or maybe when a new blog post is published with Jonah.


Ansel (H3 and H4)

Ansel has gotten a fair amount of work recently and is ready for a 1.1 release. The most obvious change is full support of geo-tagging features.  Ansel has always been able to read,and display an image's meta data...but up until now you couldn't do much with any of the location data. Now, Ansel will recognize GPS coordinates in the meta data and display small thumbnails of those images in an embedded Google Map. There are various locations throughout Ansel where you can view these maps. You can also add location data to images that do not contain it as well as edit any existing location data. Full support for reverse geocoding means that you can (re)tag an image by either typing a textual name for the location (such as Philadelphia, PA) or by typing in actual GPS lat/lng coordinates. Of course, you can also (re)tag an image simply by browsing the Google Map and clicking where you want the image to be located.

Ansel's bleeding edge code has officially moved out of Horde's CVS repository and into the git repository, horde-hatchery. A fair amount of refactoring and internal improvements have already been done in getting Ansel and Horde_Image ready for Horde 4. Among these changes is better support for image meta data, with a new driver based on exif tool. This allows recognition of not only EXIF tags, but also IPTC and XMP data as well.



iPhoto/Aperture Export Plug-Ins (H3 and H4)

Related to the Ansel application, are new export plug-ins for both of Apple's image management applications, iPhoto and Aperture.  Currently available via Horde's horde-hatchery git repository, these plug-ins allow you to upload your images directly to an Ansel server from within iPhoto or Aperture. All meta data is retained when uploaded, including keywords that added using Aperture or iPhoto. You are able to create new galleries from the plug-in's interface, browse thumbnails of existing Ansel galleries (to see what images you have previously uploaded), and choose if the images should be resized (and to what size) before uploading.  Both plug-ins support configuring multiple Ansel servers if you happen to have access to different installations.

Even though these live in horde-hatchery, they will work with both Ansel 1.x as well as the bleeding edge Ansel code that lives in  the hatchery. The iPhoto exporter supports iPhoto '08 and later, and the Aperture exporter is written for Aperture 2.1 or later.  Both require OS X 10.5 or later. They should run on either PPC or Intel hardware, but have only been tested on Intel. Currently they are available only as source (which can easily be compiled using XCode) but a development build should be available shortly.



Kronolith (H4 only)

I've been tasked with adding support for resource scheduling to Kronolith, and the work is mostly complete. Resources may be invited to events by the event organizer using the existing attendees interface. Resources can be set up to automatically determine if they are available, and respond to the request automatically. There is also support for resource groups. Resource Groups are just a grouping of resources that are similar. When a group is invited to a meeting, the first available resource from that group will accept the invitation. For example, you have 10 projectors available and it doesn't really matter which projector is used for a meeting. Instead of going through all the projectors to see which one is available, you can just invite the projector group to the event. The first projector that is available during the meeting time will accept the invitation.