Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

There is an ongoing discussion on a Gnome mailing list which points out that Gnome and KDE might collaborate for a new project: a FLOSS alternative to Dropbox.

One might think: well, we have Ubuntu One - but that's only for Ubuntu (even though work is done to port it to other Linux distributions too - or it was done at some point) and also it's KDE integration is still experimental (and not official as far as I know). And finally: many will agree that Ubuntu One is not the best implementation of this great idea so there is room for some competition. And also, the Ubuntu One server is not open source (only the client is) and it seems there are no plans to open-source it.

The Gnome and KDE approach is more towards an collaboration tool, but which is very close to Dropbox. The DE independent FLOSS Dropbox alternative idea came because Google Summer of Code is approaching and both Gnome and KDE have a collaboration tool on their list:

  • GNOME has ideas for the front-end:
http://live.gnome.org/SummerOfCode2010/Ideas#Other_Ideas (Collaboration server/client)

  • KDE focuses more on the back-end:

Digging deeper into this discussion, we find out that the KDE front-end called ownCloud is intended to be something more than Dropbox:

Please note that ownCloud is much more than just a DropBox replacement.

We already have a KDE frontend for the syncing client for KDE GSoC planed. It would be fantastic if somebody from GNOME would write the GNOME frontend.

It would be great if we could make this a shared KDE/GNOME project.

[quote from here]

I think it would be awesome to have a free software equivalent to Dropbox and even more awesome to have one created by a KDE/GNOME team.

The GNOME Foundation would be interested in hosting the services part. We'd need to talk about requirements.

[quote from here]

The ownCloud idea is that everybody can host it individually but a hosted solution will also be possible. In the beginning it will allow file hosting like Dropbox, but then add a lot more features like an individual music server or photo gallery.

How will it work? How much space will the users get? Those and many other questions will remain unanswered for now but it's great to know a GNOME + KDE FLOSS alternative to Dropbox might be on it's way. Don't you think?