Congratulations Moblin on the 2.0 release

by davidnielsen

Let the integration begin

Here are things I hope to see in future Moblin releases:

  • Better integration of instant messaging in the Moblin UI, having to drop an empathy window on an empty zone doesn’t feel very “mobliny”
  • Wordprocessing with collaboration features ala Sugars Write activity
  • ARM support
  • An integrated browser using process separation like Chrome for stability as well as having the UI rethought to maximize the usable work area. Hopefully a rewrite for WebKit could also happen.
  • Stop this Anjal silliness (yes we did debate that before, I remain unconvinced that this is even remotely the right direction)
  • I would love to see some version of Banshee in there, I have not had a good experience with homebrew media library.

A more general problem I see in computing today that Moblin and the type of device it is designed for reveal. I have probably a good TB of data lying around. Music in FLAC, a sufficient number of podcasts to make me look obsessed and naturally video. In fact I hope to add to this collection and have a centralized collection of all my movies. Now I have little desire to carry all that data with me and besides SSD drives should really not need to be more than 64 gigs tops. Yet the flaw in this plan is that we have no good means of transparently letting a nice little machine with some hardcore storage and a suitable Linux appliance act as if it is a seamless overlay on the filesystem when connection can be had be that my wifi or any secure means of calling home when I am away.

All our applications seem designed for local use and expect your full collection to be available on disk at all times and with this amount of storage required that is not possible. The popular solutions such as dropbox or Canonicals Ubuntu One all focus on synchronization which is not possible due to size and even if it was it would be impractical but worse still more certainly undesirable. If I was to lose my netbook and it had 700-800 gigs of my personal data on it, even with encryption I would feel pretty damn scared. I just need access to my data I don’t need it in my pocket as such.

I think we need to tackle this problem soon, I even suspect there is a business here in selling such devices capable of talking the quited protocols. A NAS on crack type device you put in a closet and which then via some nice open standards allow all your devices to have storage and data sharing, at home or out. There is e.g. no reason why my cellphone shouldn’t be able to use it’s 3G connection to stream my music or handle podcasts with storage being done in the safety of my home. Essentially I believe outside the storage taken up for applications and the OS on any device, in this scheme should be thought of as a cache for frequently used data on that device to allow it usefulness in situations without connection.

As a bonus for the redundancy seeking people one might add a paid service involving cloud storage. There are also promising p2p based systems like this which we could easily let the device act as a client for when the network is idle.

This would probably all be some Linux appliance homebrewers could slap on an idle clunker but there would definitely be a business in selling devices with extendable storage for this purpose as well.

The idea sounds vaguely like a cloud concept the average person should be able to follow and trust.. surely it is venture capital friendly.