WebAccounts, making social/cloud easier

This blogpost was written 2 months ago, mind that !

As you may know, for the last months I have been working on BlueSystems, one of my main projects has been creating a working prototype of “WebAccounts”.

What is WebAccounts?
It is a centralize place where both, users and applications can configure accounts related to various social/cloud services such twitter, identi.ca, google, facebook, dropbox, owncloud, ftp servers…

How is it done?
We have implemented a KCM (module within System Settings) that allows the user to configure a set of accounts (at the moment Google, Facebook, Owncloud and runnersID), once the account is configured you can enable a few services for each account, for example for Google you can enable: email, calendar, contacts, tasks and chat.

Right now, the only integration is from within WebAccounts towards the already existing subsystems such akonadi or telepathy. In the future will be those projects the ones providing plugins and asking WebAccounts for credentials and information.

Is it really worth it?
In Akademy-es 2012 we presented the project to the audience there. One of the points I added in the slide was the amount of steps needed to configure a Google account right now and how many steps were needed to do it in WebAccounts. I don’t remember the exact number but it was something like 25 to 3.

Places where to configure a Google account right now:

  • Add the account to Telepathy (one wizard, add credentials)
  • Use the KMail wizard to add the account (credentials asked again)
  • Configure Contact  (again add the same credentials)
  • Configure Calendar, select the account added when Contact was added
  • Configure Tasks, can be done in the same step of Calendar

With WebAcounts this would be:

  • Click on “Add Google account”
  • Introduce credentials (only once)
  • Select all services (selected by default)

As you can see, the amount of steps has been reduced drastically actually bringing the possibility of integrating these kind of accounts in the workspace in an easy and clean way.

How it looks like?

Be aware that this is a prototype! I expect the real version to look way nicer !

WebAccounts first GUIGoogle wizardAll services checked

And how it works?
(Choose 1080 quality for better video)

Vimeo link

Direct Link

Future?

Big part of WebAcounts future is going to be discussed at Akademy2012, where I hope to trace a roadmap together with the rest of people interested on it so we can push this concept further.

  • Mark

    I have noticed that Telepathy and Akonadi-Facebook request cookie permissions. I suspect that these are handled with normal browser (as Kopete unfortunately also does). Are there or are there plans for the webaccounts to have from the browser independend cookie storages? I prefert to have rather restrictive cookie settings in Konqueror/ Rekonq and it would be a shame, if I needed to change this due to webaccounts (which is a very cool project btw).

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      It works that way already with Google, Facebook WIP.

  • Alex

    Are there any plans to make this integrate with gnome-online-accounts (e.g. setting up an account in WebAccounts lets Evolution use the account)?

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      Nope

  • redsteakraw

    I think that an overall first time wizzard should pop up whith this as a part of it. I like akonadi’s facebook configuration since it supports my sms code input screen that facebook needs before I login or add anything on a new machine. The one concern is security, I would like akonadi and telepathy to access this but no other apps unless I say so. As for the first time start wizzard this needs to pop up for first time users otherwise the awesomeness of the feature will be overlooked. This solves one problem I have had, I set up akonadi facebook and then found out I would have to reconfigure the firefox /google accounts in telepathy. Thanks for the great work.

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      There are discussions to create something that will allow us to identify in a secure way each application (certificates), so we can implement this properly.

      Problem now is that all we use (all free desktops) as an Id is the simple Application name, that of course can be faked.

  • David Edmundson

    Stop pissin’ about and release it already! It’s already useful, you don’t need to be able to manage every account under the Sun before you get some users using it.

    Release early, release often.

    (and I’ll to stop breaking the KTp API :P. In fact, make sure someone from KTp re-reviews the KTp part, I had lots of comments last time.)

    • dave lepore

      +1

      As an example, see how much calligra apps and kde-telepathy have improved since they started to make public releases. Mark it as alpha version, state clearly that it is an alpha and release, your code will thank you.

  • http://about.me/bjornballard Björn Ballard

    How do I download and test this incredibly useful piece of software? This has been needed for a very long time. I’d really like to help with testing in an attempt to expedite its release and final inclusion in KDE4.

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      From the kde:web-accounts repo

  • Saurav Sengupta

    Does this actually create Akonadi resources? Because if it does, it will suffer from the same problem as Akonadi resources currently do. Connecting to the Internet so that all resources come online, and then disconnecting causes Akonadi to constantly keep popping up messages that a resource failed to connect. This does not happen with GNOME Online Accounts, so if it keeps happening with WebAccounts, the latter will still not offer a usable solution for KDE.

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      This is something we have to fix in akonadi, and we will.

      • Saurav Sengupta

        Glad to hear that. If WebAccounts uses Akonadi resources and the problem is fixed, it will surely be something to look forward to.

  • http://linuxblogx6.wordpress.com Sergio Esaù Aràmbula Duràn

    Pretty cool work I love it but why not export and sync your Google reader feeds with akregator too? this kcm add on will result pretty mutch usefull, if you add WL too will be better

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      The author of akonadi-google is working on that, see http://www.progdan.cz/

  • Aaron Honeycutt

    I would find this so amazing, I just would need Microsoft Live/ Hotmail/Outlook support and I would be golden.

    1. Use the Live for my outlook email.
    2. Use the Google for my Calendar

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      Working on it !

  • Pingback: KDE arbeitet nun auch an der Integration von Online-Konten in den Desktop | Softwareperlen()

  • Felix

    Nice to see this work. I am using gnome-online-accounts or ubuntu-online-accounts which are very usefull. I hope that at least some of the infrastrucutre can be shared …

  • Pingback: WebAccounts – bliżej chmury web | KDEFamily()

  • gryffus

    So what about the release? I would package web-accounts for openSUSE but i cannot find any source code…
    Or what KDE version do you target for inclusion?

  • Pingback: wordpress()