[Freedombox-discuss] Prospective packages for FreedomBox

Joseph Nuthalapati njoseph at thoughtworks.com
Sun Dec 3 15:17:44 UTC 2017

This is in response to Augustine's email:

> I've also been using unison for years.  It would be nice if unison could
> be supported seamlessly on the freedombox and be the hub for the
> internal network.  Or is syncthing the modern replacement of unison?

I haven't used Unison, but Syncthing is quite a good
file-synchronization solution, in my opinion.
Syncthing can synchronize files between multiple peers (not just two).
It can also synchronize files between clients that are behind NAT using
global discovery and relaying features (which need third-party
centralized servers).

If we think of file-synchronization as a service, then a lot of apps
that save their data to files can use a file-synchronization tool like
Syncthing/Unison as a synchronization backend. Earlier, I've written a
use-case of using Syncthing as a synchronization backend for a
note-taking app called Orgzly.
(Sorry for pointing you to Medium. I have a few hurdles to cross before
I have my self-hosted blog).

For me, this is the process to add cloud-like features to any application:

 1. Take any desktop application (notes, lists, pictures, wikis etc.)
    and find its data directory.
 2. Add the directory to Syncthing.
 3. Synchronize the directory to FreedomBox.
 4. Find a mobile app that can read the same format. Set its data
    directory to the directory that is synchronized and available on

This has been working well for me so far, for notes (emacs + orgzly),
pictures and videos (built-in desktop and mobile applications). I've
also used Syncthing to sync my text-expansions (autokey or
text-expander) between machines.

Theoretically, a simple text file combined with Syncthing can become a
rudimentary chat application. Two users can keep appending their
messages to the end of a text file and that text file is their chat log.

> I would really really like Shaarli to come back.  It was the first
> application I used way back then but it was removed apparently because
> of upgrade/dependency incompatibilities.  It also has an android app
> (shaarlier) that works with it.

I haven't used shaarli or delicious but I'm more of a
Read-it-later/Pocket user. I'm looking forward to using Wallabag for my
bookmarks soon once it's packaged. I like the fact that these apps save
the content offline, not having to depend on the website staying up.

We will have more and more apps integrated into FreedomBox in time, but
for now, I'd say you can always synchronize the data directories of your
favorite apps across machines for a cloud-application-like experience.

Thanks for the feedback.

Joseph Nuthalapati
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