Sunday, 29 May 2011

Cross Platform Mobile Application for Sakai CLE

First, I would like to introduce myself. I am Kasun Lakpriya Hettige from Sri Lanka, following a computer science and engineering degree in University of Moratuwa. I am willing to do my higher studies in Software Engineering field.

For those who are not heard of the project here are few links:

Idea of this project is to build an mobile application for Sakai CLE to use in many kinds of mobile platforms like Android, iOS, BlackBerry and etc. For this we are using a cross platform library called phoneGap. More details about phoneGap

Tools and technologies
Though the app is going to be ported with different platforms due to some limitations I am developing for Android to test in emulators. Here are my working environment details:
  • Eclipse (3.5 or higher)
  • Android SDK
  • ADT plug-in
  • MDS AppLaud 1.2 PhoneGap for Android plug-in - This is optional but useful due to its inbuilt,
    • phoneGap support
    • HTML, JS and CSS project support
    • Touch-Optimized UI frame support for popular jQuery mobile and Sencha Touch JS libraries at the moment
    • All in one support is a big plus for me
NOTE: To use AppLaud you need Eclipse Helios.
As discussed with mentor I will be moving forward with jQuery mobile for now. Here are few screens of the app. 
Your ideas, comments are welcome all the time and will really helpful to come up with a nice product. And the best place to collaborate and to get more information about the project would be the above mentioned confluence space. I will be posting here with the progress and the things I will get to know in the meantime. So I hope that anybody who is willing develop mobile apps using these technologies will find this interesting.

Thanking Charith for helping hand with Photoshop and Avinash for some sample screens! :-) 

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Sakai Fellows 2011 announced

Carl Hall has just been made a Sakai Fellow for "exceptional contributions to the community".  Congratulations Carl!

Impressively for our 2011 Sakai GSoC projects, I'm pretty sure Carl's elevation means that all five of our mentors are Sakai Fellows.  You can't buy training like that..

Brief bios of the 2011 Fellows can be found at

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Largest ever number of students accepted!

Huge congratulations to all FOUR of our successful applicants, all of whom impressed our mentors with their combination of skill, experience, enthusiasm and ideas.

Mai Giménez: Sakai OAE native mobile app
  • Mentor: Carl Hall (Hallway Technologies)
  • Mai is a final year student of computer science at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain.  Mai is a great communicator and is actually returning from a related project in Sakai CLE last year so will be hitting the ground running.

Kasun Lakpriya: Sakai CLE mobile app

  • Mentor: Steve Swinsburg
 (Australian National University)
  • Kasun is a final year student at the University of Moratuwa, following a computer science and engineering degree. Kasun is massively enthusiastic about this project and has the distinction of being our first GSoC student from Sri Lanka.

Aadish Kotwal: Sakai OAE Column Storage Driver

  • Mentor: Ian Boston (University of Cambridge)
  • Aadish impressed us immensely with his pre-application research and is probably ready to get started right now.  He is a fourth-year Computer Engineering student at the University of Mumbai, India. 

Manoj Inukolunu: Improve Sakai CLE WebDAV support
  • Mentors: Anthony Whyte (University of Michigan) and Seth Theriault (Columbia University)
  • A fourth-year CS student at Birla Institute Of Technology and Sciences (BITS), Pilani, Goa, Manoj is also returning from last year.  This time around though he couldn't have a more different project, or one with a better chance of wide deployment.  We're counting on you, Manoj!

Big kudos to all our other applicants also - several of the projects this year had more than one outstanding application and it really wasn't easy for us to choose.  Four slots is what Google have given us though and we're really grateful for all four of them, especially as that's the most slots ever for Sakai.  

Between now and May 23rd the students will be getting to know the Sakai project and community and talking to their mentors to flesh out their plans and prepare for the main project phase.  These projects aren't just fixing bugs; they're breaking new ground with improved and extended functionality.  It won't be enough simply to write code - the students will have to produce code which is useful and maintainable enough that others will take it on even when GSoC is over, as users and as maintainers. It's no mean challenge and they'll need to draw heavily on their mentors' experience to be successful.

So that everyone can see how they're getting on I'll be asking the students (and mentors!) to post updates here, starting with introductions, but expect to see them in JIRA, Confluence, IRC and the mailing lists as well.