Funambol Pounds Out New Mobile OSS Forge

Open source mobile messaging software developer Funambol has created a new open source software (OSS) forge as a central collaboration site for mobile OSS developers around the world.

The Web site pulls together some 50,000 global developers to a combination of wikis, blogs and forums in addition to discussions and code for 30 open source mobile projects.

“The really cool thing about this is that it is for hardcore techies who can also get these details by subscribing to an e-mail list. We are pushing the convenience factor. This is a new way to collaborate on new mobile open source projects,” Hal Steger, vice president of marketing for Funambol, told LinuxInsider.

At the new Funambol Forge, located here, developers and other community members can work on mobile projects, share technical tips, and download software and documentation. The new forge houses source and binary code for the open source Funambol Community Edition and many Funambol-based community projects.

It incorporates a new Discussion Services area that provides both mailing lists and online forums, as well as a new online support forum for the myFunambol portal. It is also the access point for all of Funambol’s community programs, such as the Code Sniper and Phone Sniper programs.

Rallying Point

Funambol worked on developing its forge site for the last nine months, according to Steger. The project is the fruition of Funambol’s association with openCollabNet.

The CollabNet platform integrates with a wide variety of software development tools to provide a complete solution for distributed application lifecycle management. Visitors to the collabXchange can discover and download integrations from CollabNet, the community and CollabNet Technology Partners.

“This will be a very exciting thing for people in the mobile world,” Steger said.

Funambol took the content on open source from four or five existing Web-based communities such as Source Forge and Yahoo Groups and merged them into one location on its new forge site, he explained.

Growth Factor

“The new Funambol Forge is the result of the tremendous growth of the Funambol community that has seen the number of Funambol downloads exceed 2 million,” said Stefano Maffulli, the new Funambol community manager. “We wanted to respond to the needs of the largest global community of mobile developers by offering a place where they can collaborate, learn and contribute to innovative mobile software.”

Funambol provides opens source push e-mail and personal information management (PIM) sync tools for the mass market that support more than 1.5 billion mobile devices, including phones from Apple, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG and others. The company has been pioneering a new ad-funded model for mobile e-mail that it can offer to users for free, according to Funambol. The company also offers mobile operators and service providers around the globe a commercial version of the company’s software.

“Funambol has been the leading advocate of open source software for the mobile industry for many years, and has played a major role in fostering the world’s largest mobile open source community. Hosting a forge for mobile open source development is a natural for us,” said Fabrizio Capobianco, CEO of Funambol. “Proprietary software approaches cannot keep up with the rapid pace of change in the mobile industry. The Funambol Forge will further ensure that development efforts are accelerated to meet the demand of this market.”

Forge Foray

Fuambol set up its forge site with portal-like feature and navigation. For instance, a menu panel provides quick access to open source downloads, community downloads, community programs, a social contract page and developer team page.

The forge site also provides access to community support, core projects and a blog.

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