First of all, I’m very happy with the interest we saw in this, it seems people are aware of and care for the privacy issues there and are very eager to use a free software alternative to the proprietary services, that’s very motivating.
When actually trying the currently existing software many people seem to run into the limited integration with other email clients or workflows we have right now. If you aren’t using either a KMail / Nextcloud / Davdroid or a KMail / KDE Connect setup you’ll have a hard time to actually get useful data into the KDE Itinerary app.
That doesn’t come as a surprise, so far the focus has been on demonstrating this can be done at all, not on widespread integration. That however has been kept in mind, the extraction engine is designed as a shared library independent of any KMail specifics to enable this.
In particular, the following scenarios have been often requested:
- A Thunderbird extraction plugin, similar to what we do in KMail right now.
- An extraction plugin for Nextcloud, to do the extraction automatically on the server side, more similar to how this works with Google.
- Being able to import all supported data directly into the KDE Itinerary app (this works in theory, but trying to keep the app lightweight and therefore making some of the dependencies for the extractor engine optional turns out to be counter-productive).
- Integration with Android email clients, possibly via generic sharing mechanism on Android.
- Support GSConnect alongside KDE Connect.
This all makes sense of course, we could use some help with getting this done though.
Another interesting thing to learn was that there is an entire community around open data and free software around transportation, beyond just OpenStreetMap. I wasn’t aware of the extend of this. And obviously there are interesting opportunities for collaboration.
The first such collaboration is with Navitia, for access to schedules and real-time traffic information for public transport networks. This actually has a long history in KDE with the Plasma 4 era Public Transport applet. That suffered from sustainability issues with supporting a wide range of public transport operators, so it’s obviously a good idea to share that work with others having the same need. And we certainly wouldn’t want to duplicate all that again for KDE Itinerary. More on this to come.