Thursday, March 7, 2013

Welcome

UPADTE: You can now download the very early test version from here...

Looking for a replacement for iGoogle?

Many people's favorite startpage is currently a Google product titled iGoogle. I use iGoogle heavily every single day and I'm certainly not looking forward to November when Google has announced that they will retire the site. I've been looking at the alternatives, but I've not yet found a solution that fits my needs. I've been looking at:

uStart.com
Protopage
Myfav.es
Netvibes
Allmyfaves

So, I decided to start a project of my own which fit my personal needs. This got me thinking that perhaps other iGoogle users might be interested in this too.

This is NOT a mockup, this is a screenshot!

I'm currently working on a solution and this is, so far, my humble goals:

  • A selfhosted solution on my own domain (like www.BobsStartPage.com).
  • Accessable from anywhere without the need for a special browser or operative system.
  • No ads!
  • Free and open-source code for everyone to use, modify and share.

How will this work?

The project is based on Wordpress. Wordpress is a open-source blogging platform and might seem like an odd choice at first. I believe that the friendly UI, extensive documentation and huge availability of widgets is just a few of the many positives.
I've created a basic theme that is easily installed. Afterwards you have all the widgets (about 3.400) for Wordpress available to you and of course you can code your own with a bit of PHP.
It is of course obvious that there must support for Google Gadgets too.

Want to try it?

Woah, hold your horses fella! There's not a lot to try just yet, but hopefully there will be by the time November is here. As you can see on the right side of this page, even the name is still missing (remember to cast your vote). Keep in mind that I'm merely a hobbyist developer myself, and so if you want to contribute, in anyway possible, PLEASE don't hesitate to get in touch!
I do have some working code (see the screenshot above), but there's a massive list of things to do and fix. Three, for me, essential features are currently missing:
  • Gmail support! I've already looked into this and I can read the inbox emails with IMAP, but unfortunately my current webhost doesn't support that, so I can't test the code.
  • Facebook intergration! There's already a lot of WP plugins for FB - must investigate if there's something useful.
  • Security! The security has a high priority and must be thoroughly tested. 

Ideas, suggestions or just plain feedback is recived with open arms in the comments below :-D

//MadsRH