Google Summer of Code Ideas

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About Amahi

We're looking for students with skills in these areas: current technologies like RoR, ruby, python, PHP, as well as next generation technologies, like Go (we use it for streaming to our mobile apps), Node.js, HTTP/2, javascript frameworks for user interaction, visualization or server services, etc.

We're also looking for hardware projects! Creating a Raspberry Pi-style device with great I/O that can run Amahi smoothly is a long-tem goal for Amahi!

Amahi started of a need to keep a personal/home cloud server, keep all my family's photos, videos, documents, and generally any data. It expanded into running applications, mostly web apps, from anything to doing backups to automatic downloaders, media managers and much more.

Amahi is a full and proper server made up of

  • A Linux system based on a mainline distribution, currently Fedora, but we supported Ubuntu before as well
  • An installer to help the user bring bring Amahi up in their system
  • A platform, which is a web app that the user uses to manage their server, add apps
  • Apps that are installed by using the platform
  • Two mobile apps to access data and apps, for Android and iOS.

At Amahi we use git (see our Github repo) for our version management and the technologies we have ended up using are Ruby, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Linux system internal technologies like system services, configuration areas, web server virtualhosts, databases, DNS, etc., etc.

What to do (and NOT do) first

Let's talk about what NOT to do first, because many people automatically start badly by doing these:

  • do not comment randomly in github issues, e.g. introducing yourself in a GH issue, saying you would like to do something, or just "make noise"
  • do not blindly try to build things without understanding what Amahi is and what it does
  • do not just submit a pull request or issue a bug without really knowing what you are up to
  • do not just come to IRC, say something and vanish shortly thereafter. Stay for a while. People come and go. Ask your question and stick around. Get a client that can linger for a while. Sometimes it takes hours for some people to return

BUT First, Introduce yourself, interact with the community, so please introduce yourself with this form, so that we know your background and interests.

If you have questions about Amahi or just want to interact, you can contact us via IRC on #amahi on irc.freenode.net (fairly active) or on the amahi-devel mailing list (not as active). Don't forget that we are open to suggestions, extensions or adaptations. Feel free to discuss or propose new ideas for projects!

One of the most important things is to find an area that you enjoy, using a programming environment that you know or that you are willing to learn quickly, so read below or ask questions.

If you are interested in being a mentor, we have a few great mentors as of today, but we're very welcoming of more ideas and more mentors!

See the mentors below. Looking for ideas to mentor, see the other ideas below.

List of Project Ideas

We have organized the ideas in groups, depending what area of Amahi they belong in. These groups are not in any particular order. For instance if you are a front-end person who knows HTML and Javascript, the GUI/UX may well be the best fit and we'd love to hear from you!

Platform

Plugin Apps

Plugins are "mini apps" that live inside the Amahi platform and thus little interface need to be developed for them. They are familiar and provide easy, focused value to the user. Ideas:


Mentors: Rod, Carlos

Disk Wizard

Description: Expanding the storage capacity is an important feature of Amahi. The DW is a critical part. However, it's not as stable as it should be. It should detect more partition types and handle everything gracefully, even when it can't act upon certain configurations.

Objective: Stability improvements and especially thoroughly testing this plugin for disk/partition management.

Skills Required: Low level system scripting

Mentors: Rod, Carlos

References:


Amahi 12

Description: Amahi 12 is our next release.

Objective: Work closely with the core team to define the features and functionality that we need to implement to get Amahi released. This project is about working on RoR and the Amahi platform core. Some of the core technology will need to be upgraded, like Rails 5, latest Phusion Passenger, possibly replace MySQL for the platform, create a native API to the platform that can be used by other apps, like mobile apps. Other ideas include beefing up security and provide support for Amahi hosting on the cloud. Features:

  • make platform even more modular and cleaner (at the moment we still have some things that really belong in plugins but still are in controllers/views of the main app)
  • possibly using a new metal layer instead of passenger - especially ones that do not take a long time to reload, could be puma, i also like thin, maybe others
  • better initialization ... like a more standard (wordpress-like) initialization wizard (initially there are no users, we need to create an admin user and perhaps ask a few questions and integrate with amahi.org)
  • Implement sharing of folders among the friend servers.


Skills Required: RoR, ruby, JS, CSS, HTML5, Bootstrap

Mentors: Carlos, Rod, Sukhbir

Reference: Amahi Platform repo

Mobile Apps

Our mobile apps have streaming, browsing and sharing and it's a great topic.

This year we're going to try emphasizing the iOS app a little more. The Android app also has a few areas of improvement.

iOS App Improvements

Description: Amahi iOS app supports all basic functionalities including browsing files on HDA, streaming audio/video, offline file access but still lacks a lot of features compared to its Android counterpart

Objective: Addition of new features and improvements in pre-existing ones in iOS app in swift to at least match or surpass the Android app

Things to be implemented:

  • Secondary user login
  • Chromecast support
  • Metadata display
  • Continuous music play
  • Upload and delete functionality
  • Thumbnail previews


Skills Required: iOS programming, Swift

Mentors: Carlos, Chirag

Reference: Amahi iOS app repo

Android App Improvements

Description: Amahi android offers the ability to stream your HDA over your Android phone and Android TV, support for Chromecast and auto upload of images to HDA. The next step is to complete the following objectives:

Objectives:

  • Add support for secondary user login support in the Android app over both Local and Remote connection.
   https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1jZAdXpSGQRJ6xN2WCzqkiPxQPUW2VHsAnpENZKbT2z0/
  • Develop a module which does an Auto backup of the phone to the HDA over Local connection (reference: Helium).
  • Implement sharing of folders or shares with other servers.
   https://docs.google.com/document/d/14JsH9-aZrE3Z-35Oo38IY1-3Nd5BJiR_G0DshhjKSM4/
  • Add support for VPN proxy so that user can access the HDA from the phone over a VPN proxy tunnel.
  • Implementing the PlayerAdapter in Android TV to support previews.
  • Adding an Expresso based automated UI testing protocol.
  • Improving the layouts for both portrait and landscape mode and other UI/UX improvements so that they adhere to the latest material design guidelines from Google.
  • Creating a new Theme Amahi Light whose colour scheme adheres to the colour scheme of the Amahi website.
  • Store and display the last opened of each file.


Skills Required: Java, Android framework

Mentors: Carlos, Bogdan, Kumar

Reference: Amahi Android Github repo

Apps

Innovative app or app packaging and app-related projects.

Improved VPN Security

Description: Improve the security of our OpenVPN and IPSec VPN apps. Examples are allowing users to generate their own certificates, identify weak spots and strengthen them.

Objective: For the example of generating their own certificates, build a wizard to allow users to create and manage their certificates. Another goal would be to provide logging of VPN connections, so that the user can see the activity on their VPN.

Skills Required: keen sense of security settings, certificates

Mentors: Rod, Carlos

Caching Server

Description: a caching proxy to save on bandwidth

Objective: Develop a plugin that will allow an administrator user to control the traffic for specific devices inside the network. This app (or possibly a plugin) should display all the connected device as well as provide the ability to search by name/MAC address. For a selected device the administrator should:

  • Limit access between certain time intervals
  • Limit bandwidth
  • Block certain websites (either on an individual basis or read them from a file)
  • Limit traffic


Skills Required: system configuration and scripting

Mentors: Carlos, Rod

Create UI and package it for RSnapshot

Description: Make a UI for rsnapshot

Objective: RSnapshot is a great application to backup local data, making efficient use of storage as well as CPU resources and can handle a lot of data. A one-click app that includes a UI to set up and manage RSnapshot backups. Also, possibly backup to GDrive, S3, other cloud solutions

Skills Required: RoR, system programming

Mentor: Carlos, Rod, Sukhbir

References

Installer

Improved Installation

Description: Improved installation experience for users.

Objective: Configuration and installation of Amahi can be painful for some percentage of users. Many of them do not know much or care for Linux. We want to make the installation as smooth as possible not just for them, but for more even more regular (non-techy) users. Ubuntu has some challenges of its own to make it work without dropping the users to the command line.

  • Create a new Anaconda node for Amahi configuration
  • Similarly for Ubuntu
  • Make images that enable booting from USB devices "out of the box"
  • Detect sub-optimal configurations of disk partitions and provide feedback to the user
  • Measure and analyze how users get tripped on installation and create ways to tackle these issues, bringing installation issues down


Idea: use this package to help improve installation networking issues.

Skills Required: Python, Linux boot process internals, creating ISO images

Mentors: Carlos, Rod

Amahi Anywhere

The mobile apps use API endpoints provided by Amahi Anywhere for browsing, downloading and streaming files and more.

References:

Improvements in AA File Server

Description: Amahi Anywhere File Server exposes HDA files and directories via REST APIs and also allows to upload new files

Objective: Following features can be implemented:

  • API to access platform apps over remote via proxy
  • Better logging (Issue #4)
  • Simplistic dashboard to view some metrics like number of users connected, access logs for each user, system health etc.
  • API to fetch metadata (duration, codec, album art image, title, artist name, album name, year etc.) for audio / video files
  • Create and cache low resolution thumbnail for image files for faster loading and enhanced experience


Skills Required: GoLang, REST API Understanding

Mentors: Carlos, Chirag

Reference: Amahi Anywhere FS Github repo

Improvements in External Proxy

Description: External proxy provides API endpoints for users to remotely access Amahi Anywhere File Server

Objective: Following features can be implemented:

  • Cache implementation for chunks of files passing frequently through proxy to speed up response and save bandwidth
  • Dashboard to view metrics on both connected mobile and Amahi Anywhere FS clients
  • Ability to ban a client


Skills Required: GoLang

Mentors: Carlos, Chirag

Other Ideas

  • Add features to our popular mobile apps: Offer to display image-heavy folders and shares within a "gallery" or collection view, add the ability to navigate and stream shares containing music in a streamlined way, Dynamic search, SPDY support, for both remote and local queries, support for accessing HDA web applications within Amahi for iOS, share folders and files from your HDA to other apps or users, support for HDA user permissions (share & web app restrictions, etc.). Mentors available: Carlos
  • PHP API: make a native PHP SDK for the Amahi platform, so that PHP apps (we have a lot of them) can more easy be integrated
  • Integrate a mail server as an app. Identify any settings or configuration that need to be implemented in the platform
  • Router integration, UPNP, direct control
  • Port AES (Amahi Energy Server) to the latest Amahi
  • Integration of LDAP as a back-end management system, calendaring
  • Feature development (examples):
  • Calendaring, and integrated contact manager application. Possible options: 1) ownCloud based or 2) Apache carddav
  • For the more design-oriented, build mobile theme(s)
  • Documentation or screencasts/tutorials
  • Use sandboxing and containers to improve app stability, updating and more
  • Improve installation and user onboarding (OOBE)
  • Better upgrades with backup of apps, settings, etc.
  • Create a backup and restore function for the Amahi Server (Idea is to backup the of the setting like the shares, paths and Fixed IP address and Mac Address, remove all the data drives) reinstall the OS or Upgrade and then put the data dives back in and then restore all the setting)
  • make the Amahi front end webpage more mobile-friendly
  • Add Icon for the install app pages and have more screenshots
  • make it easier to run multi servers on one network
  • DHCP page a button to add a device to Fixed IP address will be able to change the fix IP address and the Name or just us the default one
  • update Button on installed apps this will only work on apps that are updateable, it will run an update script from when the was created, lots of apps nowadays are updated able and would save time uninstalled and reinstalling
  • Create a page or tab on Amahi front end to be able to add docker container apps select icon and name and address:port


Plus, of course we are open to suggestions. Open a dialog. We're happy to discuss and determine a suitable project.

Amahi is a platform that will support the deployment of other open source applications. If you are interested in the integration of applications in your area of interest, just contact us with suggestions.

Mentors

This is a list of committed mentors. If you are interested in mentoring, let us know via IRC (mention the nicks below):

  • Carlos Puchol (cpg, GSoC admin): team lead for Amahi, experience in RoR, Go, Ruby, RoR, system scripting/development, app packaging, C, C++
  • Bogdan Mitrea (megabitdragon, GSoC admin): Android, Java, app packaging, system programming,C , C++, community lead
  • Rod Runyon (bigfoot65): app lead for Amahi, system programming, app packaging, reliability, documentation, support
  • Chirag Maheshwari, former GSoC student for Amahi
  • Kumar Shashwat, former GSoC student for Amahi
  • Sukhbir Singh, former GSoC student for Amahi
  • Dipankar B. Amahi collaborator
  • Nitin V., Amahi collaborator


Reference: GSoC mentoring page.

Prior Years

Amahi participated in Google Summer of Code 2017 and Google Summer of Code 2014

Reference