Ideas list for Google Summer of Code 2013

Managana is a free cross-platform software for digital publication (, and we are always very excited about its development. We currently use the Apache Flex SDK, PHP and MySQL for it. Interested users can learn more about Managana by checking our “Getting started with Managana” document.

Until now we’ve been developing the software to fit day-by-day needs, but it’s time to think ahead and imagine what would make a difference for general usage. Of course this would make the list infinite, but we focused on five different goals:

1. Showtime on the go
task level: low (using the current Showtime code as basis)

Managana offers a dedicated software for public presentations: the Showtime (the document “Getting started with Managana: it’s showtime!” explains how it works). The software was developed with desktop computers in mind, however we’ve seen so many presentations in public places, like museums, that are making extensive use of tablets.  This gave us the idea of creating a Showtime version for the Android system.

The specific goals for this idea are:

  • compile a list of Showtime features that would fit a mobile Android device
  • build a version of Showtime that runs on Android

2. Remote control working through TCP

task level: low (using the current remote control code as basis)

One nice Managana feature is the remote control that can connect to any presentation on web, mobile devices and public presentations (a quick introduction video: The current version of the remote control works seamlessly over the web using the RTMFP protocol for that. It is also very dependent on the Managana server side software for user logging and checking. However there is a scenario where the web connection may not be available, specially for presentations at public places. In order to solve that we imagined a second version of the same remote control capable of connecting to a Showtime presentation using TCP. The Showtime could create a server and the remote, running from a mobile device connected at the same network, works as its client.

The specific goals for this idea are:

  • review the current remote control code to add the TCP connection option
  • review the current Showtime code to enable a server for connection

3. We are not alone!
task level: medium (some research on web services will be needed)

Currently Managana can export sharing information to social networks (FB, Twitter and G+) and also read data from them at runtime (to create “living” publications). We are able to read Twitter, RSS and basic Facebook feeds, and we had also developed a WordPress plugin to use this blog tool as an input interface for Managana.

We are now thinking about improving data exchange with othe web services/software. What about getting pictures from a Flickr or Picasa account? List and access YouTube or Vimeo videos?

The specific goals for this idea are:

  • develop a consistent communication layer with common web services/data providers
  • build current inputs – we call them external feeds – (RSS, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress) into this standarized layer
  • select and add new services (like Picasa or Vimeo) to this communication layer

4. Sign services
task level: high (lots of researching work)

Managana is being developed with freely available content in mind, but we know it can also be used to deploy content based on subscriptions. This would enable people to be small publishers of their own work or the work of small groups.

In order to do that, we would need to find a way to encrypt Managana content. We would also need to improve user management and find a way to charge for the subscriptions.

The specific goals for this idea are:

  • develop an ecryption solution for Managana content to make it unaccessible to unauthorized users
  • improve the user management with increased security and handling
  • create bounds to web payment systems like PayPal to enable transparent and secure transactions

5. Create anywhere
task level: high (very time consumming)

Managana provides full content access on mobile devices, but for now you can only create using a standard computer web browser. We intend to make even the creation available to everyone, everywhere. We think of a limited but still powerfull editor mobile app that can be used for small pieces of content like pictures slideshows, video cards and so on, with media get from the device itself (like its camera).

This “small” editor could be used together with the “full” one to improve mobile-created content on a later time if the user wants it. This is a long term goal, we know, but we need to start it!

The specific goals for this idea are:

  • define a limited set of editing possibilities give the limitation of mobile devices
  • prepare a layout suitable to the devices screen
  • code this interface, considering the current “full” editor 😉
  • create an offline storage system so users can upload their content later to the server

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