Ubuntu One iphone client, source code released

We should have released the source for the iphone client right after we did the upload to the appstore, but a bunch of bureaucracy and crazy work deadlines postponed this until now.
We’re going to be doing some work for the Ubuntu 10.10 release on the iphone client as well as on a new Android client, both clients are going to be open source, like all our other Ubuntu One clients.
We’ve created the projects on Launchpad, pushed the initial source code for the iphone client, and will start pushing Android as soon as we get out of the exploration stage.

The projects are available at:

iphone:  https://launchpad.net/ubuntuone-ios-client
android: https://launchpad.net/ubuntuone-android-client

Stay tuned for more on our new mobile services!

15 responses to “Ubuntu One iphone client, source code released”

  1. The iphone client is GPL? Or am I reading the launchpad project link wrong.

    Okay so considering the recent discussion about Wesnoth iphone application development… and the FSF view of of the Apple developer’s agreement… isn’t this licensing choice a real a problem? Can you simultaneously satisfy both Apple developer agreement and the GPL?

    Please don’t take this a driveby. The wesnoth discussion is very important to understand in context of GPL and Apple Appstore compliance. I’m trying to wrap my head around it and it seems to me the very same issues are going to bite Canonical’s iphone apps too if you choose GPL licensing. I really don’t want to see Canonical get tagged for a GPL violation down the road because of the underlying legality here.



  2. In addition to Jef’s concern, I’m interested in finding out when the UbuntuOne server source is going to be released.


  3. Are there any plans for a Symbian client ??


    1. Hi Leonel, there are no plans at the moment for a Symbian client.


  4. So looking forward to the Android client 😀


  5. From what I understood the only way around the GPL issue (and from cloning the iPhone client it is licensed under GNU Affero GPL) with respect to the appstore is to dual license the code. From what I see though that is not a possibility here because it uses code from the Funambol project – though I’m not sure about wether there is any special relationship between that an canonical that would allow them to dual-license it.


  6. @Jef Spaleta

    I don’t think there is a problem. All the copyright headers (the ones I looked) have copyright by Funambol.

    Now since they have a commercial and a AGPL version that would strongly imply the require copyright assignment before committing volunteer contributions. That makes them de facto the sole copyright holder of the entire codebase.

    Unless they plan to report themselves for copyright infringement I don’t see a problem and I bet they have a contract with Canonical that prevents them from doing so later in the future for U1 products.

    The FSF is irrelevant in this context since they have no legal stake in the codebase.

    Of course I could wrong on all of this since IANAL.


  7. zekopeko:

    There are technical violations and then there are actionable violations. And you are absolutely correct. This could very well be a situation where there is technically a violation but none of the copyright holders are going to take legal action against the distributor. So at the moment this isn’t a sky is falling situation. Nor did I intend my comment to imply that it was.

    But Canonical should most definitely be aware of the fact that such technical violations can have long term consequences when and if the copyrights to the code in question change hands and the new copyright holders go have a different policy. License hygiene is about covering your risks long term. Funambol gets purchases by another fish in the sea, and Canonical could have a big problem if they are relying on the GPL licensed code in their Apple iphone products . More unlikely things have happened. And I’m not saying this to cast either Canonical or Funambol in an evil light. What I am saying is, we can’t know what the future holds, and Canonical maybe putting itself at future legal risk by allowing a technical GPL violation to fester in their product line.

    And certainly anyone who tried to take this code and run with it to build something else…without being in a position partnership with Funambol or Canonical may find themselves on the other side of a GPL violation action because they do not enjoy a special business partnership with either. Letting potential downstream users of the codebase be aware that there is a technical violation of GPL that is mitigated by the special business relationship between Canonical/Funambol is the..transparent… thing to do.

    And regardless, its not just an issue of GPL violation. I think they may actually be in violation of the Apple’s developer agreement..even if its dual licensed… by distributing the source code. I’m still wrapping my head around the Wesnoth discussion, so I don’t claim to even have a lay person understanding of the legality here. I’m just saying because this issue has cropped up, it would make sense to see Canonical make a public statement in an effort of..transparency..about whether there is a violation of Apple’s developer agreement here.

    The same questions could be asked of Funambol as well. And I plan to ask them. If Funambol’s intent is to provide an AGPL codebase that people can use without fear of licensing violations, Apple has made it extremely difficult to do. Funambol will have to add an additional exception as the copyright holder to clarify the situation so anyone who pulls the AGPL code to use won’t be running into a submarine GPL violation that Apple has created.

    I’m going to reiterate. I don’t think either Funambol or Canonical are intending to do something shady. But considering the unfolding Wesnoth discussion and a growing understanding of the conflicts between GPL and Apple’s developer agreement.. a corrective step by all copyright holders for GPL licensed code in the iphone store will have to be taken to avoid creating unintended violations.



  8. Are there any plans for Maemo client?


    1. No plans for Maemo at the moment either.


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  10. @sergk: on N900s Maemo you can use syncevolution, so there’s not really a need for a ubuntuone sync client.


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  12. does an iphone client for ubuntu one mean i will be able to sync my iphone with evolution? cantacts, calendar, ect?
    oh please oh please…. 🙂


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