GSoC Project Ideas 2012

Mapserver database and server side refactoring

The goal of this task is to push forward the development of Nodeshot in order to make it mature, stable and more flexible. The final goal is to promote this software so other wireless communities around the world can start using it and participate in the development. At the moment this is only partially possible because the software is not very flexible and has been developed to satisfy our needs only.

A joint effort from several wireless communities is being done in order to use a common database scheme and make a new flexible and pluggable map-server. This could be the first step in that direction.

Level 4: Web developer
Technologies: Python, Relational Databases
Frameworks used: Django

Map-server Frontend improvements

The goal of this task is to improve the user experience of Nodeshot, our community map-server. We'd like to develop a new, better graphical user interface and to add new useful functionalities.

Level 4: Front-end developer
Technologies: Python, Javascript, HTML5, CSS, Relational Databases
Frameworks used: Django, jQuery

DNS Management App for wireless communities

We implemented our own DNS system in our community which is integrated with the map-server. At the moment the integration is more like a temporary hack and not a piece of good software. We would like to separate this functionality and make it an indipendent application that can be integrated easily into the map-server but also run in standalone mode. The Goal is to make a system which calculates the hostnames of the nodes automatically but also gives the possibility for community networkers to manage their own DNS records indipendently (each node owner should be able to change his/her hostnames or add new ones).


Level 3
Technologies: Python, Javascript, HTML5, CSS, Relational Databases
Frameworks: Django, jQuery

Distributed node monitoring and management application

We use different monitoring systems but we are not completely satisfied with any of them.

Problems we face:

Solution proposed:

Level 4: Web Developer
Technologies: Python, Javascript, HTML5, CSS, Relational Databases
Frameworks: Django, jQuery

Robust OpenWrt based firmware

To build our community network we use a lot of embedded devices, they often have closed source firmware that offer good performance and services but they are done in a way that put us in a vendor lock-in.

To avoid that vendor lock-in we want to use OpenWrt but it miss some necessary features that we want to implement

Level 4: Semi-Professional

Filesharing suitable for Community Networks

Many people want to share files in our community network but they step into some problems:

To solve these issues we need to:

Level 4: Semi-Professional

Videoconferencing suitable for Mobile Phone and Mesh Networks (MPMN )

Many people want to use VOIP in our mesh network but they step into some problems:

To solve these issues we decided to implement Videoconferencing suitable for Mobile Phone and Mesh Networks:

Level 4: Semi-Professional

Collaborative Music Composition

This project aims to realize a web-based social application for music composition.
It will allow the creation of jam session (non real-time) in this way: users will upload tracks (e.g. piano track) and then they can merge them with other tracks (e.g. bass track) that other users pushed in the system. Users can play a bunch of selected tracks creating a composition (e.g. bass+piano+vocal).
Using the linux audio plugin and a proper backend engine, they can also apply effects on tracks.
Conversely, if a user doesn't like an instrument track of a song, he can create his own version by substituting it with her own track.


Improve the OLSRd mDNS plug-in

The OLSRd mDNS plug-in allows the distribution of mDNS (multicast DNS i.e. avahi/bonjour/zeroconf) messages over an OLSR network. This is substantially achieved by sniffing for mDNS packets on the final users' networks (usually HNA networks), encapsulating them inside OLSR protocol messages, exploiting OLSR native message transfer mechanisms, and decapsulating the mDNS packets at all the other end users' networks.

The plug-in has been developed by members, however we would like to address some important issues that have arised during deployment:

Programming Languages: C


Improve the ninuxoo search engine

We have started the development of a community-network-wide open-source search engine called ninuxoo. Written in Python, it is formed by a samba and ftp share crawler and of a cgi-based website, with a common database. We would like to enhance it by adding some features:

Programming Languages: python, mysql

Maturing external application APIs and introducing Event managing support for DIASPORA* Distributed Social Network

Diaspora is a free and open source application implementing a distributed social networking service which is made out of “pods” (i.e. servers), which in contrast with the centralized approach can be run directly from the users who can have full control of their online identity thus allowing information not to be controlled by a single party. Furthermore communications and content sharing between users are secured by the Salmon protocol.

The project is still inching towards a first beta release and at the moment lacks a mature API set which would be vital for the growth of the project itself as it would allow the development of external applications by independent developers who want to exploit the power and the possibilities provided by such platform. As of now, only the draft of a preliminary version of the basic APIs is available (Reference [3]). This project aims at developing a REST application API set that will provide developers with endpoints to the core functionalities of the social network, allowing them to manage the social graph with objects representing the main 4 Diaspora resources (People, Aspects, Posts, and Comments) and the connections between them (e.g., friend relationships, shared content, and photos).

Furthermore, an external application that will interoperate with D* will be developed on it as a proof of concept. This application will aim at providing Event managing support for the users as an external service that will allow the community to create and manage events, invite other users to them and publish related content.

Useful Skills

Ruby on Rails, Javascript, Rspec, JSON, XML, MySQL, HAML, SASS.


Mobile application to do AR aided wireless device pointing suitable for Wireless Community Networks

Description: A new user that wants to join a Wireless Community Network is required to install a wireless device on his roof and to detect near stations to connect to. This can be arbitrarily difficult in a big city environment due to line of sight problems and lack of precise information about geography. In this scenario we want to develop an iPhone application that helps, gathering information (coordinates, direction,..) from GPS and compass hardware present in almost every mobile system and the information gathered from a mapserver system containing the database of all the nodes, to easily find and then point a node where we want to connect all in an augmented reality system. To do so the application will exchange information with a mapserver both to obtain information of the nodes and also to insert his own position in to the database. The app wants also let know to as much people as possibile about wireless community through the app store system that this devices have built-in.


Objective-C, Google Maps API, MySQL, SOAP

PGP cryptography plugin for Jitsi is a promising IM software with builtin support for audio/video calls and conferences, desktop share, remote control and OTR cryptography.

We already use PGP to encrypt sensitive emails that contain login information to critical parts of our network, we developed a good web of trust and for this reason we would prefer PGP to OTR for our sensitive communications.

Since Jitsi is pluggable, this feature could be added as an additional plugin.

Technologies Java, OpenPGP

Mesh-Internet boost

Suppose you are the only one user of a large wireless mesh network. If you had several Internet gateway, how could use use all the bandwidth of all those gateway in order to download your files faster? Build the solution!

Our idea is to realize a module that take packets and send them to internet using multiple gateway via the Loose Source Routing option of the IP packet. With that option you can force packets to pass to one or serveral different router! Conversely nowadays packets usually do the same path to reach a destination, so if you are alone on a WCN with several internet gateway, right now you are doomed to use only the bandwidth of one gateway, typically the nearest one. Whereas the iptables target is not yet supported to put the loose source routing option, this option is supported by the Linux kernel.

Node Security


Ninux's nodes are installed on the privete roofs. Electronics devices (Poe power supply, ethernet switch etc...) are in a waterproof box closed to antennas mast. Due monitoring harware integrity against unauthorized access at the box,cable cutting and vandalism, we need a utility running on very low cost SoC (requirement: TCP Stack, Ethernet port and some GPIO for the sensor) integreted with our network monitoring.



Background: lots of cheap but good enough "plug computers" are available; they are perfect for home servers, but there is nothing that will fit Average Joe.

The idea is to do a little step towards the goal of realizing it: not a complete distribution that will fit every scenario, but a simple way to manage some service and configuration files through a web UI. The focus is on privacy related services (tor relay, privoxy, polipo, firewall) and basic networking (network configuration, dhcp/dns server) but of course there is room for everything.

Application Mobile Android for Ninux

The Ninux Network is a kind of network based on Nodes. There are several nodes in Rome (and other Italian cities). We could create an Android mobile application oriented to Ninux network. This app will allow the user to know if he’s connected to a Ninux Node (or where’s the nearest) simply using his personal mobile phone. Functionalities:

Additional goals are to add some cool features: