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treffer

Member
Jun 7, 2010
35
42
Gravity Free Distribution

Gravity Free Distribution is a ROM/Distribution that tries to give you a rich open source only out-of-the-box user experience. No GAPPS, not proprietary software. Blobs are still included, but I hope to replace them as replicant matures (rild would be great, but it's missing one feature right now).
The ROM is currently derived from OmniROM with the key addition being native integration of the superuser app (as several open source apps rely on root access) and some build system changes (mainly to push apps to /data/app, which is usually a bad idea, unless you want to allow a user to uninstall them)

The name is based on the idea that this ROM should never drag you into proprietary data silo. The scope of the project is the full phone stack, including all default apps. I've thus propagated some random patches.

This ROM should be able to run proprietary apps, too. But there is currently barely an app that is running as there is no real replacement for the google services.

attachment.php


Status Quo

Replacements:
  • Chat (ChatSecure, to be replaced with Conversations)
  • E-Mail (k-9, with openkeychain integration)
  • Contact sync (carddav, replaces google )
  • Document sync (owncloud, replaces google cloud/documents)
  • Firefox (replaces chrome, syncs via mozilla sync)
  • Instant image upload (owncloud, replaces google instant upload)
  • Location providers (NOGAPPS/µg project, replaces google network location provider)
  • f-droid (patched, no need to allow unknown sources) (replaces market)
  • Calendar (local + caldav)
  • Bitcoin (no google wallet)
  • Maps V1 replacement lib (NOGAPPS/µg/mar-v-in)

Additions:
  • Some games
  • Podcast/RSS clients, VLC
  • NTP/OpenVPN support
  • Torch, bubble, barcode scanner
  • TODO list

Missing parts:
  • Printing (all implementations are closed afaict)
  • Maps (OSM does not have a competitive android client)
  • Replicant RILd (we use exactly one missing feature: celltower reports)
  • Backup service
  • General sync (contacts/files/... between android <-> pc)
  • Mapsv2 compatibility lib (v1 is included)
  • Search/QuickSearchBox (google decided that only google should work)
  • Torrent downloader (fork of download manager? maybe)
  • Contact merger (like HTC was doing, my contact list is a mess)
  • A real web-of-trust implementation
  • Bootanimation (I can't use the default one and I'm not talented enough to create one)

The missing parts are mainly nice-to-have apps, except for maps.

Syncing/Communicating without Google

Google offers a great cloud sync solution. This distribution ships some tools to sync your phone. It currently works best with owncloud.

Here is what you should do to sync
  1. Open DAVdroid and add an account to sync your contacts (for owncloud <yourserver>/remote.php/carddav)
  2. Open DAVdroid and add an account to sync your calendars (for owncloud <yourserver>/remote.php/caldav)
  3. Open firefox and enable firefox sync (Settings -> Sync, works with owncloud if you install the mozilla_sync plugin)
  4. Open the owncloud client and add your server, go to owncloud settings and enable instant upload
  5. Open the E-Mail client and add your IMAP server
  6. Open ChatSecure and add your XMPP server
  7. Open buddycloud and add your buddycloud server (just kidding, but you may want to give it a try)

Your phone will now upload all photos you take. Your contacts and calendars are in sync and you can access all files you're storing on your owncloud box.

Most other groupwares out there provide carddav / caldav support, too. You may loose the abilitiy to instant-upload photos or to sync firefox with your own server.

Should I flash it?

This ROM/Distribution is not for everyone. I'm now using it on my old galaxy nexus and I hope I'll be able to use it as my primary phone by the end of the year. It's definetly better than I'd have imagined, but it's far from what I'd like to use on a day-by-day basis. I've thus labled it as alpha.

You have been warned. Download via bittorrent - direct http download (please try to use bittorrent first).

How may I help?

If you can develop ROMs and if you'd like to run it on your device you might have to build it for your device. It would be nice if all devices supported by OmniROM would work, too.
If you know how to develop apps: Many open source apps may need your help.
If you know how to build apps: f-droid can't keep up with all the apps popping up. Help them!
If you can't help with android development: You may help some open content projects, like openstreetmaps or opencellids.

Known bugs

  • Wifi does not scan automatically, you may have to disable/enable it to connect.

Post changelog

  • Add a sync/communicate without google section
  • Added a direct download link to my server

ROM changelog

XDA:DevDB Information
Gravity Free Distribution, a ROM for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Contributors
treffer
ROM OS Version: 4.4.x KitKat
ROM Kernel: Linux 3.0.x
Based On: Omnirom

Version Information
Status: Alpha

Created 2014-03-31
Last Updated 2014-04-01
 

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atljatl

Senior Member
Jan 6, 2012
641
263
atlanta, ga
I've been contemplating jumping to a Windows phone and this looks like a good gateway towards leaving Google altogether. Thanks.
 

treffer

Member
Jun 7, 2010
35
42
+1 looks like promotion of owncloud

I'll fix the description in an hour or so. You are free to use whatever caldav/carddav calendar you want. I just recommend owncloud as it will (currently) give you the most features.

I'll clarify what protocols used (which should clarify that other groupware solution work, too) and how everything fits together if you have an owncloud server (as an example).
 
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treffer

Member
Jun 7, 2010
35
42
whats the difference between owncloud and google?

You most likely won't be happy with the ROM if you don't know it :laugh:

Owncloud is a personal cloud/groupware solution. It thus tries to provide what your google account provides: Contact sync + online contacts db, file access + sync, calendar + calendar sync and plugins to add just about everything (e.g. a web mailer ui, firefox sync server, ....).

The biggest difference is you can run it on your own server. I'm currently using a vm on a PC at home and I access it via IPv6. This means my data is never stored elsewhere (technically I'll have to build a backup solution for that server, but that's a different story). Plus syncing at home is super-fast.

That said you can use whatever you want. It's just that it gives you many of the features you're used to, plus you can host it on your own.

If you are looking for s.th. like google music you may want to try subsonic (server) + dsub (android client).

The whole point was not to promote owncloud but to give a default set of apps that will give you a good user experience. I'll update the intro now.
 
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treffer

Member
Jun 7, 2010
35
42
Very nyce! Replicant becomes mature and therefore a real open source alternative ;)

I am, unfortunatly, not yet using replicant.... The problem is I'm requesting neighbouring cell towers and this is one of the few inqueries still missing from the replicant ril :crying:
The other parts are not yet that interresting: the graphics drivers are slow and will most likely break firefox. Most BLOBs are simply removed and you won't thus be able to use the hw. I'll be happy to integrate parts as soon as they work. See the replicant wiki for details.

Anyway, it's one of the upstreams I'm monitoring. I took OmniROM as a basis because they stay quite close to the AOSP upstream and have all the stuff needed (like device trees).
 
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pvkiniyan95

Senior Member
Jun 21, 2012
669
429
Chennai
android back to open source

So basically the revolution to get android back from google to open source has started...thats actually gr8 to hear..:victory:
sadly i m more google services dependent..they made me so, lets see where it goes..btw an irc client would be gr8

regarding the graphics : kitkat is not officially released for gnex as we know so may be a version of 4.3 from aosp source is necessary too coz there are people who still love it for its battery life unlike kitkat...trust me 4.3 will reach those who are interested in opensource and linaro patches might be useful and they are too open source
 
Last edited:

treffer

Member
Jun 7, 2010
35
42
So basically the revolution to get android back from google to open source has started...thats actually gr8 to hear..:victory:
sadly i m more google services dependent..they made me so, lets see where it goes..btw an irc client would be gr8

regarding the graphics : kitkat is not officially released for gnex as we know so may be a version of 4.3 from aosp source is necessary too coz there are people who still love it for its battery life unlike kitkat...trust me 4.3 will reach those who are interested in opensource and linaro patches might be useful and they are too open source

Graphics: the glitches are fixed, there was one patch I've missed 'till ~1 week ago: the webview fix from upstream chromium. So this is no longer an issue. I've not seen any graphics bugs during the last week.

Battery: it looks like staying away from Google/Facebook/Twitter is the biggest win in battery life you've ever seen :) I'm now carrying the phone around, and I often don't charge it over night. I get ~1,5d with medium usage (browsing + e-mail).

That said i'd like to emphasize that it's not against Google. This is still based on android, which is a huge open source donation from Google. I'm more motivated by the NSA leaks than by Google. And I figured that there is currently no choice to stay away from gapps.... Every other ROM I've looked into "recommends" installing gapps. So I looked into what I would choose for an open source ROM. Cloud sync, e-mail, chat, browser... VPN, GPG. Mar-v-in's nogapps and µg project.s. Parts from replicant if possible (not yet).
F-droid itself got a patch to be a "known" source, I'll continue patching other apps (Conversations is currently my target).

IRC... I didn't include a client (yet) because I thought it might be too nerdy. I'm also looking into Conversations because it's an XMPP client with a trivial UI - yet supporting OTR and GPG messages. This should be a better fit than chatsecure (although I like chatsecure).

ConnectBot on the other hand is included because it offers a local shell. I thought an "open source" ROM where you can't open a root shell is bull****. I could have chosen Terminal, but it looks like I'm only gaining features by shipping connectbot.

Oh, I'm not sure if I'd like to take the linaro patches.... I'm actually trying to stay close to upstream (AOSP) and that's why I've picked omnirom (they appear to track the AOSP fast). I'm also not that keen on finding bugs because I've possibly gained a minimal performance boost. I'm not happy to add another frontier. (PS: Ironically I'm posting this from a gentoo machine. But I'm very conservative on cflags: -O2 -pipe -mtune=native -fomit-frame-pointer)
 

pvkiniyan95

Senior Member
Jun 21, 2012
669
429
Chennai
i get it that u wnat to stay close to aosp however the aosp is too good when added with google services thats why it is their open source project...
Just a suggestion the vanir guys are excellent with their source so why notthem instead of omni
 

treffer

Member
Jun 7, 2010
35
42
i get it that u wnat to stay close to aosp however the aosp is too good when added with google services thats why it is their open source project...
Just a suggestion the vanir guys are excellent with their source so why notthem instead of omni

I basically picked omni because
  1. They are a rolling distri
  2. The have delta updates

At some point I'd like to push out "stable" versions, following the classic YYYY.MM schema. That means that the upstream I rely on should always be stable. Plus it means I should provide a way to "upgrade" where opendelta should fit.

Besides that there is nothing against any other base rom, just this future feature.

Again, the AOSP is good with google services but it's not particularly bad with only open source. I wanted to see the status quo because that's the only way to improve on the lacking parts. I'm currently hacking on Conversations and a contacts merging tool. I'll push the next version once that's done.
 
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agritux

Senior Member
Apr 11, 2012
2,536
785
Ankara
Not at all. It's an alternative if you want to stay away from Google

It is only my opinion. Dont blame me.
You wont be away from google with this rom.
You will be away from only google apps.
Because dont forget the operating system is developing by Google. All of codes are written by Google.
Developers modifying the Google's codes and making their own roms.

And

I think changing system apks isnt developer thing.
Or adding some apks on rom is not nececery. Some users use this app, some users not.
The hole rome should be slim i think.

I dont know this rom has its own features. But it says based on omnirom.
If this rom is only a version of chnged apks from omnirom, it is aimless i think.

Because, Omnirom is a custom rom. And you will have superuser with it. You can remove system apps from it and you can install what you prefer.

But

If there is some code or kernel modification with apk changes, this rom can be a alternative.

One more thing

you dont have to flash gapps on omnirom.

Have a nice day.
 

treffer

Member
Jun 7, 2010
35
42
It is only my opinion. Dont blame me.
You wont be away from google with this rom.
You will be away from only google apps.
Because dont forget the operating system is developing by Google. All of codes are written by Google.
Developers modifying the Google's codes and making their own roms.

And

I think changing system apks isnt developer thing.
Or adding some apks on rom is not nececery. Some users use this app, some users not.
The hole rome should be slim i think.

I dont know this rom has its own features. But it says based on omnirom.
If this rom is only a version of chnged apks from omnirom, it is aimless i think.

Because, Omnirom is a custom rom. And you will have superuser with it. You can remove system apps from it and you can install what you prefer.

But

If there is some code or kernel modification with apk changes, this rom can be a alternative.

One more thing

you dont have to flash gapps on omnirom.

Have a nice day.

The intention is not to avoid google code, it's about avoiding closed source, proprietary code. You can use linux without using the Red Hat distribution. You can't use it without their code.

There are no "own" features because everything is open source, you can't keep a feature for your own and be open source. That said
  1. Build system is modified to allow pulling/installing presigned f-droid apk and polluting /data
  2. firefox distribution files are included, making FF use DuckDuckGo.per default (via a custom plugin). It also installs https everywhere and adblock edge per default
  3. F-Droid now works as priv-app, can be build as part of a rom and will skip the "Enable unknown sources" screen. Patches are merged upstream by now
  4. K-9 is shipped with several patches (build as part of a ROM was broken, openkeychain integration is a fork, ...) (now upstream, will rebase on that)
  5. A custom LocationProvider was written for UnifiedNlp (see microg for details)
  6. A mapsv1 compatibility library is included (minimal patch for building)
  7. Superuser is integrated as it's required by several apps (ntpsync & openvpn especially)

I'm currently working on Conversations (GPG/OTR XMPP chat application with a UI that is close to Hangouts) and a contact merging tool (I've 400+ contacts on this ROM, with many duplicates).

There is a set of features you'd expect from a ROM. This set is basically defined by AOSP + Gapps. The problem is that Gapps includes frameworks and apps. Frameworks should be part of a ROM, the apps are installed to /data so that they can be removed (you can pull the changes if you like that idea - i think it's still a bit flawed, and I'll most likely rework that later on). This means the core is slim and you can customize it as you like.

Taking omni and pushing all that stuff (including modifications) to make it work as a gapps free rom takes quite some time. In the end, every ROM could be installed by replacing files with superuser. That's not why you build a ROM.

I hope this clarifies what it is, and where the code and work is happening. I guess it would be nice to put that into the first post, too....

Oh, the usual catch applies: patches welcome.
 

pvkiniyan95

Senior Member
Jun 21, 2012
669
429
Chennai
open source

It is only my opinion. Dont blame me.
You wont be away from google with this rom.
You will be away from only google apps.
Because dont forget the operating system is developing by Google. All of codes are written by Google.
Developers modifying the Google's codes and making their own roms.

And

I think changing system apks isnt developer thing.
Or adding some apks on rom is not nececery. Some users use this app, some users not.
The hole rome should be slim i think.

I dont know this rom has its own features. But it says based on omnirom.
If this rom is only a version of chnged apks from omnirom, it is aimless i think.

Because, Omnirom is a custom rom. And you will have superuser with it. You can remove system apps from it and you can install what you prefer.

But

If there is some code or kernel modification with apk changes, this rom can be a alternative.

One more thing

you dont have to flash gapps on omnirom.

Have a nice day.

Precisely its basically a rom where each and every app u use is open source which means u can customise and compile every apk u want if u can.

Its for people who are passionate about open source and heavy customisers and for people who like to tailor-make the rom for their personal use...

Just like the ARCH philosophy....This rom is what u make it...
 

agritux

Senior Member
Apr 11, 2012
2,536
785
Ankara
Yes, arch is an open source distro, but minimal too...
And same as, applications are user prefered applications. User installs what he/she wants. From repos or yogrth etc...
Anyway.
Sorry for spamming.
Some question marks in my head is solved.
Thanks for answers.
 

jhonnyx

Senior Member
Oct 14, 2009
810
608
Buenos Aires
Yes, arch is an open source distro, but minimal too...
And same as, applications are user prefered applications. User installs what he/she wants. From repos or yogrth etc...
Anyway.
Sorry for spamming.
Some question marks in my head is solved.
Thanks for answers.
(y) so it's not aimless at least. Sorry but not meant to blame you man, just made a comment as you did ;)

Thanks @treffer for the clarification
 

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  • 11
    Gravity Free Distribution

    Gravity Free Distribution is a ROM/Distribution that tries to give you a rich open source only out-of-the-box user experience. No GAPPS, not proprietary software. Blobs are still included, but I hope to replace them as replicant matures (rild would be great, but it's missing one feature right now).
    The ROM is currently derived from OmniROM with the key addition being native integration of the superuser app (as several open source apps rely on root access) and some build system changes (mainly to push apps to /data/app, which is usually a bad idea, unless you want to allow a user to uninstall them)

    The name is based on the idea that this ROM should never drag you into proprietary data silo. The scope of the project is the full phone stack, including all default apps. I've thus propagated some random patches.

    This ROM should be able to run proprietary apps, too. But there is currently barely an app that is running as there is no real replacement for the google services.

    attachment.php


    Status Quo

    Replacements:
    • Chat (ChatSecure, to be replaced with Conversations)
    • E-Mail (k-9, with openkeychain integration)
    • Contact sync (carddav, replaces google )
    • Document sync (owncloud, replaces google cloud/documents)
    • Firefox (replaces chrome, syncs via mozilla sync)
    • Instant image upload (owncloud, replaces google instant upload)
    • Location providers (NOGAPPS/µg project, replaces google network location provider)
    • f-droid (patched, no need to allow unknown sources) (replaces market)
    • Calendar (local + caldav)
    • Bitcoin (no google wallet)
    • Maps V1 replacement lib (NOGAPPS/µg/mar-v-in)

    Additions:
    • Some games
    • Podcast/RSS clients, VLC
    • NTP/OpenVPN support
    • Torch, bubble, barcode scanner
    • TODO list

    Missing parts:
    • Printing (all implementations are closed afaict)
    • Maps (OSM does not have a competitive android client)
    • Replicant RILd (we use exactly one missing feature: celltower reports)
    • Backup service
    • General sync (contacts/files/... between android <-> pc)
    • Mapsv2 compatibility lib (v1 is included)
    • Search/QuickSearchBox (google decided that only google should work)
    • Torrent downloader (fork of download manager? maybe)
    • Contact merger (like HTC was doing, my contact list is a mess)
    • A real web-of-trust implementation
    • Bootanimation (I can't use the default one and I'm not talented enough to create one)

    The missing parts are mainly nice-to-have apps, except for maps.

    Syncing/Communicating without Google

    Google offers a great cloud sync solution. This distribution ships some tools to sync your phone. It currently works best with owncloud.

    Here is what you should do to sync
    1. Open DAVdroid and add an account to sync your contacts (for owncloud <yourserver>/remote.php/carddav)
    2. Open DAVdroid and add an account to sync your calendars (for owncloud <yourserver>/remote.php/caldav)
    3. Open firefox and enable firefox sync (Settings -> Sync, works with owncloud if you install the mozilla_sync plugin)
    4. Open the owncloud client and add your server, go to owncloud settings and enable instant upload
    5. Open the E-Mail client and add your IMAP server
    6. Open ChatSecure and add your XMPP server
    7. Open buddycloud and add your buddycloud server (just kidding, but you may want to give it a try)

    Your phone will now upload all photos you take. Your contacts and calendars are in sync and you can access all files you're storing on your owncloud box.

    Most other groupwares out there provide carddav / caldav support, too. You may loose the abilitiy to instant-upload photos or to sync firefox with your own server.

    Should I flash it?

    This ROM/Distribution is not for everyone. I'm now using it on my old galaxy nexus and I hope I'll be able to use it as my primary phone by the end of the year. It's definetly better than I'd have imagined, but it's far from what I'd like to use on a day-by-day basis. I've thus labled it as alpha.

    You have been warned. Download via bittorrent - direct http download (please try to use bittorrent first).

    How may I help?

    If you can develop ROMs and if you'd like to run it on your device you might have to build it for your device. It would be nice if all devices supported by OmniROM would work, too.
    If you know how to develop apps: Many open source apps may need your help.
    If you know how to build apps: f-droid can't keep up with all the apps popping up. Help them!
    If you can't help with android development: You may help some open content projects, like openstreetmaps or opencellids.

    Known bugs

    • Wifi does not scan automatically, you may have to disable/enable it to connect.

    Post changelog

    • Add a sync/communicate without google section
    • Added a direct download link to my server

    ROM changelog

    XDA:DevDB Information
    Gravity Free Distribution, a ROM for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

    Contributors
    treffer
    ROM OS Version: 4.4.x KitKat
    ROM Kernel: Linux 3.0.x
    Based On: Omnirom

    Version Information
    Status: Alpha

    Created 2014-03-31
    Last Updated 2014-04-01
    5
    i think this rom is aimless

    It was aimless to build linux while there was Unix, it was aimless to build android while there was ios. Free software is not about more features, it is about giving oppurtunity to the people to choose.

    Google is abandoning Apache license part by part. They already abandoned free versions of sms, phone, camera, gallery, search etc.Right now AOSP is just a crippled software that desparetely needs gapps. A ROM that tries to fill this gap with free software is just great.
    3
    It is only my opinion. Dont blame me.
    You wont be away from google with this rom.
    You will be away from only google apps.
    Because dont forget the operating system is developing by Google. All of codes are written by Google.
    Developers modifying the Google's codes and making their own roms.

    And

    I think changing system apks isnt developer thing.
    Or adding some apks on rom is not nececery. Some users use this app, some users not.
    The hole rome should be slim i think.

    I dont know this rom has its own features. But it says based on omnirom.
    If this rom is only a version of chnged apks from omnirom, it is aimless i think.

    Because, Omnirom is a custom rom. And you will have superuser with it. You can remove system apps from it and you can install what you prefer.

    But

    If there is some code or kernel modification with apk changes, this rom can be a alternative.

    One more thing

    you dont have to flash gapps on omnirom.

    Have a nice day.

    The intention is not to avoid google code, it's about avoiding closed source, proprietary code. You can use linux without using the Red Hat distribution. You can't use it without their code.

    There are no "own" features because everything is open source, you can't keep a feature for your own and be open source. That said
    1. Build system is modified to allow pulling/installing presigned f-droid apk and polluting /data
    2. firefox distribution files are included, making FF use DuckDuckGo.per default (via a custom plugin). It also installs https everywhere and adblock edge per default
    3. F-Droid now works as priv-app, can be build as part of a rom and will skip the "Enable unknown sources" screen. Patches are merged upstream by now
    4. K-9 is shipped with several patches (build as part of a ROM was broken, openkeychain integration is a fork, ...) (now upstream, will rebase on that)
    5. A custom LocationProvider was written for UnifiedNlp (see microg for details)
    6. A mapsv1 compatibility library is included (minimal patch for building)
    7. Superuser is integrated as it's required by several apps (ntpsync & openvpn especially)

    I'm currently working on Conversations (GPG/OTR XMPP chat application with a UI that is close to Hangouts) and a contact merging tool (I've 400+ contacts on this ROM, with many duplicates).

    There is a set of features you'd expect from a ROM. This set is basically defined by AOSP + Gapps. The problem is that Gapps includes frameworks and apps. Frameworks should be part of a ROM, the apps are installed to /data so that they can be removed (you can pull the changes if you like that idea - i think it's still a bit flawed, and I'll most likely rework that later on). This means the core is slim and you can customize it as you like.

    Taking omni and pushing all that stuff (including modifications) to make it work as a gapps free rom takes quite some time. In the end, every ROM could be installed by replacing files with superuser. That's not why you build a ROM.

    I hope this clarifies what it is, and where the code and work is happening. I guess it would be nice to put that into the first post, too....

    Oh, the usual catch applies: patches welcome.
    2
    I am currently testing the next version. It contains a contact merger and @MaR-V-iN awesome new NOGAPPS. I was able to trick foursquare into starting (still 90+% broken but I could do a re-checkin).

    Sources are already updated, feel free to test the gfreed_maguro_20140629.zip on my server.

    Oh, and libart is the default now. I've not yet found a singe app crashing (not 100% true, screen recording crashes, but that's a native app). There are currently some patches on aosp/platform/art that disable dalvik and symlink art as dalvik. I might do another try with art master, looks like it's quickly becoming stable. Performance wise it's awesome. I have had the problem that my contact merger is mainly GC bound (scanning a lucene term vector for every contact). Nearly all GC pauses were gone. This is unbelievable. I've also seen some other apps to perform better. Keep in mind that this means your first boot will take a long time.

    Main changes from OMNI are the framework patch from µg and soem build system changes. Nothing to spectaculare, even more boring than the last build, yet not possible without a ROM. Great.

    I would declare it stable if I don't see any major regressions during the next week. Which would mean it took ~3 months between releases. I might keep that cycle.
    1
    +1 looks like promotion of owncloud

    I'll fix the description in an hour or so. You are free to use whatever caldav/carddav calendar you want. I just recommend owncloud as it will (currently) give you the most features.

    I'll clarify what protocols used (which should clarify that other groupware solution work, too) and how everything fits together if you have an owncloud server (as an example).