Mozilla Weave, Identica and Tomboy Online are among the handful of open source web services on the market -- but many more are needed.
Stormy Peters, executive director of the GNOME Foundation, said the open source community has fallen behind Google and other proprietary web services developers and must write more Affero GPL-based web services, integrate them better with the Linux desktop and offer hosting services for open source web services such as Gobby.
Gobby is an online collaborative text editor, like Google Docs, but has no uptake because it is not hosted, she noted.
Mozilla's Weave enables browser settings and bookmark synchronization to make it easier to move from one PC to another. Identica is an open source version of Twitter and GNOME's own Tomboy Online service is a notetaking service.
One audience member pointed to the open source Diaspora social networking service. Still, it's clear more Affero GPL web services are needed to stimulate growth in the open source desktop market. AGPL is a form of GPL for web services.
Peter said users must safeguard and backup their data to protect it in the event that a web service goes down, shuts them out or they want to migrate from Twitter to Identica easily. Too many users don't have a handle on their data and this is an embarrassment, she claimed.