Riccardo Padovani

Changing the world bit by bit

Why opensource model rocks

This post is mainly to say thanks to DuckDuckGo team.

As many of you know, DuckDuckGo (DDG) is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding filter bubble of personalized search results (Wikipedia dixit).

A couple of months ago I published a scope for Ubuntu Touch, called Discerning Duck: it’s like a personal assistent, based on DDG Instant Answers. The scope it’s still limited, because only few of these Instant Answers are available via API (only goodies and fathead. Spice, the most interactive, will be available in next months).

So, every scope has an homepage, and I put in the homepage one of the available goodies: sunrise and sunset in your location.

discerning duck homepage

Unfortunately, DuckDuckGo tries to understand your location from your IP address, and there is no way to set a location by yourself, so I can’t use device location to look for sunrise. How long this worked well for me, someone has wrong location in his homepage, so some days ago someone opened an issue on Discernig Duck GitHub project to complain about this. I couldn’t do anything but open a bug upstream.

And you know what? In less than 4 days the bug has been fixed, and in next days will be live. I will fix Discerning Duck to use phone location to look for sunrise, that is more accurate than IP address lookup, and everyone will be happy :-)

And this is possible because both Discerning Duck and DuckDuckGo Instant Answers are opensource, and everyone can reports bugs! So, remember, everytime you find something doesn’t work in an opensource project, report it and, if you want, you can also try to fix it!


As usual, I do all this in my spare time, at night because during the day I have to study. Do you mind to buy me a coffee to help me to stay awake? :-)