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Novell Releasing Hula and 200,000+ Lines of Code

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the that's-a-lot-of-if-statements dept.

Novell 223

H0ek writes "Seems Novell has announced at LinuxWorld Expo that they will be releasing 200,000+ lines of code to the community in the form of a project named Hula(TM). The project is derived from the Novell NetMail product and provides web-based email and calendaring. Seems our boy Nat Friedman has some info on this, too. If you were fortunate enough to get a MyRealBox email account, you will probably know what NetMail is like."

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Web-based email? Oh, that's sooo exciting (2, Insightful)

Bad Move (774329) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683142)

yawn

Re:Web-based email? Oh, that's sooo exciting (2, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683229)

Yeah, but 200,000 lines of code! Think about that! Even after you remove all of the lines of "this comment intentionally left blank", you'll still have, what, 20k, 30k lines left? :)

Seriously, though: if you want webmail, what's wrong with Horde/Imp? I use that at home; it's pretty nice and full featured, if you can get past the configuration.

Re:Web-based email? Oh, that's sooo exciting (1)

rfinnvik (16122) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683274)

NetMail is also an MTA, a POP3 server, an IMAP server, fancy message store(NMAP protocol) with (at least in NetMail, dunno about Hula) nice support for LDAP/eDirectory and HA/Load Balancing.

Re:Web-based email? Oh, that's sooo exciting (5, Interesting)

Drishmung (458368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683310)

Read the article. It supports web mail---and having used MyRealBox I can say it's quite good. But, it also supports POP3, IMAP, LDAP and webcal.

So, doesn't this now start to sound more like a free Exchange Server replacement?

Re:Web-based email? Oh, that's sooo exciting (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683411)

So, doesn't this now start to sound more like a free Exchange Server replacement? No, I'd say this [novell.com] is like a Exchange Server replacement...

Re:Web-based email? Oh, that's sooo exciting (1)

Drishmung (458368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683498)

That sounds like an Exchange Server replacement. It doesn't sound like a free Exchange Server replacement. [novell.com]

Re:Web-based email? Oh, that's sooo exciting (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683608)

Do you think Novell would issue the code for a free Exchange server replacement when they offer a commercial version?

Re:Web-based email? Oh, that's sooo exciting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683912)

No, it sounds like a free courier replacement. Oh wait... courier is already open source.

sorry can't resist (-1, Offtopic)

alex_guy_CA (748887) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683146)

first post?

can't resist and can't succeed (2, Funny)

Bad Move (774329) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683167)

Loser.

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683151)

first?

I am not an enterprise admin... (3, Insightful)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683165)

But if I were setting up an IT infrastructure at a 200+ computer office, I'd want to keep e-mail and calendars separate. I know it's probably just me, but I like having a separate calendar program.

Re:I am not an enterprise admin... (2, Informative)

nizo (81281) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683193)

What web based calendar does everyone use? We have been using WebCalendar [utexas.edu] (spiffy name eh?) and it works ok, but the interface is kinda hokie looking (plus it is waaaaay too busy). Anyone else have any preferences?

Re:I am not an enterprise admin... (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683227)

So hack the email portion of it out...

Re:I am not an enterprise admin... (1)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683255)

They're just using CalDav IIRC.

Besides, if you take out the calendar thing, you could just use, say, qmail and openldap.

Re:I am not an enterprise admin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683237)

Slashdot: Where people pretend to be twice as smart as they really are by behaving like children.

That's really funny...and so true. Thanks for the chuckle.

Re:I am not an enterprise admin... (4, Insightful)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683265)

And if I were setting up [another] IT infrastructure at a 200+ computer office, I'd realise that every non-technical user expects calendaring to be part of their messaging system, since y'know their messaging system is used solely to schedule things...

Though personally, I'd love that messaging system to be IM rather than email, but that is yet to exist nicely [though Exchange supports something like it, but I've not tried it, since... it's Exchange...]

Re:I am not an enterprise admin... (1)

theparanoidcynic (705438) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684267)

What about Jabber?

Re:I am not an enterprise admin... (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683268)

I really don't think you need to worry too much about having them on seperate servers, from http://hula-project.org/index.php/FAQ#How_well_doe s_it_scale.3F:

Scalability was the primary design parameter for the original codebase. Anecdotally, people have run 200,000 registered users on a single $4,000 PC, with a 25% concurrency rate (that's over 50,000 concurrently-connected users).

And it shows... (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683323)

.. because if you were, and you tried to roll out an IT infrastructure that did *not* have integrated email and calendaring, you would likely be fired.

Seriously, if you have worked at any even moderately-sized organization, you would know that this is essential. There are people I work with, who I know would be totally unable to function without this kind of integration. And I don't blame them either - if I had to be in that many meetings / week, I would need it as well.

Re:And it shows... (4, Insightful)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683350)

I'm not saying that the functionality cannot be integrated. I'm saying that the services do not need to be tightly coupled and made into one to acheive that integration.

Re:And it shows... (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683393)

It is normally difficult to achieve the level of integration required without this tight coupling. It is not like there is this standard calendar API one could use.

There is iCal, but all that is good for is the storing / retrieving calendars. That is a starting point for integration, but it is one step on a mile long journey.

This is why you have all kinds of Open Source PIM suites out there ( Kontact, Evolution, OpenGroupware, etc ), but you can't easily do something like use Thunderbird for your email and Evolution for the calendaring - it just doesn't work. There is too much data that needs to be shared.

Re:And it shows... (1)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683548)

*sigh* It's obvious that I haven't had much dealings with most non-techie exchange-using types, but first of all it would seem to me that it would be easy enough to put the e-mail integration in a calendar application--just use the generic 'mail' command.

But I'll concede that exchange has created and firmed this association to the point where the level of integration required is more than even the level of integration that a word processor and a spreadsheet need.

Re:And it shows... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683924)

Says you.

The hundreds of millions of employees of businesses around the world using Outlook would likely disagree. But as you said, you're not an "enterprise admin," so you've already admitted to having no idea what you're talking about.

Re:I am not an enterprise admin... (5, Informative)

Nat Friedman (31798) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683391)


You can run the Hula calendar separately from the mailer/MTA. We definitely want to follow the one-problem one-tool rule for people who want that.

Re:I am not an enterprise admin... (1)

G-Licious! (822746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683800)

I'd like to see that rule applied to Evolution aswell.

Re:I am not an enterprise admin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683437)

It is just you. I like being able to mail my meetings. And so does everyone else.

Re:I am not an enterprise admin... (1)

augustz (18082) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683453)

From the client perspective you can use as many or few programs as you want. Five IMAP clients on one computer? No problem. Sunbird (standalone cal) support is in the roadmap.

On the server side folks are looking for an exchange replacement that scales way up.

They are not looking for an openserver cobled togther set of scripts / programs / configuration directives.

I don't think the limited combo is going to be a huge problem in the marketplace.

And you'll be surprised at how enterpise admin folks like server / program consolidation, especially in 200+ computer offices. People have been trained on MS admin interfaces. Cobbled together scripts to 100 different configutation places is just not appealing to them.

Want To Really Help Linux? Dump Gnome/Mono (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683172)

Wake me up when Novell stops supporting projects that are undermining Linux.

Not that I'm any fan of KDE, or any desktop for that matter.

Released as LGPL - Are you watching, Sun...? (5, Interesting)

donnz (135658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683214)

"Licensed as open source under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) and the Mozilla Public License (MPL)".

See, that's how it's done. Simple really and no need for weeks of backtracking, bullshit and misleading statements.

Re:Released as LGPL - Are you watching, Sun...? (1)

arose (644256) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683737)

They know [openoffice.org] . They just seem to have other plans...

Re:Released as LGPL - Are you watching, Sun...? (1)

donnz (135658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683926)

They just seem to have other plans...

That's what I'm afraid of.

Re:Released as LGPL - Are you watching, Sun...? (1, Insightful)

ievans (133543) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684073)

You're seriously comparing an abandoned webmail program to an entire OS? Patents and possible infringements are not really an issue with this kind of software, and wouldn't be covered by either the LGPL or the MPL anyway.

I guarantee you the process of clearing the IP for OpenSolaris was a hell of a lot more complicated than for this project.

There's been no confusion on Sun's part about the release of OpenSolaris. Some very visible people expressed their dislike that OpenSolaris wasn't GPL'd, and that the patent grant is only for CDDL projects (a license that explicitly deals with patents--coincidence?). Ok, fair enough. You can't please everybody. If you don't like the license or the software, don't use it. The paranoia and sour-grapes about the CDDL/OpenSolaris is truly bizarre. Did McNealy kick Perens' dog or something?

On Slashdot, Sun's actions are interpreted as simultaneously clueless and methodically sinister. It's more annoying than anything else, as the collective business wisdom here on Slashdot over the years has been impressively wrong.

Full disclosure: I work for Sun, but not on anything to do with Solaris. I don't speak for Sun in any way.

Re:Released as LGPL - Are you watching, Sun...? (1)

donnz (135658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684269)

Well, at the risk of starting a flame war I'll bite :-)

I guarantee you the process of clearing the IP for OpenSolaris was a hell of a lot more complicated than for this project.

So what?

Having done all the hard work why throw it away in what appears to many of us to be a honeypot entrapment wheeze. Remember, we are still smarting from SCO's attacks which were well financed by MS and Sun, the latter has also reached a very lucrative settlement with MS. I think a little paranoia is justified. Just look through Sun's own press releases to see how this initiative was being spun verses reality. You said, "If you don't like the license or the software, don't use it.". I say, fine, but please don't expect people to come jumping to your defence when you misrepresent your actions or not be confused.

It's more annoying than anything else, as the collective business wisdom here on Slashdot over the years has been impressively wrong.

No doubt. But we are not alone there. [yahoo.com]

I don't speak for Sun in any way.

So I noticed.

And the reason? (5, Interesting)

Infinityis (807294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683218)

So what's the rationale behind this? Is it basically the same as catching a fish and throwning it back becasue it was too little? Not enough profits? Are they hoping that open source developers will make as user friendly as Gmail?

Also, how exactly do they transfer it over to open source? Will company employees still head up the project, or do they just pick some leader in the OSS community and declare a project leader?

Re:And the reason? (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683250)

>Is it basically the same as catching a fish and throwning it back becasue it was too little?

Catch, beta, and release?

Seriously, though, I like seeing Corps release code under the GPL, but hope that more large, profitable applications are to follow... imagine the possible extensions and innovation possible.

Re:And the reason? (4, Interesting)

dameron (307970) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683263)

This is a total stab in the dark but I'm guessing they're really going to be pushing their OpenExchange solution instead.

-dameron

Re:And the reason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683488)

why would they push that? OpenExchange was something SuSE offered (SuSE didn't even write it, it was someone elses project that SuSE simply bundled)

they're more likely just going to continue pushing GroupWise

Re:And the reason? (1)

Bradac_55 (729235) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683896)

"They're more likely just going to continue pushing GroupWise"

Exactly, I've managed large Exchange and GroupWise rollouts and I'll pick GroupWise *any* day over Exchange. I've been in love with the NetAdmin backend for years; Active Directory+Exchange is simply a poor step cousin.

I would also love to see Novell open up parts of GW so that we can get a decent front end that competes with Outlook if they would port NetAdim to their new Novell Linux Server product (Consule1 is Java based and at the mercy of Sun) .
- Brad

Re:And the reason? (1)

Klivian (850755) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684122)

At my previous job we used for GroupWise some time. But we merged with another company, and had to go for one common solution for several sites. For some reason they chose Exchange/Outlook, but we were luky. This was aproximatly something like a month before "I Love you" struck, about a week or so later we used Notes:-) Never got any experience on Exchange.

Re:And the reason? (3, Insightful)

denissmith (31123) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683804)

Rumors, and they are really only rumors, are that the new Novell strategy is to migrate the old Netware services, which are a fairly complete and easily managed set of directory, print and Groupware services, to Linux. This is to stave off the inroads that Microsoft has been making in large companies who need these services. Some of these new services will be open source, like this announcement - some may remain proprietary. Basically Novell needs to move its existing clients onto Linux, while keeping them Novell clients. Its a risky strategy, if the rumors are correct, but a wise one. Microsoft has spent 20 years announcing that they have x or y in the pipe that will eliminate the need for a Novell solution, and eventually (like Active Directory) they implement something, this is Novell moving ahead again.

Re:And the reason? (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683827)

They thought a program like this would go great with poor documentation and inadequate maintenance. After reading this slashdot article [slashdot.org] they figured OSS was the way to go.

Re:And the reason? (5, Interesting)

Nat Friedman (31798) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684236)


Open source hasn't yet succeeded in building a collaboration server that people can actually use in a variety of settings. We want to fill this gap with Hula.

We believe that people mainly just want the basics: mail, calendaring, addressbook, maybe shared documents.

The dominant solutions today -- Exchange and Notes -- are built on a 20-year old design that predates the web. They were intended to be platforms on which you could build tools like expense processing, vacation requests, and other things. This was called "workflow."

Today, those functions are all done on internal web sites. It's just better. Who wants to build on the Exchnage "platform" if they don't have to?

But still companies are stuck with these hopelessly big, complex servers, just to do basic email and calendaring. They are expensive, they are heavyweight. They overdeliver.

So what we want to build with Hula is, in a way, the "Firefox" of collaboration servers. Do the basics, and do them extremely well. Provide an extension system so other people can add things if they want.

Dave Camp is the maintainer of Hula; he has a lot of experience in open source and we think he'll guide the project well. Many of the Novell engineers behind the original code (notably David Smith and Rodney Price) are working on the Hula project and will continue to work on it.

We're serious about making Hula work. Stop by #hula on freenode if you want to meet us.

Re:And the reason? (5, Informative)

swerk (675797) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684240)

I'm a (newish, but still) software engineer at Novell, and I'd like to answer your questions quickly from my little point of view.

The rationale behind this is that we'd like to put out something that's simple at first but can seed an ecosystem of its own, and, with some luck, one day become "the Apache of collaboration". Netmail was a good fit because there were very few issues IP-wise in releasing the code, and because it's a young and extensible base that has the potential to evolve into a killer enterprise-level system. If we were to open up GroupWise, for example, (if that were even possible, which it isn't) we'd be saying to the world "hey, come on and help out with our finished, mature product", which isn't nearly as stimulating as "hey, come on and help shape the future of collaboration!" The latter may be a smidge optimistic, but that's honestly what we're shooting for, if I understand Nat correctly.

As for transferring development of Netmail to the open Hula project, here's what I know and (I hope!) am allowed to say: Netmail was a very small team. The Hula team is bigger. So no, we're not just tossing it out and watching to see who in the OSS community should be the project leader. It's still our project, though everybody is free to fork if they decide we're headed in the wrong direction. That does two things: it forces us to stay honest and on the up-and-up with the OSS community, and (as of right now, no turning back) it gives to the world a useful piece of free software that can and will get more and more useful over time.

There was a joke made in the hallways here (and possibly elsewhere in these comments) in reference to South Park. Step 1: Release Hula. Step 2: ??? Step 3: Profit!

Step 2 is to play the game right, to give OSS folks what they want and what they need to help us build (or build themselves, if they so desire) a really sweet communications system. Something that there would be demand for at the enterprise level. Right now, Hula is mail and calendar. A year from now, I would be very surprised if it did not include IM, some form of VOIP, and some things I can't even imagine right now. Apache, QT, MySQL, and so on have shown that there is money to be made from a free-as-in-speech, free-as-in-beer tool if: 1) It's good, and 2) An ecosystem develops around it. That money, of course, is what Novell is looking for in the end, and I've got to say I'm pretty excited to see the way we're going after it. Microsoft built a proprietary community around Exchange, and it has dominated collaboration for years. I'm rooting for Hula's free, open community that was officially born today.

So there's two cents from a rookie Novell programmer.

Why the silly names ? :( (5, Insightful)

rfinnvik (16122) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683230)

Why do people insist on calling these projects such silly names ? :P I've been trying to get my company to go with NetMail, but... Hula ? My boss will just laugh at me:(

Re:Why the silly names ? :( (1)

Eberlin (570874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683360)

Imagine a Novell exec being asked to open source something significant quoting Timon from The Lion King:

"what do you want me to do, dress in drag and do the hula?"

Awww shoot...here come the reps from the rat house in Anaheim. Hopefully they won't sue.

Re:Why the silly names ? :( (1)

natrius (642724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683733)

From the Hula FAQ [hula-project.org] : "Novell has indicated that the Hula codebase will form the basis for future versions of NetMail or a NetMail successor product." They're not selling Hula. They're selling NetMail. It's a Netscape-esque kind of thing.

Re:Why the silly names ? :( (2, Funny)

killjoe (766577) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683762)

Word!.

Re:Why the silly names ? :( (4, Funny)

flacco (324089) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683982)

Why do people insist on calling these projects such silly names ? :P I've been trying to get my company to go with NetMail, but... Hula ? My boss will just laugh at me:(

just make up an important-sounding acronym:

High-end Ultimate Life Assistant.

ok, that sucks. make up your own.

Re:Why the silly names ? :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684084)

I think Novell should have called it UFIA.

/got nuthin

nuts for webmail (2, Insightful)

eh2o (471262) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683233)

hopefully this app will work better than a certain other webmail named after a rodent with a big bushy tail.

Re:nuts for webmail (4, Funny)

boomgopher (627124) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683471)

Do tell, why don't you like our ChewbaccaMail product?


Re:nuts for webmail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683544)

ha ha ha ha HAHAHAHAA AHAA. You are so funny! STAR wars jokes!

Re:nuts for webmail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684159)

Actually, I work at a University that will remain nameless with 20,000+ students using Netmail as it's student email system, and to quote the admin:

"I could replace it with SquirrelMail, and they'd never notice the difference... except that it would run faster."

Integration (4, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683235)

For a long time I've thought that a calendar server that integrates with Outlook is the missing killer app for open source. Then we hear Evolution will be ported to windows, and an Outlook replacement is suddenly available. With OpenOffice we'll have a complete open source office and groupware suite.

Of course life is never that simple, and there's a new target for integration - cell phones. PDA sales are declining fast as the cell phone becomes the computer for outside the office. Most rhe big names, Sony, Nokia, Motarola have been offering a calendar for some time and recent ones will happily sync with Outlook. If we can have an open source calendar server that has a good web interface as well as a desktop application like Outlook and a hook into the big name mobile phones, then we'll have all the angles covered.

Re:Integration (1)

embsysdev (719482) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683444)

While PDA sales may be declining, smartphones (those with PDA attributes) are increasing. Besides, a plain phone doesn't sound an alarm when you have a meeting in 5 minutes. Also, web mail is clunky enough on a desktop. I imagine it's horrible on a crappy browser with a 2 inch screen.

Outlook integration - OpenConnector.Org (4, Interesting)

Kunta Kinte (323399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683604)

For a long time I've thought that a calendar server that integrates with Outlook is the missing killer app for open source.

I thought so too, and started OpenConnector.Org [openconnector.org] a while ago to fix this.

An Outlook connector would allow the thousands of Microsoft Outlook users to connect to a CalDAV calendar server or something like Hula

Although we've come a long way with the OpenConnector project ( we now have a MAPI Message Store that loads, and lots of code to base the Transport Provider off of...) a full Outlook connector is still a lot more work. Most completed commercial connectors, I've heard are developed by a team of fulltime developers, so help is *always* needed. Even simple things like the network protocol library, which requires no knowledge of Outlook or MAPI.

At any rate, I think it is a good time for internet calendaring, especially with CalDAV coming out with so much support ( OSA Foundation, Oracle, Mozilla, and many others... ), and on track ( 5 drafts in a few months ).

Re:Integration (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683998)

SyncML is supposed to be the glue between smart phone and the world

but good luck with that, my Nokia helpfully converts the XML to somem crazy binary format. I've tried reading the copious 9and I mean copious) docs from the SyncML group and W3. I've captured the binary and chucked it into a HEX viewer but I'm convinced that they've pulled an MS and implemented a format that's the same but different such that I can't decode it (or perhaps it's me)

I've found SyncML programs that do the ASCII/utf-8 version of SyncML but the phone doesn't like it.

The only Smarts I wanted from my phone was the ability to auto-feed my ebay auctions into the calendar and set alarms. Even Python for Symbian is locked out of the calendar database. This story [theregister.co.uk] hints towards and even bleaker future where I am locked out of tinkering with my own data for want of a, no doubt pricey, certificate :

But the most controversial aspect of Series 60 v3 has clearly been introduced at the request of nervous operators: certification. Applications without certification won't be able to reach into the address book or use connectivity facilities.

Novel netmail crashed a lot (1, Informative)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683267)

And I lost several important emails even the guy from Novel tried hard to recover data as his time permitted.

Hope this step could change it.

Backup? (1)

lanc (762334) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683486)



Erm but you did have backup, didn't you?

Learn it, HA is not enough, RAID is not enough, do your backups. Do your restoring praxises. Backup you r filesystems, databases.

Be proactive. Use recent application bases (upgrade your php/sql/javacontainer/java). Set the debugging level high, and read your logs, analyze them. Monitor and control your system. Ah yes, and keep the KISS rule.

a reliable alternative to microsoft outlook (4, Interesting)

geekschmoe (244913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683279)

I really hope this turns into a reliable alternative to Outlook. Every manager will tell you that they need/rely on Outlook calendering functions.

And every time the server goes down almost every nerd at the place I work (99% UNIX shop) says something about how we need a unix mail server. But that already exists. We need an open source calender server.

Does something like this exist already or is it in the works? Last time I looked I couldn't find anything comparable.

Re:a reliable alternative to microsoft outlook (1)

doorbot.com (184378) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684028)

We need an open source calender server. Does something like this exist already or is it in the works? Last time I looked I couldn't find anything comparable.

Exchange stores everything as a message... calendar items, tasks, etc.

There are already high quality scalable email systems (Cyrus). With PAM/SASL you can link that to an LDAP system (even Active Directory). Cyrus even allows for public folders and granular access control on mailboxes.

So how long before someone modifies Cyrus and/or a mail client to save calendar items as a regular IMAP message? Seems this is quite a bit easier that creating a whole new client/server model for calendaring, although perhaps IMAP isn't designed for this kind of thing.

You'd still need a service to run regularly and update each user's free/busy info, just like Exchange does -- it's stored in the public folders.

Re:a reliable alternative to microsoft outlook (1)

pierpa (660405) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684067)

your question is widely answered at this link [opengroupware.org] .

to summarize... yes: there are at least two alternatives: opengroupware + cyrus and suse's opengroupware (cyrus + openldap + comfire). for client side: kontact [kontact.org] (korganizer [kde.org] ) is desktop ready. it is difficult to enable (and has many flaws at my advice) for workgroup environment, but is a very good for everyday scheduling, overall if integrated with palm (via kpilot [slac.com] ).

CalDAV vs. webcal:// ? (2)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683287)

Are they the same thing?

That is, in iCal which uses WebDAV to store .ics files, I can subscribe to various calendars via webcal:// URLs.

Is CalDAV the 'official' way of doing this?

Abandonware. Try Citadel instead. (2, Interesting)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683301)

I'd like to remind everyone that the Citadel project [citadel.org] has a complete, robust, flexible open source groupware server that, unlike Hula, is not abandonware. And, it works today, has developers actively working on it, contains a high-performance standalone messaging engine, does IMAP, calendaring (with support for upcoming versions of Kontact and Evolution built-in thanks to GroupDAV), a nice web-based front end, and all the other stuff you expect. Go check it out.

By the way, CalDAV is starting to become widely regarded as too cumbersome to implement properly. GroupDAV [groupdav.org] is the upcoming standard -- not only is it simpler to implement (resulting in fewer buggy implementations) but it also supports all the usual groupware object types -- not only calendars, but tasks, contacts (using vCard), etc. GroupDAV support is currently in beta for Kontact, Evolution, Citadel, and OpenGroupware.org. Go check that out too.

Re:Abandonware. Try Citadel instead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683520)

Funny meeting you here, Mr. Plugmeister!

Re:Abandonware. Try Citadel instead. (2, Insightful)

fejjie (192392) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683563)

Hula isn't abandonware. It is anything *but*. You have no idea what you are talking about.

The competition. Was: Abandonware. (1, Insightful)

Monkius (3888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683976)

It might not be abandonware, but I wouldn't bet my job or life on it.

More importantly, for the things it claims to do now, Netmail/Hula will have to work very hard to be better than alternatives already out there:

1. Sendmail, Qmail, Exim do SMTP, variously, *really well*

2. Cyrus does IMAP *really well*

3. They do this in a manner that scales horizontally across a cluster--I find Hula's scalability claims an invitation to scrutiny, but I wouldn't put 200,000 email accounts on one box, even if I could

4. We have a wide variety of webmail solutions, I like Horde/IMP a lot.

5. We lack, in part, an interoperable calendaring framework, which was the Citadel person's point. But we don't totally lack that either, cf OpenGroupware--and Netmail/Hula appears to be playing catch-up

Re:Abandonware. Try Citadel instead. (2, Informative)

trollzor (858973) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683588)

just don't show your boss the citadel logo on the page

Re:Abandonware. Try Citadel instead. (4, Insightful)

natrius (642724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683787)

It's ok to suggest alternatives and all, but if you're going to criticize a project, at least learn something about it. Novell is basing future versions of NetMail on Hula. It's not so much abandoning as it is getting people to help them work on a project for free. Read the FAQ. [hula-project.org]

Re:Abandonware. Try Citadel instead. (2, Insightful)

Myddrin (54596) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683805)

Funny that a standard that is a draft status is "too cumbersome". If you subscribe to the CalDAV development lists you'll see that they are trying very hard to keep the standard quite simple.

Re:Abandonware. Try Citadel instead. (5, Informative)

Nat Friedman (31798) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684283)


Hula is not abandonware. It is a project we have only started to invest in.

Come by #hula on freenode, count the 20-25 Novell employees there, and then determine for yourself what kind of project it is.

It's Mature Too (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683313)

I see on their Calendar idea mind map [hula-project.org] , in the lower left is 'Rob Secretary'

Re:It's Mature Too (1)

JimmehAH (817552) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683682)

Looks to me like it says 'Robo Secretary'.

I don't know which is more mature.

How many lines for.. (1)

linuxbeta (837266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683315)

How many lines for Novell Linux [osdir.com] ?

Needed! open access app servers (-1, Redundant)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683332)

NetMail will enable a great webmail app (one day)...but who will run the server?

There is a great extension for syncing my Firefox bookmarks with an FTP server...but who will run this server?

iFolder allows easy syncing to a Novell BlahBlah server...who is running one?

Barring running these servers on my home box or a domain I lease myself (yuck), these seem like impotent solutions. Someone needs to open servers for these clients or whats the point.

Re:Needed! open access app servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683515)

It's called security! I don't want to sync my iFolder somewhere I have no control over.

Re:Needed! open access app servers (1)

fejjie (192392) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683596)

iFolder is peer-to-peer. (altho it can also be done via server)

Hula is more than a webmail front-end, it is also the server.

From the same company that brings you... (3, Informative)

noblesse oblige (840634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683371)

... Open Xchange [open-xchange.org] ...

It would be interesting to catch the differences between the two, Open Xchange has a few more collaboration engines in it, namely a project manager and bulletin board.

In full disclosure we plan on releasing OX in the office sometime soon after their .8 release. Especially now that it looks like they integrate with any IMAP server (freeing us from having to switch to Cyrus).

Dude, seriously (-1, Troll)

airrage (514164) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683404)

Apparently, Evolution can give you a woody, but if you've got that sign [gnome.org] and she's still talking to her friend. Dude, seriously, she just not that in to you.

WOW!!! 200,000lines of CODE (-1, Redundant)

segmond (34052) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683412)

since when did we get back to this LOC bullshit? I don't know who I should direct my insult to, slashdot admins, the poster or novell. Wow, 200,000 lines of code.

Another one bites the dust (1)

McSnickered (67307) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683424)

Looks like myrealbox.com just became myrealslowbox.com. Thanks /.!

Wrong password count (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683440)

Look slike someones trying to break in. The 'wrong password' count is climbing pretty steady.

2652 -> 2702 in about a minute.

Without Outlook connector.... (2, Insightful)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683571)

.... You're not gonna be able to get any of these in a MS shop.

Unfortunate but true.

200,000 lines of code! (1)

remahl (698283) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683602)

That might sound impressive to a non-technical person. And sure, it is _a_lot_ of code! Only, a lot of code is not an asset, it's a liability.

A web mail system at 200 KLOC sounds like a nightmare to maintain, both as a developer and as an administrator. I bet this was a corporate project that went horribly wrong somewhere and this is an attempt to cut some losses.

Re:200,000 lines of code! (1)

OzRoy (602691) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683815)

What?

LOC does not determine how easy a project is to maintain. Design does. If the project is well designed then no matter how big it is it will be easier to maintain. I've worked on a bit of software that probably only had about 5000 LOC and it was a nightmare!

200K LOC isn't even a particularly big project. The linux kernel has over 30 million.

Re:200,000 lines of code! (1)

OzRoy (602691) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683866)

Sorry to reply to my own post but I made a mistake on the SLOC in the kernel 30 million was in an entire distro.

The kernel has about 4.2 million.

Re:200,000 lines of code! (1)

remahl (698283) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683878)

Of course I don't know how complex this web mail system is, but 200,000 lines _suggests_ a poor design with a lot of redundancy. I mainly object to the use of "200KLOC" in the heading to imply that this is an important project. Sheer code size doesn't mean anything -- design does, as you pointed out.

Re:200,000 lines of code! (1)

JudasBlue (409332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684179)

Of course I don't know how complex this web mail system is, but 200,000 lines _suggests_ a poor design with a lot of redundancy.

The two clauses of that sentence don't go together: "I don't know the thing I need to know in order to judge how many lines it should be, so I will assume it is bad."

Actually, if you look at the product, it is fairly complex and comprehensive and 200KLOC looks very reasonable. It includes an imap system, pop system, interface systems, calendar systems, list managers and a whole host of other crap.

As for judging things by their LOC, well, I kind of agree with you there, except for the immediate leap that the line count tells you the redundancy. Line count doesn't really tell you anything but line count until you have more information. And as such, shouldn't be touted in headlines one way or the other.

Still Waiting (1)

JockAMundo (783105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683652)

I'm still waiting for the Exchange killer. This look s close, but its still not there. As much as it pains me, I routinely recommend Exchange to my clients that need shared calendaring, shared contacts, a Windows client (no web stuff), and PDA sync. My clients are lawyers, accountants, and insurances agencies. All are huge users of all these features, and I can't just say "Use linux on the desktop". In the real world this all has to work in windows, and the only solution I can find in Exchange/Outlook.

I wish the hula people good luck, but there is a long way to go to match Exchange in features.

Let the flame war begin!

Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683853)

I just checked my myrealbox account for the first time in about a year. over 500 spam messages...

Too much Novell in GNOME? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683905)

Hula is just another mail/groupware server from Novell (The others are Open Xchange and GroupWise). And CalDev is just another format, to mix up things, when most open source groupware and mail servers and clients were converging to use GroupDav. But why is GNOME promoting this server and not the other open source servers?

Check out Planet GNOME [gnome.org] and Footnotes [gnomedesktop.org] and see for yourself how GNOME is being used as a tool to market software that has no direct relationship with GNOME, and does not use GNOME technology. So using GNOME to promote Mono and Evolution is one thing, but as a marketing plataform for unrelated software is another. Where does it end?

Re:Too much Novell in GNOME? (1)

cwoelz (758427) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684054)

I searched for other groupware servers in Footnotes, and at least OpenGroupware was subject of an article. No bias here. But Planet Gnome marketing really seems to be a little overboard...

Code is broken/incompleate? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11683923)

I just pulled hula of their svn server and guess what? It doesn't compile. Apparently novel forgot to include definition of atomic_inc and atomic_dec macros. Has anyone else had this problem?

For the sake of compleatness I'm building this on a nearly fresh fedora 3 box + reacent updates that I use for my daily work (devel). Novel claims no external dependencies are needes as can be seen here: http://www.hula-project.org/index.php/FAQ#Does_Hul a_have_any_significant_dependencies.3F [hula-project.org]

nothing new (1)

pierpa (660405) | more than 9 years ago | (#11683934)

openwebmail [openwebmail.org] does already all of it, and much more, apart from having not being officially tested for heavy use.

hula hasn't mail filter, so it cannot be considered as desktop replacement.

gmail has the abstract of the first lines of the message, and nor hula neither any other opensource or closed source webmail application seems to have this simple feature.

i couldn't see either if hula supports a javascript WYSIWYG rich text editor. or international spellchecking.

i use openwebmail as desktop replacement (web)mail application so i can have my sent-email folder always synchronized independently if i work home, office or elsewhere.

i wonder how many lines of code are needed to implement such features in hula or openwebmail.org...

I POOP ON NOVELL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684010)

poop

Death?? (0, Offtopic)

sjwt (161428) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684017)

Or rebirth, think about it, the older usenet gets the less knowen and used it is becomeing these days, soon it wont be worth the time of spamers as only the l33t soto speek will b euseing usenet, and then the signle to noise ratio might rise just enough to have a decent arguemtn over whos the hotest starwars babe =>

Fortunate enough? (1)

oKtosiTe (793555) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684075)

Fortunate enough to have 10 MB of storage? Oooh... Aaah...

contents of Hula.c (0, Troll)

fail_miserably() (755243) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684113)

for (1 .. 200_000) {
print "This should fool those OSS suckerz.\n";
}

native clients and desktop shell integration (1)

flacco (324089) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684203)

there are scads of web-based mail/calendar/project applications. if you want acceptance from the average windows-monkey in business, it will take native clients, and shell integration - right-click context-menu stuff, a "my projects" folder in "my computer", drag/drop everywhere...

who knows - once evolution is ported to windows, maybe we'll see progress on this front. a cross-platform native groupware client would be a huge win for desktop viability in businesses.

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