01.31.07

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Company Takes Open Source Project Off Novell’s Hands

Posted in Mail, Servers at 3:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We previously mentioned Hula, which is an Open Source project that Novell ceased to maintain shortly after the deal with Microsoft had been made. Hula’s control has just been given away, leaving us with a company that concentrates on mixed-source (or legacy proprietary) solutions. Fortunately, however, Opensuse still incorporates Open Source mail, calendaring and collaboration solutions, albeit many are maintained elsewhere.

Messaging Architects, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire NetMail and take over leadership of the open source Hula Project from Novell. Messaging Architects has been a Novell ISV partner since 1999. The privately held company specializes in the development of Email Security and Compliance Applications that integrate with Novell’s GroupWise and eDirectory products.

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4 Comments

  1. Ian said,

    January 31, 2007 at 7:29 am

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    Which is it, mixed source or legacy proprietary? That’s a contradiction. If it’s the latter, you have further contradicted it by mentioning OpenSuse.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 31, 2007 at 9:35 am

    Gravatar

    You make a fine point, as usual, but what I had in mind are programs such as GroupWise. The aspiration, I believe, is to move a lot of the inter- and intra-business interaction (mail, calendaring, etc.) onto the Web (server-client model), using Open Source software.

    Hula could facilitate nice and seamless collaboration between Windows and GNU/Linux users in the workplace. Mixed environments are the only realistic route to adoption of SLED/Opensuse, no? As it stands, Evolution (with an immature Windows port), Mozilla Thunderbird and KMail seem like the solution to stick with. They don’t perfectly integrate with Outlook/Exchange or Novell equivalents/alternatives. It was mentioned before that Hula was a threat — however great or small — to Exchange. It also brought benefits to other Open Source projects, so Novell had a chance to contribute a lot to the community. While this one project ran out of steam, I would happily agree that they help in other ways. The patent FUD that prevails and recurs in press releases is what angers the most.

  3. Ian said,

    January 31, 2007 at 10:34 am

    Gravatar

    Mixed environments is the name of the game and GroupWise works as well as any groupware system I know about. You can spread the groupwise system agents over NetWare, Windows, Linux, and even Solaris boxes I believe. In terms of web based interfaces, I’ll go out on a limb and tell you that going 100% web based on the client will never fly. People aren’t going to give up their “rich” clients any time soon.

    In terms of ever open sourcing GroupWise, I couldn’t begin to tell you I know anything about what that would entail. If I had to guess, I’d say there’s 3rd party bits which would make GPLing any of that software cumbersome and lead to a stall in the development of GroupWise as a whole. But I will say this, GroupWise customers would be none too happy if development actually went backwards.

    As for Hula, there couldn’t have been a huge need for what it delivered or proposed to deliver. If it did, I would suspect there would have been a larger following from the user and development community. As it stands, there isn’t, so I can’t see the imperative need for that type of system.

  4. Keith said,

    February 1, 2007 at 10:44 am

    Gravatar

    As far as opensourcing groupwise, while at Gwavacon Dallas 07 it was stated that the crossplatform client & the web client would be opensourced (but not win32 client or the server itself) once groupwise 8 was released (projected nov30th 07′).

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