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More on KDE Groupware 307

Posted by michael
from the viral-memes dept.
e8johan writes "The KDE PIM Team will integrate all their applications into one common interface and create an Outlook-like application.This is being done in the Kroupware project commissioned by the German government. There is a prototype of KOrganizer with KMain embedded into it (shots 1, 2), and another prototype with KMain running as a KPart in Kaplan (shot 1, 2, 3). This looks hopeful and if they manage to build the application as flexible and modular as other KDE projects this will hopefully mature into something great." Kroupware is a catchy name, but I wonder if the KDE team is aware of the English word croup.
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More on KDE Groupware

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  • This is huge (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ViceClown (39698) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:11PM (#4320804) Homepage Journal
    This is exactly what KDE needs. Best of luck to the PIM teams because this is the final piece of the KDE on the desktop puzzle that businesses need to supplant outlook/exchange. If it hooks into a nice backend as easily as Outlook does to exchange then we're looking at a contendor.
    • exchange then we're looking at a contendor

      You mean Kontender....

  • evolution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by asv108 (141455)
    I'm a kde user but I also use evolution. Why would I want to switch to Kroupware when evolution already does this and has the ability to connect to exchange servers? Aren't KDE and Gnome already redundant enough?
    • Re:evolution (Score:5, Informative)

      by cxreg (44671) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:16PM (#4320850) Homepage Journal
      A large part of this project is the server-side, grouping together existing applications (cyrus IMAP, OpenLDAP, etc) to provide a "Groupware server".

      You should be able to use Evolution with all of those parts anyway (and actually, currently I don't think Evo supports stuff like LDAP and shared calendering, a project like this might influence support for such things).
      • Re:evolution (Score:3, Informative)

        by KeyserDK (301544)
        i know evolution does support LDAP.

        dunno about the shared calender stuff =)
      • Re:evolution (Score:4, Informative)

        by GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) <curt...johnson@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @04:15PM (#4322070) Homepage
        From the design documents listed on their site, this doesn't look like much on the server side. They're going to 'jerry-rig' the asynchronous shared calendaring hack that Bynari uses. This is still not the shared calendaring that exchange provides.

        These guys should be supporting and helping http://www.opencap.org, which is implementing the IETF draft for real-time shared calendaring. What they are doing is pushing static free-busy files to an FTP server then using a Calendar folder in the IMAP server for storage.

        This does not enable real-time calendaring. From what I can tell, they aren't writing anything for the server-side, just configuring known packages. I can understand that their goals and time restrictions may mean that the methodology they are using for calendaring is the best they can do right now. In fact I believe this is the case, since you would pretty much have had to come across the CAP protocols doing the research that would lead you to the solution they've chosen.

        I think this is a great project, and I hope they write some nice server admin tools, but this is not the 'Exchange Killer' that everyone seems to be touting it as. It is a nice start.

        If you want an 'Exchange Killer', help out http://www.opencap.org. This guy has the right design (LDAP and SASL support) that will allow it to integrate with Cyrus IMAP and OpenLDAP. Since most of the OpenSource calendaring client projects (Evolution, Mozilla, etc) use libical, it should be relatively small amounts of work to make sure they work with OpenCAP, once it's ready.

        BTW, Evolutions history with LDAP support has completely sucked. I noticed the last release had some work done on LDAP, but it had a ways to go last time I tried it. I want the ability to add addresses to the LDAP address book from Evolution (assuming the LDAP server has the correct ACL's).
        • It looks like that's what they're using. The binary hack is only for Outlook clients, for which they are using proftpd and calling it "Legacy Support." The FTP is not used by default. They're also using OpenLDAP for access control lists and storing all user data including passwords. Cyrius IMAP is also being used as you mention. Basically it looks like they're doing what you suggest, and they're writing a PHP web-based configuration utility for it all. Read about it before you blast it.
    • by edrugtrader (442064) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:16PM (#4320857) Homepage
      if you feel you can be a respectable KDE user while using software that doesn't start with "K", then go ahead...
    • Re:evolution (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rocjoe71 (545053) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:22PM (#4320909) Homepage
      Actually, when it comes to KDE and GNOME, you can't get redundant _enough_!

      If we all stopped at the point where somebody says "It's been done before" we wouldn't have Linux, KDE or GNOME and I'd be posting to /. in IE.

      Why not compete? I bet with a little pride on the line, Kroupware and Ximian could take turns leap-frogging each other, possibly resulting in having TWO products that outstrip Outlook!

      • If we all stopped at the point where somebody says "It's been done before" we wouldn't have Linux, KDE or GNOME and I'd be posting to /. in IE.
        no, you'd be posting it under the NCSA Mosaic browser.
      • There is a subtle difference between competition and pure redundancy. Competition is good because it "raises the bar" of some quantity such as quality, price, value, features, etc. But for two things to be competing, they must be different in some fundamental way.

        Two pieces of software that are virtually identical except for their GUI toolkit are not competitive, they are redundant.

        Now, we don't know exactly how this Kroupware will come out, so we really don't know yet whether it will be competitive or redundant. If it's basically just Evolution written to the QT toolkit and KDE libs, then it will be redundant; if it (hopefully) offers something distinctive and raises the bar for Linux groupware, then it will be competitive.

        • Exactly! That's why with a little "pride on the line" my hope is to see these development teams strive to go well beyond maintaining the status quo (i.e. Exchange interoperation and Outlook GUI)-- perhaps a new way to collaborate, some sexy new widgets, who's to say for sure!

          But it's likelier to happen when there's *at least* two products have the same objectives to measure up each other, side-by-side.

    • I'm a kde user but I also use evolution. Why would I want to switch to Kroupware when evolution already does this and has the ability to connect to exchange servers? Aren't KDE and Gnome already redundant enough?

      Well, the whole point is to replace the MS Exchange server. Those MS-server licenses are not really cheap, especially if you take the CALs into account.

  • Time wasted (Score:2, Insightful)

    by darthaya (66687)
    So much precious OOS developer time wasted on reinventing the wheel.

    Imagine if we have a KDE compatible/look like evolution, we can save so much time in redoing just another outlook client - kaplan, which is basically the same thing as evolution.

    I dont ever need to use two PIM client (outlook clone) that has identical functionality but with two different set of configuration files and stores my information differently.

    • Re:Time wasted (Score:3, Insightful)

      What makes you think that twice as many developers on one app will make that app come out twice as fast or twice as good?

      And what if all the developers work on one app and it sucks? The net result is we will be even further behind Outlook. If we have two or more projects in development at least if one sucks, others will come out on top.

      We have that much over Microsoft - if they fuck up, they're fucked. Look at .NET - they are putting *everything* behind it - if they drop the ball with it, it isn't going to work. If we fuck up (*cough cough* united linux *cough*) at least we have other distros/apps/forks/etc to fall back on.
    • Re:Time wasted (Score:3, Insightful)

      I dont ever need to use two PIM client (outlook clone) that has identical functionality but with two different set of configuration files and stores my information differently.

      Oops. I forgot to comment on this. I agree with you here - we need a standard format (open good, standard better). Different apps, same storage format. Ain't gonna happen but it would be nice.
      • The Kroupware project (that is *not* the name of the software, which will be decided later), uses only open standards; that is the entire point of the software. It's both client and server side - all of the server side is done using FS and OS software. This is not reinventing the wheel, this is taking four wheels, attaching them to a frame, and making a comfortable chair and steering wheel.

        --
        Evan (mo reference)

    • First, this is hardly reimplementing the whole thing. The parts are taken from KMail, KNode, the calendar, knotes - Kaplan is merely a container for those components.

      But more importantly, it's about the SERVER which will be the FIRST free MS Exchange replacement. (Yes, this means Outlook-compatibility, too.)

  • Ugh... (Score:2, Troll)

    by intermodal (534361)
    why would anyone want anything along the lines of outlook? If I want mail, I'll use a mail program. If I wan't a calendar or planner, i'll use a program that does those things. Having a giant program that sucks and does a billion things you probably don't want or need isn't the answer...just because people are used to it doesnt make it a good program or idea.
    • Re:Ugh... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Rude Turnip (49495)
      So don't use it. That's why I just install the browser component of Mozilla and use Pine for my personal email. For work purposes (at least mine and many others), an integrated groupware suite is the best way to go.

      In an office environment, especially one that's all about communicating ideas amongst coworkers and clients, you'd be running all those separate programs at the same time anyway. You might as well have all that stuff (mail, shared calendar, contacts, appointments, meetings) stuck in one window.

      Another advantage of an integrated suite like Outlook or Evolution is that you can have a single homepage-type screen that neatly summarizes any new mail messages, tasks or meetings for the day or next few days outwards.
    • by swb (14022)
      I agree generally, but in a setting where you have collaborative calendaring how am I supposed to invite you to a meeting? Write an email and have you stick it on your calendar program seperately? Or use the unified application to check my calendar, schedule the meeting and send a notice to each person, who can then accept/reject and have it put on their calendars automatically?

      There's also the notion that internally these programs and their servers work by passing messages; in many ways its already email internally.
    • Re:Ugh... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gi-tux (309771) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:37PM (#4321043) Homepage
      As a geek, I would agree with you. As a past sys admin for email and scheduling, I would have to disagree with you. I managed email and scheduling for a 4500 employee business and we used separate email and scheduling systems (based on Linux/Unix servers). The biggest complaint that I got was that the users had to keep two applications opened to do the job. Another was that it was hard to get reminders emailed to you or meeting invitations emailed properly. The administration liked the fact that we didn't have outlook/exchange and thus avoided many problems (virus problems, etc.), but the users complained all the time.

      Also remember that a big part of this is getting something that works client/server. This is one of my personal complaints. I would love to have a scheduling server at home for the family. We have a busy family life and keeping up with everyones schedules would be so much easier if it were in a centralized place. I used to use Star Office as it included email and scheduling, yes I actually bought it for the scheduling server. I didn't really like the one big application, but it had what I needed and thus was my choice. But Sun dropped the email client and the scheduling stuff and that leaves me out of luck.

      • I would love to have a scheduling server at home for the family. We have a busy family life and keeping up with everyones schedules would be so much easier if it were in a centralized place.

        Have you looked at Open Web Mail [openwebmail.org]? I've used it for myself, and it is easy to set up and use. It has calendaring features and offers web based email access as well.
      • Also remember that a big part of this is getting something that works client/server.
        I would love to have a scheduling server at home for the family.
        Mozilla Calendar recently got the ability to read calendars on the net and there's work started [opencap.org] on a real calendar server implementation.
        But your first point is right, you have to begin with treating every file as a server to make a descent user-interface, then supporting local and distant calendars is merely a question of fileformats. That said, I still have to see a calendar that separates appointments and public holiday information in a structured way.
    • Linux is about choice. If you don't want it, don't use it. If you want it, it's available. If it's not available, as is the case here, somebody can make it -- maybe even you! Mozilla comes with a browser, mail app, irc, and who the hell knows what else. I only install the browser. If other people want the IRC client, they install it. If you want to use pine for your mail, go for it. But this is exactly what some people want, and if it means they'll use linux if they can get it, then code away.
    • Re:Ugh... (Score:3, Informative)

      by rseuhs (322520)
      Kaplan is merely a container of those programs.

      The components (KMail, KOrganizer, KNode and knotes) will continue to be available seperately

      So everybody should be happy, right? - Wrong, some people will always whine, no matter what.

      • Will they be able to communicate even when separate? For instance an invitation in KMail, will connect to Korganizer and put it in there? DCOP should allow that to happen.
    • I have to say I agree. Evolution and Outlook are horribly designed. I much prefer KMail as a powerful mail client, Kabc and Korganizer being separate, but they still are capable of working together, but not all in the same window. Evolution is horrid.
  • Not the last step (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mgkimsal2 (200677) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:16PM (#4320856) Homepage
    I've been seeing people say 'this is the last step' or similar things, about some type of 'outlook killer' app for Linux. It won't be the last step. By the time there is something that is workable/usable for the majority of companies, there will be some other roadblock/obstacle which people start saying 'we have to have or we can't switch'. I'm not saying I necessarily even know what that is at this point, but it'll happen.

    First it was web browsers.
    Then an office suite.
    Now an 'outlook' killer.
    What next? `

    Personal security/prefs setting ala 'passport'? Though that hasn't seemed to have taken off as pervasively (or publicly) as might have been. Honestly I can't think of what it might be, but there'll no doubt be some other area of corporate culture MS gets embedded into quickly, which will take years to wean people away from (if in fact they want to get weaned away - if it works for them, just let it be).
    • I've been seeing people say 'this is the last step' or similar things, about some type of 'outlook killer' app for Linux. It won't be the last step.

      You're right, it won't be. It's all a matter of covering certain pieces of the market. Getting a usable desktop with a nice office suite, including the big 3, a word processor, spreadsheet, and integrated email/PIM, was the first step. GNOME 2 with Evolution + OpenOffice does this.* This gets us a sizable chunk of users right there. Then we get, say, a native port of Photoshop. There's another huge chunk of people whose needs are now met, etc, etc. For every new clone app or ported app (or every new thing that Crossover Office supports!), we get another chunk of users. Slowly, we chip and grind away at the Windows userbase. It's all a matter of going in steps - no one app will gather up all users.

      * One could say there are various KDE solutions that do this, too, but I think GNOME 2's usability is superior, but I'm also more familiar with it - I'm not going to comment on KDE programs much because I don't know them well.
    • I'm not saying I necessarily even know what that is at this point, but it'll happen.

      Linux needs enterprise management software (accounting, payroll, taxes, inventory). GnuEnterprise strives to fill this hole, but it has a long way to go.

      Also, I don't think OpenOffice and KOffice are ready to replace MS Office.

      Once open source provides quality replacements for all proprietary software, companies will be reluctant to switch because they will have to rewrite their expensive, custom software.

      • by Uggy (99326) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @03:58PM (#4321926) Homepage
        Man oh, man, if I hear another person say OpenOffice isn't ready for prime time, I swear I'm gonna yank out their odbc and hit them over the head with it.

        In my experience joe-generic office drone, when faced with OpenOffice or MS Office, is gonna make all the same mistakes independent of brand.

        Try MS Word/Writer:

        He's going to double carriage return to put spaces between paragraphs. He's going to indent with spaces. He's going to to use the B I U and font settings to change heading's characteristics (which are double carriage returned as well). He's going to freak out if you mention ODBC and mail merge. He's going to tediously type out envelopes and form letters ("testing" them in the printer to align them correctly). After you teach him how to mail merge off of a DB, or that documents are easier to update when you define styles etc., he will thank you. When you return a few weeks later, he will be back to his same tried and true plodding slow-wittedness.

        Powerpoint/Presenter

        He's going to make a presentation by first deciding on a background and header style. Then he's going to mess with borders for 30 minutes. Then he's going to play around with slide transitions. Then he's going to import some useless graphics. Eventually he will think about content. Once there, he will repeat steps used to make MS Word document.

        Excel/Calc:

        Will pour over columns of numbers for hours, hand editing and typing values. He will alt-tab between his spreadsheet and his calculator program to add numbers. He will select some columns and make a chart, spending 15 minutes to find the pie/scatter/bar configuration that looks prettiest, and then proceed to misname the dependent and independent axises. Then he will select fonts, backgrounds, borders... and then spend no less then three hours trying to get his 40x129 monstrosity to fit on ONE page. He will waste no less then 40 sheets of paper to accomplish this. Upon success he will make 56 copies for distribution.

        Did I miss anything? I'd say both products let people do their work as they normally do. I've observed for some time and both products give you equal levels of functionality.

        This has been my experience for 95% of all office workers, and I also find that their adamance towards MS is inversely proportional to their competence with it.
    • First it was web browsers.
      Then an office suite.
      Now an 'outlook' killer.
      What next?

      Well, for us at least, it's something that can compete with AutoDesk Inventor and AutoCAD Mechanical Desktop. Then it's something that can compete with OrCAD (no, Eagle doesn't cut it). After that, it's getting Microchip's IDE to work. No, it won't talk to the ICE2000 over the parallel port in WINE.

      After all that, it's a decent inventory management/accounting package, perhaps some decent MRP/ERP functionality. And finally after that, it's something that can compete with MacroMedia DreamWeaver -- quanta is for those who know HTML.

      So yeah you're right, we've got a long way to go before it can replace everything. But for most office types, what we have is pretty damned good.

      But you're right, we need some way to spread viruses around via email quickly. I don't know how business ever survived without that. :-)

      • After all that, it's a decent inventory management/accounting package, perhaps some decent MRP/ERP functionality.

        GNU Enterprise [gnue.org] and NOLA [noguska.com] are going to hopefully get there at some point in the future.

        GNUe is porting NOLA to its platform, and should be pretty slick. (I've been working on that some, but not much recently..... need to get back to it!)
    • I think you're wrong. Mostly.

      A web browser has become a fairly important part of an office workstation, and granted it was a problem when the browsers sucked.

      What more does almost every person need - well a calendar, some contacts, and of course e-mail, are all pretty basic needs as well. I used ical once, it was "good enough". I use mutt for my personal e-mail, it "sucks less" that the other MUAs. Contacts? I haven't needed anything except for the aliases file for mutt, for my personal needs. At work I use Evolution, because it very conveniently integragtes these three functionalities - calendar, contacts and e-mail.

      And that's it. I'm a developer, I don't need a friggin office suite - documentation is written in stable file formats (that still work even a year after they were written (.text or .tex)), code is written in C++.

      If I was a beancounter I'd want a spreadsheet. If I was a marketing person I'd want a presentation program. As I'm a developer I need a compiler, an editor, and some tools to go with that.

      I can't see that there's any "next new thing" in the near future. I bet it's another 10 years until we see some new technology that becomes ubiquitous like the browser did. Browsers came up in the mid/early '90s, as the newest technology by far. Outlook/Evolution - well the part that people need is just calendar, contacts and e-mail, and we've had that kind of software for decades. Outlook and Evolution just wrap the functionality in a pretty and easy to use interface. It's not new technology.

      What I'm trying to get at is, that there are some "fundamental" needs - web, e-mail, calendar, contacts. Which we have covered more or less. Then there's "specific" needs, which depend on what your job is. A part of an office suite, for example, is a tool for a specific need. There's not going to be one killer "specific" application, since there's no killer job out there that 90% of us are going to occupy in a few years from now.

      Specific stays specific. Fundamental got one small addition almost ten years ago, and that's it.
  • by Soko (17987) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:17PM (#4320862) Homepage
    Kroupware is a catchy name, but I wonder if the KDE team is aware of the English word croup.

    Hmmmmm.....

    A viral disease, often caused by..

    Well, it _is_ supposed to be an Outlook replacement, isn't it? ;-)

    Soko
    • Kroupware is the name of the project, not the name of the software. One proposed name on the Dot that has caught quite a bit of popularity is Foresight.

      --
      Evan (no reference)

      • One proposed name on the Dot that has caught quite a bit of popularity is Foresight.

        A direct ripoff of Outlook. How clever.

        • It could be a direct ripoff of Project, or Plan or Planner, all software projects from major companies at one point or another. Sure it's thematically similar - the software does the same thing. Is OO's Writer a direct ripoff of Word or Write, or is it just a similar word sue to a similar conceptual domain?

          Personally, I like it better than Hola, Komoused, and other proposed names. Especially the latter, which has a forced 'K'. KMail, kvim, kpaint, etc, I can see having the K-prefix, as these are KDE GUIzed versions of standard applications (kmail vs. the *nix standard mail, kvim vs. vim, and kpaint vs. xpaint). Konqueror is an extension of the Navigator and Explorer naming theme, and Konsole was cute when it came out with a K. Since then, it's gotten quite old, and although some new applications are coming out with a K name (Kopete), for awhile now many major and/or core application have dropped the K prefix (Noatun, Brahams, Cervisia, PixiePlus, Quanta). The prefixing on a normal word still makes sense to me to generate a recognizable namespace - KWord, KSpread, KChart, KFormula, KThesarus, KDevelop - but the cutsie 'use a K instead of a different letter' is, imo, dumb.

          --
          Evan (no references)

    • Croup [everything2.com] (kr??p), n. [F. croupe hind quarters,
      croup, rump, of German or Icel. origin; cf. Icel. kryppa hump; akin to Icel. kroppr. Cf. Crop [everything2.com].]

      The hinder part or buttocks of certain quadrupeds, especially of a horse; hence, the place behind the saddle.

      © Webster 1913.
  • by John Hasler (414242) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:18PM (#4320872) Homepage
    ...It refers to a portion of the back end of a horse. This makes it quite appropriate for an all-in-one "Outlook-like" application.
  • This is so freakin' cool. Kmail has been my email client of choice for two years now, and I would love to use both kmail and korganizer without switching from window to window.

    The fact that all this is going to tie into a non-proprietary groupware backend is icing on the cake for me. The company I work for has been interested in groupware for some time, and I can finally stop fending off the requests for MS Exchange from our Sales dept.

    --Wulfhere
    • If you just want KMail and KOrganizer bound together, there is Kaplan [kde.org] ( kaplan1 [troll.no], kaplan2 [troll.no], kaplan3 [troll.no] ). The Kroupware project also includes a serverside specification (make up of open services like IMAP, LDAP, etc). Kaplan is just a framework (a la Konqueror) for a couple of KParts, notably KMail, KOrganizer, KAddressbook, KNotes and KNode (email, calendaring, contacts, usenet and notes).

      --
      Evan (no references)

  • Temporary name (Score:4, Informative)

    by Otter (3800) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:19PM (#4320882) Journal
    Kroupware is a catchy name, but I wonder if the KDE team is aware of the English word croup.

    It's been pointed out to them and they've explained [kde.org] that it's a working name, not a final decision.

    Meanwhile, I've tried to suggest that the developers of the Perl/QT [kde.org] user interface compiler choose a less disgusting name than "puic" ...

    • Meanwhile, I've tried to suggest that the developers of the Perl/QT user interface compiler choose a less disgusting name than "puic" ...

      Ugh! I would say, keep pressing on. Having a name like "puic" is like asking to be ridiculed into oblivion!
  • by moertle (140345) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:21PM (#4320900) Homepage
    Now I kan run kroupware on my komputer and kmanage my kalender and kmail in one kapplication.

    Khe kells kea khells by the keakhore.
  • Mmmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by falameufilho (563216) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:24PM (#4320925) Homepage
    KDE development is bound to hit a brickwall in a couple of years, as they're only so many nouns in english that begin with "K".
    • Re:Mmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

      by liquidsin (398151)
      Nonsense! They've already invented words like 'kmail', 'killustrator', and now 'kroupware'. They've just begun!

  • A project like this may be nice for all-linux companies, but it's ultimately meaningless in the big picture unless it implements standard protocols (or, in case there aren't any, microsoft protocols).
  • by sawilson (317999)
    The thing that bothers me about
    applications/desktops/wm's/etc
    that are made to look exactly like
    microsoft applications is that it
    only fuels the argument that no
    actual innovation is happening.
    There seems to be too much
    emphasis on making things as
    pretty and familiar as possible
    for the annoyed windows user looking
    to migrate, and less emphasis on
    making something unique and earth
    shatteringly ground breaking. I'd
    think it would be more important to
    make something that is so much
    better that it's forgone conclusion
    as to whether or not you want to bother
    playing with it.
    • You want to know why there is no "innovation?" It's because of comments like these that happen when anybody tries the tiniest "innovation" of the user interface. This is a literal reply to one of my posts to slashdot where I made a tiny suggestion on how to improve pop-up menus:

      Sure, you couldn't do any of those things, but why would you want to? There are indeed ways to get the mouse pointer to pre-point at the default choices: you install a program on the computer. Logitech's MouseWorks does this, IIRC. You, on the other hand, advocate ONE application to behave inconsistently with every other. That's not innovation. That is pissing off me, the user. If I want the button to do that I'll install the software that will facilitate it system-wide,damnit. I don't want one single application to think it's cool.

      Furthermore, this does not hinder interface innovation. The innovations will come in future OS revisions, which is when users expect that things will be different. You don't go changing the way Windows works until the next version of Windows comes out.

      I know I sound bitchy and cranky, but this is how I get when people try to be Jakob Neilsen [uesit.com] when they obviously aren't. A general rule about interfaces: if you don't know what your talking about, don't mess with them.

      And there you have it. We are not allowed to "innovate", that is actually something that only "experts" (paid professionals?) are allowed to do. As long as this mentality remains, there will be no innovation no matter how much the programmers want to do it.

    • Here is a short list of places we have XP beat stone cold in terms of innovation:

      1) Network transparency -- X windows
      This is something the Windows folks really really hard at with little luck. Java is all about being able to distribute apps. As most of us Unix guys know most Unix apps run fine on very limited dumb X-Servers which means they can be made to run fine on PDA's and Cell phones.

      2) Custom File Systems -- FAT, XFS, HFS, etc...
      Unix systems are designed to support a large number of file system seamlessly. So for example I can pop a Mac disk into my Linux laptop and read it no problem. Further on the high end we support file systems designed for specific tasks like XFS which speeds up disk operations on large files about 2x over most file systems.

      3) Detailed system information -- /proc
      With the invention of the /proc filesystem it is easy to pull tremendous information about a running process. Its even quite possible to change the binary a process is running while it is running. NT has nothing like this

      4) Language support --
      While the commercial systems are catching up Linux is way ahead of most commercial systems in support languages especially languages which are very different than English (for example Hebrew and Arabic are written right to left). We've had this for decades and the result is that everything is fully implemented almost across the board.

      5) Academic software
      In almost every area of academia Linux systems are used and support compex innovations that simply don't exist anywhere in the PC world.

      6) A powerful command line

  • FYI (Score:3, Insightful)

    by |DeN|niS (58325) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:41PM (#4321090)
    The different "modules", i.e. the mailer part, the calendering part, etc, are implemented as KParts. This means that you will be able to specify which KPart you want to embed for what functions (similar to how you can choose which text editing widget you want to use, KVim as Konqueror's textarea anyone?).

    It also means it is mostly "just" a shell around existing components, not another re-invented wheel. Not more bloated than running the components seperately (probably less overhead even, because you only need one KApplication instance).

    In a sense it is tying existing technologies together (think back-end here too, using Open Source tech) into a slick package.

    You don't *have* to use it, but corporate settings will probably like it.

    As for your tax money (you live in Germany?) paying for the development, would you rather see the money go to Microsoft and get a product in return which will need upgrading eventually? Oh, and *you* personally don't get anything out of it, whereas now you get to use this development to your heart's content. And even if you don't like to use it personally, you'll be able to deploy it for your clients so they can at least use open technology).

    To loosely quote Miguel de Icaza: it's not about making money, it's about *solving the problem*.

    Personally, I'd happily pay 1% extra taxes to Germany (and I don't even live there!) to be used on similar projects because they benefit *everyone* (read below before you say "except software companies").

    You see, times change. It used to be good business selling boxed software, but it's becoming less and less so. The trick now lies in providing a *service*. There will always be a need for skilled IT people, but to provide services, not simply products. I.e. a company specifies what their infrastructure needs to do, what requirements there are, etc, and you implement it using open source technology. There are no purchase or license fees (apart from specialised high-end software) and the value is in how well you set things up. It works for me :)
  • Aethera is out there and I barely understand why the KDE folks don't put their full effort behind it instead of rolling their own.

    I barely understand this because it is not officially a KDE program but a QT program. Still, how many times does that darn wheel need re-inventing?

    If the source is available shouldn't there be a way to get the program to tie into KDE better as opposed to figuring out a whole new approach?

    Does anyone know the reasoning behind this?

    ________________________________________________ _

    • Aethera is only available for Linux/i386 -- it is not an open source project. Yes, you can get most of the source, but there is a a library required to build it, which is only available for Linux/i386. Try it...
  • Kroupier? they could use cool casino graphics.
  • Meeting Planner (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rossz (67331) <ogre@gee k b i k e r.net> on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @04:23PM (#4322152) Homepage Journal
    As much as I hate Microsoft and dislike Outlook, I must admit that the meeting planner in Outlook is a "must have" application in business.

    The one serious flaw in the planner is the human factor. All too often people wouldn't keep their calendar up to date or wouldn't bother to reply to a meeting notice.
  • But what if *gasp!* I don't LIKE the Outlook philosophy. Right now, the nicest thing about KMail for me is that it is much closer to Netscape or Mozilla's mail clients, an interface that I prefer by far. I have never liked Outlooks way of doing things. Just because it's from Microsoft doesn't mean you have to mimic it. You've already got something better, don't mess with it just to make it more Microsoft-esque!
  • Why don't they name their groupware project Kollaborate? Makes more sense to me and stays with the krazy konvention of names.

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