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Aethera 1.0 177

gatch writes " released version 1.0 of their cross-platform PIM suite Aethera. KOrganizer is included as a calendar and todo list component. Check out these screenshots. According to Shawn Gordon, theKompany president, 'Actually we are about 2 weeks away from having Aethera work with Kolab [groupware server] - at least that is our sense of it at the moment.' Interesting discussion at"
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Aethera 1.0

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  • alternatives.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by njan ( 606186 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @02:19PM (#6839577) Homepage
    ..this is looking like a viable alternative to evolution, which aside from raising the level of development for this sort of software, should be beneficial to the desktop linux market; having a viable alternative to outlook is one thing, but having a community in which more than one are being actively developed to compete or provide more choice for companies migrating to different operating systems is excellent. :)

    The interface certainly doesn't look as pretty as evolution (although it's hard to tell; after 5 posts, the server is treacley already), but I'm not really into KDE interfaces. *shrug*.. it'll be interesting to see how much of a userbase it builds..
    • I hated the icons (so 1990), I know it's pretty bad to judge software solely on icons, but can't they find some better ones. At the very lest it will get people itchy to try their software because it will *look* more polished.
  • by nother_nix_hacker ( 596961 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @02:19PM (#6839581)
    ...excellent, I hope it's buggy so I can migrate from Outlook easily.
  • by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @02:22PM (#6839598)
    That's so Kool dude. Let's Klap our hands in Komplete celebration.
  • by Dark Lord Seth ( 584963 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @02:25PM (#6839617) Journal

    I think I'm lost in the world of IT about what PIM, groupware and all that actually do, what applications they got in this world (both in professional and personal use) and how these technologies improve our current situation?

    • Groupware ... thats where they bundle so many things into a single 'app' that it takes up large chunks of your memory even if you don't really want to use half of it.

      I hope they will make the 'components' available as individual apps, or are we just talking KMail, KOrganiser, etc ?
    • Try getting a job. You will find out quick. :-))
    • by panurge ( 573432 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @02:36PM (#6839675)
      Well, in theory they allow efficient cooperation between users within the corporate environment by providing access to shared data and resources, by providing group access to diaries, and by providing an effective means to sort and categorise information.
      BEGIN cynicism:
      In practice, often the only feature that really gets used is email (which could just as easily be handled with plain old SMTP) but at least Exchange keeps MCSEs employed.END cynicism

      I guess groupware has a bell function: the people who most need it are too disorganised to use it, the people best qualified to use it are in the jobs where they don't need it, or make their own arrangements.

      • In practice, often the only feature that really gets used is email

        Not true...I've been waiting for a PIM that incorporates the ability to journal events. Most of them assume that you *always* want to schedule something in the future, and almost none of them cater to the fact that there are many things that happen on a day-to-day basis that need to be noted *after* the fact - phone calls from clients, for example. I see that Aethera has a notebook, and I'm hoping that it meets this requirement.
    • The main purpose of PIM and groupware is to give PHB types something to occupy themselves with so they can 'justify' their employment by playing with things that have 'management aide' in their description. Fortunately Slashdot has thoughtfully provided advise [] on how to deal with your PHB, thus saving the company from total management induced destruction.
    • PIM on Linux (Score:3, Informative)

      by LauraW ( 662560 )
      I'm not sure what the official definition of PIM and groupware are, but here's what they mean to me: PIM is a Personal Information Manager (e.g. a PalmPilot), and groupware is software that helps people collaborate at work. There are a lot of overblown "solutions" to these problems that end up causing more work than they eliminate. Lotus Notes is a good (bad) example. When I was at IBM they had all sorts of "workflow" applications written in Notes. To do annual reviews of people in my group I had to get
      • When I am in a meeting I can look at my Palm to see what's next on my schedule too. Of course if I need to present at the meeting, I tend to get rather nervous and my palms get sweaty and the ink runs, then my schedule is all blurry and I miss my next appointment.
  • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot&keirstead,org> on Sunday August 31, 2003 @02:36PM (#6839672) Homepage
    Could someone in the know explain to me the advantages this have over Kontact, the KDE PIM solution? Since it is already using KAddressbook and KOrganizer, that juts leaves ToDo and email.... KMail is already a highly capable email client, I doubt they could improve on that much?
  • No Palm support? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by chipster ( 661352 )
    Doesn't look like it integrates with Palm OS devices, as Evolution does (and some other KDE PIM apps).
    • kpilot works (poorly) with KOrganizer and KAddressbook. This program incorporates these two apps as components, so you may be able to synchronize a Palm OS device with Aethera.
  • by Vexalith ( 684137 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @02:42PM (#6839712)
    ... shame I'm not one of them. It's nice to hear than we've got another competitor to Outlook and Novell Ximian Evolution that will keep development nice and fresh.

    On a related note, where did this K-ism thing come from? It really bugs me, quite honestly. I presume it's from the original "Cool" = "Kool" thing, but considering that the K in KDE no longer stands for Kool it seems to me that it's getting rather tiresome!
    • Woah, is this a bug in the slashcode? Why is my parent appearing above parents that were submitted before it? Curious...
    • KDE was the open source alternative to CDE, the Common Desktop Environment. In the grand tradition of much Open Source software, they modified the name slightly, to keep with the original's name enough to avoid recognition problems. Incidently, KDE doesn't stand for anything.

      As spinoffs of the switch from C-->K as done with KDE, folks wanted recognition that their software was meant to work with KDE, hence the K in the names. GNOME does the game thing with G (GPhoto, GQView, Eye of the Gnome, to list
      • It's not really true for Gnome users (like me) any more. For example, Nautilus, Epiphany, X-Chat, Abiword, Evolution, although admittedly we still have Gaim, Gnumeric, and so forth... That said, I don't care what a product is called so long as it does its job. Hence both desktops have adopted writing "Web Browser" or "E-mail Client" rather than "[Konqueror|Epiphany|Mozilla]" or "[KMail|Evolution]".
      • Actually it's against the new GNOME Human Interface Guidelines to name your app gWhatever unless it's an library. In the upcoming 2.4 version a lot of renaming has been done. There really isn't a whole lot of g* apps anymore and IMO all of the really good ones have avoided the stupid naming convention from the start.
        • No.. it's against the GNOME hig I beleive to have menu items that show the program name and not the function. It's also a no-no to have the program name in the window caption as well.

          Similiar things are happening in the KDE world. The k-names will still be there, but at least in the kmenu, the descriptions will be emphasized over the binary names.

          The application names will still remain in the window titles. Most every other system does this except for GNOME.. another inconsistancy between GNOME vs. the wo
    • by ThyTurkeyIsDone ( 695324 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @04:25PM (#6840235)
      On a related note, where did this K-ism thing come from? It really bugs me, quite honestly.

      Some names you can use if you don't want the KDE folks to make a KDE port of your app: Rap, Rud, Ringeworthy, Rotch, Ock, Litoris, Unt...
      • Yeah, I've seen those.
        • Rap - the aptly-named program that takes a list of words and creates a random rap song out of them (default to /usr/bin/dict); a wide variety of command line options are available, including the ever-popular -P "Profanity" level
        • RUD (you miscapitalized it) - the Really Ugly Desktop, a fork of TWM that includes things like stipple-stacking of windows (faster then alpha blending, and almost one-hundredth as useful!)
        • Ringeworthy - a program to determine which Ringe family members [] are
    • ... shame I'm not one of them. It's nice to hear than we've got another competitor to Outlook and Novell Ximian Evolution that will keep development nice and fresh.

      The problem with Evolution (yes, I've used it, as my main client at my last job) is that it won't interact with the Kolab server --- unless some third party writes a free connector for it (there exists one already, I think, but it's a non-free per-seat license).

      My main gig right now is Linux integration, and Kolab seems to be the best way t

    • On a related note, where did this K-ism thing come from? It really bugs me, quite honestly.

      Propably from the same place where you got all those Gnome-programs that start with G?

      Seriously, the "K-thingy" is just a way to brand the apps as being part of the KDE-environment.
  • by McDutchie ( 151611 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @03:13PM (#6839872) Homepage
    The server is slow and may be totally slashdotted soon, so here is a torrent [] I made which contains all the 11 screenshots in .png format. Please use this instead of the main webserver. (Read about BitTorrent [] if you're not familiar with it.)
  • by JarekC ( 544383 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @03:26PM (#6839932)
    It seems that recently we witness a constant stream of KDE-based solutions for Outlook/Exchange replacements. Yes, I know it's all about having a choice and each of them makes me happy we have another alternative, but at the same time it makes me even more confused.

    We have the set of standard KDE apps: KMail, Korganizer, KAddressBook and so on, we have Kroupware project that produced Kolab Server and Kolab Client, we have Kontact (which according to its FAQ is supposed to replace Kolab Client) and now we have Aethera.

    At my company I'm lobbying for approving a Linux/KDE-based workstation an an alternative for MS Windows-based setup. However, the requires picking up and recommending a single, unified PIM solution that would be used by employees with Linux/KDE setups. With all those competing solutions appearing one by one it's starting to be quite a difficult task.

    • Competition (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Synn ( 6288 ) on Sunday August 31, 2003 @04:21PM (#6840215)
      This is normal in the open source community and actually fairly healthy. What happens is that the community in general sees a need and then you'll have several solid solutions developed in response.

      For example, 4 years ago Linux wasn't "Enterprise" enough because it didn't have a journaling filesystem. Today we have several: ext3, reiserfs, jfs, xfs and probably others.

      Before that we needed a decent GUI toolset to replace Motif(which was commercial-only). Several sprung up and today we have 2 really solid and widely used ones, GTK and QT.

      So while it's confusing today to have so many choices, typically a couple will dominate the "market" once everything settles down.
      • Also, one man's junk is another's treasure. I may not like how Evolution looks/feels while you may love how it works. To each his own. This allows personalization within an application type (and also the ability to further manipulate it for your corporate use) and also freedom of dependence.
    • First, most competeing linux solutions make an attempt to be compateable undernieth. So you can pick one that you like best (if you try them all and can't decide, throw a dart), and leave the rest as something for the advanced user to use, without harm. Remember there are always people who want to feel like they have something better even if it doesn't change anything. (Withness all the spoilers on cars that aerodynamicly do nothing) Choice lets them choose something different. Just let them know they

    • Remember this solution isn't tied to KDE. It's cross platform. Evolution is tied to GNOME*, Kontact is tied to KDE*. Aetheria is tied to nothing.

      * - these can of course be run in other X11-related paltforms as well, but rely on KDE-libs and GNOME-libs. Aetheria runs on Windows as well as it does on Linux, and perhaps MacOSX too.
    • by blayd ( 3655 )

      They aern't really competing.

      Kmail and friends are the current stable PIM apps for KDE. Kolab client is a hacked Kmail that was created parallel with Kmail for Kolab server users. Kontact is the future of KDE PIM apps. The PIM team is turning Kmail, KOrganizer, and KAddressBook into KParts. (The KDE component model) These parts will be united under the Kontact UI.

      In other words, choose whichever one will meet your needs today, and be prepared to upgrade if necessary to Kontact in the future.

    • by Rhone ( 220519 )
      Well, to be fair to Aethera, it has been in development for a long time--it didn't just pop up out of nowhere. If I recall correctly, it began as a KDE-based Outlook-clone called Magellan. I think development of Magellan started back around the time development of Evolution started, if not earlier. Aethera was theKompany's fork of Magellan (I don't know for sure, but I think they forked it because they had an interest in Magellan and were sick of it being developed at a snail's pace). Of course, work on
  • ..but the menus on their web page don't render properly on Mozilla Firebird, which is standards compliant. It looks fine in IE, and I'm sure in Konqueror. I wonder if the developers fell into the "Our web page looks good in the 95% of the world that use IE (and Konqueror), so that's good enough."

    I would validate the page and look for the error, but it's been slashdotted since I viewed the page for the first time.
  • Too many graphical things and too much wasted space in the GUI.

    Things like the graphical "MailCenter" image will never get fixed for UK English spelling.

    The View Mail window DOESN'T EVEN HAVE the From: field ... it has no fields. What kind of backwards retarded interface is this?

    I'll stick with the sensible KMail for my e-mail, kaddressbook for my contacts, etc.
  • Is this one of The Kompany's few GPL projects or is it one if their commercial ones...

    I didn't see that mentioned on the pages.. I was thinking this was to be a commercial product, much like their other large projects. Admittedly I stopped following this project long ago when it was pretty much non functional, and wasn't progressing any... So i could be mistaken.

    This was *not* meant as a slam, as they have helped out the KDE project on several levels.. I was mostly just curious...( and since Kontact will
    • It's GPL (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rhone ( 220519 )
      Yeah, I found it kind of strange that theKompany's web site doesn't make Aethera's license entirely clear. On the other hand, when you click on a download link and get sent to Sourceforge without having to buy it, it becomes pretty obvious that it's at least free-as-in-beer.

      And if you download and untar the source code (as I did, because I was curious about this as well), you'll see from the COPYING and COPYING.GPL files that it's apparently licensed under the GPL.

  • The screenshots look ugly! WinXP'ish icons, no anti-aliasing, and the, at least people migrating from Win3.1 will feel right at home.

    Thanks, you may mod me down now.
  • Anyone have any news on Chandler? For those of you that don't know about it, it's a broadly similar cross-platform PIM that was announced in a blaze of glory several months ago, and has been stuck on version 0.1 ever since. According to the Web site (, it appears as though things are going on in the background with Chandler, but no new code's being released.

    Frankly, I'd settle for just about anything to get away from the Exchange/Outlook combination
  • Anyone else think of the RPG game The Aethra Chronicles [] when they read the title of this article?
  • #29201 []
    <kegObeer> Klez is a virus? I thought it was the lesbian that came bundled with KDE

  • I looked at their "FAQ" but that didn't have anything.

    So, the standard question: it's QT based. So is a Mac version in the works?
  • Aethera looks very nice, but I think any open-soure PIM - at least any that plan to be cross-platform and compete with Outlook - will require a simple, one-step, "important Outlook mail, notes, contacts, and calendar" feature. If it can do that, people might be persuaded to give it a try. But if they have to retype all their contacts and appointments and lose their email archives, forget it.
  • lack of filters (Score:2, Informative)

    by GnomeSkull ( 666830 )
    One thing I like about evolution is that when you are setting up your filters you can filter on pretty much anything you want, including specific headers. This helps for using things like popfile or spambayes filters which use their own specific headers. Aethera only lets you filter on the plain old stuff (subject, body, to, from, etc - no specific headers). Modifying subject lines is so ugly. But other than that, I like how it operates. And importing from other mailboxes, calendar files, etc. seems to work
  • This software is nowhere near polished enough to succeed in a corporate environment. I don't know why it's been called 1.0, but I'd say it was more at the stage of an early beta. You realise this as soon as it loads up. There are graphical elements that don't fit their boxes, so get cut off, that sort of thing.

    The other thing I don't understand is that the menus look more like Tk than Qt. This means that it doesn't fit with other KDE applications, at the same time as looking rather worse.

    Use Evolution
  • At least the Windows version is. 1. By default the user settings are stored in the c:\documents and settings\usernameAethera directory. There should be a slash between the username and Aethera, if this is not present then nothing works. 2. Switching between screens makes the icons and graphics jump all over the place. 3. Unless you enter the mail account passwords in the settings dialogue and check the 'save password' box, then no passwords are sent to the mail server, hence no mail is received. 4. When
  • I've always thought that the next evolution of the desktop would incorporate all these features.

    You click on the clock to get your calendar, your address book and instant messenger are one and the same, etc...

    I'm not a coder so I've never really bothered to work out these ideas (what would be the point?) but it seems strange to me that I haven't seen anyone trying something similar.... perhaps I'm not looking in the right places?

Variables don't; constants aren't.