Recent email rumblings

Email as a technology is pretty boring but it is hard to tell that this morning with two really interesting announcements coming from Eudora and the Hula-Project.

Eudora are the creators of of the first usable pieces of email software for normal people. Since that time in the early 90's they have fostered a relatively small but loyal user base. Recently however they have announced that the latest version of Eudora email client will be their last based on the traditional code-base. As a replacement Eudora are going to build their unique interface and feature-set on top of the Mozilla Thunderbird code-base which is a win/win for both parties. The move allows Eudora to focus on specialised functionality rather than maintenance of general features whilst for Mozilla it increases their overall user-base and in theory should result in a more stable product overall.

In other email related news Dave Camp has just announced the first development version of Hula-Lite is available for testing. Hula is a standalone email server that provides SMTP, POP3, IMAP, CalDAV and Webmail functionality. Hula-Lite provides just the very cool CalDav and Webmail features and is intended to be integrated into existing SMTP/IMAP services. This is a very smart move as the great thing about Hula is its Webmail and CalDAV functionality. By allowing users to test and adopt these things within existing services is a lot easier than forcing an entire email infrastructure migration plus it allows sysadmins to keep using the services they know and trust.

Hopefully both these developments are beneficial to their respective projects and the open source community as a whole. I am especially hopeful that Hula-Lite will turn out to be an effective replacement for the aging SquirrelMail in the open source community. One of the most frequent requests I've received when doing my Webmin theme is an accompanying theme for SquirrelMail. Unfortunately the SquirrelMail code is not up to the job and it does not sound like its developers are interested in making any significant changes.