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Linux Software Technology

Linux Desktop Email Key to Success 478

littlepill writes "It looks as though email clients are vital for Linux to succeed in the desktop battle. ZDNet says, "the lack of a powerful email application could hinder the adoption of Linux on the desktop". So, even though Novell's Evolution is one viable and valid product, it seems that there is a clear "message to application vendors to focus on developing a quality email application for the Linux desktop"." I'm unconvinced- I think webmail will soon be replacing client side readers for all but power users.
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Linux Desktop Email Key to Success

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  • thunderbird? (Score:5, Informative)

    by 5n3ak3rp1mp ( 305814 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @03:11PM (#14159409) Homepage
    was mozilla thunderbird [] completely overlooked in this FUD []-filled article?

    I second the webmail thing. Before I quit my last windows-dominated job (to try my hand at this [] full-time), it was common for me to use the IE-based Outlook Web Access client since Outlook itself was often buggier.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 01, 2005 @03:17PM (#14159493)
    There are lots of other reasons. I'm taking notes
    at the OSDL desktop architects' meeting; see []
  • Now I RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by temojen ( 678985 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @03:24PM (#14159601) Journal
    Same conclusion now that I see they're confusing email with groupware.

    1. Evolution
    2. Kontact []
    3. Thunderbird + Sunbird
  • Re:AJAX+Webmail (Score:2, Informative)

    by PyroPunk ( 545300 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @03:31PM (#14159682) Homepage
    Have you ever used Outlook Web Access? It's one of the original applications using what people have recently labelled AJAX (Microsoft created the XMLHttpRequest object back in IE 5 and use it in their Outlook Web Client). So, they were a step ahead of everyone else in regards to an AJAX Web Mail interface, they just limited it to Outlook Web Access instead of putting it in MSN Mail or Hotmail.
  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @03:35PM (#14159731) Homepage Journal
    But Evolution is weak when it comes to Exchange connectivity. It connects using the Ximian Exchange connector, which emulates a web browser against OWA. Not only that, Novell shipped an extremely broken build of Evolution and the Exchange connector with SuSE 10 and has yet to offer a fix that works consistently.

    Even when Evolution is working fine, it's dog-slow against Exchange, contacts are weak, public folder support is weak (if one creates a task folder or calendar folder in public folder, it's not recognized as such), and, well. . . it's the best option one has in Linux for Exchange interoperability, with the possible exception of wine/M$ Office.

    With that said, if only Novell would fix Evolution and shove an update to the broken packages (Evolution, the connector, and libsoup) I'll be happy, even with the slow performance and poor public folder support.
  • Scalix (Score:2, Informative)

    by NINJacob ( 88686 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @03:39PM (#14159771)
    It appears Scalix [] offers all of this. Anybody have any experience with it?
  • by ThinkFr33ly ( 902481 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @03:44PM (#14159814)
    About 50% of companies use Exchange/Outlook (or OWA) for their e-mail. In order for Linux desktops to become more widespread they need to be able to seamlessly integrate with Exchange. Period.

    Ironically, the next version of OWA will be so good that the Outlook rich-client will become more or less optional. As long as your Linux machine has a browser capable of displaying OWA, you've solved your e-mail problems.

    The current version of OWA already has decent support for non-IE browsers, and they're apparently going to improve that a great deal in the next release.

    See: Exchange 12 Channel 9 Video []
  • Re:HUH? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Adult film producer ( 866485 ) <> on Thursday December 01, 2005 @04:01PM (#14159971)
    Tor Lillqvist is porting gtk/etc code to windows, been doing it for most of the year from what I know. You can read his blog here []

    He speaks of running evolution on windows in the 3rd or 4th blog entry.
  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @04:08PM (#14160059)
    I don't have to visit an Exchange shop. I make my living cleaning up after Exchange catastrophes when administrators and CTOs come to their senses and decide they want a real email solution and need to migrate from their Exchange server nightmares to something more appropriate.

    Seriously - if I worked for a company whos IT department might try and force Exchagne on me - I'd quit. Period. Fortunately, we don't run MS operating systems or applications of any kind and actually aren't allowed to outside of certain constrained parameters, so I don't ever have to worry about that.

    But hey, if you want a coffee maker that washes your car and makes toast too - go for it. I'd rather have separate tools that make really good coffee and really good toast than a half-assed everything.
  • by Hasai ( 131313 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @04:35PM (#14160327)
    Try it.
  • by orasio ( 188021 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @04:44PM (#14160418) Homepage
    NetBeans has RAD tools for Java software.
    WebSphere, too. For standalone, and for WEB-based apps.

    You can say what you want about java being inadequate, but it's the way to make cross-platform apps, and it works.
    I don't like standalone apps, I develop web apps, with some ajax-stye interaction, because of ease of deployment, but I honestly believe that java is the way to go if you want cross platform apps.
    With SWT and GCJ, you can even build native graphical .EXE's for Win.
    Plus you have the best developer environments available, netbeans and eclipse/websphere.
  • by BrainInAJar ( 584756 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @04:45PM (#14160426)
    Holy shit you're right.

    Check out his post history, they're all "look at this great thing that microsoft makes"

    Astroturfing is worse than ads above the pisser
  • by RabidSquirrel ( 643514 ) <mikeyd81180&yahoo,com> on Thursday December 01, 2005 @04:50PM (#14160470) Homepage
    I tried switching from Outlook to Thunderbird a while back and it was pretty bad. I'd say that Thunderbird needs to go for bugfixes first before the Calendar. Importing of all of my Outlook emails went pretty well initially. But then I tried to move my imported outlook stuff to a different folder... it moved the entire folder structure, but lost all of the email stored in any directories below the first one. So I started the import again... crashed. Rebooted just to start fresh. Started outlook import again... crashed. Deleted everything, uninstalled, reinstalled. Import worked this time. Moving bug above still happened though. Whats worse is that this bug ruined my confidence in Thunderbird. I found that whenever I couldn't locate an email I had to start wondering if Thunderbird just lost it :(

    I also had a lot of trouble displaying, or manipulating folders with a ton of emails in them (~7000). Sometimes it would hang trying to display. Sometimes I could not shift-click to select multiple emails. Sometimes I couldn't drag and drop. Sometimes I couldn't even select an email (!).

    I evetually started using it with my personal email accounts since they are low volume. Thunderbird works great for that since its free and has great built in spam filtering. As a replacement for Outlook at work though... unfortunately it has a ways to go.

    I say perfect its primary function (email) first before anything else.
  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @05:34PM (#14160966) Homepage Journal
    parent posted
    What the hell do any of those things have to do with email?!

    Well, let's see:

    • Centralized management of user accounts
    • Centralized licensing for groupware needs
    • Meeting invites can be sent to local or remote email recipients
    • Clients (read: users) can access all company correspondance, tasks, etc. from one single application
    • Decreased workload for IT staff
    • Easy assignment and tracking of tasks
    • Easy taking and tracking of notes

    If you still don't "get it" you haven't had to deal with any kind of corporate office where there are non-geeks employed. Microsoft Exchange/Outlook didn't succeed because it sucks, and it didn't succeed because centralizing information flow and collaboration was unnecessary. It met a demand and unfortunately open-source alternatives to Exchange/Outlook (usable ones, that is) are lacking.

  • by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @05:43PM (#14161085) Homepage Journal
    3. Finding unread messages in Evolution is difficult. Sorting in general is more flexible in Thunderbird IMHO.

    Huh? This one I just don't understand. Finding unread messages is trivial in Evolution - just look in the "Unread Messages" virtual folder which contains all unread messages, and only unread messages. If for some reason your copy of evolution didn't come configured with such a thing, it's trivial to set up (Tools->Virtual Folder Editor create a new one and set "Status is not read" as the criteria) and it can group all unread mail across all your accounts. You can even have nice categorised vfolders (All unread mail newer than 2 weeks, all unread mail from a sender, or group of senders etc.)

    Sorting may well be easier in Thunderbird (I haven't tried it in a very very long time), but I really don't see how "finding unread mail in Evolution is difficult" when all you have to do is click on the folder labelled "Unread Mail" to find it all.

  • Re:E-mail or more? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 01, 2005 @06:52PM (#14161758)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:57PM (#14163396)
    It's not a mistake from a business point of view it is actaully a feature that most business people want.

    It is however, a mistake to make the integration of calendaring with email make the email software too bloaty.

    A lot of non-business desktop users on this thread will fail to see the point of integrating calendaring and email but that's because they don't schedule meetings every day. If email's what you want use thunderbird or one of many apps.

    The concern is for the business adoption of linux it'd be good to have something nice for groupware, there's different needs. Generally the bloat of groupware email+calendaring apps frustrate desktop users who just want to get their email and maybe sync their addressbook and calendar with a PDA.
  • by the_bode ( 935724 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @04:38PM (#14168679)
    Have you seen the new Oracle Collaboration Suite 10g Web Access Client? It's better than a poke in the eye: net/oracle_web_access_client.jpg [] Real email addresses have been blurred to protect the innocent.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling