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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
One should look at the filed bug reports. LDAP editing is a much wanted feature since more than ten years. Better support for CalDAV and CardDAV comes to mind. There are probably a lot more.
> As a result, the Thunderbird team has developed a plan that provides both stability for Thunderbird’s current state and allows the Thunderbird community to innovate if it chooses.
Let's hope, it will work out, like it is the case with LibreOffice.
Baker: Thunderbird: Stability and Community Innovation
Posted Jul 10, 2012 18:38 UTC (Tue) by obrakmann (subscriber, #38108)
I'm pretty sure there are. At the moment I have 20 Thunderbird extensions installed, not counting the timezone definitions, dictionaries and Ubuntu's Unity integration. With two or three exceptions, I use every one of those extensions daily, and each provides a feature that I would hate to live without.
There is lots that could still be done to make Thunderbird a more viable alternative to Outlook. I assume this is Mozilla throwing in the towel.
Posted Jul 10, 2012 20:26 UTC (Tue) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Posted Jul 11, 2012 7:53 UTC (Wed) by micka (subscriber, #38720)
Reading that feels eerie.
I actually have to use Outlook. That hurts. This software is one of the worst possible combination of bad design I have seen (one of the others is Lotus Notes...)
While Thunderbird feels natural for everyday use, Outlook fails at least for one, the need to just read, triage, reply, delete and send mails.
I have yet to understand why companies inflict this kind of punishment to the people that work for them.
Posted Jul 11, 2012 8:46 UTC (Wed) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
Exchange is a horrible mail server, a poor calendar, etc. but it does all of them well enough and seamlessly enough that they appear to work to management (and since management has never known anything better in any one of these categories, they don't see the limits)
And there really isn't a good open implementation of all these facets that work seamlessly together
And once you start running Exchange, Outlook is a requirement because nothing else really works well with it. I use IMAP to communicate with the exchange server at work for e-mail, but I actually end up using my phone to manage meetings (and I run a personal IMAP server to copy mail to so that I can get it off of exchange an onto something reliable and fast)
Posted Jul 11, 2012 12:00 UTC (Wed) by debacle (subscriber, #7114)
I agree with the first claim, but I'm not sure about the second. My experience with Exchange + Outlook some years ago is, that the calendar functions work relatively well, given the complexity of the problem (multiple invitations, repeated events with exceptions, sync with mobile devices, at that time Palm III).
Btw. Are any open source servers better in this respect? Zarafa? SOGo?
Posted Jul 12, 2012 22:25 UTC (Thu) by jschrod (subscriber, #1646)
And I have yet to see an OSS alternative to Exchange: Combined email, multi-person calendaring, resource management like room booking, shared address books, todo lists, integration in an office suite, and integration in a SSO infrastructure (AD). Both desktop clients and Web interface are available. Standards like IMAP / LDAP are supported reasonably well. Base usage is easy to set up and reasonably cheap with MS SBS, to top it off. Care to tell the OSS software stack that delivers the same functionality with an equivalent effort?
If you tell me, I would start to ask for a fully supported shared address book, backed by an LDAP server, for a starter (read Thunderbird Bugzilla #86405 and weep). Oh yes, and a desktop client that isn't abandoned several times by its creators (Thunderbird is out for the 2nd time, tough). Or doesn't crash all the time (Evolution). Or isn't a file MUA to be rewritten in a way to make it completely unusable (KMail).
We're a 100% Linux shop, but I understand why people choose Exchange. In this area, our community ain't up to the challenge posed by our proprietary brethren.
Posted Jul 13, 2012 9:30 UTC (Fri) by micka (subscriber, #38720)
All I need is a simple adressbook and the address book can be, for all I care, a completely separate program.
> Combined email, multi-person calendaring, resource management
The "combined" part is really the misfeature, because it comes at a cost : an horrible user-facing program imposed by the choice of an infrastgructure based on unneeded (for me) features.
One size does not fit all...
Posted Jul 13, 2012 18:07 UTC (Fri) by markhb (guest, #1003)
Posted Jul 13, 2012 12:59 UTC (Fri) by pboddie (subscriber, #50784)
Having seen some comparisons between Exchange and other solutions recently, I wouldn't mind knowing what the state of the art actually is. The Debian Wiki's groupware page lists a number of different solutions, and I guess the following can be regarded as multifunction "stacks": Citadel, eGroupWare, Horde, Kolab, phpGroupWare, SOGo, Zarafa and Zimbra. I imagine that if you can implement e-mail separately, then other solutions on that page can provide the calendar functionality, but then you're not getting the integration for free.
In fact, the realm of groupware is precisely the sort of place where you do want to mix and match the best solutions while still being able to integrate them conveniently. I always thought that Kolab was interesting in this regard as the project emphasised the components and didn't try to push something that appeared to be monolithic.
I do wonder about the supposedly "essential" functionality when people implement groupware, though. Calendaring as described in the original iCalendar standards is a peer-to-peer activity, and it has only been with the widespread deployment of Exchange that people assume that there must be a server involved.
It would be interesting to discover to what extent people in organisations go outside their organisation's groupware and other solutions when doing their work, such as arranging activities, sharing content, and so on. I've heard some horror stories about Exchange, and I've also heard stories about people using cloud services instead of the mandated organisational solution, so I wonder about things like shared address books (which probably are useful for certain jobs) and whether the masses aren't using something else in practice, just like they're apparently using Dropbox when sharing files (because a big e-mail would bring down Exchange, perhaps).
Posted Jul 11, 2012 18:42 UTC (Wed) by iabervon (subscriber, #722)
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