First day

Well, actually the first day was yesterday, with the E.V. meeting. Gosh, those meetings are long — I got up at 3AM to get my taxi to Schiphol, only to have my plane being late, which meant I missed my connection in Paris, which meant I was late for the meeting, which meant I missed the first half. But no problem: I got enough EV meeting to last me a year… Nice dinner, by the way, nice conference center, nice accommodation: those Andalusians do their students well!

We were all enjoined by Kalle to be at the conference center today at 9:00 sharp, because the Andalusian bigwigs were going to welcome us. Turnout was good, and the speeches were nice and short. Actually, these government under-secretary types appear to be knowing something about what we’re doing and about what they were going to be talking about.

A quick break to get my pink slip… And then back to listening.

The first talk was by someone whose name I missed about the Novell Linux Desktop. Well, it certainly seems a professional desktop, but, well, on the other hand, it goes completely against the grain of Matthias Ettrich’s original vision: have something unified with everything working the same. You don’t get that when you run OpenOffice, Evolution, Kopete, Firefox on top of either Gnome or KDE — and this guys appears to be very much a Gnome user. You still got a couple of toolkits — OO’s own thing, Gtk, Qt and XUL. Integration is improving, and they’re doing usability work… But you don’t get the integration you’d get with a whole KDE desktop.

He actually says that Kontact doesn’t work and Evolution does… Let’s hear the next presentation, which should actually have started about ten minutes ago.. It’s about Kolab, and I bet they’re going to tell us Kontact does work, does integrate with those MS mail server thingy and with Groupwise. Right now, I could do with more coffee. The little cup at breakfast wasn’t quite enough!

Right, Aaron is now going to introduce the Kolab talk. And he’s promising us this talk is going to prove the previous speaker wrong. Till Adam.

MS Office is replaced by OO, IE by Firefox, but nothing to replace Exchange or Lotus Notes. Both Evo and Kontact support as many backends as possible, but we’re never going to be as good as Outlook is at being outlook; playing catch up takes so much time we cannot innovate — it’s really hard to be an exchange client. We need to provide the full stack: client and server — and to offer painless migration paths. But there much perfect interoperability with Outlook clients.

Kolab gives us: enterprise mail server, scheduling, free-busy management, assigning, managing to-dos, shared mail folders, calendaras, addressbooks, notes, journal, management, multi-localtion and what not.

And Kolab works with apache, cyrus, openLDAP, Postfix, Amavis and Horde (for php apparently, don’t know about that…) That means it’s a complete Exchange replacement, and unless a company has let itself being ensnared by “special offers, just for you, it’s cutting our own throat…” by Microsoft for Exchange, you should move to Kolab. It’s not as if you really need to stop using your virus-vector, er, Outlook client on the client if you move to Kolab. There is solid evidence that Kolab works; there are many real-world installations with tens of thousands of seats.

(Ah, I’ve found the camera. Apparently there are webcasts!)

Kolab is so easy to install nowadays and so complete, you don’t need no expensive consultants anymore — should give that a try. We could use a shared calendar in our family. And in the Krita team. Memo to self: ask speaker to set the Krita developers up as Kolab group on the KDE kolab server., if I don’t get to the hands-on demo session. We need to share our todo’s in a more dynamic way than a wiki page. And I need Kolab at home, if just for the disconnected imap.

Kontact is great! (Even if marking all messages read is ctrl-r in Akregator, alt-r-r in KNode and alt-o-r in KMail components.) It doesn’t matter whether you use the kontact shell (I do) ar the companents apart — they still communicate with dcop. That reminds me — I need a dcop guru to help me.