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Chandler 0.1 Released 248

kolchak writes "Very promising news is Chandler 0.1 (the Open Source PIM) has finally been released. 'While we are still very early in the design and implementation process, we intend for this 0.1 release to make us a more fully open project. We have made the release available for download, opened up our bug tracking database, and opened our source code repository.'" This is Mitch Kapor's attempt to offer an alternative to Microsoft Outlook, especially to small (under 100-person) organizations, last mentioned in December.
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Chandler 0.1 Released

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  • by davidmb ( 213267 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @05:34AM (#5779620)
    Since I just managed to crash it.

    No virus propagation yet though, it is only 0.1 I suppose.

  • What's a PIM [] in this context?
  • by JohnFluxx ( 413620 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @05:36AM (#5779631)
    Please note that this is not a straight replacement, or something that is like outlook (that is what kroupware etc is aiming for) but they are aiming more to change things to make it better.

    Btw, did anyone find any screenshots? :)
    • by BitwizeGHC ( 145393 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @05:45AM (#5779659) Homepage
      Call it the law of Open Source Pangloss Parity: No one will use a piece of consumer oriented open source software unless it looks and behaves exactly like some piece of Microsoft software, no matter how badly the behavior of said MS software was designed.
      • by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @05:51AM (#5779678) Homepage
        I don't necessarily agree. While Exchange is used in many (if not all) larger organizations, frequently, each exchange installation covers only a subset of the organization, such as one department or workgroup. Within such a group - and especially if they have the budgetary responsibility for their installation - moving to a different, better, solution may well be worth the pain.

        Also, and more important, they are aiming for the small organization. How many 3-10 employee companies would have an exchange server already? How many 10-50 employee organizations in other areas than north america and europe? I know we do not (we're three people total), and we certainly could use something like this, if it is painless enough to deploy.

      • Pangloss Parity: No one will use a piece of consumer oriented open source software unless it looks and behaves exactly like some piece of Microsoft software

        Except in the best of all possible worlds - since no-one else seems to have caught the reference... :-)

      • That's probably true in the business world, but home users will prefer to use software whose design lets home users use it than do nothing. The point of this design is to allow people to do groupware-type things even without a group that has a server. I know many extended families now have mailing lists they use to keep in touch and plan things, but I don't know of any with an exchange server.
      • This is such a silly statement I wasn't sure whether to reply to it or use my last moderator point to mark it as "Troll".

        There are lots of Free Software out that doesn't look or act anything like Microsoft software, and those people who switch over will use it and may even like it.

        In addition, the idea you've expressed implies the idea that we in the Free Software and Open Source movements don't have any new ideas about making things better. I think that we do, and some features from our work has and will
    • Screenshots HERE-- (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lord Prox ( 521892 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @06:27AM (#5779757) Homepage
      I made a few screenshots. [] If anyone would mind mirroring them please. My little server is made from trashcan pickings (only the primo stuff :) ) and a crappy 128Kb pipe. It'll get crushed pronto...
  • Features (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rf0 ( 159958 ) <> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @05:37AM (#5779635) Homepage
    When I went to have a look at the site I had a list of things I would want to see. These were

    Sharing of Calenders
    Phone book

    Now this has all of them as well as a few other cools things like inbuilt IM. Good luck to them I say. However I'm not sure but does the system has a centeral server it good log into rather than just peer to peer as it says?

  • Nothing to see (Score:5, Informative)

    by seizer ( 16950 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @05:39AM (#5779644) Homepage
    Nothing to see here, move on, move on.

    I just got the XP build, and I can't really see how it bloated to 13mb already. I'll have assume that there's a really large API behind the scenes, because the interface is little more than a MyFirstCalendarApp.vb

    Oh and 10 seconds saw me crashing it too, just like the other poster.

    Still, it's 0.1, so I'm not grumbling yet.
    • Re:Nothing to see (Score:5, Informative)

      by vrt3 ( 62368 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @05:49AM (#5779668) Homepage
      I suspect a large part of that 13mb is the Python runtime that's included in the download. I didn't try it, but I suppose you can get the Python sources without the runtime if you already have Python installed, and the download should be much less that way.
      • Re:Nothing to see (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ptbarnett ( 159784 )
        I suspect a large part of that 13mb is the Python runtime that's included in the download.

        The python22.dll used by py2exe [] is only 825 Kbytes. There must be a lot more than the Python runtime.

    • Obviously you don't run windows apps too often if you think 13 mb is bloated I suggest you take a look at the outlook install on your windows machine. Even evolution has an installer of 8 megs and doesn't even share calendars. If you bothered take a closer look at the website you would find that:

      The installer includes a cross platform windowing toolkit and python.

    • It's frustrating to see such early releases in a project. I fundamentally disagree with 'release early, release often'. The people that will be doing most of your testing early on are the developers themselves. Anyone wishing to see anything earlier than an Alpha usually has the technical know-how to grab a CVS build or source.
      I downloaded this 14MB file and was excited to see it. I opened it up and began thinking about how miserable it looked and performed. I fully understand this is a .1 release
  • Lotus Agenda (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @05:41AM (#5779648)
    Note that Lotus Agenda, a distant ancestor of this program, is available for free. It's tricky toget working on a new PC, its interface is abysmally clunky by today's standard, but its approach to PIM (that's Personal Information Management) is really great. Agenda was for managing ANY information that you, personally, might want to track. It's like a dynamically-typed relational database, or something.

    • by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:29AM (#5779874)
      There's never been anything like Agenda, before or since. Now, THERE was software!

      DOS-based, fast as lightning, completely (and intimidatingly) customizable (It opened into a blank page, if I recall correctly). It took any bit of info you wanted to throw at, and allowed you to establish your own relations among the bits. It was a database, an organizer, a rolodex, a "sketchpad for ideas," it was transcendant! No online component (E-Mail, Web) cuz there was no online component to your life -- this was circa 91-92.

      In the small office where I was the Tech guru at the time, no two workers' Agenda looked and ran the same -- everybody used it a different way, and the interface reflected that (Ultimately, it was probably that aspect of it which prevented it's widespread adoption in bigger shops.)

      Then along came Windows 3.1 and the Web, and upheaval. Lotus spiked Agenda, replacing it with a Win-based Lotus Organizer 1.0. I moved the company over to Jensen's "Commence" program, which held some of Agenda's flavor but proved an administrative bear.

      If Chandler can even approach lighting a candle to Agenda (sorry...) -- and run on Linux as well -- I'm there, Opneing Day. But I suspect it'll be targeting the regimented Outlook suits, and not us "Agenda hippies"...
      • I thought that was the point behind Chandler. Mitch Kapoor was the guy behind Agenda and is the guy behind this... If you read his articles on the subject then I would hope that we will some Agenda-like functionality.

        Of course, we're only on 0.1, so what we get here is hardly representative of what might come.
      • IIRC, it would look at your notes and automagically insert todos/meetings. Writing a note that read "closing on house next tuesday at 10AM", it would insert a meeting for 4/29 at 10AM (next tuesday for me) with the contents of the note. Or a pointer.
  • by fluor2 ( 242824 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @05:49AM (#5779669)
    This seem to be another open-source program that try to involve EVERYTHING (email, calendar, chat, documents etc).

    Well as it is coded in python, this is pretty multiple-platform compatible.

    I extracted the windows zip-file and ran the chandler.bat

    I clicked next on the welcome picture. I immediately noticed that this is a non-standard windows application..

    The first thing I tried was simple outlook behaviour. It shows the calendar, but it does not feature any clicking in the calendar (like adding appointments etc). But the weeks are displayed correctly.

    It seems like this program is like alpha alpha, and it does not give any functionality (unless you like watching on a week ;) ).

    Ok good luck to the authors. I still think you have a very long way untill you can compete with outlook etc. I suggest taking a look at Evolution first.
    • by seizer ( 16950 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @06:30AM (#5779763) Homepage
      You can sort of click-drag on the weekly calendar, to add an appointment. It's not totally non-interactive :-)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @06:40AM (#5779780)
      I immediately noticed that this is a non-standard windows application.

      The curse of wxWindows. You can right an application that runs on Windows 95, WindowsXP, Mac OSX, Gnome and KDE, but it won't comply with any of the user interface guidelines on any of them, but at least everyone will be confused equally and on all platforms at the same time.
    • I clicked next on the welcome picture. I immediately noticed that this is a non-standard windows application..

      Looks fine to me on NT 4.0. :)

      The first thing I tried was simple outlook behaviour. It shows the calendar, but it does not feature any clicking in the calendar (like adding appointments etc). But the weeks are displayed correctly.

      You can create an appointment by click-dragging on a day in the weekly calendar view. You type your appointment into the green box. Then you can resize the green bo
    • "It seems like this program is like alpha alpha".

      Uhm, you mean like the fact that it's version 0.1, and if you read more than the download section you might notice that it's essentially a preview?

      Good job man.
    • It seems like this program is like alpha alpha

      Wow, you're sharp as a bowling ball. Did you figure that out from the 0.1 release number?

      He's been working on it about 8 months (iirc), and to have this many features in that ammount of time for this type of application, I'd say that's pretty substantial. Chandler has the potential to kick the pants off of Outlook-not-so-good when it fully matures.
  • I'm sorry (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @05:52AM (#5779679)
    Could this software BE any more released?
  • by hkon ( 46756 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @05:52AM (#5779680) Homepage
    From the article: Our product (code-named "Chandler" after the great detective novelist Raymond Chandler,)

    Are these people so out of touch with the world most of us live in that they don't realize a lot of people will think of that goofy guy from "Friends" when they hear this name? Personally, I don't want my applications behaving anything like this guy.

    Oh, and does this make Outlook Chandler's cross-dressing dad?
  • by MacroRex ( 548024 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @05:53AM (#5779682)
    A quick peek at their site did not reveal any information about support for various mobile devices. For me, at least, it's crucial that my calendar app can be easily synchronized with whatever mobile gizmo I happen to be using as a calendar. While Outlook is the only viable alternative (for good or bad, I'm not a Lotus user), this thing gets only a "thumbs up" from me.
    • From the FAQ:

      "Can I access Chandler through the Web or PDA?
      We are not committed to develop a Web interface or PDA conduit for the Canoga release. However, these are exactly the kind of features that we expect third-party developers to develop."

      They supply the framework, and the community can then easily add functionality. A modular approach is mostly always nice.
  • Docs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ultrabot ( 200914 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @06:03AM (#5779711)
    It's nice to see that have included so much documentation about the architecture & philosophy, considering how early in the development they are. That's *real* openness.
  • by leoaugust ( 665240 ) <> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @06:12AM (#5779727) Journal

    If the goal is to have it used by small and medium sized businesses, why aren't there versions for Win 2000, or 98 ?? Most of the small businesses due to budget restrictions haven't yet updated to Win XP - esp due to its activation feature.

    Has anyone tried to install Chandler on older Win versions?

    • Because when this thing hits 1.0, XP will be the 98 of that period in time. ;-)
    • It runs fine on Win98se for me. It seems remarkably stable for a 0.1 release. Sure, the features are not complete yet, but given some time, this could be better than Evolution. If the clients communicate regardless of what platform they are running on, this could be a great help to small, mixed platform offices. Some of us haven't been able to convice our bosses to switch everyone over to Linux yet.
  • by martin ( 1336 ) <maxsec@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @06:47AM (#5779793) Journal
    The server is....we need a usable, easily deployable MS-Exchange/Notes server competitor.

    Sure you can build things with LDAP/Imap/web-mail and make them all talk to one-another, BUT you need a server then does alot of this for you...

    Until you can point and click your way through a server installation you're not going to win over the MS-Exchange sites.

    Yes SuSE have their openmail thing, but need a 'freeware' version of this that runs on *nix (ie more than just Linux, but the *BSD,SOlaris, HPUX, AIX variants as well - like Apache does).

  • by rufus t firefly ( 35399 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:40AM (#5779897) Homepage
    This is *not* flamebait, but why in the world is everyone obsessed with writing clients, but no one wants to either write a server, or interface with an existing groupware server?

    phpGroupware exposed their API through both SOAP and XML-RPC, and I have yet to see *anything* use their backend, other than an old Delphi frontend for WinXX which was yanked from their site. I'm sure there are other web-based groupware suites that also have web-services available, and yet no one wants to build interfaces to them?

    Don't get me wrong, Evolution is a nice toy, but only that in the realm of business until someone decides that they want to interface it with an existing groupware server (other than Exchange, which is quite closed-source...), since otherwise there is no open solution to doing this.

    I contacted the Evolution people at least a year ago about interfacing with phpGroupware, to get a reply of "if you can reverse-engineer our calendar API, which isn't documented anywhere, you can write it yourself...". (No disrespect to the developers of Evolution intended, but I'm trying to make a point about the little emphasis any of the major groups seem to place on enterprise adoption.)

    • Do you really want your server component for this to run in PHP? That's not going to be very efficient as compared to a daemon written in, say, C.
      • Do you really want your server component for this to run in PHP? That's not going to be very efficient as compared to a daemon written in, say, C.

        The issue isn't speed; it's that there is a server already developed that runs using PHP. Even though everyone says it would only take a little bit of effort to write a good server in C, I really haven't seen any open-source ones.

        Writing a plugin to use an already existing server would save developers from having to reinvent the wheel. (Also, with a performa

    • If you want to sync with Evolution, you should check out MultiSync [].

      I am a developer, currently writing a plugin for Zaurus/Opie devices. MultiSync already has an Evolution plugin that works well.

      If you are interested in writing a plugin for PHPGroupware, you should drop by the devel mailing list.

  • Similar project (Score:4, Informative)

    by aliWiz ( 667697 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:57AM (#5779933)
    I have found another similar project based on Java and using a decentralized (p2p) architecture
    • Cool but the source is not yet released. It is pretty obvious that it is based on SWT widgets, a very good choice in it's design. He also mentions plugins so I would also assume that it is based on the eclipse jface framework. The release license will probably dictate the outcome.
  • At that rate it would be, mmmm, let's see ...
    another 10 years until final release?
    Whatever, good luck anyway.
  • by bahamat ( 187909 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:17AM (#5780017) Homepage
    There's 114 comments and his site hasn't been /.ed yet and I just downloaded chandler at almost 200KB/s.
  • P2P (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Samus ( 1382 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:24AM (#5780054) Journal
    On the surface p2p sounds like a great idea for a PIM app that needs collaboration. Then I start thinking about the holes this leaves. Suppose I use a laptop at work and take it home every now and then. If I leave at 4 and somebody wants to schedule a meeting with me for 7:00 AM the next day after I have left, how does it then confirm the appointment? If I just turn my machine off at night then anybody that wants to poll my schedule will have to wait until I come in in the morning. The next hurdle to get over would be the bandwidth issues. P2P apps are necessarily chatty. On a small lan that might not be such a big deal but a decent sized company will surely squash this like netbios. Will anybody want to invest in a program that they know their company will not be able to use a few years down the road when they have tripled in size? Realistically speaking most small companies are not going to triple in size in the next few years but admitting so is like saying that their growth is permantly stunted.
    • Well perhaps a web service or many web services that answers on your behalf and also happens to be a peer on the network. Just because it is p2p does not mean that servers cannot be used with it. Most of this stuff I would assume will be added as gateway services. This of course also allows you to grow functionality without reconfiguring the entire network.
  • :-)
  • Here is Chandler running on Mac OS X. It seems to have UI issues, or issues with my screen size since some of the icons in the upperleft are obscured by the menu bar. Chandler:
  • allways useful, and they'll have more testers and those who follow through and actually download/install their software.

    to paraphrase rat poison's (x gui/shell) site, screenshots - because too many ppl will bitch in their absence.
  • ... try to ban it, of course...

    Chandler will have a rich ability to [... create] a context sensitive "view" of many types of data, mixing-and-matching email, [...] MP3's ...

    Chandler will make it extremely easy to share all types of information with others

    There you go, its secured its own death sentence.
    Hell, the page even has the words 'peer-to-peer' on it, so you can bet they know about it...
  • Chandler_src_0.1.tar.gz includes the source to python, several modules including zodb, swig, wxpython, jabber-py, and thier own build system named hardhat.

    Why do they feel the need to distribute those packages as part of the chandler cvs tree? Most of these modules have played well together in mixed versions for years.
  • by CommieBozo ( 617132 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @10:13AM (#5780679) Journal
    I'm more interested in testing Rachel 0.1, and to a lesser extent, Monica and Phoebe 0.1.
  • by Tom ( 822 )
    Got a split opinion about that. For one, everything in the docs seems pretty solid. They have a concept more advanced than "let's copy outlook" and seem to know what they're doing. This might go far.

    On the other hand, I ask myself why everyone and his dog is copying outlook/exchange? I'm forced to use outlook at work, and frankly, it sucks. The calender is about the only thing remotely useable, and even it has many serious shortcomings.

    It can't be that difficult to write something better, can it? I mean,
  • Just from the screenshots and comments, this seems like something my friend's 13 year old could crank out in VB in a week. Not something that I'd expect my 100-person company to adopt.
  • Is there one available? I couldn't find it on the website.

  • For some reason, the idea that someone might want to journal events as they occur throughout the day seems to have escaped most of the PIM software authors. The prevailing model seems to be that every event is planned, has a date, a start time, and an end time. In many cases, though, it's far more appropriate to be able to log events that aren't planned, but that have just happened - as with an impromptu meeting or a telephone conversation. I'm looking forward to the day when this actually appears in someth
  • I have to wonder if possibly Mitch Kapor is a strict Creationist and has the word "Evolution" being filtered at his home router or something.
  • Unless a PIM syncs with a Palm Pilot, I can't and won't even look at it.

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