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Future Eudora Based on Thunderbird 264

theefer writes "Qualcomm announced that future versions of Eudora will be based upon the same technology platform as the open source Mozilla Thunderbird email program. Future versions of Eudora will be free and open source, while retaining Eudora's uniquely rich feature set and productivity enhancements. Qualcomm and Mozilla will each participate in, and continue to foster development communities based around the open source Mozilla project, with a view to enhancing the capabilities and ease of use of both Eudora and Thunderbird. [...] The open source version of Eudora is targeted to release during the first half of calendar year 2007. Once the open source version of Eudora is released, Qualcomm will cease to sell Eudora commercially."
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Future Eudora Based on Thunderbird

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  • by Dynamoo ( 527749 ) * on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @11:47AM (#16393975) Homepage
    Eudora was always an odd thing in Qualcomm's portfolio - their primary business is wireless technologies. Eudora didn't really fit in, but to Qualcomm's credit it has been under continual development and revision to this date.

    There's a decent Wikipedia entry [] on it for anyone wanting to know the background, but basically it's been around for an astonishing 18 years. It's evolved gently as a mail client, so any Eudora user can use a new version quickly. Compare this with Outlook which radically redesigns the whole interface every release or so.

    To be honest, Eudora probably isn't the simplest mail client in the world. But it's a very powerful, very secure client that's ideal for power users.

    When I first heard about this move I went "uh-oh". But on reflection, this could be a good thing. Eudora has some really cool features that would work well in Thunderbird, and both products appeal to the same type of people. I only hope that they don't break Eudora in the process of changing it!

  • by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @11:52AM (#16394067) Homepage
    >o be honest, Eudora probably isn't the simplest mail client in the world. But it's a very powerful, very secure client that's ideal for power users Same with PagasusMail (Pmail) Its one hell of a email client but way too many features for the average email user unless they are willing to dig into it.
  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @11:58AM (#16394147)

    Qualcomm and Mozilla will each participate in, and continue to foster development communities based around the open source Mozilla project,

    Hopefully this will do wonders for Thunderbird's reliability; I had to stop recommending thunderbird to clients because of the near constant complaints. Disappearing email, crashes, disappearing contact lists. At least 6 months ago, Thunderbird had all sorts of problems with mailboxes and indexes getting corrupted, which would lead to fun bugs like my clients checking their mail, getting 5 new messages according to the new message count next to the mailbox...and not finding the 5 messages actually IN their inbox. Some bugs related to the index not getting cleaned up properly when messages were deleted, and "rebuilding" the mailbox didn't fix the index; you had to completely remove the index files by hand. WTF?

    It stunned me how much 'housekeeping' the Thunderbird developers expect users to do to keep it working properly, and how thoroughly they knew of many problems...yet had done nothing to fix them.

    I'd also like to see some effort to make GnuPG configuration part of the default install and get users set up with a keyset...and encourage them at every step of the way to use signing and encryption with their email.

  • Things not in TFA: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kartoffel ( 30238 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @11:58AM (#16394153)
    1. A list of which parts of the "rich feature set and productivity enhancements" will be retained in the Thunderbird/Eudora.

    2. Which license(s) the new Eudora will be using. Presumably, it'll be MPL, but TFA didn't say.

    3. Whether Qualcomm considers this move as shifting Eudora into shutdown mode, economically, or whether they genuinely see a potential for future profits from the new FOSS Eudora.
  • by BeeBeard ( 999187 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @12:00PM (#16394185)
    Eudora was always the next best alternative for people who didn't want to worry about obscene things like getting viruses just by looking at emails through the Outlook preview pane. For people who were stuck running Windows but savvy enough to know that there were other email clients out there besides Outlook, it was really ideal.

    Fast-forwarding to the present: As Thunderbird slowly gains acceptance as an alternative email client in its own right (due in no small part to the continuing success of Firefox) the combination of Eudora and Thunderbird technologies could only help Eudora. If they want to ride Mozilla's coattails to greater acceptance in the email program marketplace, they are certainly welcome to do so. Every time a company adopts open source, an angel gets his wings.
  • Hmmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @12:01PM (#16394203) Journal
    Once the open source version of Eudora is released, Qualcomm will cease to sell Eudora commercially.

    I was reading the blurb and wondering what kind of viable long-term plan that scheme has -- apparently they don't have one.

    It's certainly laudable of them to wind it down so gracefully. Like a lot of others, apparently, I haven't used it in ages but there was a long time when it was the only decent GUI for Internet email. I ditched it when I switched to OS X and Entourage at home, and they make me use Lotus Freaking Notes at work, but whatever it looks like nowadays, it has to at least be better than the latter.

  • I'll miss it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ymos ( 804610 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @12:03PM (#16394257)
    I love the way that I can move my mail to a new computer just by copying the Eudora folder to the new install. I doubt that'll work in the new version.
  • by viewtouch ( 1479 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @12:05PM (#16394281) Homepage Journal
    Every time software is 'set free' like this I see not only yet another confirmation that Stallman right about the absolute need for software to be free but also that his life's work since he first dedicated his life to free software has ensured that free software would inevitably triumph over software that isn't free. Those of us who have been around for several decades remember all too well when you needed a lot of money and official permission to even be allowed to create software. It was not fun and it was not a way forward. In an era when many things are becoming less free it is a significant comfort to know that software is becoming more free and is consequently better in so many ways.
  • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @12:08PM (#16394339)
    What I meant to type was "Outlook / Outlook Express".

    I've used Outlook (full) for the last 6 years. The UI *has not* changed significantly over that time. Fact.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @12:09PM (#16394349)
    I have a big D:\Mail directory on my machine. I back that up and all my client-side mail is backed up. When I migrate to new machines, hard drives, etc, I reinstall Eudora and then just lay the old contents of D:\Mail back over the just-installed contents of D:\Mail. Even the INI files are kept in mail so my just-migrated copy pops open windows in their last positions...

    I tried going to Thunderbird a few years ago. I couldn't make the switch because the Thunderbird search wasn't as good as the Eudora search and Thunderbird couldn't do simple things like sort search result dates in "date order". Maybe it's better now...guess I'll find out one way or another.
  • by ElleyKitten ( 715519 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {esirnusnettik}> on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @12:35PM (#16394735) Journal
    I've used Outlook (full) for the last 6 years. The UI *has not* changed significantly over that time. Fact.
    While Outlook 2000, XP, and 2003 look relatively simular at first glace, the menus to change various options are totally different. At work, we recently had to change everyone's settings to use authentication, and the instructions for changing it were completely different for each version.
  • by _|()|\| ( 159991 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @12:36PM (#16394755)
    Eudora FAQ []: "QUALCOMM has decided not to remain in the email market." Also, "QUALCOMM plans to stop trafficking advertisements [to the existing Sponsored mode] at some point during open source development."

    If you read the Penelope page [] at the Mozilla Wiki, you'll see that the six core members of the project are Qualcomm employees. "QUALCOMM continues to have a keen interest in the users of Eudora, and is being kind enough to donate the time of the above staff members to the Penelope project." Rather than becoming faceless contributors to Thunderbird, they chose to continue the Eudora legacy.

  • by haggie ( 957598 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @12:42PM (#16394849)
    They would focus on pulling together email and calendar in a single open source app. The Eudora team could really accelerate this process. Until there is a unified application, corporate envvironments will not move away from Outlook...
  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @12:43PM (#16394875) Journal
    Well, I dropped pay-Eudora in favor of T-bird, in hopes of losing vendor lock-in on the format and an annual software fee. To be honest, I liked eudora better, but I can get around in thunderbird. Problem is, t-bird is such a space hog - the last time I looked I had over a gig and a half of storage in my directory, and that was just from the last 14-18 months. If eudora turns out to be a viable oss project and the future is truly bright, I'll probably switch back. Imho, this looks like a graceful EOL for Eudora as a qualcomm supported product. Hopefully theres a satble base of users that will maintain it at a high level. (I'm not a programmer - i can guarantee you wouldn't want me writing code!)
  • by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @01:12PM (#16395389)
    Call me crazy, but I see this as a bad thing. Why? Eudora has been a great product for as long as email has been around. It's the most reliable, solid client out there. Thunderbird is still flaky. I think that it's a mistake to throw out almost two decades of tried and true code just to jump on the next big thing, especially when that next big thing isn't all that great. It looks like this will be yet another case of users holding on dearly to their old versions of software because the old ones are simply better (Winamp, anyone?)
  • by Ucklak ( 755284 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @01:31PM (#16395757)
    Outlook AND Outlook Express currently has shitty support for IMAP servers.

    Why, to this day, is expunge still not an automatic thing with them?
    Oh yeah, because of Exchange - but why does OE still suck with IMAP?

    And subscriptions is still a convoluted mish mash of un-intuitive MS bantery.
  • by MsGeek ( 162936 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @02:03PM (#16396379) Homepage Journal
    The reason why I *hate* Thunderbird is the same reason why I never used Netscape/Mozilla to get my mail. I DON'T want my email proggie to display MIME mail correctly. I don't want it to show HTML, I don't want it to load pictures, I don't want any of that crap. The reason why Eudora rocked so hard was the fact that it didn't display all that crap. When email viruses started showing up it gave me a security advantage in that Eudora could be directed to IGNORE all that. Thunderbird won't just display the plain text of a message. It INSISTS on giving me all the MIME bells and whistles. And that's why I use on the Mac OS X side and KMail on the Linux side.

    I love Firefox. It's my browser of choice. If only I could convince my University to install it universally all over campus, I could leave IE as a historical relic like it should be. However I can't do that with T-Bird, for this reason.
  • by the_rajah ( 749499 ) * on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @02:34PM (#16397071) Homepage
    Eudora 5.1 reluctantly. The only reason I switched was that I migrated my mail to gmail via POP and the older version wasn't compatible.

    I've been using Eudora since around 1997 and it's been just fine for me. One great thing about it is that it's completely portable. Back in the 20th century, I ran it from a zip disk that I carried from home to the office and back. I had all my mail with me and it worked great. With the advent of USB flash drives a few years ago, I ditched the zip.

    I've never been infected with a virus, although lots of them have appeared in my mailbox. Automatically opening attachments as a default is a huge no-no, but all you /. folks already knew that.

    That said, I've used Thunderbird here at the office for work email and think it's a great client, so I'm pleased to see this development.
  • by guanxi ( 216397 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @06:00PM (#16400581) 3bcb4c240c5827e?dmode=source&hl=en []

    I used Eudora and supported it for awhile, in the mid-90's. It's main advantages were for power users. Back then, I thought that in every user was a power user waiting for an opportunity, so I installed it for them. Well, we all must outgrow our childhood dreams some day ...

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford