Mozilla Open Source

Mitch Kapor Leaves Chandler

Chandler is the attempt by OSAF to create a PIM. Several years later, it’s still not ready for prime time. Now Mitch Kapor is leaving, and his funding will follow.

He also sits on the board of directors for the Mozilla Foundation. Parent of the Mozilla Corporation and the yet-to-be-named mail corporation which will continue Thunderbird’s development.

I think this quote from the article is really something to pay attention to:

The best communal open-source projects are run like Mozilla (strong core development team with easy pluggability from the outside), Eclipse (cohesive corporate involvement to create a common core while competing at the edges–come to think of it, Linux is like this too), or Apache (strong technology brand that allows for a wide range of experimentation).

Some more interesting reflections on the news can be found on Why does everything suck. Chandler always sounded very interesting, but it never really found it’s way.

Things to keep in mind as Thunderbird develops wings of it’s own.

2 replies on “Mitch Kapor Leaves Chandler”

Disclaimer: I’ve worked on Chandler.

I think you are being overly negative. Chandler has become useful for a few hundred users at least, which you can see from here:

We’ve had users reporting they’ve used Chandler for months without it losing their data, or crashing. Personally the issue that bugs me the most is the slugginess, although with a fast computer and lots of memory it is workable. It is the only desktop calendar program I use. A partial rearchitecture effort was started a recently, which if completed and successful, should address performance among other things.

There’s also the Chandler Server, aka Cosmo, which I believe is the de facto CalDAV reference server implementation. It seems like some businesses are starting to have real interest in it as well. OSAF also runs a free service using this server.

Finally you have to remember Mitch has pretty much single handedly financed the operation the past 6 years. That is a lot of dough. Now that that funding will be gone, I believe the foundation will actually have a more realistic chance of attracting funding from other companies, who may have been holding back because there was no need to put any money into it. It is similar to the situation the Mozilla Foundation faced in 2003.

Of course, time will tell how things will turn out, but I believe the new OSAF, and Chandler, can survive in some form.

PS. The OSAF link is broken.

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