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The Building Blocks for Linux

  • September 25, 2000
  • By Dennis E. Powell

Second only to KOffice in generating excited anticipation from time to time among KDE users in the last 18 months or so is Magellan, which initially was going to be very much like Microsoft's Outlook, without that program's computer-destroying "features." Its developer, Teodor Romeo Mahai, worked on it while also holding a job and working on a college degree. It progressed in fits and starts, was pronounced dead from time to time, but has been resurrected and will soon be on an ftp server near you, Gordon says. He's got people working on it with Teddy.

"He's from Romania and he's been living in Ireland, and now he's in San Jose for a couple of months. What got us started is that he and one of my Romanian programmers had a mutual friend.

"He's had some great ideas; he's had his head in that thing for a long time. We're working with it; I've got two guys I applied to it, one for the back end and one for the user interface. We've had lots of discussions about the user interface.

"We want to have something that's unique, attractive, and easy to use. I don't want to copy Outlook and all these other things. If there are some features we can use from each of them, great, but we don't want to copy them. Magellan is turning into a real groupware kind of thing. We're thinking about some sidelines like Palm integration. I'm excited about Magellan."

There will be a usable version available in the next month or so, says Gordon, but the project is broadening into a general communications suite.

"We might even possibly build in ICQ and IRC clients into the whole thing, to make it really convenient as a communications center. There are some other features we want to put in. You've probably run into this: If you're web browsing or looking at email, you want to annotate the email and save it, or annotate a web page and save it, making note of what about it was interesting. So we're looking at something like that, that makes it into a sort of document library. Because the only way to annotate an email is to send it back to yourself and put in some comments, and now it says it's from you instead of who it came from originally.

"You'll see a Magellan that you can use next month."

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