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Status Report: Chandler Desktop and Server

Where Things Stand

  • January 22, 2008
  • By Paul Ferrill

Earlier this month, the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF) announced a major staff reorganization, which included the departure of founder Mitch Kapor as head of the OSAF's flagship project, Chandler.

Kapor started the OSAF in 2001 with a stated goal to "investigate the possibility of developing a modern Personal Information Manager using open source tools and methods." The Chandler project is the outcome of that original goal and slowly marches toward a usable product. When it began there were grandiose ideas of replacing Microsoft Outlook with a free and open source alternative infinitely more usable and configurable.

After almost seven years of effort there is finally a release remotely resembling something a casual user might consider giving a try. Given the recent changes within OSAF, it is of interest to see just where Chandler is as a finished application right now.

Chandler is built almost exclusively upon the Python language and a number of libraries. While the choice of Python helps on the cross-platform front, it brings into question the overall performance and reliability of a large-scale application entrusted with most people's highly critical information. The current release is very stable but admittedly lacks the necessary e-mail functionality to replace your favorite tool.

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