22 January 2007

Am I Dreaming?

Dreaming in Code: a book about Chandler.

Chandler? Out of several hundred thousands pieces of free software he choose Chandler??? A project that after nearly four years still has not yet got to a 1.0 release? A project that, though started with the best intentions (which I applaud) is essentially irrelevant now that we have Lightning, based on a program (Thunderbird) that is already widely used?

Great title: pity about the subject-matter.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link! A couple of thoughts: (1) in 2002 when I chose my project, I was unable to predict the future; (2) I am not at all sure that Lightning makes Chandler "irrelevant"; there are many things that Chandler set out to do that Lightning doesn't do -- Chandler doesn't do a lot of them either, yet, of course! (3) I'm less ready to write off Chandler than you are. Perhaps because I have vivid memories of (along with so much of the tech media) writing Mozilla off back in year two or three or whatever it was. The world wrote Mozilla off, yet, interestingly, it is enormously relevant once more. Open source projects have trajectories that are not as simple as "once hot, now not." I'll be following what the Chandler people continue to do -- there's a big release planned for April, I believe -- while remaining, of course, totally conscious of how frustrating their problems to date have been.

Glyn Moody said...

Of course, you're right: this is the classic journalist's dilemma. You have to choose a project to write about before you know whether it will be successful or not.

I wasn't criticising your book, which on the basis of your other writing, I'm sure is excellent. I suppose I was just expressing bloggily my frustration with Chandler: it could have been important, but has turned into something of a damp squib.

Yes, with open source, there's always hope. But frankly, what we need now is a great email client with calendaring so that the free software platform can match Microsoft's Office+Outlook combination. Yes, Lightning is lightweight compared to Chandler - but maybe that's why it stands a better chance....