With Hula project, Novell will dance to open-source tune

With Hula project, Novell will dance to open-source tune

BOSTON'Novell Inc. will open-source the e-mail and calendar functions of its NetMail enterprise collaboration server software, Novell CEO Jack Messman announced today. The open-source spinoff will be called Hula.

By opening portions of its messaging software to outside developers, the Waltham, Mass., company hopes to reinvigorate competition with Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes, Messman said at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo.

'Unlike many [open-source] collaborations projects currently on the market, this project will focus on the server side not the client side,' Messman said. He added that the NetMail code 'is quality stuff, built originally for use over the Internet.'

Over 200,000 lines of code will be available through Hula, he said. The company expects other developers will not only refine the code but also add plug-ins that enhance NetMail functions.

Novell is still plotting a road map for the release of the code and plans to have a Hula commercial server offering ready later this year. Fewer than 25 of the company's developers will continue to work on the code, Messman said.

The Hula project will utilize other open-source and standards efforts, such as the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and the Internet Message Access Protocol e-mail protocols as well as the emerging iCalendar and the CalDAV calendar access and sharing protocols. The Hula team will also collaborate with the Mozilla Foundation in Mountain View, Calif., that maintains the Mozilla Firefox browser, Thunderbird e-mail client and Sunbird calendar.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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