> I'm posting this to ILUG as well as CLUG since there's probably a few of
> you who might be interested in the following:
>I'm just gonna post it to the CLUG, because the ILUG is just too
complimicated (deliberate, I swear).
> Ever used Goldmine? It's a nice looking marketing tool, but it can be
> buggy as hell, and difficult to configure.
>No, I must admit I haven't, and I must also admit that I use Outlook for
contact management *blush*. So before anyone starts shouting "Windoze
Heathen!", yes, I'm a Windoze user, and will remain so until delivery of me
new box. For now I remain a "remote" Linux user, working solely from the
command line, and a newbie to boot. So, ummm, hello to the CLUG. :)
> Basically, it's an email client and contact manager in one application.
> Like Outlook I guess, but it offers the ability to list the history of
> each user who has emailed us. ie. a paper trail.
> It also has email tracks (automated emails), automated processes
> (crontabs), and many other things that have not occured to me.
> Oh yeah, it only runs in Windows, or very badly in Wine.
>Ok, my reservations about the suitability of a project like this for the
open source model aside, I find that I still have doubts and questions about
it. I hope you won't take offence from this, and realise that I'm just
playing devils advocate. Needless to say, if you're aware of all of the
stuff below, you can just ignore it and me, and get on with your life. In my
defence though, I'll say that I'm a good friend of Helen O'Driscoll's, so
what else could expect only an opinionated, argumentative, stubbord old
I'll get right down to brass tacks - I hate to knock anybodys project, but I
think that there are several already out there that - while not exactly the
same - run along the same lines as what you're working on, and I don't see
the logic in duplicating the effort.
For email there's IMP, which is pretty good, but needs a later browser to
work correctly, and tends to be buggy, particularly with MSIE 4+. But
there's also Twig, which is the one I currently use on my server (gimme a
shout if you want to try it out) and has email, bookmarks, contacts and
several other functionalities, all of which are cross-browser, and all of
which will even run on Lynx if necessary. For job tracking, there's also
several projects, the names of which elude me now, but some of which are
quite good. You'll find them all, of course, on
I don't mean to insult your intelligence or originality, but IMHO I think it
would be better to either start with the source of one of those projects,
and build on it; or join up with the development teams of one of them,
rather than starting from scratch and doing all the work that has been done
already. WIth the amount of groupware projects out there already, some of
them - like Jetspeed by the Apache group - getting huge attention in the
media, I think that building one from scratch with limited functionality is
almost inevitably going to get tabled, and probably sooner rather than
And both of these suggestions would negate Bobby's original suggestion -
"that various people from the group could use their various skills towards
creating something new and fresh exclusively from us". An idea I like, and,
I must admit, an idea I could *use*, but I think the keywords there are
"new", "fresh" and "exclusive". Without trying to be insulting (I'm very
polite anyway, you have to give me that), your project is none of those
But anyway, I have no doubt that you have zoned yourself into this project,
so I'll try and run through what you have here and hopefully I'll be able to
point you to some stuff that will save you some work. It would be a help
though if you could answer some basic questions though, like: What language
are you working with? I get the impression that it's PHP, but what version?
What webserver are you using? What database? What platform are you
> present a nice configurable interface. Everything should be
> configurable. font size/face/colour, frame sizes.
>IMP has all of that, although some of it is tucked away in the source. That
said, pulling them out of the source and into configurable variables is just
a matter of tedium rather than real work.
> new sub-windows, simple text checking, event driven actions)
>Again, IMP has all of this functionality, so you could "rape" the app for
> Use database or ldap to hold the user database. phplib has nicely
> abstracted this and I might be able to do something similar.
>Not familiar with LDAP, and the only SQL database I work with is MySQL,
although I have PostgreSQL installed if necessary. I must also confess I'm
not a fan of phplib, or classes in general - I'm a straight functions man
meself. Then again, I don't even indent my code, because I prefer it that
way. Shame, shame. :)
> Receive messages (*)
> Store messages in databases and create user accounts automatically (*)
>Ok, you mentioned in a previous email that you're currently using POP
accounts, and I'm wondering if IMAP might be more suitable, particularly for
organisational reasons. That said, I think that the best method by far for a
web-based app using email is to pipe messages directly into a database. The
reason I say that is because it's ultimately easier to manage virtmaps on a
server than it is to set up accounts, plus you get the added benefit of
losing the clutter of all those accounts. But that requires some Sendmail
(or is it Fetchmail?) hacking. And of course that only applies if you're
going solely with web-based email, but if you want "proper" email
integration - like Hypernews - you're still gonna need that hacker.
> Browse stored messages and create folders. Related: Filters.
>Again, IMAP. Not so sure about filters, because I tend to do that at the
server end. I'll have a look in Twig this evening though and see if they're
> Reply and compose mail. when composing mail the user database has to be
> available to the user. Hotmail has a nice way of doing this - click on
> "To" and a new smaller window opens with your address book in there.
> Click on a name and the name gets inserted into the main page in the
> right place.
>I can't remember how this done in IMP, but in Twig it works slightly
differently - you go to the Contacts section and click on a user to open an
and so it remains a cross-browser product.
> I'll have some source and install script to show you in about a week..
>Okey-dokey. I'll reiterate though, I still think you're a loony working on
this while there's several other projects like this out there. That said,
I'll try and help you any way I can, including making any required server
resources available to the project, if necessary. BUT, I think that it might
be an idea to send a message out to the lists, looking for a project along
the lines of what Bobby suggested, because I agree with him that an
innovative, *new* project would draw attention towards the ILUG and CLUG,
which surely is/should be the primary aim of the group. As a newbie to the
group, I may be wrong, but it's up to you to correct me... :)
Of course, all that is the ravings of a Linux/CLUG newbie, and I don't want
to come in here kicking up dust about it. Feel free to tell me to ram my
opinions where the sun don't shine if you wish. I'll need a bit of help
fitting them up there though, because it's jam-packed with my opinions from
the IEDR mailing list. :)
And that's my eleven bucks,
adam beecher - CEO & Core Geek - ieWebs
workmail ... adam at iewebs.com
playmail ... whatever at adambeecher.com
workweb ... http://ieWebs.com
playweb ... http://adambeecher.com
phone ... 353 86 2529887
fax ... 353 86 8544767
snail ... Box 81, Eglinton St, Cork, IRELAND
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