Open Source Project by the Cyprus team

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Open Source Project by the Cyprus team

Postby theo » Fri May 23, 2008 12:35 pm

I always wanted to build a debian/ubuntu based mail system that will serve as a replacement for Microsoft Exchange. It should support smtp, pop, pop-ssl, imap, imap-ssl, webmail, calendar and Outlook support. We could build it on top of ubuntu server and be packaged as an ubuntu package or as a separate distribution. Egroupware could provide the GUI and outlook support for it.

Just an idea. Whatever we decide eventually we could host it on launchpad and earn more karma. Karma is a sort of contributor statistics on launchpad and the more we have the closest we get to become official Ubuntu loco team. I myself have some knowledge of C, assembly, perl and php. If you want to use some other language I am a fast learner :)
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Re: Open Source Project by the Cyprus team

Postby medigeek » Fri May 23, 2008 4:11 pm

I'm not much of a programmer myself, but you must be looking for groupware tools, you have one here:
http://opengroupware.org/
But they're not a lot active nowadays, it could be a great step to start a project like that one :mrgreen:

Some other examples:
$ apt-cache search groupware
evolution-exchange - Exchange plugin for the Evolution groupware suite
evolution-exchange-dbg - Exchange plugin for Evolution with debugging symbols
evolution-webcal - webcal: URL handler for GNOME and Evolution
kdepim-kresources - KDE pim resource plugins
kdepim-wizards - KDE server configuration wizards
courier-base - Courier mail server - base system
courier-doc - Courier mail server - additional documentation
courier-faxmail - Courier mail server - Fax<->mail gateway
courier-imap - Courier mail server - IMAP server
courier-imap-ssl - Courier mail server - IMAP over SSL
courier-ldap - Courier mail server - LDAP support
courier-maildrop - Courier mail server - mail delivery agent
courier-mlm - Courier mail server - mailing list manager
courier-mta - Courier mail server - ESMTP daemon
courier-mta-ssl - Courier mail server - ESMTP over SSL
courier-pcp - Courier mail server - PCP server
courier-pop - Courier mail server - POP3 server
courier-pop-ssl - Courier mail server - POP3 over SSL
courier-ssl - Courier mail server - SSL/TLS Support
courier-webadmin - Courier mail server - web-based administration frontend
egroupware - web-based groupware suite
egroupware-addressbook - eGroupWare addressbook management application
egroupware-bookmarks - eGroupWare bookmark management application
egroupware-calendar - eGroupWare calendar management application
egroupware-core - eGroupWare core modules
egroupware-developer-tools - eGroupWare developer tools
egroupware-emailadmin - eGroupWare E-mail user administration application
egroupware-etemplate - widget-based template system for eGroupWare
egroupware-felamimail - eGroupWare FeLaMiMail application
egroupware-filemanager - eGroupWare file manager application
egroupware-infolog - eGroupWare infolog application
egroupware-ldap - eGroupware LDAP support files
egroupware-manual - eGroupWare manual
egroupware-mydms - eGroupWare document management system
egroupware-news-admin - eGroupWare news administration interface
egroupware-phpbrain - eGroupWare phpbrain application
egroupware-phpsysinfo - eGroupWare phpSysInfo application
egroupware-polls - eGroupWare polling application
egroupware-projectmanager - eGroupWare projects management application
egroupware-registration - eGroupWare registration application
egroupware-resources - eGroupWare resource manager application
egroupware-sambaadmin - eGroupWare Samba administration application
egroupware-sitemgr - eGroupWare site manager application
egroupware-timesheet - eGroupWare timesheet application
egroupware-wiki - eGroupWare wiki application
egroupware-workflow - eGroupWare workflow application
gnustep-make-ogo - Basic GNUstep Scripts and Makefiles for OpenGroupware.org
kolab-resource-handlers - Kolab free/busy scripts
kolab-webadmin - Kolab administration web interface
kolabadmin - Kolab administration tool
kolabd - groupware server
libkolab-perl - Perl modules for Kolab
libnss-mysql-bg - NSS module for using MySQL as a naming service
obm - Open Business Management
obm-conf - Open Business Management
obm-core - Open Business Management
obm-storage - Open Business Management
obm-ui - Open Business Management
opensync-plugin-evolution - Evolution plugin for opensync
phpgroupware - Web based groupware system written in PHP
phpgroupware-0.9.16 - Web based groupware system written in PHP
phpgroupware-0.9.16-addressbook - phpGroupWare addressbook management module
phpgroupware-0.9.16-admin - phpGroupWare administration module
phpgroupware-0.9.16-calendar - phpGroupWare calendar management module
phpgroupware-0.9.16-core - Core groupware applications of phpGroupware
phpgroupware-0.9.16-core-base - Base components of the phpGroupware "application server"
phpgroupware-0.9.16-doc - Documentation of phpGroupware 0.9.16
phpgroupware-0.9.16-email - phpGroupWare E-Mail client module
phpgroupware-0.9.16-filemanager - phpGroupWare filemanager module
phpgroupware-0.9.16-manual - phpGroupWare on-line manual module
phpgroupware-0.9.16-news-admin - phpGroupWare news administration interface
phpgroupware-0.9.16-notes - phpGroupWare notes management module
phpgroupware-0.9.16-phpgwapi - library of common phpGroupWare functions
phpgroupware-0.9.16-phpgwapi-doc - Documentation of phpGroupware 0.9.16 phpgwapi
phpgroupware-0.9.16-preferences - phpGroupWare preferences management module
phpgroupware-0.9.16-setup - phpGroupWare setup III module
phpgroupware-0.9.16-todo - phpGroupWare todo list management module
sqwebmail - Courier mail server - webmail server
evolution - groupware suite with mail client and organizer
evolution-common - architecture independent files for Evolution
evolution-dbg - debugging symbols for Evolution
evolution-dev - development library files for Evolution
evolution-plugins - standard plugins for Evolution
evolution-plugins-experimental - experimental plugins for Evolution
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Re: Open Source Project by the Cyprus team

Postby theo » Fri May 23, 2008 4:59 pm

Egroupware is what I had in mind but this is just a webinterface to imap. It has some technology though that integrates with Outlook Calendar and it is a good alternative to businesses that are not ready to change their windows workstation but are ready to get rid of their windows servers.

Egroupware must be integrated with other systems like postfix, courier-pop, courier imap, sasl, ldap and it must support virtual mail domains. Currently there is no WebGui that can handle virtual mail domains in the debian and ubuntu repositories. This is what we are going to develop.We could either build a standalone application or an application inside egroupware using the egw API.

As far as opengroupware concerns:
Wikipedia wrote:Microsoft Outlook support is provided via commercial client and server add-on known as Zidelook

And usually this is the case with all commercial companies that release "open source" or "community" editions (OpenXchange, Zimbra, Scallix). They give you a crippled "community" edition where outlook will not work with, and a full blown closed enterprise edition which works with outlook.

The closest I found up to now is an Indian project called deepOfix but it has no calendar, uses qmail as a backend smtp server and you have to pay for updates.
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Re: Open Source Project by the Cyprus team

Postby charizan » Fri May 23, 2008 5:51 pm

Guys have in mind that if we will make a project as a community we will not need only programmers but also testers, etc. and of course opinions and ideas which in my opinion are most valuable of all!!! ;)
in my opinion a community project it will be to create Warcraft 4 in Linux!!!!! :D haha
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Re: Open Source Project by the Cyprus team

Postby medigeek » Sat May 24, 2008 9:52 am

I've been a bug reporter / bug triager for some time now, i can do that :)

theo if you want to start that project you'll need to decide on:
a) server's programmming language (with a good API, so that people can attach plugins in clients :P)
b) client's programming language (that's usually python in gnome)
c) what to include as a first step, what to use as a backend etc.
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Re: Open Source Project by the Cyprus team

Postby medigeek » Sat May 24, 2008 5:09 pm

I have an idea... why don't we make a GUI for apt.conf ? *OR* we could use the software-properties-gtk and build on top of it :)

You have a lot of packages based on that one, they could be used as a resource of examples to create an easy interface that could help users to do various stuff such as:
- limit their bandwidth used for upgrades
Code: Select all
$ cat /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/downloadbandwidthlimit
Acquire
{
  http {
      Dl-Limit "30";        // 30Kb/sec maximum download rate
  };
};


- disable the translate-en_US requests:
Code: Select all
$ cat /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/disabletranslation
APT::Acquire::Translation "none";


- enable/disable packages such as unattended-upgrades for unattended upgrading

I'm not sure if we could use python-apt for this one, but it should probably be easy as a project with python-gtk2 or even c :)

Documentation:
Code: Select all
cat /usr/share/doc/apt/examples/apt.conf | less
gzip -d -c /usr/share/doc/apt/examples/configure-index.gz | less
sudo apt-get install gtk2.0-examples; gtk-demo
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Re: Open Source Project by the Cyprus team

Postby theo » Sat May 24, 2008 5:53 pm

medigeek wrote:theo if you want to start that project you'll need to decide on:


We haven't yet decided if this is what we are going to do. We should here more ideas /opinions before deciding. IMHO though, we should focus on something new, something that does not exist yet and could attract the interest of the community.

If we end up on the MS Exchange replacement project we the process could be something like:

1) Install all the necessary existing software:
a) Postix or exim. Qmail and sendmail are out of the question.
b) Courier-pop/popssl/imap/imapssl.
c) Sasl for authentication
d) mysql or/and postgresql. We could give the option to the installer to select the db
e) Fedora Directory Server or openldap. The first has the advantage that it can sync users and groups with the Active Directory and can be used in existing AD networks. The problem is that no official deb packages for it exists in the repos and we may need to create one. (A subproject is born! :) )
f) Install Apache/PHP (maybe use hardened-php for extra security)
g) Install egroupware. This software already has his own FOSS plugins for MS Outlook so no need to develop one ourselves.

2) Develop the software that will setup all these packages transparently and a GUI for it (preferably a Web GUI). For the GUI we could use php and the egroupware API, and build it as an application inside egroupware. These will save us from redesigning the wheel because matters like authentication, users, groups, tasks, calendar etc will be handled by egroupware.
Some of the features the program could have:
a) Auto-configure postfix, courier, sasl, ldap and database to co-operate.
b) Create the necessary databases for virtual mail domains.
c) Create Real or self-signed SSL certificates for postfix, courier and ldap.
c) WebGUI for managing the system.

3) Package the system nicely to have the software in step 1) as dependencies so with a simple apt-get install our-groupware and some basic interactive questions you will have a full blown exchange replacement server! Sounds very optimistic but why not?

4) Package everything on a single CD so a sysadmin can install it on a new server and have a working system in less than an hour!

5) We could package the Windows Outlook plugin on the CD or even get it trough the GUI and make the administrator's life easier.

The idea regarding apt-conf guii is also interesting and easier to implement than mine.

Medigeek I have one question for you regarding launchpad. Can we register a project on launchpad anytime we want or has to be approved by Ubuntu/Canonical?

We could also find some interesting ideas on Ubuntu Brainstorming
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Re: Open Source Project by the Cyprus team

Postby medigeek » Sat May 24, 2008 7:22 pm

Never actually created one before, but the registration page is here: https://launchpad.net/projects/+new
I don't think it has to be approved, maybe the branch has to be activated :)

I know the blueprints for a project have to be approved if they're going to be included for a release sprint :P
https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu ... h-schedule
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Re: Open Source Project by the Cyprus team

Postby marinos » Mon May 26, 2008 9:33 am

That a good idea. We can also add some features that exchange doesn't have so the project will be unique.
What you think about adding a CRM database on that project, Which will be also related with ldap directory....
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Re: Open Source Project by the Cyprus team

Postby theo » Mon May 26, 2008 9:59 am

CRM is a nice idea. We should achieve a basic mail and calendar functionality before attempting to expand it though. Remember what Linus Torvalds said:

Linus wrote:Nobody should start to undertake a large project. You start with a small _trivial_ project, and you should never expect it to get large. If you do, you'll just overdesign and generally think it is more important than it likely is at that stage. Or worse, you might be scared away by the sheer size of the work you envision. So start small, and think about the details. Don't think about some big picture and fancy design. If it doesn't solve some fairly immediate need, it's almost certainly over-designed. And don't expect people to jump in and help you. That's not how these things work. You need to get something half-way _useful_ first, and then others will say "hey, that _almost_ works for me", and they'll get involved in the project.
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