Mitch Kapor Finally Pulls The Plug On Chandler

from the years-too-late dept

More than five years ago, Lotus founder Mitch Kapor announced plans to start a not-for-profit foundation to try to create an open source competitor to Microsoft Exchange. At the time, we didn't think that Microsoft would be staying up at night worrying about it. In fact, we doubt anyone anywhere thought much of the resulting project, dubbed Chandler, over the intervening years. Every once in a while there would be an update, but many other projects seemed to make a lot more progress than Chandler ever did. So it's not much of a surprise to hear that Mitch Kapor has finally bailed on Chandler, and that the foundation behind it is going to scale back its efforts. This isn't an indictment of open source projects, but it does suggest that it does matter how those projects are set up. Successful open source projects seem to start small and grow over time. They focus on solving a specific need and then building out beyond that. Chandler, on the other hand, seemed more focused on coming up with a big idea and building a huge project around it. That makes it a lot less flexible and a lot less able to take advantage of the sorts of benefits that open source development provides, such as the ability to repeatedly release, adapt and adjust to meet what the market actually needs.

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  • identicon
    Never heard of it, 10 Jan 2008 @ 6:09pm

    MicroSoft Exchange

    What's that ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ChurchHatesTucker, 10 Jan 2008 @ 6:11pm

    Say what?

    I don't know beans about Chandler, but the conclusion that Open Source works by starting small seems unfounded. There may well have been problems with Kapor's organization, but it's not at all clear that the scope was it. Plenty of FOSS projects started off with very grand ends in mind (GIMP, SAMBA, GNOME & KDE, Linux, Free/Net/OpenBSD, the FSF etc.) Exchange doesn't seem like a particularly outlandish project.

    Now it may be true that *most* FOSS projects start (and remain) small, but that makes sense given the whole 'scratch an itch' ethos that hackers work with.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2008 @ 6:59pm

      Re: Say what?

      Tt start small as in small codebase, not very usable, crappy, etc.

      What they do is they release their crappy release for feedback and such.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Griffon, 10 Jan 2008 @ 7:37pm


    I have run countless searches for exchange competitors and open source calendaring solutions and never ever heard of this. Maybe they just needed to buy some better add words. Shame looks and sounds quite interesting... but clearly suffers from no word of mouth or anything else apparently.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Hank Williams, 11 Jan 2008 @ 11:03am

    Mitch Kapor's Weekend at Bernies


    The problem is that what Mitch initially envisioned never came anywhere near fruition. I blogged about it here


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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