Hula for Linux

Novell put out a press-release the other day about a new product or software project they're kicking off. Something called Hula. The plan is to take the existing NetMail product, and make it bigger. It isn't going to be a true competitor to GroupWise since they currently occupy different markets, and are attractive to different groups. Hula will be open source, where GroupWise will remain a closed-source Novell product.

The main object of the Hula project for the moment is twofold:
  • Provide a kick-butt webmail interface (think GMail)
  • Provide a kick-butt calendar that is easy to use, easy to share, easy to publish
What it probably never do is task-lists and workflows. For that, you can use GroupWise. One thing that it can do that GroupWise can't (and for that matter Exchange can't do as well) is scale into the six-figures of users. That alone will make it attractive to regional ISP's.

The calendar thing is one I'm looking forward to. If it is possible for a user to have multiple calendars associated with themselves, that'd be double-plus spiffy. Creating a standards-based calendaring system that can scale and is easily shared will be a really nice app.


Anything that is standards-based, easy to use, easy to share, and lacks central control will end up with jerks in the system. Like SMTP, NNTP, IRC, or BitTORRENT. Calendar spam can't be far behind. Expect to have to reject 'appointments' to talk about hot penny-stock investment opportunities in the not too distant future.