Geekspeak: February 26, 2001

By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2001-02-26 Print this article Print

Imitation is the sincerest form of ...

Anyone whos tried out a beta of or otherwise seen Ximians upcoming Evolution mail and calendaring client probably did the same initial double take I did: The software looks amazingly like Microsofts Outlook, down to the ordering of buttons, images used on icons, choice of fonts, and position and selection of on-screen shading.

The effort isnt just an issue of trying to use interface ideas that have been proved to work (and already focus- tested by someone else). Ximian developer Chris Lahey told me at LinuxWorld in New York that his company intends for Evolution to become a drop-in corporate replacement for Outlook someday and that the user interface similarities are a key way for IT to avoid having to retrain employees.

Lahey told me the top two questions the company gets about Evolution are whether it can act as a Microsoft Exchange server client (not yet, but work is ongoing in this area—apparently the protocols are encrypted) and whether Ximian has enterprise calendaring server plans (it doesnt). Evolution 1.0 is expected to ship this summer.

Timothy Dyck is a Senior Analyst with eWEEK Labs. He has been testing and reviewing application server, database and middleware products and technologies for eWEEK since 1996. Prior to joining eWEEK, he worked at the LAN and WAN network operations center for a large telecommunications firm, in operating systems and development tools technical marketing for a large software company and in the IT department at a government agency. He has an honors bachelors degree of mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and a masters of arts degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.

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