Computerworld - The co-founder of the former Lotus Development Corp. and creator of Lotus 1-2-3, the first must-have software spreadsheet application for business computing, is now at work building an open-source personal information manager (PIM) package for the masses.
Mitchell Kapor, 51, has had a storied IT past since his days at Lotus, the company he helped co-found in 1982, which IBM eventually purchased. In 1990, he helped create the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, which fights to protect electronic and digital civil liberties, including online privacy and free expression. Since then, Kapor has served on technology boards and has been an investor in IT companies and ideas, working to help them get off the ground.
Kapor, who lives in San Francisco, said in a telephone interview that this latest project is about making a contribution to an IT world that has given him much throughout his career.
The concept for an open-source PIM came to Kapor more than a year ago, when he realized that the new killer apps for users are e-mail and PIM contact information.
Mitchell Kapor, co-founder of the former Lotus Development Corp.
For small and midsize businesses, he said, getting advanced collaboration features often requires a big server to run an off-the-shelf application such as Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes. "Big companies complain about how much it costs, and small companies can't afford it," he said. "So they're underserved."
That's how his open-source PIM project, code-named Chandler, was born.
Kapor created the Open Source Applications Foundation last year as a nonprofit group that could serve as the base for the project, while making it clear to open-source contributing developers that the work was for the public good. "I wanted to send a very clear signal that this is not a vehicle for personal economic ambition," Kapor said.
The foundation's Web site went online just 10 days ago and has already gotten many inquiries from prospective volunteer developers, he said. His paid staff has grown to two, with another 10 expected. The volunteers so far include Andy Hertzfeld, who was a member of the original Apple Macintosh development team.
"We've been working, doing a lot of brainstorming," Kapor said. "I've started a lot of things. I'm a serial entrepreneur. I'm comfortable feeling my way through the early stages of a plan."
So why is he doing this when he is comfortably wealthy and not really needing a
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- Increase IT Performance from the Enterprise to the Cloud with WAN Optimization Massive consolidation and data mobility, enabled by virtualization, have radically altered how we build servers, design applications, and deploy storage for the emerging...
- Live Webcast
Transforming Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain Effectiveness with Cross-Functional Analytics
Date: May 6th, 2014
Time: 1 PM EDT
Attend this Webcast to find out how Oracle's packaged analytic applications enable line-of-business managers to examine all...
- Video Stream Quality Impacts Viewer Behavior This scientific white paper, using statistical data from Amakai's streaming network, analyzes how changes in video quality cause changes in viewer behavior.
- Service-Enabling CICS Applications: Best Practices This informative webcast provides an informed, thorough look into CICS service-enablement options and how they can affect your environment. You'll learn how to... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts