After nearly three years of development the fourth generation of the Horde open source e-mail and groupware suite was released this week bringing with it a more modern code base and social networking features.
The core of Horde includes the Horde Application Framework, and PHP Web application framework that is used to develop the family of groupware applications for messaging, time keeping and contact management, among others.
Horde 4 makes more use of the PHP Extension and Application Repository and installing and updating Horde apps has been simplified with its own PEAR server.
There some 90 applications and modules in the Horde ecosystem, covering everything from groupware to session management and integration with third-party Web services.
Horde’s flagship applications, IMP for e-mail and Kronolith for calendaring, has received significant updates including new Ajax interface.
The previous DIMP – Dynamic Internet Message Program – has been renamed to just IMP for the 4 release. The former mobile IMP client has also been integrated in to standard IMP.
Both the e-mail and calendar apps have new interfaces for smartphones and mobile devices can now talk to a Horde server with ActiveSync and SyncML.
New libraries for integration with Facebook and Twitter also arrive with version 4.
Horde has a long history since the first release of the framework over a decade ago. Version 3 first appeared in late 2004 and, in an interview with TechWorld this time last year, release manager Jan Schneider predicted a version 4 release by mid-2010.
With Horde 4 now out, Schneider says the project will work to a more predictable schedule with new versions released every half a year.
“With the lessons learned from more than 10 years of OSS project management, and with the urge to give the project a fresh spin, we decided to change the release model to a fixed release timeline for future releases,” Schneider wrote on his blog.
Horde will now have synchronised releases of all application and framework components.
For a minor version release, only the modules that actually had any changes will be released, but for major versions, all modules will be released.
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