Web 2.0: Unison And Ubuntu - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
9/16/2008
07:43 PM
Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Web 2.0: Unison And Ubuntu

Time for some serendipity. I sat down with Rurik Bradbury of Unison to talk about its unified messaging solutions for Windows and Linux, and ended up with a strong hint as to how the commercial application space for Linux might get a boost.

Time for some serendipity. I sat down with Rurik Bradbury of Unison to talk about its unified messaging solutions for Windows and Linux, and ended up with a strong hint as to how the commercial application space for Linux might get a boost.

First, Unison. It's essentially a very elegant-looking Exchange killer that uses Linux as a server and runs on both Windows and Linux for the client. The client strongly resembles Outlook, so most folks familiar with that program can dive in and get going with little retaining. Aside from e-mail, Unison also does voice calls, instant messaging, calendaring, directory services, and a bunch of other things you used to need separate servers for. All of the protocols used are open standards: LDAP, IMAP, SIP, and so on. The client/server combo is free (as in beer, that is) for up to ten users.

Now comes the interesting part: it's working on a version for Ubuntu which will be distributed -- both the client and the server components -- via Ubuntu's own app repositories. Granted, it's being kept separate from the pure FOSS apps since it's not FOSS itself, but that's precisely what makes this particular item so intriguing. Rurik also hinted that a whole slew of different proprietary apps are to be added to the repositories shortly. He couldn't name names since he's under NDA, but the mere fact that this is happening is an eye-opener.

This to me has been one of the biggest hurdles for Linux: how to deliver commercial-grade software elegantly. Using the software repositories is one of the first things people learn when they sit down with a given distribution. If said commercial apps are segregated into their own non-free repository and delivered with the blessings of the manufacturer, it becomes a snap to get them up and running.

What's not as clear is whether or not this will be a way to deliver for-pay commercial applications as well -- or, rather, whether or not people will avail themselves of a technique like this to do so. This is assuming, of course, that full-blown for-pay applications find traction on Linux desktops, as opposed to FOSS apps with support for sale.

I almost feel bad for talking about this issue at the expense of discussing Unison as a product. Give it a whirl and see what you think. Me, I'm also going to be keeping an ear peeled for future app distribution developments of this variety.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
Commentary
The Growing Security Priority for DevOps and Cloud Migration
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/3/2020
Commentary
Dark Side of AI: How to Make Artificial Intelligence Trustworthy
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  9/15/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
Slideshows
Flash Poll