So, Peter has confirmed the news some of us assumed, but didn't want to talk about – that Novell is no longer commercially going to develop Hula.
This is sad for so many reasons; for me, primarily because they don't seem to see the demand for this that I do. So many people love what Hula can do, even now when it's pre-alpha and pretty ropey. But, this is now water under the bridge: Novell have bequeathed us a project with a lot of bits of code, and it's now we've got to figure out what to do with it.
I wrote this “Future of Hula” thing last week, based on what I thought was going on, which seems to be more or less right. I guess it's more a call-to-action than anything else: hopefully some of the people who were working on Hula at Novell can still contribute, but if the project is to succeed, it also needs other people to get more involved.
As a free software project, we're lucky in that we can take the code and run. Being developed out in the open, as a project not primarily sponsored by a company with commercial needs, may turn out to be the best thing for Hula in the long term. My belief is that for Hula to succeed, we need to set out a realistic and achievable roadmap, work in an open fashion so that many people can be involved, and work single-mindedly toward the goals we've set.
Hula is still kick-ass in so many ways, and offers something so totally different to all the other run-of-the-mill mail systems out there, that I hope this is just a new beginning. [Planet Hula]