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Horde ver. 4 is nearing completion

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Apr. 8, 2010

The Horde open source messaging and groupware project is gearing up for the first major release of its email and collaboration suite and development environment in more than six years.

Now Horde is coming out with its new version 4, which is slated to arrive around June or July.

Horde lead developer and release manager Jan Schneider says that the version 4 release will be marked with more features and integration options. But Horde 4 was originally expected for its release in October of last year.

“Overall development could proceed a bit faster, but I'm really proud about the progress that our small team has made with the development of Horde 4,” said Schneider.

Schneider said that re-factoring of the Horde framework and the calendar is “probably eighty percent complete and the Internet mail application is more or less finished."

Horde has had a very long history since the first release of the framework in 1998. Then, Horde version 3 appeared in November 2004 and since then a large number of applications have flourished around it -- from Web-based PIM to photo management.

Being an open source project run by individuals with no large company funding behind it, Horde does not publish a roadmap and a lot of development still happens in the developers' free time.

“Overall, that simply makes it more difficult to predict release times with any kind of accuracy, like with any other volunteer-driven open source project,” Schneider said.

Some of the more significant changes from Horde ver. 3 to 4 include a requirement for PHP 5.2 or higher, a new Ajax interface and a new test suite.

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Schneider says that the complete framework has been fully revamped and the libraries are further de-coupled.

Horde 4 will be a PHP component library, an application framework and an application stack, all at the same time, said Schneider.

For Horde users, the main differences will be improved setup and upgrade processes, an Ajax interface for the calendar and a renewed interface.

Horde 4 will also be distributed through the PEAR installer and the project’s own PEAR channel server.

For now however, Horde version 3 will continue to be supported with security fixes until Horde 4.1 is finally released.

But the e-mail applications themselves are slated for release around the same time as Horde 4.

Horde Groupware 2.0 is also scheduled for release with Horde 4.

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Source: The Horde Open Source Project.

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