Outlook Competition: Enter Kroupware and Kaplan

It has been a long time dream of the
KDE PIM team to be able to integrate the different PIM applications into one common interface shell that would permit the creation of an Outlook-like application and provide a fully integrated personal information management system. Development of such an application is in fact rapidly picking up steam. In particular, the
Kroupware Project, part of a full-blown open-source groupware solution for KDE and commissioned by the German government, was pre-announced and has already generated a flow of ideas and code. Karl-Heinz Zimmer showed a prototype of KOrganizer embedded in KMail:

But Don Sanders, KMail hacker, went one step further. He managed to transform KMail into a KPart and demonstrated how the different PIM components can be embedded in the pre-existing framework by Matthias Hoelzer-Kluepfel and Daniel Molkentin known as Kaplan:
Great work that proves, once again, that the KPart architecture is sound and gives tangible results. Expect the first official results of the Kroupware project on October 15th.

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by Evan "JabberWok... (not verified)

Here's a minor rant that I just posted to Slashdot. I don't really have incredibly strong opinions on this, as I've written an application named Kodan (but I chose the names Contact and Chatter for two new ones I'm working on).

(Talking about Foresight as a name)

Personally, I like it better than Hola, Komoused, and other proposed names. Especially the latter, which has a forced 'K'. KMail, kvim, kpaint, etc, I can see having the K-prefix, as these are KDE GUIzed versions of standard applications (kmail vs. the *nix standard mail, kvim vs. vim, and kpaint vs. xpaint). Konqueror is an extension of the Navigator and Explorer naming theme, and Konsole was cute when it came out with a K. Since then, it's gotten quite old, and although some new applications are coming out with a K name (Kopete), for awhile now many major and/or core application have dropped the K prefix (Noatun, Brahams, Cervisia, PixiePlus, Quanta). The prefixing on a normal word still makes sense to me to generate a recognizable namespace - KWord, KSpread, KChart, KFormula, KThesarus, KDevelop - but the cutsie 'use a K instead of a different letter' is, imo, dumb.

Again, it's my opinion, but not a very strong one, and has shifted in the past. I'm of the opinion that kpaint should show up in the KDE menu as just Paint, and kmail should should up as Mail. I.E., the naming prefix is for the binary application file, and the name of the application presented to the user should be simply functional.


by Joerg Gastner (not verified)

I think you are right about the "cute" part. And you are certainly right about many new applications having dropped the K prefix. On the other hand this project is contract work for the BSI which is part of the german government. And in german there are lots of words starting with K. Most of these (the latinisms) are written with a C in french, english and spanish. You mentioned the name "Konsole" being cute when it came out, but that is the german spelling for it. Do I find "Console" cute just because that's the proper spelling in english and french? Nope. English is actually the lingua franca of information technologies. No argueing about that. But a work for the german government doesn't necessarily have to be named in english, french, spanish or whatever-language-you-can-think-of.

What about these words (all correctly spelled according to my german dictionary). Do they look cute, just because they are not english?

Kabarett, Kadenz, Kakao, Kalender, Kamel, Kamera, Kampagne, Kanal, Kantor, Karbon, Karneval, Katalog, Kiosk, Klasse, Knoten, Kobalt, Kodex, Kognition, Koinzidenz, Kollegium, Kommunikation, Kommunion, Kompass, Komponist, Konferenz, Konjunktion, Konkordanz, Konspiration, Kontakt, Kontext, Kontrast, Konversation, Konzept, Kooperation, Korrespondenz, Kybernetik.

You can probably guess the meaning of quite a few of these words. Furthermore, the over 100 million german native speakers take these words as perfectly natural. To them, they are not cute, they are normal.

English is the de facto language of computing. Agreed. But there are other languages on this planet. And I can not see why an application that is being payed for by german tax payers shouldn't start with the (perfectly normal) letter K.

Just my opinion.

by Evan "JabberWok... (not verified)

I was unaware that "Kroupware" is a german word. I apologize.

(I did know that Konsole is german, and I simply didn't get into it on Slashdot, where a favored troll technique is to bash countries.)


by Joerg Gastner (not verified)

No need to apologize. Kroupware is not a german word. Quite on the contrary, it is a "cute" use of the letter "K" in an english word. I agree with you on the issue of "Kroupware" being "cute" (Actually I think it is worse).

My comment was in reply to to your Slashdot rant which began with the words "(Talking about Foresight as a name)"

"Foresight" is not a german word. :)


by Evan "JabberWok... (not verified)

As I said, intentionally incorrect words are the only thing that sometimes irk me. K- as a prefix is fine (It's functionally similar to MS, Open Office or Toyota as a prefix, a la MS Word, Open Office Writer, or Toyota Camry). It simply indicates the class of application (it's a GUI app that uses KDE libraries). K as an incidental letter (a la Konsole, Kicker) or part of an acronym (KUPS, KIM) are also fine. And, as I say earlier, I think that applications that fit into the first category (using K to indicate their class), should be listed on the Kicker menu without the K, as just Mail, Paint and Thesaurus, just as the common way to refer to my other examples drops the prefix (Word, Writer, Camry).


by Joerg Gastner (not verified)

You put it into the right words. I agree with you. Especially with the Mail, Paint and Thesaurus stuff that should be showing up in Kicker/Kmenu in a way that users can relate to.

But keep in mind that something that seems intentionally incorrect at first glance might come from a a language where it makes perfect sense.

by Andrea (not verified)

I'm trying to push the adoption of Linux desktops, and I find that there are some mistakes:
- You can't put something like "Browser" to identify Konqueror, because it brokes the conection with the help manuals and with the sites.
I had a personal experience with this: I accidentally shut down Kicker. But this doesn't have a visible name, and I tried to find "Panel", and I couldn't. After some searching, I could figure that this was the app called Kicker on other parts, and I executed it.
So, I sugest don't give up individual and unique names, you can use "Konqueror browser", "Kicker app panel", or putting the unique name somewhere visible.
Now, the "advance" user, this who is not afraid of configuring something new or learn a new app, can install him/herself a distribution. But then there are some problems: half-baked simplified interfases made their path from absolute beginner to "intermediate" user hard.
That's only to encourage the very good work that you are doing. I really miss Konqui when I'm on Win, there nothing like this.

by Sad Eagle (not verified)

This is the default since KDE3.0 -- i.e. you see KMail (Mail Client), Kate(Text Editor) in the menues.

by shreya Guha (not verified)

Hey, i am new to this site. I am actually looking for a name for a garment firm starting with K or C(can be converted to K. It would be kind if u can help me in any way. Names could mean anything, upto the respondents discretion.

Pls do reply asap.
Thanking you,
Shreya Guha.

by Jos (not verified)

And then we also have a name for version 2:


by Martien (not verified)

Maybe Kooperate ?
Kreative ?
Kontact ?
Kommunicate ?

by Thorsten Schnebeck (not verified)

My vote: kooperate

Ahh, I like voting...when are the next elections :-))



by uh (not verified)

how about something withOUT shitty usage of the word 'k'?

by Philippe Piriou (not verified)

What about :
-"Hola" (which is spanish and means "Hello". Don't use "Ola" since it's already registered by France Telecom)
- "Komesta" ( which is spanish and stands for "Como esta ?". It means "How are you?")
- "What's up"
- "Zoomin"

by fault (not verified)

i like hola.. k+something is fine, but some app names have gotten cheesy trying to put the k in. kroupware is a perfect example.

by cosmo (not verified)

How about withOutlook? :P

by Meretrix (not verified)

How about Collaborator?

by Andy (not verified)

Or Konnect

by nick (not verified)

kommunication centre

by JC (not verified)

I would be cool if the name can be pronounced also by non english people :)

by G (not verified)

Yeah, just like "Kodak", which was chosen because it can be pronounced easily in almost any language, and it doesn't mean anything rude ;-) And it starts with a "K"!

by Jens (not verified)

And Kodak is a registered trademark :-P

by Jos (not verified)

What about


The name's a bit anarchistic and the project _is_ commissioned by the government.

by Joerg Gastner (not verified)

It is commissioned by a part of the government. The Federal Bureau of Security in Information Technologies. Not by Parliament/Kongress/Assembly. And I don't understand why it is supposed to be anarchistic.

by Anonymous (not verified)


by ac (not verified)

>>The name's a bit anarchistic and the project _is_ commissioned by the government<<
Does this sound better?

by Kalibrating (not verified)

At the risk of offending the PC crowd, how about Klanware or Kollaborate?

by anonomous monkey (not verified)

I'm thinking that Klanware would be an even more unfortunate name (ie. Klan).

by Big Brown Bat (not verified)

A name that follows the "K" standard, sounds suitably stupid, and with the aide of a mirror, is appropriate. of course

The boring ones:

lookforward, look4ward,

little less boring perhaps:

koopt ( from co-opt, which means to subvert for your own purposes, which is
either the opposite of cooperation, or the goal of it, depending on your point of view.)

(I know, it is more than a contact db, but "Contact!" is also used to said as a
signal to turn the prop to start up old bi-planes. Marketing imagery could be cute.)

that was fun, I feel better now...

by Peter (not verified)

Kaplan looks great! Will it be part of KDE 3.2?

by ac (not verified)

It's in KDE PIM module but probably not compiled by default.

by George (not verified)

When you do compile it, and run it, you will find out that the code to make kmail a KPART is not present in CVS, and Kaplan crashes when you click on mail. The organiser and addressbook parts do work though.

by Bausi (not verified)

Checkout the make_it_cool branch of kdenetwork (kmail and mimelib) for getting the kmail KPart.

by George (not verified)

Yep, the make_it_cool branch does change things,

In file included from certificatehandlingdialog.cpp:21:
certificatehandlingdialog.ui.h:11: no `void CertificateHandlingDialog::init()' member function declared in class `CertificateHandlingDialog'
make[1]: *** [certificatehandlingdialog.lo] Error 1

by Don (not verified)

The entire kdenetwork package is not tagged, you still have to do a toplevel
make in kdenetwork, try

cvs co kdenetwork
cd kdenetwork
cvs update -r make_it_cool mimelib
cvs update -r make_it_cool kmail
cd ..
make -f Makefile.cvs
make install


by Thorsten Schnebeck (not verified)

All this integration stuff looks very raw. I hope I can configure the degree of integration. I never want to use an integrated korganizer but integration of message based kparts like knote and kmail looks fine.

I hope, that I can use both variants with kooperate -ehm- kroupware: integrated and/or single apps!?



by poremaster (not verified)

As much as I hate to say it and get everyone's panties in a wad...

Please make it able to talk to MS Exchange servers. This would go a long way towards eliminating the need for having two machines at work, or running some funky emulator/vmwaresque application.

Along those lines, thats the reason I don't really use KWord...its nice and powerful enough but I need to read/write MS Word docs. I realize this is a nearly impossible task since the formats are not made available...I've come to accept using Crossover for this.

The Exchange thing is doable however since the Evolution folks seem to have done it.

by Steve Ball (not verified)

Exchange might be nice, but for widespread acceptance there would need to be some compatibility with Microsoft Outlook. Perhaps something like the Bynari Insight Connector that allows Outlook to use an IMAP server instead of Exchange.

This would provide an essential migration path for those who currently cannot give up Windows, or will not give up Outlook, and would allow SMEs to run Linux servers without giving up the capabilities of Exchange for their Windows users.

Very few will completely ditch Windows, especially if they have mission critical Windows applications, and even fewer would accept an email / groupware system that can only work with some of their staff.

Either an Outlook look and work alike for Windows is needed or Outlook compatibility.

Please read the documentation to the Kroupware project first, before you start to comment and give great wishes, which are already included.

by Charles de Miramon (not verified)

Jan-Pascal van Best is working on a MsExchange plugin for KOrganizer similar to the Connector for Evolution. It is already functional, look http://tux.ict.tbm.tudelft.nl/~janpascal/exchange/ and it's free.

The Kroupware project will offer another solution. Ditch, your expensive MsExchange server and put an open source solution, the Kollab server, that you can access from either the KDE-PIM applications, Outlook clients and I imagine from other PIM clients because it is totally standard compliant.

by Roland (not verified)

> Please make it able to talk to MS Exchange servers. This would go a long way towards eliminating the need for having two
> machines at work, or running some funky emulator/vmwaresque application.

Linux is much more popular on servers than on desktops, so an organization is much more likely to replace MS Exchange servers long before replacing Windows desktops with Linux desktops.

Kroupware makes this migration path possible (throw out MS Exchange, keep Outlook, gradually switch over to Linux on the desktop).

Of course MS Exchange compatibility would be nice, but I don't think it should be a top priority - Having a replacement for MS Exchange itself is much more important, IMO.

by poremaster (not verified)

> Linux is much more popular on servers than on desktops, so an organization is
> much more likely to replace MS Exchange servers long before replacing Windows
> desktops with Linux desktops.

This is 180 degrees from the truth...at least where I work. There is no way IT is going to switch its servers to linux. They do, however, allow me and others in engineering to use linux workstations, primarily because the development work we are doing makes it necessary.

However, they provide little/no support towards any integration efforts. I still need another box running windows. I can get/send mail via the Exchange server with my linux box fine but still need windows for the scheduling, etc. It is a pain in the butt when you spend 100% of your development time on one machine to have to use another for one purpose.

Since the tools we are talking about are workstation/client tools thats the angle I'm coming from with my original post. Having the capability to use linux or windows workstations with the current IT infrastructure is a far more tangible goal than getting IT to migrate to linux servers. In fact, the latter is an entirely different topic altogether.

by Kevin O'Riordan (not verified)

In regard to the suggestion about changing from MS Exchange server to linux servers, not everyone has a choice about what server they connect to. My company uses Exchange 5.5 servers with IMAP disabled, and there's nothing I can do about it, except try and run Outlook under vmware.

by will (not verified)

I would just like to add a top-level "me too" to the thread above concerning the name of the app. I think that the name "Foresight" is just about the first good name I have ever heard mentioned in relation to a KDE-app, and the team really should consider using that name.

Please, please also consider dropping the K naming convention. It results in ugly, amateurish and clumsy names. As Jabberwokky said above it would be better to call simple functions by their general description. Now that the linux/kde is approaching the consumer market you will see that the k-names will be replaced with descriptions or simply replaced with other names in relevant distributions.

by Anonymous (not verified)

No, the Sextant was cool. Imagine the nice startup logo,
foggy background image and all other stuff derived from it.

Yep, my vote goes for Sextant. Thanks for the one who ivented it!

by Julien Olivier (not verified)

In "sextant" there is "sex". Do you think it's a good idea to have such a name ? I prefer Foresight which, more over, sounds a little like a german word :) Or why not "Vorseit" to make it more german ? No, I'm joking, forget it.

by Big Brown Bat (not verified)

ZeitGeist -- literally: Time ghost
It is an English word! Oxford says: "Spirit of the times"


"ZeitGeist -- literally: Time ghost
It is an English word! Oxford says: "Spirit of the times"

Nice name, unfortunately it's already used by Google:


People in the know would automatically assume that KDE ripped the name from Google. What we need is an original name, and "Foresight" is that (altrough you could say it's a joke on "Outlook", but no more that "Konqueror" is in regards to "Navigator" and "Explorer")

by Julien Olivier (not verified)

And why not just 'PIM' or 'KPIM' ? I know it's already the name of a KDE package but, in fact, that app would be a front end to this package's apps.

by Alain (not verified)

> In "sextant" there is "sex".
For you...

> Do you think it's a good idea to have such a name ?

> I prefer Foresight
In french, it says nothing, only one more english word. Sextant is better, it is - at least - a french word (the same sense that in english). Without any sexual connotation...