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Java Programming Software

Columba 1.0 "Holy Moly" Released 279

Frederik Dietz writes to tell us that after three years of hard developement Columba 1.0, codename "Holy Moly!" is ready for general consumption. Columba is an email client written in Java that boasts a 'user-friendly graphical interface with wizards and internationalization support.' Slashdot covered an interview with the Columba team earlier this year.
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Columba 1.0 "Holy Moly" Released

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  • by jmcmunn ( 307798 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:13PM (#13591004)

    I am sure this was going to be groundbreaking 3 years ago when they started it. Ooooohhh...Java!

    All joking aside, I am downloading it now to try it out. The screenshots make it look pretty decent. Although in the age of the new beta Yahoo! mail and Gmail it's going to have to be pretty damn good to get anyone to really use it I think.
  • by SysKoll ( 48967 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:13PM (#13591009)
    Columbia is an email client written in Java

    Columba, not columbia.

    When the team embarked for these three years of develomment, they luckily didn't foresee that their 1.0 release would be announced on Slashdot with a spelling mistake in the name. Otherwise, they would have played videogames instead.

  • by c0l0 ( 826165 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:15PM (#13591027) Homepage
    ...over Evolution, Mozilla Mail/Thunderbird, Sylpheed, mutt, or anything else? Just because it's written in Java, and I need a full-blown VM around it that comes with a redistribution-hostile license? Or is there anything super-special (and equally well-disguised) about it?
    It's still better than Outlook Express, that's for sure. :-)
  • So why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tktk ( 540564 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:25PM (#13591084)
    I took a look at the online Java web start on their webpage. At first glance Columba looks like your typical email client.

    So what features would entice to stop using Thunderbird and start using Columbba? I don't see it. On computers where I can install programs, I'd use Thunderbird. On others, I'd just be using a some version webmail client.

  • Re:Written in Java (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shadowmatter ( 734276 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:34PM (#13591127)
    Ooh, yes, I'm sure I can spare half a gig of RAM just to keep the email client's UI satisfied!!

    This is the year 2005, not the year 2000. Java isn't so kludgy anymore.

    An email client is something you keep loaded all the time, but you still need most of the machine available to do some real work. Nobody without a ludicrous amount of excess hardware can afford to keep a Java application running that they're not actually using continuously...

    Perhaps you should sit down and have a face-to-face talk with those half-dozen or so Azureus users.

    ...surely to goodnes an email client is absolutely the first thing you want written in a proper language.

    You mean a non-managed language, like C++? Worked so well for MS Outlook -- and it's practically buffer-overflow, vulnerability-free!

    - shadowmatter
  • by Spodlink05 ( 850651 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:34PM (#13591129)
    EVERY gui java app I have ever used is a slow unresponsive mess.

    How many would that be? I've used plenty of non-Java GUI's that were a slow, unresponsive mess.

    Blame the programmer(s), not the language.
  • by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:37PM (#13591141)

    works on everywhere.

    Please be sure and qualify your statement properly. It should read: works on everywhere where Java is.

    Java is not platform independent. It is a platform as much as Linux, *BSD, Solaris, Irix, Windows, vxWorks and others are platforms. It just happens that Java has been designed to run on other platforms.

  • by Unski ( 821437 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:39PM (#13591148) Journal
    Hey I'll help you out with that.. Because, you see, apart from Java, this breakthrough also has the ability to, email offline for later reading? * shifty looking grin * Ah! Internationalisation support...knew there was something that distinguished it from Thunderbird et al. Oh. [] Well Java is still cool I spose. I did look at a Mac screenshot though. Looks like a crufty GNOME app. I hate to be a Negative Nancy but Yet Another Email client? Why?
  • Decent roaming? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Craig Ringer ( 302899 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:43PM (#13591166) Homepage Journal
    I went poking around the site trying to find out what it supports in terms of roaming. Being able to just pull down a .jar from anywhere, and have a writeable LDAP+TLS address book, IMAP+TLS mail (both protected by SSL clent certs), etc all preconfigured would just be bliss.

    Right now, it's hard enough to find a client that supports writeable LDAP address books at all, let alone usably and with TLS and client cert support.

    Alas, their website doesn't seem to have any sort of feature summary, so it's rather hard to say w/o grabbing and trying it out.
  • Re:Typo (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ccbailey ( 859060 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:43PM (#13591168) Homepage
    It probably should be Columba as Columba is the genus to which Columba livia, the rock dove, or pigeon belongs. You know, like carrier pigeons and all?
  • by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:43PM (#13591169) Homepage Journal
    Most of the other clients are written in unsafe languages. You wouldn't want people to be able to run arbitrary code on your system by sending you an email. Java does not suffer from many of the security problems C suffers from. (And yes, I am aware that you can write safe programs in C, but if you read security lists, you would know what happens to that in practice).

    Having said that, I completely agree with your post. Java has many disadvantages (but watch out: if you say it on Slashdot, you'll often be modded Troll or Flamebait).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:44PM (#13591180)
    I honestly don't see the significance of this at all. It's just another email client. It looks decent enough, but I don't see what distinguishes this client from any other clients out there. This doesn't really belong on Slashdot; I'd rather see it on freshmeat or something. Then again, it's a rather slow news day and Slashdot is going down the crapper. I wonder if I spent 3 years of my life working on an email client and then submitted it to Slashdot if ScuttleMonkey would post it. I wouldn't be surprised if he knew someone involved with the project.
  • by NoOneInParticular ( 221808 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @05:13PM (#13591328)
    tsk, foulmoothing on so little pretext. Yes the JVM is written in an unsafe language. This simply means that the JVM is a single point of failure. However, if the JVM is safe, all java apps are safe. Now try to argue the same thing with every C-app, and envision the amount of effort that goes into (a) ensuring that the JVM is safe and (b) ensuring that every c-application on the face of the earth is safe. Then estimate the chances of success for (a) and (b). Furthermore try to envision the amount of effort that has gone into ensuring that the Java sandbox is foolproof, compared with the effort in avoiding buffer overruns in your random c-app. Only when carefully thinking this through, start calling people dumbasses, dumbass.
  • by adolfojp ( 730818 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @05:36PM (#13591452)
    I have been a loyal thunderbird user for a while, nevertheless, I am giving this program a try.

    So far, the rules that you can set in this software are far more advanced than those that exist in thunderbird. The GUI feels also feel a lot lighter and more responsive.

    Why try this program? Because competition makes innovation. Do you criticise the Linux community for making a thousand distros?

    Unless you use exclusively Open Source software I don't see how you can criticize Sun's JVM. Please remember that the next time that you play a video game or use an ATM.

  • IMAP (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Noksagt ( 69097 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @05:45PM (#13591499) Homepage
    mutt has been the best text mode client for IMAP I have found. On the GUI side Outlook Express is!
    Hillarious! Most would consider pine to be the best IMAP text mode client (Mark Crispin, who created IMAP, has a hand in pine) & mulberry as the best GUI client (written by more people who write IMAP servers). If you restrict it to open source clients, mutt is "o.k." in the text regime & Mulberry/Evolution are good for GUIs.

    Reasons why mutt still sucks as an IMAP client
    • No IMAP server-side searching, sorting, threading
    • Can't search across multiple mailboxes
    • Can't download messages without downloading attachments
    • Many settings are applied to ALL IMAP servers
    • Overly-agressive checking of ALL folders by default (though this can be reconfigured)
    • Can't flag IMAP messages on the server as deleted--only purges them
    • No user-defined labels
    • Can't store onfiguration on the server (pine and mulberry can. you say this is a good feature...)
    • IMAP passwords are stored as plaintext
    Reasons why Outlook Express has ALWAYS sucked as an IMAP client
    • No IMAP server-side searching, sorting, threading
    • Can't download messages without downloading attachments
    • Can't store onfiguration on the server (pine and mulberry can. you say this is a good feature...)
    • No IMAP server-side drafts/sent mail folders
    • Can't run multiple instances on one PC
    • No flagging
    • Makes too many connections to the server (so can't truly take advantage of IDLE)
  • Re:Written in Java (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Srdjant ( 650988 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @05:45PM (#13591501)
    I'm sorry to say, Java takes up a lot of RAM.

    [srdjant@tigerclaw ~]$ ps aux
    srdjant   4897  5.0 21.8 322352 112756 ?     S    22:46   0:08 /usr/lib/jdk/bin/java -cp /home/srdjant/eclipse/eclipse/./startup.jar org.eclipse.core.launcher.Main -os linux -ws

    As can be seen from the 5th column (VSZ), the Java Virtual Machine eats up some 320MB. And this is
    Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.5.0_02-b09).

    Yes it's 2005, and yes Java's kludgy.
  • by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @06:25PM (#13591719) Homepage Journal
    ``I'm sorry if I was a little strong, but I wince when people started saying that somehow languages can be "safe" or "unsafe". It sounds dumb.''

    Why? It's a simple fact. In C you can code programs that have buffer overflow vulnerabilities, format string vulnerabilities, memory leaks, and invalid type conversions. In languages like Lisp and ML, you cannot. That's what makes C unsafe and Lisp and ML safe.

    Of course, you can write secure code in C and insecure code in ML. However, if you read vulnerability announcements, you will see that most of them are buffer overflows and string vulnerabilities (e.g. SQL injections that are possible because SQL queries are formed by concatenating strings). Both of these can be completely eliminated by using safer languages. This tells me that the distinction between safe and unsafe languages is a meaningful one.
  • by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <> on Sunday September 18, 2005 @06:56PM (#13591899) Homepage
    Needs more qualification.

    Works on everywhere where the same version of Java is and there are no apps that don't require a conflicting version.

    I worked at a place that dumped java because of that.. we needed 1.2 , some clients had other 1.2 apps that was fine.. then some clients got 1.4 apps which blew up if the 1.2 jre was present.. so we ported a version to 1.4 for them (took a couple of months - there are a *lot* of differences)... which broke all the clients that had apps that needed the 1.2 version.. so we ended up having to support both.
  • by Excelsior ( 164338 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @07:01PM (#13591927)
    but to me it looks like a copy of Thunderbird implemented in Java with icons from Evolution.

    Nice analysis.

    Considering Columba has been around longer than Thunderbird, isn't Thunderbird a copy of Columba? Or, perhaps they both copy another client (Outlook Express)?

    And since the Evolution icons are part of a open source product, why shouldn't Columba reuse them? Isn't that what open source is all about?
  • by Goaway ( 82658 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @09:18PM (#13592653) Homepage
    Considering Columba has been around longer than Thunderbird...

    While technically true, that's a pretty meaningless statement. Thunderbird is further development of the Mozilla mail client, which is a re-implementations and improvement on Netscape Messenger, taking you back far enough that the roots of it are probably older than Outlook.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner