Email has been for long the Achilles heel for Linux. The open source operating system has been growing in leaps and bounds, with new distributions being released from time to time. However, it has not been able to offer the kind of email experience people have become accustomed to with Gmail, Hotmail and the likes. This may not be the case in the near future as a crowdfunding initiative has been launched to improve Linux email. The developers who created the Shotwell photo manager are driving the cause.
Yorba is credited for creating the photo manager for the Linux desktop environment, Shotwell. Now, they have set their sights on working towards making the email offering better. However, they don’t have the funds required to complete the task. This is why they took to Indiegogo to raise the money. According to Yorba, their target for the fundraising is $100,000. Within two days of the announcement, they had already raised over $8,000 which means the support is there for the initiative.
The email client being introduced to Linux is named Geary. Geary has been in the development phase for over two years now. Yorba believes that there are many shortcomings still to be taken care of with the email client before it can be made available for use. Linux users can check out an early version of Geary. That version runs on several of Linux’s distributions including Fedora, Ubuntu and Debian provided they are running the GNOME desktop environment.
It is not as if Linux has not been providing email services. In fact, the support the open source platform provides for different email protocols like POP and IMAP has been praised in the past. Yet, companies which have been using Microsoft Exchange don’t get the ideal business email support from Linux. Surprisingly, no one had taken up the cause to improve it until Yorba stepped up to the plate. This is good news for Linux users who want to access their email through the desktop apps provided.
Given the fact that the Linux support for Exchange has been poor overall, it is expected that Yorba would attempt to rectify the situation. But that might be some time away as the developers are more focused on improving the email client before getting to the finer details. That is not the cause for which Yorba is looking to raise money so users have to wait some time for it to come by. Same goes for calendaring which would be improved only after Geary is launched.
So far, not much is known about Geary except that it is a considerable improvement on the previous email client provided by Linux. Yorba has revealed that users would be able to integrate their Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook.com and other email accounts with Geary. It remains to be seen whether people do warm up to the new email client when it is launched. Till then, the Linux desktop users have to make do with checking their email through a web browser.
[Image via omgubuntu]