Expert Texture Home Contact me About Subscribe Digipede Connect on LinkedIn rwandering on Twitter rwandering on FriendFeed

The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

SF Tech Sessions

After being up half the night coughing, I rallied and came into the city for Niall Kennedy’s SF Tech Sessions event.

I showed up late for two reasons: I’m often late. That makes the second reason superfluous.


I missed this presentation and came in during the questions. There were several questions (all from the same person) about their choice to model the user interface of Microsoft Outlook. The speaker said that at the end of the day the administrators in the enterprise don’t want to retrain their users from Outlook. True, true, but unfortunate. This is the second company I know that has modeled an entire application after Outlook. I use it every day, but its UX (in Microsoft terminology) is cumbersome to say the least.


Messaging and collaboration. Client and server components to their solution. Slight jab at the previous speakers — “copying Microsoft is not the only approach.” Zimbra’s approach allows the users to stick with Outlook if that is the best choice for the enterprise.
Very cool Ajax integration between email content and popus windows with further information. For example, bugzilla integration (hover over bug #x and see the summary for that info). He showed many others as well: addresses, web sites, phone numbers (call with skype), conversion of relative days to actual dates (e.g., if ‘tomorrow’ meant Friday when the email was written, it can show you ‘Friday’ when you hover over it.

In terms of Outlook (and other clients) they support pretty much everything: Outlook (MAPI), IMAP, POP, iCAL, RSS, . . . ; of course, their client is the coolest. They also use Postfix MTA instead of trying to build their own MTA.

I think I would closely at this product if I ran IT for an established enterprise.


Jason Hoffman, 23-people, customer-funded and profitable. Cool.

They have a hosted collaboration solution.

  • Defaults to everything being open — everyone in your group can read your mail. Of course, you can close this down, but it is in and of itself an interesting approach to an open organization.
  • Everything is shared (e.g., contacts).
  • Everything can get commented on (e.g., email items can have comments which is much better than the reply “comments below” standard that most of us follow).
  • Everything is exposed in RSS (e.g., your inbox).
  • Everything can be tagged.
  • You can bring things to others attention without forwarding.

Very cool product. When we started Digipede, we used Groove for collaboration. I think I would look closely at Joyent + some kind of file synch technology (like FolderShare) if I was starting a new company.

Thanks to Niall for organizing this. I look forward to see how this progresses.



    Shannon Whitley » SF Tech Session wrote @ February 23rd, 2006 at 9:31 pm

[…] Robert Anderson does an excellent job summing up the SF Tech Session tonight.  I was there at the beginning and made it most of the way through the second presenter.  Robert planned it right.   […]

    Niall Kennedy wrote @ February 24th, 2006 at 12:01 am

Thanks for coming!

Your comment

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>