Why Roundcube Next will save your day as a developer

While Roundcube One originates from a private fun project with email – and only email – in mind, we have learned our lessons and are committed to do Roundcube Next right from the ground up. In the year 2015, communication combines a variety of tools we need to connect to each others. And that’s exactly what we aim to cover with the architectural design of Roundcube Next. It shall become a solid and open foundation for building communication apps on top of it. Email will certainly remain a key component as it still is the most important means of communication today. But there’s more and therefore we want to make Roundcube Next the WordPress of communication if you will.

After we opened Roundcube up for plugins in version 0.3, we witnessed an amazing creativity in what people start building around an open source email application. From a car dealer system to mailing list archives, many custom solutions were built on top of Roundcube. This definitely inspired us to support and facilitate this aspect in the very core of the new system.

The plugin infrastructure of Roundcube Next will be your new best friend for building web apps for your specific communication needs. The new core will provide an easy-to-use framework with lots of reusable components for both building the UI of your application as well as for synchronizing the data to the server and the underlying storage backend of your choice.

So if you’re a developer who got annoyed with the limitations of closed systems from the big vendors and you don’t want to build a complex web application from scratch, Roundcube Next deserves your attention and support. Go to https://roundcu.be/next and get yourself a backstage pass for the Roundcube Next forums or even a seat in the advisory committee. And don’t forget to spread the word about this new opportunity for the free software world.

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3 thoughts on “Why Roundcube Next will save your day as a developer

  1. Antoine says:

    I hate to sound critical as I’m an open source developer myself, but your description of Roundcube Next up to now seems mostly fluff and lacks any concrete details or insight.
    As someone who has Roundcube installed on my personal server (but only uses it in emergencies since it’s miles away, usability-wise, from an actual client such as Thunderbird), I don’t want to fund Roundcube Next if I don’t get any impression that it has actual chances of solving the problem it claims to solve. Roundcube Current has a really plain, cumbersome “Web 1.0” UI and also suffers from speed issues (partly from being designed around a language, PHP, whose primary mode of operation is to reload a blank new interpreter at each page load, I guess).
    Throwing around claims of “gorgeous”, etc., doesn’t cut it and is a lack of respect for the reader when you’re asking for their money.

  2. Esbeeb says:

    Please mention which programming languages you plan to use. Also, which Linux Distros will you be making packages for? And will those packages be tested as installing smoothly? It would be a big disappointment if all you released was a .tar.gz, and then a bunch of obscure PHP modules needed to be hand installed using a jaw-grinding tool like PEAR (i.e. not coming from standard packages.

    I would love it if languages like Python or Ruby were used (instead of PHP and perl), the nginx web server was used as a “first class citizen”, and Debian was your distro of choice, with packages made available on Debian’s official package mirrors (and not some dicey, unofficial package repository).

  3. I realize I’m late to this party but, I’m glad you realize that a Single Page Application is a much better approach for responsive web applications. Applications developed using the (SPA / mobile first) model are already much better than Web 2.0 apps of yesteryear. Roundcube already has AJAX sprinkled around and it helps quite a lot. Pushing that further is only going to make things better.

    The other thing I’d like you to [re]consider is the use of PHP. It’s nothing against PHP. I wrote perl CGIs before PHP existed, and then used PHP for a while too. Each of the great 4 (perl, php, ruby, python) interpreted languages had their day, but those days are in the past. All the excitement and developer mindshare has moved on.

    Sure, there are distant bright spots, like PHP 7 being 50% less slow, but the future of PHP is looking darker. Take a look at WordPress and be sure to read Matt M’s writeup on his blog. When you want to shift from incremental performance gains and make your web applications truly fly, you need to look at tools that deliver 100 or 1000 **times** faster performance. WordPress did, and that’s why wordpress.com is now deployed on Node.js.

    It isn’t just WP, it’s the entire ecosystem. Npm already has more modules than all of perl’s CPAN (the previous best). The ground is shifting and web apps written in the Old Four (even with xcache, zend, etc.) are no longer competitive with those written in Node.js or GoLang.

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