The “Next” experience for Roundcube users

We all know the annoyance of (web) applications not doing what we expect them to do and staring at the tumbling “Loading…” icons has become a part of our daily routine.  The more digital tools we use, the more sensitive we become for good user experience. UX is the big buzzword and Roundcube Next is not only about faster development but also very much dedicated to significantly improve the way we interact with our webmail application of choice.

By using top-notch open source technologies which have proven to work for the biggest web applications out there, Roundcube Next will be the responsive, reactive and simply gorgeous email application you want to use more than Gmail or Outlook. The core and the essentials are only the start and build a solid email client that can connect to any mailbox and will run everywhere, from your desktop browser to the device in your pocket. But our plans go beyond email and more perfectly integrated “apps” like calendar, chat, notes or cloud file access will follow.

Draft - Roundcube Next on iPad

A first draft – Roundcube Next on iPad

And we didn’t even mention the best part: Roundcube Next will be, just as its predecessor, free software and give you the freedom of choosing the email provider you trust and not the one who reads your mail.

Help us make Roundcube Next the webmail application every serious internet service provider simply has to install for their users. Join the move and talk to your ISP about backing our crowdfunding project and finally get that new shiny thing installed for you and everybody else!


5 thoughts on “The “Next” experience for Roundcube users

  1. Wojo says:

    Great job! Would love to see some more drafts..
    Any plans for a php framework? Laravel? What about encryption?

    • Thomas says:

      More drafts are coming, just keep watching our campaign page. There will be no PHP framework. The goal of the new project is to move all application logic away from PHP into the client. Thus the PHP part will only serve the protocol to communicate with the client. We don’t need one of these bloated web frameworks for this but only implement a proper protocol wrapper. Encryption done right in web applications is a challenge of its own and will exceed the boundaries of the initial Roundcube Next project. Of course we’ll have encryption in mind when drafting the architecture of the new application.

  2. Thank you for the outlook on the possible Roundcube Next UX!
    From just reading this article alone, though, it doesn’t become clear why a rewrite is necessary to achieve that UX. Another article from you ( ) did make that clear, so I think it makes sense to link to that article from here, for those who – like me – haven’t read that other article yet.

  3. Esbeeb says:

    Ease of installation is everything to me. I would far rather see fewer whizz-bang features in the actual end user experience, and instead have more developer spit-polish invested into a super-smooth install experience (using the existing, mature package management systems and official software package repositories in place.

    It should be as simple as doing a “sudo apt-get install roundcube-next” in Debian, IMHO.

    If it requires a super-senior Unix Administrator with a Computer Science degree to install your software, using mad “command line kung foo skillz”, then it doesn’t really matter how many whizz-bang features your software has, because hardly anybody will be skilled enough to install it in the first place.

    It would be a big disappointment if all you released was a .tar.gz, and then a bunch of obscure PHP or Perl modules needed to be hand installed using a jaw-grinding tool like PEAR (i.e. not coming from standard packages).

    I’m eager to hear:
    – which programming languages you plan to use
    – which Linux Distros will you be making packages for?
    – will those packages be tested as installing smoothly?

    IMHO, 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”
    – Debian was your Distro of choice, with packages made available on Debian’s official package mirrors (and not some dicey, unofficial package repository).

    I speak from having had many painful past experiences trying to roll my own comprehensive email server solution on my own Linux server. And I do happen to have a Computer Science degree (4yr B.Sc.), with a senior-Unix-Systems-Administrator amount of skill on my resume, having worked for IT corporations both giant and small.

    Software packaging is everything to me, when I consider a solution like Roundcube. If it looks like it’s going to be a nightmare of package-dependancy hell, then I won’t even try it.

    I’m extremely wary of tarballs, and also unofficial package repositories, when it comes to enterprise-level, complex, all-singing, all-dancing, intensely sophisticated and interconnected systems such as this one.

    A solution such as this must be Highly Available, and a “sudo apt-get dist-upgrade” needs to not break the system.

  4. I use roundcube and it does its job well as a basic email front end but I miss eudora *cries*. If you’d give me a new version of roundcube with eudora features I’d love you forever.

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