Canonical Builds Open Source Email App for Ubuntu Convergence

Canonical Builds Open Source Email App for Ubuntu Convergence

Ubuntu developers are building a new email client to advance Canonical's goal of converging Ubuntu across PCs, laptops and mobile devices.

Add an email client to the list of homegrown open source software applications that Canonical is building for the Ubuntu operating system. A few days ago, an Ubuntu developer wrote about the touch-aware, "converged" email client his team is building for Ubuntu mobile platforms.

Actually, there's no indication that the client will work only on mobile devices running Ubuntu, which Canonical says will begin shipping this year. It should run on traditional Ubuntu PCs and desktops, too, which is presumably why Michael Hall, the Ubuntu developer who described the client recently, called it a "converged" app, implying that it will advance Canonical's goal of "converging" the Ubuntu software stack across different types of hardware.

That said, mobile compatibility and touch-friendliness appear to be priorities for the app, which will be based on Trojitá. Trojitá is an existing open source email client that was not built by Canonical, but Ubuntu developers plan to adapt it into the back-end for the new email client that they want to create for Ubuntu.

(The Ubuntu client, by the way, does not yet have an official name, but here's hoping it will be obvious how to pronounce the name when it does, because the last thing the open source ecosystem needs is more confusion over how to say words like "Trojitá" ... or, for that matter, "Ubuntu.")

The interesting thing to note here is that this is yet another example of Canonical's commitment to building a new Ubuntu app ecosystem from scratch, mostly on its own. There are plenty of open source email clients already in existence, but none of them meet the needs of Canonical's convergence plan, or so this move by Ubuntu developers suggests.

By building its own email app, Canonical can deliver exactly what it wants on different types of devices, which should please many users—provided they are happy using only Ubuntu, and don't mind trading operating system interoperability for cross-device compatibility.

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