Beautiful on-the-go email for everyone
Online communication connects us all: friends, family, teachers, co-workers and collaborators. The Internet has transformed societies, and personal communication has been at the heart of that. Email, contacts, calendaring, instant messaging, collaborative editing and cloud storage are part of how we live, work and participate in society each and every day.
Roundcube is the world’s most popular open source webmail application. It is used by millions of people to access to their email (and much more) on their own terms every single day.
But we can’t sit still. The web has evolved a lot in the last decade, and we want Roundcube to take full advantage of the best web technologies available. Doing so will let us evolve Roundcube into being a fluid single-page web app which you can use on all of your devices: desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone.
We have also been considering how to make Roundcube easier to deploy and manage on your servers, easier to extend with new capabilities, and easier to customize and brand so that it will remain the world’s favorite for a long time to come.
Applying what we’ve learned from our first 10 years of experience developing Roundcube, we have been working on a development plan for how to achieve our new goals. This plan starts with a much needed refactor of Roundcube’s core engine, and then tackling the individual apps one by one.
But we can’t do this alone. We need your help to make this important leap forward.
By backing our crowd funding campaign you will make it possible for us to commit two new full-time developers to the Roundcube “Next” project. They will work under the guidance of Roundcube’s founder and lead developer, Thomas Brüderli, and with the support of the Kolab Systems’ project management team.
We’d love for you to also join us on this journey, which is why many of the perks for backers include ways to participate as stakeholders. Stickers, t-shirts and other swag is great, for sure. But the Backstage Pass is more than just a hand-out. It gives you the chance to stay on top of what we’re doing and interact with us, actively participating as we move forward. Similarly, the Advisor perk is designed to give companies and other larger organizations who rely on today’s Roundcube to get involved with steering the direction of tomorrow’s Roundcube.
Even The Best Laid Plans …
Roundcube Next is a significant, non-trivial leap forward for Roundcube. It means porting and in some areas even rewriting parts of the current Roundcube code base. We also need to chart a clear migration path for current Roundcube installations so we don’t leave any users behind. Through all this, we also need to continue to maintain the current Roundcube, which millions rely on for daily access to their email, contacts, calendars, notes, To Dos, files, …
Thankfully we have an excellent team of software developers, support staff and project management tools at hand to do all this. However, it is impossible to know every possible challenge, hiccup and design problem we’ll face over the coming months as we tackle the Roundcube Next roadmap. It could take longer than we expect, but we’ll be working hard to get there as quickly as we can with the quality we all expect from Roundcube.
We’ve all been through large software projects before, so we are well aware of the existence of “unknown unknowns”. To mitigate the risks, we’re putting in the effort to do proper planning and will be using open, agile development processes.
All of our development will be done in the open, and we’ll be keeping the world up to date with our progress as it happens. When we have questions we are exploring for answers, we’ll share them with our Backstage Pass holders and Advisory Committee members for early feedback. This openness and engagement will be the perfect compliment to our experience and determination.
Help make Roundcube Next a reality
Besides pledging your support by becoming a financial backer, you can also help us by spreading the word online and elsewhere. Help us make sure the whole world hears about this effort and understands why it is so important.
If you are part of an organization that uses Roundcube, please send a link to the campaign to decision makers and management in your organization. Encourage them to get involved, give back and help secure the future for Roundcube that we all want and need.
And of course, Roundcube is free-as-in-freedom software, so you can also help out by getting involved as a software developer, beta tester, translator, documentation writer, graphic designer, etc. We’d love to have you on the team!