Open Source Apple software on its way?

Jason says that the most interesting announcement from Apple today was the inclusion of a calendar server based on iCal. As Sandy points out in Jason’s comments, Apple will also make the code available under the Open Source Apache 2.0 license. While there have been other attempts to make group calendaring for those of us who don’t need it or really use it, one that’s centered on the iCal format may just work, given its relative ubiquity. There are other calendaring standards being hashed out, like CalDAV, but none in use. The 2-ton gorilla in this space is still Exchange, with its closed, proprietary application that works only with Exchange.

Other open source calendaring options include Scalix server and Zimbra, both provide community editions for free and special connectors for Outlook users. Scalix even works with Evolution, so I’ve been told, but I haven’t installed that yet. We’ve switched to Scalix at work and all the managers seem happy enough that they can set up meetings directly in people’s calendars and don’t have to go through the pain of coordinating schedules over email. I guess its the nature of my work that I never saw the productivity gain from a shared scheduling application. A simple calendar is usually good enough for me.

I need to go in and at least put in my telecommuting days in there to remind people that I work from home. On a side note, I’ve been telecommuting every Wednesday for well on three years now. I understand being surprised when I show up at work in the middle of the week but not the other way around. But, it did give me a chance to make people walk over to my desk when I wasn’t there, and that’d usually make Sandy laugh too. Good times …