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I'm nearly as hot as JBMS is right now. I am sitting in my house and it is 84 degrees inside because the air conditioner that we just recently bought is broken again. After working some crazy hours last week, I had planned to sleep, but try sleeping while drenched in your own sweat! Anyhow, I'm using some of this "extra time" to bring you all up to speed on the state of JBMS's development.


First lets talk about JBMS 1.0M4 (install). I'm pretty proud of that release. It really pulled memory consumption down and has been really a treat on my server, especially since I discovered how to do maintenance on PostgreSQL (vacuum analyze). Of course, you'd never notice since I had a little hardware issue (that server is cursed I say). Since that release, we've had over 12,000 downloads according to our download stats (if that's not right...blame our IT guy -- he likes it).


M5 is proceeding according to plan. The schedule in JIRA for it says March 31, but we never intended to release on March 31, that was arbitrary because I didn't know when the event we were shooting for was going to be scheduled. The real goal was to have as much of a certain set of features demonstrable for an internal JBoss meeting as we possible could (which the major active contributors are participating in and they're bringing the ponies) -- then release shortly after. Those features and their status:

  • IMAP (good enough for Thunderbird) - Done minus "search"
  • WebMail - This is the most spellbinding thing. Boy the less industrious of you are going to pee your pants when you see what we've done in a short time (I figure the more industrious will probably compile it from head and ruin the surprise -- open source is bad for surprises). Some other folks who I won't name are probably going to see it and get a bad headache since we're closing in on them and will pretty easily overtake them. FYI we used Adobe Macromedia Flex for this. Flex is a free as in beer rich GUI framework (based on Flash) from Adobe's Macromedia.
  • Calendar - The backend is pretty much in the bag. There is a pre-existing web-based application and we're working on the rich GUI as part of the WebMail client.
  • APIs for Mail Based Applications (MBAs) - MBA support is a critical goal of JBMS; however, we've been avoiding solidifying the APIs because we didn't want to limit things. As of the M5 release we're on track to have some less moving targets for MBAs to call to. This won't be the final say (hey it won't be final until JBossWorld), but we're well on track
  • Video - So many of the other JBoss projects out there have cool little video demos and podcasts and stuff. We're not really the types to do that, we're more likely to pop open a hex editor. However, power to the people and since you asked, I downloaded this little proggy for my Powerbook and made some internal demos. It seems to work pretty well! So with this release I'll try and include some A/V to our usual wiki-based fare -- well if the demo doesn't expire by then or if I can scrounge up the $70 from somewhere.


When M5 comes out, I fully expect some very ambitious people to put the IMAP part into a large production farm, but I want to be clear that just getting IMAP working well enough for ThunderBird isn't full IMAP support by any stretch of the imagination and there are places where our "low memory consumption" (aka the Store api) optimizations haven't been made for IMAP just yet. So while I don't want to discourage the ambitious, I want to be clear on what you're getting into. IMAP will be ready for personal to small group IMAP using Thunderbird by M5. I'm hoping to get a chance to work on Outlook but that will probably have to wait for M6. If I don't fall over from exhaustion or heat stroke, I think we'll have M5-pre1 by near the end of the month -- and if there are no horrible bugs (or JBAS releases) then it will get smoothed and rolled into M5-final.


So if you CAN'T wait and are planning to check everything out from the head and install it, then you're probably exactly the kind of person we'd like to be chatting with in IRC ( /join #jbms) and the JBoss Mail Server Forum or maybe even hacking JBMS source with us!


And remember... we JBMS developrs don't love you (sorry), but we think you're pretty okay and want to write great software for you,