Mitch Kapor bails on the Chandler project

The tech luminary is stepping away from one of his pet projects, Chandler--which has never delivered on its promise to deliver a mind-blowingly innovative PIM suite.

I guess it was just a matter of determining how long Mitch Kapor's patience would last, since he has enough money to fuel a dead project for a loooonnnggggg time.

He fed Chandler and the Open Source Applications Foundation for six years on the premise that it would deliver a mind-blowingly innovative PIM (personal information management) suite.

Mitch Kapor Martin LaMonica/CNET News.com

Six years later, Chandler just blows.

OSAF announced this week that Kapor is leaving and taking his funding with him. It's about time.

Kapor--the designer of Lotus 1-2-3, the co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the founding chairman of the Mozilla Foundation, and the chairman of Linden Labs--certainly can find other things to do.

OSAF wasn't a bad idea, and Chandler wasn't either. But neither was managed particularly well. Time to move on.

The best communal open-source projects are run like Mozilla (strong core development team with easy pluggability from the outside), Eclipse (cohesive corporate involvement to create a common core while competing at the edges--come to think of it, Linux is like this too), or Apache (strong technology brand that allows for a wide range of experimentation).

Chandler had none of this. It had a strong, inward-looking development team that never really got beyond itself.

That's a recipe for failure in open source. And thus, Chandler has failed.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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