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Eudora saved thanks to open sourcing

EUDORA HAS BEEN SAVED FROM DEATH as the Computer History Museum has published the source code for one of the first mainstream email clients.

It took the organisation some five years of wrangling with the Eudora’s IP owner Qualcomm, but eventually the once much-loved Mac then more software got given the open source greenlight.

Eudora was created in 1988 by Steve Dorner while he was working at the University of Illinois. As email started to get big in the world of computing so too did Eudora in the mid-1990s. Qualcomm licensed the software from the University of Illinois and hired Dorner.

With Qualcomm, Eudora was spread beyond its Mac origins and tweaked for use with Windows and other platforms. But after 15 years Qualcomm decided to no longer support it as other major project lines it was working on took precedent and Eudora didn’t really fit into its portfolio. Meanwhile, the increasing adoption of Microsoft’s Outlook email client was likely a factor for Qualcomm to essentially put Eudora out to pasture.

But thanks to the efforts of the Computer History Museum Eudora looks to have received the potential for another life, though probably one more for retro software enthusiasts.

“In the end, [Qualcomm] decided not to simply grant a license, but to transfer ownership of the code, the Eudora trademarks, the copyrights, and the Eudora domain names to the Computer History Museum (CHM). The transfer agreement allows us to publish the code under the very liberal BSD open source license, which means that anyone can use it for either personal or commercial purposes,” explained the Computer History Museum’s chairman of the trustee board Len Shustek.

Open sourcing things seems to be in fashion at the moment as Tesla has finally open sourced some of its Autopilot code; Mozilla has taken an even odder approach and used open source development techniques to brew a beer. µ

Source : Inquirer

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