in Electronic Mail

My Novell Groupwise complaint list

I apologize for the lack of updates on the journal recently; things have been quite busy at $WORK and I’m also trying to kick off some extracurricular creative projects.

Our corporate e-mail system is Novell Groupwise and I am continually amazed at all its unnecessary features, while lamenting the fact that really useful features are nonexistent. This feature imbalance makes me think that the entire system was designed by senior marketing executives at Novell and targeted solely at C-level executives who have secretaries and don’t actually know how to use computers.

For starters, here are some truly useless or unnecessary features that I’ve found:

  • Junk Calendaring – the ability to block “junk” appointments from the Internet. When was the last time a spammer sent you a junk iCal?
  • Phone Message – you can literally send someone an electronic version of those pink “while you were out” messages.
  • About fifteen different ways to print out your calendar
  • The fact that the title bar of the application changes whenever you highlight a dropdown menu item (did they never hear of a status bar?)
  • Checklist – What the hell is this for?
  • Saving of e-mails and attachments always defaults to C:NovellGroupwise
  • Saving of a Groupwise e-mail in “Groupwise Classic” format saves it as a .DOC but it’s really a WordPerfect file… what the heck?

And here are some features that vary from useful to critical in an enterprise MUA, but aren’t implemented:

  • Ability to send calendar items in iCal format so you can actually interchange with other non-Groupwise users
  • Use of the X-Priority header to set priority rather than putting *** High Priority *** as the first line of urgent messages
  • Better spam handling. Having a block list would be useful to start; Bayesian filtering.
  • Having the “Forward” action (in Rules) not wrap the source message in another message envelope
  • Mailing lists
  • Ability to manage Rules from within Web Access
  • PGP/GnuPG integration
  • Ability to modify distribution lists of appointments without having to retract the entire item and send it again
  • True cross-platform client — the Linux client is awful and requires many hacks to make it work on non-SuSE Linux sysetms

I’m sure I’ll think of other things. I’m curious to know: Who out there is still using Groupwise? (i.e. hasn’t switched yet to Microsoft Exchange)