Opened 4 months ago

Last modified 7 days ago

#16482 assigned Feature/Enhancement Request

Could webmail.mayfirst.org be changed to point to roundcube.mayfirst.org?

Reported by: Tim Stallmann Owned by: JaimeV
Priority: Low Component: Tech
Keywords: Cc: Jamie McClelland
Sensitive: no

Description

My experience has been that Horde is pretty broken at this point, and hasn't been updated since 2017. Wondering if would make sense to switch the platform that webmail.mayfirst.org points to to roundcube, and make Horde the non-default option rather than the other way around?

This came up b/c I was trying to get a new team member set up on Mayfirst webmail and totally forgot that there were 2 options.

Change History (7)

comment:1 Changed 4 months ago by JaimeV

Cc: Jamie McClelland added
Owner: set to JaimeV
Status: newassigned

Copying jamie here.

I think Horde is increasingly less popular of the two options but there are still members using it which would make re-pointing the webmail domain would be tricky.

It does look like there is some recent activity in the Horde repo but who knows how soon we could see a new release. In which ways does it appear broken?

comment:2 Changed 4 months ago by Jamie McClelland

I would love to retire Horde - but alas, there is at least one union that uses Horde's calendar system as the greivance system (I will not name them to protect their reputation...).

That doesn't mean we can't deprecate it with advance notice. It might be a good idea to examine the logs and try to figure out exactly how many unique users of Horde there are.

comment:3 Changed 10 days ago by Tim Stallmann

Sorry to let this drop for so long -- I've found that at least on my (Android) smartphone in Firefox, I'm unable to compose email or really read email using Horde. On desktop, it seems to work ok, though!

comment:4 Changed 10 days ago by Jamie McClelland

Horde is a really confusing project to figure out. The "latest" news on the web site is dated 2017, announcing the release of 5.2.22, making it seem like a dead project. Our server, running Debian old stable (buster), has version 5.2.20 installed.

However, taking a look at the the git repo of the mail app shows at least one commit this year, suggesting that it is still being maintained, but clearly not under active development.

And, according to rmadison, if we upgrade to Debian bullseye we will pull in version 5.2.23, which suggests that the web site "latest news" is simply not being kept up to date and, more importantly, the Debian maintainer is keeping up with the latest releases of Horde.

I still don't think there is much of a future with Horde, but it does still seem to be kicking.

Next, I noticed that horde is sending logging info to syslog (which we capture via journald), so checked how many unique May First users have logged into horde and was a bit shocked:

0 cero:~# journalctl --since "1 week ago" | grep -Eo "Login success for [^ ]*" | sort | uniq | wc -l
40
0 cero:~#

I happen to know at least one user is a labor union that uses the Horde calendar system to track grievances, and that will most likely be a difficult transition for them.

But wow, 40 users are regularly logging into Horde. That's a lot more users then some of our services (like xmpp).

Given that the project is still being properly maintained and we have this many active users, I'm not sure it makes sense to discontinue it. But we should at least prioritize upgrading it to bullseye.

What do you think Tim and Jaime??

comment:5 Changed 10 days ago by Tim Stallmann

I guess my question would be -- are those 40 people logging into horde because it's horde (as it sounds like that one union is b/c they need to access the calendaring function)? Or are they just using that URL as a way to access webmail (in which case pointing it to roundcube might be jarring the first time they log in, but there won't be any loss of functionality)?

Given how much more actively maintained Roundcube seems to be; I'd still argue for moving the horde server to horde.mayfirst.org, pointing webmail to roundcube, and then maybe adding a note at the bottom of the roundcube login screen that says something like "Looking for the old webmail interface? Click here to go to horde.mayfirst.org". That way new users or folks who don't know the difference will automatically land on the version that is more likely to be stable (and work at all).

But I won't be the one who has to deal with angry emails from people asking why their beloved webmail interface has changed, lol!

comment:6 Changed 10 days ago by Jamie McClelland

Oh - right. I'm sorry, I missed that nuance in your suggestion - of adding horde.mayfirst.org and making webmail point to roundcube as opposed to just discontinuing horde (which was my fantasy but now seems much more distant). We'll have to give that some thought...

comment:7 Changed 7 days ago by Jamie McClelland

Jaime V came up with a good transition plan that i wanted to document so it doesn't get lost:

  • Ensure horde is accessible via the new domain: https://horde.mayfirst.org/
  • Change webmail.mayfirst.org to point to a landing page that provides links to both roundcube and horde, with strong encouragement for horde users to switch to roundcube

This option ensures that people who are using horde will get a reasonable page with instructions for how to continue using horde (to avoid disruption), while strongly signaling our encouragement to use roundcube. Once we make this change we can wait a few weeks and then check again to see how many users are still using horde.

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