The OSAF has published to the Web a transcript of the Chandler demo from the Emerging Tech conference. I’ve totally drunk the Chandler Kool-aid and am looking forward to watching this application evolve. I’m excited about it for a number of reasons, including:

  • Returning innovation to the email arena. Even though email (and especially email combined with scheduling and other PIM features) is probably the key business application these days, Outlook and Express have brutally murdered innovation in this area. Right now there aren’t any realistic alternatives to Outlook for an organization of any size, and Outlook sucked when it was released and hasn’t gotten much better since. I’m glad we might have something that can push the state of the art forward here.
  • It’s written mostly in Python. Having an example desktop application that’s large, complex, and hopefully attractive that’s written in a scripting language could force a pretty radical change on the software industry. At some point, we’re going to see languages like C and C++ marginalized so that they’re only used for the most low level work and performance intensive applications. Microsoft is going to be pushing VB.NET and C# as replacements. Chandler could be the compelling argument in favor of building cross platform apps that look great everywhere using a more open language.
  • It should be easy to extend. Seeing the sorts of things people are doing to extend Eclipse gives me hope that we’ll see some really amazing user-contributed improvements to Chandler once it’s released.

It’s still way to early to know how Chandler will deliver, but I love the ambitiousness of the project. Certainly Mozilla, even though its gestation period was long, exceeded my expectations. I’d be thrilled if Chandler did as well.