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Haraka Target Market

I’ve been sick today (I think I need to get to a doctor to clear this chest infection, but that’s another story), so I’ve had a lot of time to think about things.

What I’ve spent some time thinking is who is the target market for Haraka?

It’s an SMTP server written and extensible in JavaScript. To me that says that the target market is probably not your typical sysadmin — they are going to turn their nose up at it (due to the language IMHO), and most likely use something more established like postfix/exim, or something hackable in a language they are more used to, such as qpsmtpd. So I think I need to look into the market where people are hacking on web stuff.

That leads me to focus on web developers. So what are the needs of a web developer with respect to email. Here’s my thoughts:

  • Email notifications (account created, password reset, purchase made, etc)
  • Emailing all site users periodically (?)
  • Bounce processing (deleting users whose accounts don’t exist, etc)

(this is an aside to all the other needs such as performance, ease of hacking, stability, etc)

To do list expansion in Haraka would be pretty trivial. I can do a simple tutorial or plugin for that fairly easily.

Bounce processing is a tough one. It’s a shame, but all the people who deal with this on a major scale keep their stuff secret. The problem is the error messages mean different things from different servers and different destinations, and dealing with those idiosyncrasies is hard. The major ESPs have it figured out only through hard slog of doing this for years.

Anyway, this was more of a ramble than going particularly anywhere, but even an open source project needs to think about its target market.

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2 thoughts on “Haraka Target Market

  1. Alex B. says:

    There’s one spot Haraka could be placed into: Transparent Antispam Proxy (Postini-like).
    (this is what I’d be aiming at)

  2. My thought on that is there’s a lot of those already. I’m thinking qpsmtpd, Lamson, etc. Most people already have these setup, or are moving to google apps for mail…

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