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News From The Evolution Front 52

Posted by timothy
from the stereo-vision-is-all-the-rage dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Sun's Java System Calendar Server connector (Hydrogen) for Evolution 1.4 on Solaris and Linux was GPL'ed today and is now available in GNOME CVS. This follows the recent GPLization of Novell's Ximian Connector (for Microsoft Exchange servers). In related news, the next major version of Evolution (version 2.0) is supposed to be released sometime during the next month, and beta testing have picked up pace. If you have some spare time, you can also give the Evolution 1.5.9 a spin. You can also use jhbuild to build Evolution from CVS (since the binaries are quite old by now). There is also a new project in GNOME CVS, called Evolution Brainread which adds a blog viewer to Evolution. It is not yet quite ready for production use, but looks quite good."
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News From The Evolution Front

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  • depends on Mono? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Euphonious Coward (189818) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @10:18AM (#9506781)
    Nat remarked in a recent interview that Evo 2 would depend on Mono. Did I understand correctly?
    • Unlikely, I would think - there's no reason for depending on it at the moment. Maybe in the future it will though, but I seem to remember them talking about that being either a gradual or community-led thing, due to the amount of work a) involved in making the change and b) already invested in Evolution.

      Running the Java calendar server under Mono using IKVM might be interesting though.
    • Re:depends on Mono? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jahf (21968) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @11:25AM (#9507521) Journal
      My understanding is that Evolution 2.0 would -not- depend on Mono, since the goal is to revamp the client and make it stable first, but that versions beyond 2.0 would possibly begin to include Mono into the core and hence if you're planning on building a distro with Evo2 it makes sense to start getting Mono running and stable ASAP so that that is not a barrier.

      NOTE: I get this from an email from a Java Desktop System engineer who said he got word straight from Nat that Evo2 would not have Mono dependencies.

      GNOME will probably also be in much the same way ... 2.8 and maybe 3.0 will likely not see a core dependency on Mono but afterwards I expect that Novell will begin moving towards a Mono base for development for GNOME and Evolution (remember that as of GNOME 2.8, Evo2 and Evo Data Server become core GNOME components).

      As relates to Sun Java Desktop System (disclaimer: of which I work on in a tech marketing capacity) since obviously Sun is going to be much more interested in Java as a platform, not Mono (NOTE: I'm not saying Sun won't include a Mono platform in Java Desktop ... I can't say that since I don't know what the final answer will be on that). However, Java is becoming more viable for GNOME (and therefore Evo) development as well. My guess is were about to see Java vs. .NET in some form again. However, if Mono becomes a core of GNOME/Evo to where you can't function without it we will only have 2 choices ... include Mono or take tons of time to provide Java alternatives. I think both have advantages and disadvantages.
      • since the goal is to revamp the client and make it stable first
        What are you saying here - that the current version is unstable, or that the plan for 2.0 is to make it initially unstable?
        • Re:depends on Mono? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Jahf (21968) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @01:15PM (#9509054) Journal
          What I am saying is the goal of Evo2 is to make architectural changes to the client (as in splitting out the Evo Data Server portion, improving the UI, etc) and make sure it is stable in that iteration before going to a new development technology.

          1.5.x is the unstable testing version for Evo2 ... the Evo developers want to get Evo2 stable in time for GNOME 2.8 core inclusion in a timely manner (originally the target was GNOME 2.6) and that means not doing a significant shift in the way Evolution is developed.

          If Evo2 were to ship with GNOME 2.8 -and- start using Mono as a core technology, Evo2 would either take a lot longer to release -or- it would be initially unstable :)

          Like I said in the parent, I haven't personally used 1.5.x so I can't vouch for the stability (though I definitely like the things I've read both on stability and features).

          As for the current version (1.4.x) being unstable ... in my experience that depends on what you are using it for. Fast connections to an IMAP server without utilizing Evo1.4 plugins seems to work great. Start using any of the connectors and/or start working from remote (and I do have a very good broadband connection) and, well, even though Evo1.4 is the default mail client for the product I work on I am currently using Mozilla Mail for production use and Evo1.4 only for testing features.
      • Re:depends on Mono? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Euphonious Coward (189818) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @01:03PM (#9508902)
        It's good news that Evo 2 won't depend on Mono.

        It would be hard to say whether GNOME coming to depend on Mono or on Java would be worse. Each outcome, on reflection, looks worse than the other. Sun and Microsoft both have submarine patents on the runtime techniques, and both are deeply hostile to Free Software: MS would like to kill it, while Sun hopes to "0wn" it. The only saving grace in Java's case is Gcj, which might be proof against patent risks. There's no equivalent for C#.

        Both are cargo-cult languages, with features shoveled in without understanding how they interact. (As a result, e.g., using exceptions in Java doesn't actually lead to simpler code.) We still have no other language as useful for serious application and library development as C++. It's a pity that the GNOME crew are so ridden with superstition by their exposure to early (and badly broken) MSVC++ as to be unable to perceive the merits of ISO standard C++. It's is free, legally safe, and (like Algol-60) "an improvement not just on its predecessors, but on its intended successors". Someday there will be a language that deserves to replace C++ for serious work, but it won't be Java or C#.

        • Bravo! Next time you visit I'll buy you a beer.

          Ever since my introduction to programming twenty five years ago, I have been subjected to new languages promising universal salvation every two years. This is getting wearisome.
        • I personally think one of the reasons exceptions are worth while is because the compiler squawks at bad programmers and tells them to handle worst case scenarios. It makes coding a pain in the ass, because the compiler is dumb (i.e. even if there is no reason to make you catch an exception you may have to), but it's better then letting some n00bs straight out of school code without thinking about where their program could fail.... So you force higher code quality at the expense of more man hours. And eve
          • by lokedhs (672255) on Saturday June 26, 2004 @05:36PM (#9539281)
            It's arguments like yours that caused MS to remove the checked exceptions in C#, and that is very bad.

            In almost all cases, maybe 95%, there is a real reason to catch a checked exception. Not catching the exception is an error, and should be flagged as such by the compiler.

            For example, in C after calling certain functions (IO functions for example) you must check the return code for errors and act on it. Too often have I seen people only checking the return code from the open() but not from the subequent read() for example. Having these methods throw a checked IOException is a very good things, because it makes you deal with the error.

            Just because handing errors is freaking boring doesn't mean you don't have to.

            Also, there are RuntimeExceptions which doesn't need to be caught.

            There is a very simple rule of thumb that should be used when deciding wether to use a checked exception or a RuntimeException: If the potential exception can be thrown from a perfectly bug-free program, then it should be checked. For example: A perfectly correct program without a single bug can still receieve an IOException when reading from a file, because its out of the applications control. Obviously this must be a checked exception.

            On the other hand, a NullPointerException is unchecked because it is possible to write the code in such a way that you are guaranteed that they are never thrown.

            Now, this rule does not always work perfectly and at times like that it can be a bit painful. For example, is declared to throw IOException. However, this means that you need to deal with IOException even when reading from a ByteArrayInputStream. These cases doesn't come up that often (if it does to you, you really should think about the quality of the code you are writing) and in the case when it does, it can be wrapped in a simple:

            try {
            catch(IOException e) {
            assert false : e.getMessage();
            Another annoying quirk is why Integer.parseInt() is declared to throw an unchecked NumberFormatException while NumberFormat.parse() is declared to throw the checked ParseException?
        • Yes MSVC++ should not even be called c++. Not to mention that I have lost count of all the differnt flavors of "strings".
          Ansi C++ has gotten much better but the STL is still lacking the a hashmap and a hashmultimap. Options for using garbage collection with C++ should be made standard as well.
          I have not played with c# but I do feel that java has a lot going for it. For one thing it as a base object class. That is so helpful and almost removes the need for templates. I am not fond of the the speed of Swing b
      • However, Java is becoming more viable for GNOME

        I seriously question that statement, since GNOME is supposed to be free software, and Java (at least, Sun's version) is not free software. I don't have java installed, nor am I even quite sure how to install java on my Debian system, since Sun's licensing forced Debian to remove java even from their non-free archives! There is kaffe (and gjc), but those aren't quite there yet.

        How this will all play out, I'm not sure. Obviously, since you are closer to the
  • Evolution Brainread which adds a blog viewer to Evolution. It is not yet quite ready for production use, but looks quite good."

    I can't wait until the time i'm asked to put "Blog Viewers" in "Production Use" ...

    The world will have changed a whole lot by the times this happens !!

    • Sooner or later the use of internal project blogs within companies or groups will become commonplace, as it is a very good way to see what is going on inside a project. They might not be internet-viewable, but that's not what makes a blog. Your intraweb is the web as much as the intarweb is.
  • I haven't used Evolution in ages (mostly because I'm generally not on a linux desktop). Has anyone contemplated (succeeded?) in generating a Windows or Mac version?

    I'm trying to "standardize" on Thunderbird at home (fairly featurful, stable, and very cross-platform compatible). As Sunbird matures, that helps solve some of the calendar problems. But I'm not sure there's a good Addressbook app, or ToDo app, in the Mozilla world. Has anyone begun thinking about a Mozilla alternative to Evolution / Outlook
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Has anyone contemplated (succeeded?) in generating a Windows or Mac version?
      Or has anyone created a reasonable Mac/Win email client that replicates Evolution's "vFolders" system? This is a killer feature that I need desperately. I'm locked into Windows by my work situation, but I'm aching for something that will help me capture more utility from the tons of email I have.
  • Where in the windows version? It would help in the first stages of getting people off windows.
    • 9aa76.html
    • ``Where in the windows version? It would help in the first stages of getting people off windows.''

      I don't think so. Porting an app to Windows can take a lot of work, because Windows doesn't provide the standard APIs nearly every other modern OS provides.

      What you get in return varies on how good a job you do; if you do well, the more adventurous will use your app. If you do badly, your app will be used to show that the Open Source model produces shitty software. Neither way you will convince people to swit
      • And what 'standard APIs' doesn't windows provide?
        • Dude, you ever hear of POSIX?!

          And, before you start "POSIX is only for UNIX systems", it's not. It was intended to be a set of APIs that any system could implement, which would then facilitate the development of software that would run on all compliant systems. There is no reason Microsoft couldn't have made their system POSIX-compliant; they didn't do it because they chose not to.

          And, before you say: "but you can get POSIX compliance with Cygwin, Windows services for UNIX, etc.": yes, you can indeed emul
          • I miss the old /. The one where people knew what they where talking about, and didn't just repeat crap they heard on irc and/or some kool overclocking site.

            • Windows supports posix command line, but I don't think its fully posix compliant is it? You can't write a pthreads app for instance?
                http:/ / ce.html

                What is this project about?

                The POSIX 1003.1-2001 standard defines an application programming interface (API) for writing multithreaded applications. This interface is known more commonly as pthreads. A good number of modern operating systems include a threading library of some kind: Solaris (UI) threads, Win32 threads, DCE threads, DECthreads, or any of the draft revisions of the pthreads standard. The tren
                • Ok, thats cool :) So there is a 3rd party pthreads implementation for windows, but it is *NOT* native windows, so therefore, in that respect, windows is not posix complaint? Which was the original intent of the grandparent post.
          • Nice to see that you didn't respond, you made me a foe instead.

  • I now only use GMail, I never was able to really get Evolution to work for me. Seemed like a lot of extra stuff that I didn't need, and the search is nothing to GMail.

    I also like the lable system better than the folder system.

    That being said, I will invite the next 3 people to respond to this post.
  • .. of some sort?
    I am thinking something as simple and easy to use as Mozilla Mail / Thunderbird.
    I could not find anything. Seems like a must-have for such a powerful app.
    • Good question -- and is this spam filter as easy to use as Mozilla Mail or Thunderbird's spam filtering?

      I appreciate the programmatic advantages of modular code and programs doing one thing and doing them well, but I also appreciate integration (or even the appearance of integration) that makes it trivially easy to use advanced functionality. I've been programming and using computers for decades. As I get older and less tolerant of bad user interfaces, I place more importance on the latter.
  • Evo2 for Win32? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Qwavel (733416) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @05:03PM (#9511831)
    I'm sorry that Evolution isn't cross-platform. It's nice to have applications that can work on both Windows and Linux, both from a practical point of view (Windows client is unavoidable) and because it is useful for transitioning people to Linux.

    I agree with Miguel's idea that the whole Gnome should become cross-platform and be partially integrated with Mozilla. I've seen many GTK+ apps that run really well and look quite good on Windows (eg. Gaim, AbiWord).
    • Gaim does indeed have a windows port. Gtk+ has a native windows port which pretty much allows for a well integrated experience. Honestly, I got used to running OO + mozilla + gimp on windows stations I felt I needed to use while I went through my gradual move to a linux desktop environment.

      Having said that, evolution will not be cross-platform for quite some time, as it requires gnome libraries which won't be ported anytime soon. Evolution, Abiword and Gnumeric require libgnome. Also Nautilus in case y
      • Abiword works on Windows. Actually, it works very well on Windows.

        I am using TBird. It's quite good, but it doesn't have all the features that Evolution does.
    • It is a bit of a sledgehammer to crack and acorn route but Evolution works perfectly under colinux [].

      I use colinux to run gentoo [] (other distros are available), and cygwin [] to add XWindow support. You also need to follow the instructions [] to get networking working and then you can just :

      emerge evolution

      Admittedly this is a lot of setup work but once it is working it is not obvious that evolution isn't a native port. The other benefit is you can use the same setup to run any Linux programs under Windows (tho

  • Been using it for weeks without problems so far.

    It fixed a bug I had on 1.5.5 where if you have "Load images if sender is in address book" turned on, some spam would cause the preview pane to freeze.

    I also haven't seen the problems with IMAP that I had with 1.4.5 in a long time. Many thanks to Ximian for fixing this.

    For Fedora Core 2 users, get it via yum from Dave Malcolm's repo [].

Contemptuous lights flashed flashed across the computer's console. -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy