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Ximian

Evolution 0.99, Release Candidate Out 443

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the report-those-bugs-people dept.
savaget writes "Evolution 0.99 (Release Candidate 1) is out! "Yes, you read that right: the release candidate for Evolution 1.0 hit the wires this evening. After two years of hard work and more than 700 thousand lines of code written, the sleepless hackers at Ximian are finally getting to the long-awaited 1.0 release of Evolution, the GNOME groupware suite."" One of the most important projects in the open source world today. Best of luck to the monkey boys @ Ximian squashing any last minute arrivals.
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Evolution 0.99, Release Candidate Out

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  • bloat (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SETY (46845)
    Does 700,000 lines of code seem a little bloated to anyone else? I guess it is suppose to do everything (kitchen sink included)..........
    • Re:bloat (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by dmelomed (148666)
      Yes it does. I've tried Evolution before, and it doesn't even do so much to justify its bloat. Go ahead, mod this "flamebait", I don't care.

      If you want to have an open product that's better than Outlook, at least make it leaner and more functional. And what's with the identical look and feel? Can't they spend some time in _better_ than Outlook look and feel design?
      • Re:bloat (Score:2, Funny)

        by SnapShot (171582)
        Can't they spend some time in _better_ than Outlook look and feel design?
        They probably didn't implement the "auto-run trojan worms and VB viruses" funtionality. That may be covered under a MS software patent, however.
    • Re:bloat (Score:2, Interesting)

      700,000 lines of code

      How long is a line of code? Are we talking 80 chars, or is this the average of the developers using the pretty Frame Buffer mode at 1024x768?

      Seriously. How long is a "line of code"?
    • Re:bloat (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jilles (20976) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @11:29AM (#2538170) Homepage
      700.000 loc is what it takes to write such applications. People sometimes claim there are smaller alternatives but invariably those alternatives are less feature rich.

      People have long blamed MS for delivering bloated systems. But it is quite ironic to see that as linux is maturing it is also gaining weight. The hardware requirements for running a full KDE or Gnome desktop are getting awfully close to the hardware requirements of an average MS windows machine. If you consider that MS managed to deliver windows 95 in 1995 on the hardware of that time (pentium/486, 8-16MB) you might actually come to the conclusion they did a better job than Gnome or KDE since in terms of features (not stability of course) it still compares rather well.

      No doubt people will reply with references to all sorts of windowmanagers which run rather nice on slow machines claiming they do everything you need. However, they don't fully duplicate the feature set of windows 95 so see above.
      • by sabre (79070) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @12:24PM (#2538392) Homepage
        Another way to look at it is that they are writing in a very low level language. That language, the wonderful and mysterious C, is well loved by the Gnome project. C is wonderful for low level small programs, but it tends to fall down a bit when scaling up to an application of this size.

        One very important thing to remember about code size is that LOC is a very good indicator of # of bugs. Reducing the number of lines of code (obviously without reducing functionality) is a good way to reduce # of bugs, and also to make your hackers more productive.

        There are many higher level languages available, in many different language families. Often high level languages get blasted for being in efficient... but this isn't neccesarily so. For example, with all of the "object" stuff implemented (the hard way) in C, you are paying exactly the same runtime overhead that C++ pays when it has an object. All you are gaining, is the joy of having to implement everything yourself and the possibility of your naming schemes getting out of whack.

        I think it's great that Ximian is continuing to survive and is about to "unleash" their masterpiece onto the world. I just wonder how much faster it could have gotten here if they didn't use C.

        I find it interesting that the open source community (for the most part), tends to stick with C as the language of choice. Lowest common denominator choices like this are usually not the best.

        -Chris [nondot.org]


        • ...but, the little that I know regarding programming and those languages is that C is much more portable that C++.

          I believe that they were thinking towards being able to port their project far easier to other operating systems and architectures.

          Of course, I could be wrong and they may have disregarded standard C and went with Operating Environment Specific libraries instead of developed their own easily ported libraries.

          If the above is the case, then I agree with you and they should have definately programmed it all in C++.

          --
          .sig seperator
          --
          • C more portable than C++?

            Yes, perhaps, but you have to realize that G++ is portable to just about every single platform that GCC is... and that is a lot of them. The new G++ has an excellent C++ front end that is quite standard comformant.

            One question though, is what platforms are you really winning by using C on? If there isn't a C++ compiler for the platform, are you really that interested in using a big groupware application on it? (assuming it's an older platform)...

            -Chris [nondot.org]

  • by savaget (26702) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:21AM (#2537767)
    Full annoucement here [ximian.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:23AM (#2537780)
    http://www.ximian.com/products/ximian_evolution/

    http://www.ximian.com/products/ximian_evolution/ [ximian.com]
  • Bloated....? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eviltypeguy (521224)
    700,000 lines is actually pretty small compared to most commercial products these days. And depending on the language it's written in that can vary. Of course it's often been said that most Open Source projects don't have a lot of quality control in the programming department. A lot of strict guidelines are enforced on both coding style and coding documentation where I work.

    It is nice to see that the Open Source community can produce something that's every bit as good as Outlook in functionality (I didn't say stability :)...
    • Re:Bloated....? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Publicus (415536)

      What I've heard is that Ximian has some of the strictest guidelines for code style and quality, which is more than I can say about what I've heard of M$. Also, I don't understand your (I didn't say stability :)) remark. Are you saying Outlook is stable and Evolution is not? I wouldn't say that, as someone who has to use Outlook at work. Half the time it doesn't exit cleanly, but who knows, that could be the crappy OS too.

      Ximian's work has influenced my distribution choices in the recent past, because it is so good. Does anyone know if the Ximian Destop works with 'woody'? The Ximian site says potato, but I would imagine it would work with woody. I haven't taken the time to try yet.

      • Re:Bloated....? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by richw (20467)
        They've been promising Woody support RSN for a while but the last I heard it probably wouldn't be supported until Woody becomes stable.
        • No, we've never promised woody support RSN. The consistent line since XG 1.4 has been 'we'll support it when it is released as debian stable.'
          Luis Villa
          Ximian Bugmaster
          • Well what about this, from the April Ximian Gnome 1.4 announcement?

            Supported Platforms
            -------------------
            (snip)
            Support for Debian "Woody," SuSE 7.1, Mandrake 8.0 and Solaris is forthcoming in the next few weeks. Sit tight; we haven't forgotten you.

            You can read the full announcement [gnome.org] yourself. In the meantime, we've had to do without or change desktop :(

            (Sidenote: the lameness filter rejects ... on a line by itself !!! That's just fantastic)

      • Ximian's work has influenced my distribution choices in the recent past, because it is so good. Does anyone know if the Ximian Destop works with 'woody'? The Ximian site says potato, but I would imagine it would work with woody. I haven't taken the time to try yet

        you know what I would like to see, the Ximian desktop included in distrobutions. I don't like Gnome by it seld, but with the ximian desktop complete with set up tools, a soon to be GTK+ open office, evoltion, Nautulis, and Gallion, I could not imagine a better desktop for Linux, it is consistent, powerful, nice looking and set up to be productive.

        now, if only they can make symlinking a little more intuitive...............
        • Nautilus is the biggest, most bloated piece of crap file manager I have ever seen. It is unusably slow on a 400MHz machine, even with all the "enhanced graphics" turned off. They have made some optimizations, but not nearly fast enough yet. I have to laugh that they have fam support. Not saying that is a bad thing, it would normally be extremely cool. Nautilus is so slow however, fam becomes pointless. Konqueror is better, but still sluggish. GMC is the only acceptably fast filemanager explicitly for Gnome or KDE, it has speed on par with Windows Explorer (that's not really saying much though...) The filemanager that I use that really shows what is possible is ROX (http://rox.sourceforge.net/). It makes gmc/windows explorer look dreadfully slow, and still remains easy to use for new people, and powerfully configurable for advanced users. It doesn't have support for crap like embedding web browsing or viewing components, but simply does what a file manager should do, manage files, leaving content intepretation to programs better suited for each type.
          • well, I think the way nautalis is moving is to become a bonobo dock so things like GMC can be displayed it it. if the only thing that nautalis did was draw the desktop and dock bonobo apps then it should run much faster.
      • Does anyone know if the Ximian Destop works with 'woody'?

        Yes it does (at least so far). Due to the aforementioned memory blowup I took the opportunity to do a fresh install of Debian and upgraded to woody. Some things don't work (like the go-gnome script) but I have gotten Ximian Gnome to install via the appropriate /etc/apt/source.list entry:

        deb http://red-carpet.ximian.com/debian stable main

        Doing an apt-get install task-ximian-gnome *won't* work though. It pitches a fit about some package it cannot install (sorry, but at my work NT box and can't remember which one makes it puke). BUT, if you already have a vanilla version of gnome on the system and you do an apt-get update && apt-get upgrade it should pull down the Ximian replacements. You may also have to pull down some other Ximian goodies one by one via apt-get install. Evolution works but I have heard Red Carpet doesn't (I haven't tested that... still waiting for replacement memory from Micron). Other than that everything works peachy.

        Hope that helps.
        • Evolution works but I have heard Red Carpet doesn't (I haven't tested that... still waiting for replacement memory from Micron)

          Yes, Woody's libc totally breaks red-carpet. But if you're using Woody, apt-get is safer anyway.

      • I've not had good luck with Woody and Ximian - there are package naming conflicts that can result in an older Ximian package with a higher number not upgrading to a newer Woody package. When libgnomeprint did this to me, it kept a large number of applications from running. My advice is to either use Potato with Ximian or use Sid without. I'm using Sid, and all the Ximian-authored stuff comes through almost immediately, without all the conflicts.
    • Re:Bloated....? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by miguel (7116) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:42AM (#2537897) Homepage
      Rob Pike said in his talk on `System Research is Irrelevant' that 90 to 95% of the code in Plan9 was
      code to cope with standards and not with new innovative ideas (tcp/ip, http, corba, unicode, posix, mime, pop, imap, x).

      A similar scenario happens with Evolution. Modern applications like Evolution are expected to deal with all sorts of IMAP servers, with all sorts of configurations, in a bug compatible fashion and with different "interpretations" of the standard.

      Apply this across the board: authentication through SASL (being used more and more and being pretty cool as well), S/SMTP, S/IMAP, IMAP, POP, the various mail formats in Unix you need to import. Then add to the mix decoding MIME message s (both well formed, and ill formed, standard compliant and non-standard compliant), then generating correct Mime code.

      Adding code to support features like disconnected IMAP, downloading only the headers, or the whole thing, making it useful over dialup lines.

      The calendar tracks the iMIP, iTIP, ICalendar specifications. And can talk to Outlook 2000 and Outlook XP (they dont talk between each other, for calendaring, btw). And the list goes on and on.

      HTML mail is supported, correctly forwarding messages is supported (in any combination that you want ;-)

      Then add pilot syncing to the mix.

      So Evolution is big, because it adapts to the needs of modern users. And it has to cope with the needs of different communities.

      Evolution will keep growing to address the needs of more people, and will keep improving. We would of course love to get your contributions to optimize it in every possible way.

      Miguel.
      • I'm writing my own mail application (for various reasons, none of which I'll go into here) and I am aware of the complications of imap et al. Just interpreting the imap rfc is a challenge in itself. Parsing the message structure correctly took me about two weeks. Still, the challenge is one of the reasons for doing it.

        Anyway, hope those last few bugs get squashed. Last time I tried it btw, it crashed and burned quite spectacularly. Mines pretty solid, but then it doesn't do anything yet *grin*
      • Good stuff, Miguel.

        I usually receive my email in text, using a package on Windows called The Bat [ritlabs.com], because it's simple, reliable (I've regularly got 4000+ messages in my Inbox, 99% spam) and was the first I found off Tucows which performed mail handling to my satisfaction (after spending years with pine, before my Evil ISP [xo.com] took away my shell account.)

        To the point. I haven't had a chance to download and trial Ximian, but a spam I recieved, twice, in the past couple days, reminded me of features which would be great for an email manager:

        the ability to view only in text, not executing any scripts

        the ability to execute, in a debugging/diagnostic mode, what javascript is doing

        The latter I performed by saving a suspicious spam to a file and then cleaning it up and nutering it sufficiently to I could see what it was attempting to do. As expected, it unpacked some urls and attempted to open windows.

        The beauty of this being an Open Source project, is that there's hope that a feature, rather than completely out of the question in Outlook.

        The spam javascript can be viewed here. [dragonswest.com]

  • Trial Installs... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FatRatBastard (7583) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:24AM (#2537784) Homepage
    I like Evolution a lot, and its become my e-mail client of choice as of late (well, when my machine's memory isn't going up in smoke that is) but I was wondering if anyone has done any evalutions of Evolution on a large scale basis.

    I.e. has anyone in a company been testing to see how well it plays with existing back end infrastructure (Exchange, etc)? How well does it play with others? Which features does it not play with well? Where does it need more work? Ect.
    • I.e. has anyone in a company been testing to see how well it plays with existing back end infrastructure (Exchange, etc)?

      I've been using evolution for a while now in various configurations. I use the CVS nightlies at work and the RH evolution build by dsainty at home (an older version).

      I connect to an exchange server at work via IMAP, my ISP via pop3, and my local box at home by S/IMAP and/or S/POP. All with zero problems. I've played around with sending encrypted and digitally signed mail..again all perfect. I haven't done any PDA stuff, but as an email client, I've found it to be basically flawless.

    • Re:Trial Installs... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MasterD (18638) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @11:18AM (#2538102) Journal
      My company will be rolling out PR1 to all it's employees on Linux and Solaris which is about 90%. We have an Exchange backend (don't ask) and Evolution works great with it. We use IMAP for mail, LDAP for contacts. And the calendering stuff we use Lookout for the web, *but* Evolution can receive the iCal requests and schedule them on a user's local calendar. This is our only complaint -- Evolution cannot see the Exchange calendar backend, thus a manager cannot see the schedules of his/her employees or other colleages.

      In our beta tests with a few managers and directors (these guys are not your normal Linux hackers), they have been very pleased. As the new Evolution betas came out, they were psyched to see more functionality and less bugs. Evolution combined with the Crossover plugin, so they can read MS DOC and PPT and XLS attachments is going to save us $500 a seat since we do not need Citrix licenses (except to edit MS formats, which is only about 10% of the time spent in Citrix after our studies). So all in all, Evolution is a great replacement for Lookout. And the Crossover plugin (with Citrix as a backup) allow us to mostly rid ourselves of M$ desktops.

      -tduffy

      ps. Citrix is a UNIX client that allows you to connect and run a Windows desktop in an X window.
      • ps. Citrix is a UNIX client that allows you to connect and run a Windows desktop in an X window.

        How come you don't use VNC for this reason?

        -- iCEBaLM
        • Because VNC establishes a screen session with the client whereby Citrix allows you to create a virtual session on the server.

          This means that with Citrix you can have 10 people all running MsWord on the same Windows box whereas with VNC its 1:1.
  • by CokeBear (16811) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:24AM (#2537788) Journal
    Any plans to port to Mac OS X?
    Would instantly have 10 times the potential market...
    • Re:Port to Mac OS X? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by fizz-beyond (130257) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:53AM (#2537953) Homepage
      What interestes me more is if there is any plans to port to any other OS in general? lets think about this for a second... They have an opensource mail client which does almost everything that outlook does (almost being that it cannot connect to MSexchange server through the propriatary MS way). If they ported it to other OS's including Mac OS X, and windows they might be able to steal some of Outlooks userbase. that and well bye bye email viruses...
    • FreeBSD already has Evolution in its ports tree, and in the past people have found that FreeBSD ports have worked fine under OS X (probably since OS X is based on FreeBSD).
  • by Picass0 (147474) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:24AM (#2537793) Homepage Journal
    I did a Red Carpet update a few days ago and my Evolution now says it's ver .99 release candidate 1. Just to get rid of the "Thank you for using..." nag screen it's worth the upgrade.
  • by the_rev_matt (239420) <slashbot@rev m a t t . com> on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:25AM (#2537797) Homepage
    Seriously though, I've been using Evo since the .5 days and have enjoyed watching the advances in stability and feature set. Sure, it's no pine, but it's stable and offers all the functionality I need to convince my wife to try linux instead of winblows (she swears by Eudora and won't use anything else, no matter how much she complains when her Win2k box crashes several times/week).
  • by Teancom (13486) <david.gnuconsulting@com> on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:30AM (#2537829) Homepage
    I just can't get over the interface. Yes, yes, I know, it's "intuitive" (read: familiar to people who've used Outlook), it's just doesn't match the way I work. As a long-time hater of the KDE 1.x line (ugly, windows-based crap) I never thought there would come the day that I would drop Gnome and/or E in favor of KDE, but that day has come (and gone, I switched over 6 months ago). KMail is the only mail client I've used in linux that approaches Eudora in ease of use *and* features. Ingo, Marc, and Michael have crafted a nice, stable, mail client. Evolution would do well to get to the same level.

    That said, GO GNOME! If they can win me back on technical merits, rock on. I've tried evolution a few times in the past, and (like moz) people keep saying "try the latest nightlies! they are *so* much better!". Well, when they do reach 1.0, I'll try them again. Never let it be said I'm not open minded *grin*.
    • by Fnkmaster (89084) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:38AM (#2537870)
      Hmm, I've found Evolution to be far more stable and usable than KMail. In particular, Evolution's IMAP support is superb. KMail, despite claims to the contrary, does not seem to be happy with large IMAP folders at all, and I have watched it crash and burn once or twice, but it was really the extremely slow startup time while rechecking the entirety of my large IMAP folders. It's just too damned slow on startup. I have used it just fine with POP in the past though, I just think it has a ways to go on the back end support before it is as good as Evolution.
    • you might want to give pronto mail a try:

      http://www.muhri.net/pronto

      I recommend using MySQL as a backend for speed. The CSV stuff is slow when you have a lot of messages.

    • Apple started getting all upset at people copying their user interfaces, and all I can say is that I really hope these Evolution people don't get hit by the same problem - MS telling them to stop copying their user interfaces.

      Having said that though, this looks a fantastic piece of software. The peer to peer calender stuff is a much used thing in the Windows world, so it's great to see it running under X too.
    • I just can't get over the interface. Yes, yes, I know, it's "intuitive" (read: familiar to people who've used Outlook), it's just doesn't match the way I work.

      Then you are not the target audience for this. The whole point is that it's supposed to be Outlook-like. Not because Outlook is technically or ergonomically worth copying, but because Outlook is strategically worth copying. Read what Miguel writes -- he's not trying to make the ultimate email reader; he's trying to make an infiltration tool.

      There's no point in Unix-heads running this program. It's mean to be run by ex-Dozers, so that they won't notice/complain that they've been switcheroo'd.

      Keep using whatever email reader you've always used. You're not supposed to switch to this.

  • Known issues (Score:5, Informative)

    by Alien54 (180860) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:35AM (#2537851) Journal
    Of course, people following this all along would know this stuff, but I can see lots of people checking it for the first time, etc getting surpised.

    So, as noted:

    - In this build only, Palm-OS sychronization is temporarily disabled. It will return in the next release.
    - Under certain rare circumstances, IMAP connections over SSL can hang Evolution. We expect to have this issue resolved shortly.

    Just in case these things are important to you.

  • XML-RPC / SOAP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SnapperHead (178050) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:36AM (#2537853) Homepage Journal
    I wonder when / if they will be intrested in working with other projects on an open XML-RPC / SOAP standard for the data access. This way, they could pull there data from a phpGroupWare server, or pull data from any number of projects that support the standards.

    There idea would a datastore is IMAP, which makes no sense to me. But, thats how they want to add groupware functionality. I haven't been following the project very close, a few other developers in phpGroupWare have been hounding them.

    At any rate, if you would like to see there client work with other open source groupware applications via XML-RPC / SOAP. Start bugging them. :)
  • but does it depend? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by layyze (216392)
    I used Evolution for my mail on the systems where I run Redhat 7.0 and 7.1. The problem is that on my personal machines, I run Slackware 8.0. I love Slackware and there is no way that I'll switch just for a mail client. Has anyone had much success getting around the Ximian library dependency issues? Slackware can install RPM's in its own package format and there are extension's for .TGZ's package manager to include dependencies.
    Anyway, My point is that Evolution like most of Ximian's stuff needs too many weird library dependencies (which is why I try not to use Ximian GNOME anywhere). I have tried to compile it using all of the requested RPM's and I have tried installing it and all of the requested libraries from source, but with no avail. Will there ever be a way to install it cross-distro like Mozilla or StarOffice's binary install? I think that this ability would help Evolution gain more ground in the Unix world.
  • by kerskine (46804)
    Best of luck to the monkey boys @ Ximian


    Let's not forget the Monkey Girls as well!!

  • bugs (Score:2, Funny)

    by Thng (457255)
    Best of luck to the monkey boys @ Ximian squashing any last minute arrivals.

    I assume Taco means bugs. Hasn't he ever been to a zoo? monkeys don't squash bugs... they pick them off each other and eat them. I bet that'd be a weird room to be in...

    • Re:bugs (Score:2, Funny)

      by luge (4808)
      At one point, I considered having my business cards say 'Chief Monkey Groomer' for just that reason :)
  • Flogged (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MindStalker (22827)
    I know I'll get flogged for this. But, is there any chance of running this in win32?
    • by Sleepy (4551) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @11:32AM (#2538179) Homepage

      Yes, you could build and run Evolution under Windows, but currently ONLY under Cygwin + an X11 server (this is still local on the Windows box). A Cygwin setup can be accomplished by a newbie. See links below for running GNOME under Cygwin on a Windows box.

      Much of GNOME will not build natively, although the libraries themselves are designed to be portable, and GTK is working just fine as Win32 (see GIMP [gimp.org]).

      There are two kinds of Windows ports... X11 display based, and true "native" Win32. The former is easy to do; the latter is not yet possible (tho you can help!). It's likely that a "native GNOME for Windows" will be much easier, once GTK 2.0 is released.

      Links regarding running GNOME or compiling under a local X11 display:
      http://news.gnome.org/976323862/index_html [gnome.org]
      http://xfree86.cygwin.com/screenshots/ [cygwin.com]
      http://www.geocities.co.jp/SiliconValley/1596/en/c ygwin.html [geocities.co.jp]

      From the GNOME FAQ, regarding native GNOME for M$ Windows:
      http://canvas.gnome.org:65348/gnomefaq/html/x359.h tml [gnome.org]

      A lot of people want to port GNOME and GTK apps over to Windows. To conquer the enemy they say, you have to enter their territory, then sway them to your culture (OS). ;-)

      • Thanks, for the info, exactly what I was looking for :)
        Actually I think I'll see how much load my linux server can take, and try running it under remote X11.
      • Full agreement on the value of getting the GNOME and GTK apps going on Windows. If Evolution is to be a truly meaningful alternative to Outlook, it has to go where the Outlook users are.

        That said, I'd love to know whether Evolution would turn into a COM shell on Windows or whether all of Bonobo would have to be ported? Is Bonobo similar enough to COM these days that the various Evolution modules could be rebuilt as COM objects easily?

  • by sharkey (16670) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:52AM (#2537944)
    Last minute update:

    Evolution (any release) not permitted on computers owned or operated by schools or students in the State of Kansas.
  • by update() (217397) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:55AM (#2537967) Homepage
    I've tried Evolution and it works nicely, although I prefer a Eudora/KMail style interface for my own use.

    What I'm confused about is to what degree it does or doesn't work with Exchange. It's such an obvious Outlook clone and the web site brags about how it "works alongside messaging systems such as Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes." so I was hoping my wife could use it to replace the web interface to Exchange on her Solaris workstation. (It's not so bad when you have IE available, but it's clunky with Konqueror and awful in Communicator or Mozilla.)

    It seems, though, that Evolution supports vCard and the calendar standard (forget its name) but the Exchange mail support is limited to IMAP and POP. Is that right or am I missing something?

    By the way, for the people squabbling about Evolution vs KMail -- they're different things. I prefer the lighter interface without features I don't need but it's an apple and orange comparison.

  • by Ars-Fartsica (166957) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @10:56AM (#2537974)
    More and more these days, linux projects are rejecting the canons of classic unix design - keep it small, keep it simple, sensibly limit the tasks solved by the code, integrate well with other utilities using simple interfaces.

    Following these rules does not mean using mutt on the console - you can enjoy a GUI experience without creating bloatware. KMail is a great example of this - it reads and sends mail with a simple interface that does not attempt to solve an integrated problem.

    Unfortunately so many linux projects have become so obsessed with attracting Windows users (why? Do we really expect these people to switch over? Get real!) that linux environments are becoming as fractured as Windows.

    • Unfortunately so many linux projects have become so obsessed with attracting Windows users (why? Do we really expect these people to switch over? Get real!)

      It isn't about inducing Windows home users to switch over; it's about convincing management that they don't have to inflict Windows on us at work.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2001 @11:24AM (#2538135)
      Do we really expect these people to switch over?

      I did.

      Anyway... I understand your point (knowing more about Unix history now than I did then), but the question is where do you draw the line? less was much more than more many ages back, which in turn was much more than cat. Should they have not made it because it did more than solve an extremely simple problem? pine can send emails but also has an address book. That's a lot more than the mail command can do for you. Is that too much integration? Don't get me started on Emacs. So Evolution gives you mail, an address book, and a calendar (and the Summary page, aka My Evolution, but we'll ignore that for the purposes of this discussion). One could easily argue that a calendar needs to be with your email (suits will anyway - that's how they plan their lives - get an email, add the meeting discussed in the email to their calendar, set an alarm for it, then when it's almost time for their meeting and they're sitting there reading dirty joke emails from their buddies, the alarm kicks off and away they go to their meeting).

      What it comes down to is are you talking about a "simple task" from the perspective of a human or a computer? That was rhetorical, you were talking about a computer. The problem is computers weren't invented for the benefit of other computers. Computers were invented for the benefit of humans. The purpose of modern software design is to make using this extremely complex piece of science and technology easier for the masses who don't understand what resistors and capacitors are or what their bearing is on how the machine works. They just want it to do "things" - human "things" like send an email, not computer "things" like pipe the contents of that file to stdout. That is what Evolution is for. And I like it.

      End treatise.
    • Yes, there are plenty of gui mail clients that keep it simple, etc. But if you want a fully integrated groupware suite, where are you going to turn? Evolution isn't just about attracting Windows users. It's about giving current Linux users something they've been wanting for a long time. An integrated suite that just works. Evolution is a pleasure to use. I agree with Taco, this is one of the most important open source projects out there. KMail, and other simple mail clients do not fill the needs of many users or the needs of many corporate environments. Evolution is making steps in the right direction.
    • Actually I would say that in many ways that Evolution embraces these philosophies. 'Evolution' is really no more than a collection of utilities, all tied together. If you run Evolution you'll notice that there are about three or four different applications running tied into one shell. So while you might think of Evolution as 'one application' in reality it is not - it is a shell to use little applications that happen to be developed by the same developers (not all, but many).

      I know that these guys are big Bonobo fans, and I am too. What that creates is a return of the Unix design philosophy to the GUI. Small applications can be embedded to create larger applications. Look at GnuCash: you could say that all the really needed is a ledger to manage data. In someways that would be true. But then they attached it to Guppi, and, now you can graph your data too! Think of it like a pipe that is much easier to use :)

    • Unfortunately so many linux projects have become so obsessed with attracting Windows users

      Maybe they're not trying to attract Windows users. Maybe they would like programs as sophisticated as Outlook?

      Just because YOU like the design philosophy of Unix doesn't mean everyone that uses Linux must like (or adhere) to that philosophy.

      If you don't like it, don't use it. But obviously there is a DESIRE for this type of program in the Linux world, or it wouldn't have been created.
    • That was one of the Unix design philosophies. There was a point where the design philosophy was to include as many things as they could into one program, ie sendmail.

      Frankly, Evolution is a really nice program. Since 0.15 I have had no problems with it, not with Tasks or mail or anything, it just works. It crashed once on me with 0.15, but 0.16 hasn't crashed at all on me.

      Linux needs a group ware suite. Linux needs integration between components. Why, because it makes life easier for the user. Just as Konquerer has integrated web browsing with a graphical shell, what Nautilus is trying to do, or integrating compatibilities between the different aspects of office suite software. Some things need to be meshed because it makes sense.
    • More and more these days, linux projects are rejecting the canons of classic unix design - keep it small, keep it simple, sensibly limit the tasks solved by the code, integrate well with other utilities using simple interfaces.

      Actually, I think Evolution, Nautilus, and other newer Gnome apps really represent a revitalization of the Unix philosophy. If you take a look at Evolution, you'll see that all of its different functions are bonobo components. The same with the various views in Nautilus. They can be re-used by other applications.

      I've been really impressed by what's been done in Gnome with bonobo lately. For example, Galeon can use GTM as a download handler, getting all sorts of nice features (pause and resume downloads, e.g.) for free. Also, Galeon itself has been componentized, and Nautilus can now use Galeon for handling text/html documents. All this componentization means that each component can focus on one task and do it well, and applications can consist primarily of code to glue together components. This should sound familiar to anyone used to using shell scripts on Unix.

    • Not really -- this would be true, but Evolution's design is tightly compartmentalized. Let me pose a question to you: If an application uses a system such as Bonobo rather than the traditional pipes and such to integrate separate components into a single unified whole, does this really make it any less integrated than those using the traditional (pipe-based) approach? Certainly, it makes for a more tightly integrated look-and-feel, which may lead to charges of bloatware by those not knowing that the object model is working under the covers; the actual design needs to be considered, though, before that charge can be said to have any substance.
  • Groupware? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hey! (33014) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @11:06AM (#2538021) Homepage Journal
    Is this really groupware, or just a nice e-mail client?

    Groupware should help people collaborate. For example, Lotus Notes has e-mail, calendar, sure, but it is primarily a general purpose platform for building applications that require managing documents as they move from person to person. E-mail is just another application built on the platform.

    Calling exchange groupware is kind of an exaggeration, and the attempts to create exchange-like open source "groupware" I've seen have been pale imitations of a pale imitation.

    Honestly, though, if this had just had a decent free shared group calendar it would be a big step forward.
  • NFS locking fixed? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jeff_bond (135948) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @11:14AM (#2538082) Homepage
    I looked through the change log, and found no mention of the NFS locking bug that you get when your home directory is an NFS mount (which is of course, a common setup on a company network).

    Does anyone know if this is fixed? It's such a basic problem that I can't believe it's been in there since version 0.8 or something. It wouldn't be so bad if evolution allowed you to specify where to put your mail store, but no, it doesn't.

    I bet this single problem alone prevents very many people from using it.

    Jeff
  • I'm not to new to the game of migration, considering my official title is "Integrator" here at work. So, my opinion on the new Gnome stuff is rather well received, to say the least.

    But, if I may, I would like to make a rather obvious observation. Does it seem that the Ximian group is doing what KDE'ers have been doing all along?

    What I mean by that, is the "Windows" look and feel intended for migration for current M$ users?

    I'm not slamming them for making stuff LOOK like M$ stuff, but more along the lines of a rather obvious change that seems to be going on, since the early days of gnome.

    KDE programmers from the 50,000 foot view on my end have ALWAYS intended for the look and feel to be comfortible for the Windows user to migrate or USE Linux + KDE fairly easily. Again, I'm NOT trying to slam either group. I love both of them.

    I really love Evolution, and its definately a viable solution to the security related stuff going on with my Outlook and Office products (which its like the cocaine habit I just can't kill, btw :)

    I will start using Evolution for email and integration with my current stuff, to try and fit in like I'm not a M$ user, but what can I say? I have to come out of the closest and admit that I am using Microsoft products at some point right?

    Good job Ximian! I like the stuff you guys are doing!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've used evolution here and there. I've found it to be a nice program. When I used the 0.9 version I found that there were still enough bugs to make me use kmail instead. Overall, I think it will make a great addition to any desktop.

    The only drawback that I can see is that it is written in C. I guess I just don't understand why anybody would write something new (unless it needed to be really compact) in a non-object-oriented language. It just seems like for the sake of bug-fixing and keeping the code clean that you'd want an OO approach.

    I'm not out to start a flamewar; I guess I just don't understand why a process-oriented language would be used for something this huge (other than the fact that the gnome-libs are C).

    Could anybody tell me why this is?
    • by Junta (36770) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @12:28PM (#2538408)
      First just a comment saying that C and OO approaches are not mutually exclusive. You can have an OO approach in C (as gtk does). It is ugly as hell, and really doesn't make things that much easier to maintain than traditional C code, but it is possible. Not really defending this, just saying OO can be implemented in practically any language, just some can do it better than others..

      As to why it is still in C++, I'll guess to make it consistent with the rst of Gnome (obvious) Why was Gnome done in C? Probably partially out of language bigotry. But some somehwat more valid reasons:
      1) Give programmers maximum choice. It is easier to call C libraries from C++ apps than vice-version. If it had been based in C++, the C wrappers would be needed for any functionality, while C++ can call native C code without problems (usually)
      2) A belief that C++ cannot be as fast as C. There is a little bit of overhead in C++, somewhat blown out of proportion by anti-C++ people, and therefore people think C++ is inefficient. Not really enough of a performance problem to justify this, but it is an explanation.
      3) To this day g++ has been wishy-washy with how C++ code should be compiled. With gcc-3, hopefully we are coming to the end of those days. libstdc++ has changed so many times in terms of ABI, that programs compiled for one distro have little hope of making it on another. For maximum binary and source portability, C code was, especially at the beginning of gnome, the only choice.

      There may be others, but these occur to me right off..
  • After two years of hard work and more than 700 thousand lines of code written...

    Why the devil does this thing require 700 thousand lines of code? In fact, why is everything related to GNOME so bloated and clunky?

    I've been following the development of GNOME for about two years. In my opinion, there is nothing original coming out of that project. They're trying to mimic Windows, and doing a really horrible job at it. (No, that's not a flame or troll. That's my opinion.) My desktops run X and IceWM. I don't run any so-called `desktop environment' because I prefer the command line. And because, when I investigated GNOME and gave it chances several times, it greatly disappointed me. Features? You can implement all the features of GNOME in a fraction of the code. I mean seriously guys, GNOME is more bloated than Emacs! Those `sleepless hackers' did a little TOO MUCH hard work. What happened to `tools, not policy' and the concept of actually doing things efficiently?

    After my several bad experiences with GNOME, I have decided that neither the `desktop' nor any component produced by that project have any place on my computers. Nice try, guys. But Microsoft already released the crap you're attempting to rip off. If I wanted slow, buggy, cumbersome and unnecessarily LARGE software, I'd use Windows.

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