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Evolution 0.99, Release Candidate Out 443

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2001 @11:26AM (#2537799)
    sylpheed/kmail are probably much easier to use for the ordinary user.

    evo has features that 99.9% of users don't use.
  • Re:cool (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Cheesy Fool ( 530943 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @11:26AM (#2537803) Homepage
    AFAIK most people only use Outlook to talk to exchange to use the calender features (and whatever else). So unless Evolution can talk to exchange its not gonna help much getting rid of Windows.
  • by kerskine ( 46804 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @11:40AM (#2537882) Homepage Journal
    Best of luck to the monkey boys @ Ximian

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

  • by tmark ( 230091 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @11:41AM (#2537893)
    Linux is and has always been a server OS and I find it rather amusing that a simple pretty GUI email application is being crowned as "One of the most important projects in the open source world today"

    It is amusing. Many die-hard Linux advocates claim that the fact that MS still holds the desktop for the foreseeable future is irrelevant. Yet the way projects like this are being touted whenever there is some progress made suggests inconsistency. As with most chauvinisms, particular points are relevant only to the extent that one's own biases are being advanced.
  • Re:Bloated....? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by miguel ( 7116 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @11:42AM (#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.

  • by Ars-Fartsica ( 166957 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @11:56AM (#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.

  • Groupware? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @12:06PM (#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.
  • by spellcheckur ( 253528 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @12:10PM (#2538054)
    This is the beauty of having a variety of software products to choose from.

    If kmail does the job for you, beautiful! Use kmail.

    Competing packages, like kmail and evolution (to the extent that they 'compete') are good for the linux community. Different environments ensure that more users find the functionality they're looking for.

    I always find it troubling the seemingly militant conflicts between hard core KDE users and the pro-Gnome users. Both seem to think there's only one real solution to the desktop "problem," but a loss of either would be a significant blow to the Linux community.

    As for the people who say that linux is a "server" OS, and that we should abandon the desktop battle, consider what losing the (admittedly small) group of people who use linux for a primary user OS means... a larger user base and development of desktop apps inherently means more attention to your OS, and more resources into making the server aspect better. If Linux goes server-only, there will be considerably fewer resources sunk into developing the OS as a whole.

  • 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 @12:24PM (#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.
  • Re:bloat (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jilles ( 20976 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @12:29PM (#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 gouldtj ( 21635 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @12:35PM (#2538198) Homepage Journal
    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 :)

  • Not so quick... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FallLine ( 12211 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @12:36PM (#2538204)
    score 3 : ignorance
    They should port it to mac to waste their time. No, but seriously, I am sure mac users would like having a nice email client, but not even someone with half the IQ of a dead squirel would believe that there is a 10X market for MACs over Linux, there isn't even 1/10 the market for MACs.

    Check yourself son.
    Prove it. Linux _might_ have a larger installed base, but even those statistics do not say that it is overtaking Macintosh as a desktop OS. In fact, there are many reasons to believe this is untrue.

    1) Linux is, and has certainly, been focused as a server OS. Most of those official statistics may be pure server installations.

    2) Even those that use Linux as a desktop may be using it for the novelty/coolness/geek factor, rather than for productivity.

    3) Many of the statistics are based on numbers of downloads and other measures, hardly proof that it's really being used.

    4) Linux lacks a lot of the quality software that users demand. Thus I find it hard to believe that most people can get away with, never mind prefer, using Linux in lieu of Windows or Macintosh.

    5) If Linux's desktop marketshare is so small, why are so few commercial companies porting their desktop software to Linux?

    6) There are actually official statistics from IDC and others that show Linux is still a notch or two below Macintosh as a "client" (read desktop) OS. [I don't think they tell the whole picture regards to my other comments]

    FYI, I'm a Linux/*Nix/Windows user, not Mac and I have more than half an IQ of a live squirel even. Imagine that!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2001 @12:56PM (#2538271)
    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 sabre ( 79070 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @01:24PM (#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 []

  • GroupWare? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2001 @01:52PM (#2538551)
    Don't get me wrong, I think it is fabulous that Ximian is doing this and I can't wait for Evolution to go 1.0. I wish they would port it to KDE too but, that's a whole other kettle of fish.

    But, can this really be called groupware? Granted it is very much like Outlook, hopefully somewhat more worm resistant. But, Outlook and in my mind Evolution is not groupware. These are email clients or PIMs not groupware.

    To be a true groupware application there needs to be a backend server. Something to centralize the calendars and support the other applications within. It is on these backend servers that you build and run your own groupware apps or applets. This is what Exchange or Notes does.

    It is Exchange and Notes that are the groupware applications, not Outlook. And, unless I am missing something, Evolution is just an email/PIM app.

    If I am wrong please let me know but, the way that I see it, Linux still doesn't have a good groupware application, except for Notes.
  • Re:Need for Ximian (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2001 @01:52PM (#2538557)
    > I'm behind a firewall. And it doesn't let me use
    >Red Carpet.

    So how do you access the web then??

    red-carpet has a proxy setting.
  • by pherret ( 199762 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @02:35PM (#2538945)
    Evolution, in all it's glory, has the potential to be the best email/calendar/etc (read: Outlook clone). With all these email/calendar/etc software products (KMail, phpGroupware just to name two), the open source community doesn't have a replacement for an exchange server. The "Exchange Replacement" HOWTO doesn't cut it. IMAP is great for email, but what about group calendaring (besides passing iCal's back and forth).

    How difficult would it be to implement a calendar-type server using an IMAP server? Maybe an iCal extension for your favorite IMAP server.

    The ideal software product would even support Microsoft Outlook clients. I'm sure you could write an Outlook driver to hook into the server (I know HP's groupware product,forgot the name, did).
  • by chetohevia ( 109956 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @06:35PM (#2540183)
    Hi. I'd like to defend my statement and also the company I work for. As a Slashdot reader, I'm sure you are familiar with the statement "My personal political beliefs do not represent those of my employer." Well, that applies here. I'm a free individual person and I have my beliefs. I'm a technical writer and I have a job. Not related.

    I am, for the record, not an imbecile. I am also a patriot and I believe deeply in the freedoms that the United States of America offers me as its citizen. I believe especially in my freedom of expression, and my freedom to disagree with the policy of my government, and my freedom to hold pacifist views.

    What are those beliefs that I am trying to express on my home page?
    I believe that patriotism does not mean that I agree that carpetbombing Afghanistan is exactly the right thing to do. I don't see how B-52s killing Afghans helps the people who died in the WTC attacks.

    My statement was not in any way a defense of the terrorists. I'm just trying to point out that people who are surprised by the fact that the US is disliked are missing a great deal of history and context.

    To really parse that statement we'll need to define some terms.

    By "senseless" I mean to say that it would not be possible to comprehend why such an attack occurred. Because we can look at the motivations of the attackers (a percieved undermining of their culture and religion by the US) and understand what they were, we cannot call the attack senseless.

    Their reason was not a *good* reason to blow up a building. There is no good reason to blow up a building and kill thousands of people. Which is why I don't think that the US should be doing it either.

    Now, let's talk cowardice. A coward is someone who shrinks from pain and danger, who avoids the call of duty. Well, these hijackers may have heard some twisted duty call, but they were not afraid to die. They were not cowards. You don't hear a lot about those people. You hear about brave heroes, not brave villans. But these were brave villans.

    So, if you still think I'm stupid, fine. I'm perfectly willing to have you dislike or disrespect me. More upsetting is the idea that you would turn down perfectly good GPL'ed software just because you disagree with one employee's views.

    If you disagree with ESR about gun control, you don't have to stop using his software. If you disagree with RMS about free love and private property, you can still appreciate emacs. So, Red Carpet and Evolution are still great software, even if you don't like the politics of the person who writes the manuals.


    Aaron Weber
    Technical Writer
    Ximian, Inc

A bug in the code is worth two in the documentation.