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Ximian

Ximian Evolution's New Clothes 395

Lispy writes "Looks like everyone's favorite graphical email client, Ximian Evolution, will get a new interface with the upcoming release. I found a posting on the Evolution hackers bulletin board which leads to some mocked-up screenshots (here: calendar, tasks, mail, contacts and one of the shrunken navbar). Although this is mostly eyecandy, this could be the right time to make yourself heard. What do you think about a maturing Evolution that goes its own way and leaves the Outlook-like interface behind?"
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Ximian Evolution's New Clothes

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  • no spam filter? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <tomstdenis@gmail . c om> on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:21PM (#6436768) Homepage
    Quickly checked their feature list. No automatic spam filter [as in Mozilla].

    No sale. I live off that moz filter [since it catches basically all spam I get].

    Tom
    • Re:no spam filter? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dracvl ( 541254 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:32PM (#6436901) Homepage

      One word.

      POPFile [sourceforge.net].

      You'll love it, I promise ;)

      • I like the idea of popfile, but can I set it up on a remote server so that I can use it to filter the mail I read through mutt? Right now I'm using mutt+bogofilter/procmail(=happiness :) because I want all my mail in one place without having to duplicate addressbooks, procmail recipies, etc at both home and work. If I can filter it on the server, or even on the client side (but still leaving the mail on the server) that'd be sweet. I'll have to look into it.
    • Re:no spam filter? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mr.Ned ( 79679 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:43PM (#6437012)
      Evolution isn't targeting your demographic. Evolution is the complete Outlook replacement. Most corporations will have a server-side spam filtering set up; while an integrated Bayesian filtering mechanism might function better, in practice it's probably not worth the individual user's time to set up and train.

      A quick look thorugh the official Q & A shows a simple, local SpamAssassin integration HOWTO.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:24PM (#6436797)
    Now that is evolved.
  • clothes? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by elmegil ( 12001 )
    Maybe they could make other things work right before worrying about the look and feel? Like the IMAP implementation? I just resolved today that I *am* going to get around to writing my own email client after the bloody thing stopped working with my IMAP INBOX for no apparent reason, and with no apparent fix in sight. And no, email clients by browser makers are not worth a damn so they're not an option either.
    • Maybe they could make other things work right before worrying about the look and feel? Like the IMAP implementation? I just resolved today that I *am* going to get around to writing my own email client after the bloody thing stopped working with my IMAP INBOX for no apparent reason, and with no apparent fix in sight.

      Wouldn't it be easier to fix their implementation than to write a whole new client from scratch? That is sort of the point of Free Software; if you don't like the implementation, change it.

      • Re:clothes? (Score:2, Informative)

        by elmegil ( 12001 )
        If I'm going to write it myself, it's going to be cross platform, rather than dependant on the GNOME mess. I want an email client I can run on my wife's mac, my Solaris box, my Linux box, my PC. Evolution was only acceptable as an alternative to any such client that I like (no, I didn't like Mulberry much either), and was only used for work email on Solaris and sometimes Linux.

        Beyond that, I've always found that other people's code is almost always an enormous hairball that takes longer to understand than

        • I'm writing my own client too. I started about 2 years ago. Don't underestimate the amount of work involved. IMAP alone can be a real pain the arse. Still, I wish you luck. I've had a lot of fun working on mine.
    • And no, email clients by browser makers are not worth a d*** so they're not an option either.

      I use Mozilla Mail for my IMAP inbox needs. It does everything I want and more. Spell check, spam filtering, easy folder, easy searching, color labeling, etc etc. I love it for business and personal use, and it's open all day for both uses.

      Point is, maybe you should give them another chance, because it doesn't sound like you've used it in a while.
    • Re:clothes? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kaa ( 21510 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:50PM (#6437085) Homepage
      I just resolved today that I *am* going to get around to writing my own email client after the bloody thing stopped working...

      Zawinski's Law: Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:25PM (#6436806)
    Although Evolution is comparable to Outlook in many ways, it is not for everybody. Take fundamental Christians, for example. To them, Evolution doesn't exist. :)
    • by mblase ( 200735 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:52PM (#6437107)
      Actually, most fundamentalist Christians who are informed about such things will say that it's only macroevolution which they disbelieve. Which, I suppose, means you have to execute it using a mouse click instead of a keyboard shortcut.
    • Be sure to put them back where you found them.

      Fundamental Christians are very pipcky concerning food and due to their constant bible-thumping, they make awful pets.

      The bible DOES read "Go forth and procreate" somewhere... Or something along that at least; might be a bucces with Christian fundamentalist women! The bad thing of this is, is that your future stepbrother might also be your competitor...

  • Great (Score:3, Troll)

    by Bob Abooey ( 224634 ) <bababooey@techie.com> on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:25PM (#6436807) Homepage Journal
    I'm all for eye candy but...

    I've been using Evolution for the past couple years and I'm giving some thought to making the move back to Kmail or even to ..gulp... Mozilla for my email client because Evolution is just butt slow. Butt slow. I'm using version 1.2 that comes with Linux 9.0 and it's slow. I really hope they are working on optimizing the code as well as making it look good because as it stands now you're not going to wow anyone who is using Outlook (which isn't blazing fast by any means) into switching.

    • It comes with Linux 9.0?

      Which version of Linux are you using... there may be a more recent release that'll run faster (certainly the version installed with Ximian desktop seems faster to me)
    • Re:Great (Score:2, Funny)

      by int2str ( 619733 ) *
      "Linux 9.0", eh?

      You're not gonna get much love around here, Bob. What is it, RedHat 9, Mandrake 9.0?

      The current stable Linux version is 2.4.20. Don't confuse the Linux kernel with your GNU/Linux distribution of choice.

      Cheers,
      André
    • I'm using version 1.2 that comes with Linux 9.0 and it's slow.

      maybe it's that Dell XP computer you are using or are you still using the Dell 2000 computer?

      get a clue... ther eis NOTHING that is called Linux9.0 it's REDHAT or SLACKWARE or DEBIAN or best of all for newbies Mandrake 9.1

      this small tidbit tells me that you dont even use it. Evolution is perfectly speedy on a REally old and out of date Pentium 866 with a tiny 1 gig of ram. (I know how dare I use such slow and outdated hardware.... my gawd..
      • Re:Great (Score:3, Informative)

        by Jellybob ( 597204 )
        Damn, you almost sounded intelligent until you spouted off about "DEBIAN" 9.0 - if you're going to be picky about version numbers, you should really check you're not 6 releases ahead of yourself (and that's only if you count a RC release as a full release).
      • Re:Great (Score:3, Informative)

        Well, since we're being nit-picky, there's no such beast as a "Pentium 866". The fastest Pentium available is 200 (yes, there's the 266 MHz, but that's a Pentium MMX).

        If you are going to correct people, at least be correct yourself. :)
  • by Ranx ( 28829 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:25PM (#6436811) Homepage
    The Outlook interface was bad anyway. I can understand making an UNIX-version of Outlook to make it easier for Windows-users to migrate to UNIX, but from an usability standpoint, it's unbelievable.

    Even Microsoft has come to understand this: the upcoming Outlook will be quite different.
  • I think it's great that they are moving it beyond being an Outlook-alike. Why limit yourself to copying Microsofts mediocre offerings? Go above and beyond.
    • Re:Finally (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mblase ( 200735 )
      I think it's great that they are moving it beyond being an Outlook-alike.

      Agreed. IANALU (Linux User), but one of my biggest complaints about Linux software in general has been its inevitable tendency to imitate Microsoft's graphical interface first, and Apple's second. Anytime a project like Evolution or Mozilla is able to break rank and develop its own interface, it's a Good Thing, because it proves the software is mature enough to improve on someone else's interface design.
  • by leomekenkamp ( 566309 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:27PM (#6436832)

    Those new clothes might get burned pretty fast if their server keeps on getting hit by the slashdot effect; please try google's cache [google.com] instead.

  • As long as they don't give me my Emacs-style keybindings back, I don't care about no eyecandy!
  • I like the interface already. I'm all for changing it as long as it doesn't run any slower. It takes forever to open on my k62-450.

    I just wish I could see what the images look like....mirrors anyone? If anyone can get through....
  • Well (Score:3, Interesting)

    by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:29PM (#6436856)
    What do you think about a maturing Evolution that goes its own way and leaves the Outlook-like interface behind?"

    Not much since the site is /.ed though I'm hoping it will be nice :) My main concern is whether they'll get any kind of automatic address completion like there is in Eudora or the Mozilla address bar, contacts are nice but a bit of a pain to set up and they're still not as nice as autocompletion.
  • by dlosey ( 688472 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:30PM (#6436869)
    While it would be nice to try and surpass Outlook in useability, is that something worth trying at this stage in the game? If you are trying to convince a company to use a new email client, you want to ensure them that they will not have to retrain their employees. With Ximian, they do not have a large enough user base IMHO. If I were them, I would wait until I had a little bit more market share before trying a move like that. The general office worker usually can not deal with huge software changes without retraining. I know many workers who just follow the same list of commands/buttons for checking there email, without knowing what all the commands/buttons do.
  • Maybe it will put to rest those who say open source projects just emulate the work of "innovative" closed source projects.

    Then again, probably not...
  • Outlook 2003 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ikewillis ( 586793 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:32PM (#6436893) Homepage
    In Outlook 2003, Microsoft is also abandoning the current Outlook interface in favor of a "panes" driven interface. [vt.edu]

    Looking at these screen shots, Ximian has opted for a toolbar-driven approach. This seems like a reasonable way to go, considering that it's a methodology familiar to the majority of computer users.

    I think any frequent user of Outlook learned to despise the side navbar. I'm glad that both Evolution and Outlook 2003 will be abandoning it.

    • Re:Outlook 2003 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by guanxi ( 216397 )
      Microsoft is also abandoning the current Outlook interface in favor of a "panes" driven interface.

      Isn't that straight out of the OS X finder? Though, of course, Apple probably got their idea from Xerox.
      • Re:Outlook 2003 (Score:3, Informative)

        by Jon Abbott ( 723 )
        Isn't that straight out of the OS X finder? Though, of course, Apple probably got their idea from Xerox.
        Yes, but Apple seems to be adopting the sidebar idea for Finder that both Evolution and Outlook are dropping... I just hope my mom's head doesn't explode with all of these UI changes taking place.
    • by fava ( 513118 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:46PM (#6437049)
      Anyone notice in the screen shot listed above most of the email is msn spam?

    • Re:Outlook 2003 (Score:5, Informative)

      by quakeroatz ( 242632 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @04:01PM (#6437201) Journal
      I think any frequent user of Outlook learned to despise the side navbar.

      Any "frequent" user would know to:
      1. Right Click Navbar
      2. Select Hide Outlook Bar

      Sometimes even Linux users need to RTFM, the one from Microsoft.
  • by ccano ( 22282 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:32PM (#6436895) Homepage
    The calendar views in Outlook and Evolution are horrible. It's hard to distinguish the demarcations between months/weeks etc, and it's just very non-user friendly IMHO.

    My current hopes and dreams are on a often-forgotten Mozilla Calendar, which I'm hoping will find the attention of hte masses and get that last-mile work it so desperately needs to become my permanent calendar...
    • We can start doing that as soon as Moz Calendar can properly install and register itself. There are still tons and tons of people who can't get it to install properly, especially on Linux, and its a bug that appears to have been ongoing for 2+ years?

      The bug in question is Bug 134432 (bugzilla doesn't like direct links from Slashdot)

      Sorry I don't mean to rant but I would love to try the calendar program and everytime I've installed it I run into this bug (4 times now different versions etc.)
  • I mean think about it, to REPLACE the outlook interface, you need to offer an alternative that is not only stronger, better and faster, but one that the computer illiterate (and marginally literate) will use. If you think about it, we are still the minority and are as happy with ximian as mutt, but can we assume the same of 99% of the user base? Absolutely not!!! We need to get them addicted to our interface with transparent innovations before we go to the visible (and potentially intimidating) ones.

    In mos
  • Tabs not buttons (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:39PM (#6436968)
    This was posted to gnomedesktop.org last week.

    I did a quick mockup of what this would look like with tabs instead of buttons [martianrock.com].

    Some of the reasons for using tabs instead of buttons:

    • Custom tabs - User can create new tabs for access to frequently used views (replaces the shortcuts)
    • Tabs can be renamed - Allows user to specify a name that is more meaningful to them
    • Tabs can be dragged - If Anjuta2 style containers are used tags can be dragged to be reordered or even dragged off the shell into it's own application window.
    • Less screen area waisted - tabs allow clean navigation without resorting to taking up a chunk of UI
    --
    J5
    • Re:Tabs not buttons (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mournblade ( 72705 )
      That's pretty sweet. I was thinking a while back that i'd love to be able to run the "other" Mozilla Apps (Mail, Calendar, etc) as Tabs in the browser window.
    • by cpeterso ( 19082 )

      Your mockup looks very nice. I agree that tabbed "views" seem better. Less screen real estate and they help visualize the data "views".

      I used to work with one of the dev leads for Microsoft Outlook. If you think the Outlook UI is crowded or difficult now, you should hear the ideas that Outlook PMs proposed that were shot down! One proposal was similar to your tabbed mockup, but instead of one row of tabs along the top, there were THREE DIMENSIONS of tabs! There were tabs along the top, along the side, and
  • Just an FYI, If you look closely at the snapshots they are identical (almost) to the way Entourage looks (the Apple version of Outlook).

    So in reality, they are not moving away from Outlook. They are just updating to keep up with it.
  • by mao che minh ( 611166 ) * on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:41PM (#6436991) Journal
    I gave up on Evolution when I tried the version that shipped with Red Hat 7.3. I also took one look at Kmail at the time and decided to pass.

    Mozilla Mail was overall faster, easier to configure, far less bulky, and part of the browser (lighter). It's spam filtering capability is also a must - as is it's security and presentation options.

    The only thing I liked about Evolution was the little configurable main page, where you could put in your favorate news-feeds or weather forecasts and what not. It also crashed harder then Outlook on a p133 with 16MB of RAM and Windows 98 First Edition.

    • part of the browser (lighter)

      I thought it just made the browser heavier. Seems pretty pointless to me; email isn't a web page, shouldn't be a web page, and the mozilla/netscape/whatever browser based email clients I've seen all suck.

    • I gave up on Evolution when I tried the version that shipped with Red Hat 7.3. I also took one look at Kmail at the time and decided to pass. Mozilla Mail was overall faster, easier to configure, far less bulky, and part of the browser (lighter). It's spam filtering capability is also a must - as is it's security and presentation options. The only thing I liked about Evolution was the little configurable main page, where you could put in your favorate news-feeds or weather forecasts and what not. It also
  • Not yet ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by BillsPetMonkey ( 654200 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:44PM (#6437023)
    When evolution supports multibyte characters - that's when it will surpass outlook. Seriously - I use Japanese and English email and as soon as I tried migrating to Evolution all my email just &#"%"#%\'"&#%\%"'&%!>('$
  • Than Lotus Notes's Interface. Oh the horror, the humanity!
  • Ximian Evolution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by harryk ( 17509 ) <harryk20022002&yahoo,com> on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:49PM (#6437078) Homepage
    Will be great for moving people away from MS desktops. Coupled with Abiword or even OpenOffice is really giving me goosebumps.

    One way that I'm encouraged by alot of the desktop push is by companies (some) moving to browser based applications. The company that I work for is developing their next application to be completely browser based. While this is no big deal, the interesting part, is that it 'should' work well with mozilla, thus paving the way for full linux desktops. NICE
  • Win32/Cygwin port (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Stonent1 ( 594886 ) <stonent.stonent@pointclark@net> on Monday July 14, 2003 @03:49PM (#6437079) Journal
    Has anyone ported this to Win32 or Cygwin yet?
  • Evolution, as is, is one of the few "killer apps" that promotes the adoption of Linux on the desktop at home and in businesses IMHO. From a corporation's perspective going from Outlook to Evolution as far as users are concerned is easy. It seems the developers are talking about coding away major similarities between Outlook and Evolution to make life easier for themselves, not to help the average user. And it definitely doesn't help with the transition to Linux. I think it's a real shame.
  • by Garion911 ( 10618 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @04:01PM (#6437196) Homepage
    I haven't researched it recently, but what would be a kinda killer app for me is roaming addressbooks... From what I read, older versions of Netscape had this feature, but no one supports it now..

    I would really like to be able to sync my palm, and have the email address available on my web-email.. Or on my GUI email client (Sylpheed).. Or in OpenOffice..

    Yes, LDAP will do alot of that, but I would also like per user.. I want my own roaming addressbook, and my girlfriend can have her own.. ANd being able to have a global addressbook would be bonus..

    Is there anything else out there, besides Netscape Roaming, and is supported by a few email clients?

  • Windows port? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Ah, a decent Outlook replacement. Maybe I won't have to suffer with these OE bugs any more. And when I use Linux I can stay with the same client. Maybe I'll even switch my laptop to Linux if I can do that.

    Er, nevermind, Ximian doesn't care about us Windows users.
  • Multiple Calendars (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FU_Fish ( 140910 )
    I'm really hoping that multiple calendars makes it into the next realease. This is one feature that I've wanted for a long time and have never had the time to code in myself. I guess time will tell. Thanks to those of you who work on evolution, it's a great product.
  • Whither WCAP? (Score:3, Informative)

    by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @04:04PM (#6437227) Homepage Journal
    One of the things holding back open source groupware is the absence of stuff that does true client/server group calendaring and scheduling. This shouldn't be the case -- the Netscape/iPlanet/SunONE calendar server has been talking WCAP for ages, and the calendar client in Netscape 4.7 spoke WCAP fluently. The protocol is well-documented [sun.com]. So why hasn't Ximian stepped up to the plate and implemented it?
  • #1 on every email client programmers list needs to be a universal plugin ability for spam capture and deletion. The server admins are NOT getting the job done where it should be so we are forced to use client side spam filtering. the ONLY workable solution right now is for Mozilla.

    Let's add to that squishing the bugs, making it faster, and finding improvements. I dont want my email client to burtn CD's consult the CDDB when ripping to OGG or allow me to edit non-linear video... get rid of the "features"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2003 @04:52PM (#6437774)
    I have a mirror / cache of the mockup screenshots. Not all of them are up there yet but I'll put them up as soon as I get them

    evo2_contacts.png [usask.ca]
    evo2_calendar.png [usask.ca]
    evo2_mail.png [usask.ca]
    evo2_tasks.png [usask.ca]
    evo2_navbar_shrunk.png [usask.ca]
  • LDAP support (Score:3, Insightful)

    by po_boy ( 69692 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @04:57PM (#6437814) Homepage
    I wonder if they'll allow me to specify my LDAP contacts database as my default source with this new eye candy. Currently, I have to make new contacts in my own database and then move them to the LDAP server.
  • No S/MIME (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bivaughn ( 235462 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:42PM (#6438165) Homepage
    Evolution/Connector would certainly be a killer app for me and allow me to move away from Windows/Outlook, but without S/MIME support, it's a no-go. Lots of financial institutions are moving to S/MIME as well, not just computer firms like mine. Come on X guys, give us something more standardized than GPG!

    -biv
  • by macemoneta ( 154740 ) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @08:58AM (#6442168) Homepage
    The memos piece has been missing forever. Can't display memos synced from PDA. That's one Outlook feature I used heavily.

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