Day 2: Conferences: The Gnome Groupware Platform

If I had any pictures, they'd be here :-)
(I came home late at night after the MandrakeSoft party, setup my camera to download pictures before going to bed, and only realized later the next day that my laptop ran out of disk space during the download :-( ). That said, the few screenshots I had weren't too good anyway...

Miguel didn't really give a talk on Gnome, he focused on the mail issue today on unix. Many of the tools of yesterday don't really scale with today's flow of mail (can you say mailx :-)). In addition to the tools not necessarily scaling, while the user interface is the most important part for the average user, many unix mail tools are lacking in that area.

Evolution grew out of desperation and Michael looked at the typical problems with Email today.
He noticed hat people have the following messages left in their inbox:

They all share something in common: they are all pending items, and archiving them would be bad.

Problems with filing:

So, what do people do? but none of those really works...

The solution is virtual folders where messages appear in multiple places at the same time (e.g. friends, company mail, and tasks).
Basically virtual folders are created on the fly as the need arises and messages can appear in any of them as long as they match the folder query.
You can then integrate that with a task list and calendar so that such Emails can be entered in them right away.

So, evolution is built of reusable bonobo components, it supports most of the existing standards for communication and its user interface is modeled after existing, known to be useable products.

They then gave a demo of Evolution which was quite funny since the laptop that had all the data crashed, and the backup one they demoed on only had one message, which rendered the whole thing not very useful :-)

Evolution has an outlook-like interface and offers nice features like on the fly spell checking, HTML Email, and calendering just like outlook. Unfortunately, it doesn't support Outlook viruses :-)
Evolution does look like a really cool mailer, and virtual folders seem very interesting. The code runs but it's still missing features and it's not quite ready for production use yet.

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99/08/13 (05:22): Version 1.0