The Evolution of Evolution: Steady Progress
The last time I looked at Evolution, the hackers at Helix Code were putting it in front of the public as an actual release for the very first time. As a functioning mock-up, it showed a lot of promise, but there was no way I was letting it near my mail.
Since then, we're a few preview releases down the road and it's conceivable that if you're a GNOME fan who's curious about the project, and you can put up with the rough patches Evolution will still throw at you, you could probably start using it today on at least a limited basis. I did for several days last week using the last preview release (0.6), and played with it some more after building it from CVS.
A quick tip, before we progress:
Because components of Evolution will still die from time to time, and because there are a lot of processes at work on the back end of the program, it's important to have a clean shutdown of an ailing instance of the software. Evolution's hackers have provided a script that can be run from the command line. It puts itself in your path at install, so if you find Evolution misbehaving, open up an xterm and type killev. It terminates all the program's processes. If you don't use this, its behavior can be a bit unpredictable upon restart.
Getting and Building Evolution 0.6
A tarball of the release is available directly from the Helix Code preview page. The page also contains some links to other packages you'll need in addition to the base development libraries shipped with the Helix GNOME distribution.
Binaries for a variety of distributions are available from Helix Code via the GNOME update program, by pointing it at the Evolution preview site instead of the main Helix Code archives. You can also get at them via ftp. Debian users can add the following line to /etc/apt/sources.list to retrieve Evolution via apt-get:
deb http://spidermonkey.helixcode.com/evolution/distributions/Debian ./
apt-get evolution will pull down the program and any
dependencies it may have.