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Slouching Toward Galeon 1.0 - page 2

GNOME at LinuxWorld Expo

  • February 2, 2001
  • By Michael Hall

Ximian's booth took a turn from the staid look it had at COMDEX in November by providing faux zebra seats and (plush) monkeys hanging from a simulated jungle canopy. Within, the Ximian folks on hand were demonstrating the e-mail client/PIM Evolution (which recently began a daily release cycle) and Red Carpet, a package management and installation tool slated for its first public release on Monday. I spoke to Red Carpet developers Ian Peters, Joe Shaw, and Vladimir Vukicevic about what we should expect to see. I got a hands-on demonstration of the software, which adds some nice usability touches for end users, and if all goes well with Monday's release it will be featured here next week. It looks like it will be a good download bet, and I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Ximian is also gearing up for release 0.9 of Evolution, and daily builds were recently introduced. The last time I took a look it had come a long way but I wasn't quite ready to use it as my primary mail client, preferring to stick to tried-and-true Mutt. It's come even further since, and going into LinuxWorld I began to use it daily for mail, despite a few stability issues and some come-and-go features (like gnome-pilot integration).

There are a few tips you can use to begin to work Evolution into your e-mail regimen, especially if you aren't quite ready to begin the work of translating all the sweat equity you've built up in your existing client or labyrithine procmail setup.

For my own setup, which is built around procmail and imap, I added a simple recipe at the top of my first recipe file that looks like this:

 

:0c
evo-backup.spool

This is a simple "clone" recipe that puts a copy of each mail you receive into a backup mbox file. You can use this collection point to either keep all your mail safe from potential problems (though I've never lost a message to Evolution), or provide a single mail source for Evolution, in which case you can continue to use your old client as you begin the process of translating recipes to filters at your leisure.

Combined with procmail and imap, Evolution is nicely organized out of the box, too, since messages are pre-sorted into their folders and displayed under Evolution. My current setup is using this "hybrid approach", and Evolution's solid virtual folders (which allows for all sorts of organization of messages without moving them out of their original folders) provide added sorting tweaks. My own favorite is one that shows all the messages from my most-watched folders that arrived in the last 30 minutes.

Some have also expressed confusion over how to get rid of unwanted folders in Evolution, since the developers have left a "delete folder" option out for the moment. If you want to remove a folder and don't mind losing all the mail in it forever, visit ~/evolution/local, look for the directory named after the folder you want to remove, and delete it. Keep in mind that you'll lose all the mail in that folder, though, and that Evolution currently removes all mail from the source file or directory. In other words, don't delete anything thinking you can get it back from its source later on. You can't.

Despite the stability hangups Evolution still faces, it should work well for most with simple to moderate needs, or even patient users with advanced setups. I'm happy to use it with a mail volume that approaches and sometimes exceeds 500 messages a day.

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