Evolution (email client)

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Computing: Software: Evolution

Evolution is a FOSS email client for Linux. It also has a contact manager, calendar, and task manager; in general, it seems to be attempting to fill the niche created by Microsoft Outlook.

Evolution was acquired by Novell as part of their acquisition of Ximian in 2003.



Woozle 22:33, 24 October 2005 (EDT)

I would recommend Evolution over Microsoft Outlook (not that anyone's comparing, since Outlook is only on Windows and Evolution is only on Linux -- just as a way of explaining that it's not a bad program), but I just recently ran into a problem (and I seem to run into this problem, or something like it, in every email program I've tried) where the program simply stops being able to store additional emails, with no warning. My Inbox had reached exactly 1400 messages, and I suddenly realized I wasn't receiving any new emails (most of my email is directed to aliases which are forwarded to my POP3 and to Harena, so I was aware that messages were coming in which I was not receiving). I moved all my messages out of the Inbox (into a separate folder); after that, the Inbox properties showed 4798 messages with 1378 unread -- and no messages showing in the window at all. I checked the Inbox data file, and it was 194 MB. I "expunged" the Inbox; no change. I finally had to close Evolution (for about the half-dozenth time) remove the Inbox data files altogether (moved them to a different locaion on the drive), and when I re-started Evolution it created a new Inbox file and finally began to show new received messages. But all my email for the past few days is gone, except for Harena's copies.

A lot of the hassle of tracking down this problem would have been alleviated if Evolution kept a log of every message received, and what was done with it -- then I could have been sure that the messages whose arrival I was seeing (in the send/receive dialog) weren't being stored somewhere funny by one of the many filters I have set up. The filters had never caused trouble before, but then neither had emails refused to show up in the Inbox; I didn't know where to start looking. However, I don't know of any email programs that do such a thing, so I can't really fault Evolution for not doing it.

Another annoying feature is the dialog box which pops up whenever it has trouble connecting; errors should appear in a log window, with perhaps a popup being optionally available. It's not clear if it continues to check mail after this, but the dialog doesn't seem to go away, so either it continues displaying the dialog even though the problem is gone, or else it stops trying.

This leaves me more determined than ever, though, to write my own program (currently in progress: HyperMail).