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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thunderbird --> Evolution

I finally decided to migrate all my mails to evolution. I like Thunderbird, but the problem there is the poor integration into gnome and some bugs in the calendar (especially with google calendars). I hope that the Thunderbird development will continue and maybe put some effort in integrating Thunderbird into gnome.

The migration took me some days...the first step was to get all my pop mails from my main freemail account into gmail where I can get them via imap. Gmail is really nice to aggregate various mail accounts because it can get your mails via pop from every server you want!

Just be careful not to forward all the messages you get on gmail to the account you want to import :D You will get some nice messages from google that they are sorry, but they have given up because of a mail loop. I guess the message is worth doing it anyway ;)

Some thoughts about evolution:
What I like about evolution is the build in calendar and how Evolution integrates into gnome. Thats really great.

But I'm a little bit disappointed by Evolutions ui. I am used to Thunderbird and it could be that I just need some time to get used to Evolution, but as a "first user" the ui and the menus are quite confusing.

One example is the creation of a new appointment. I've never seen a bigger button-salad: The "Save", "Print" and "Close" buttons are somehow "grouped" together. There is a toggle button ("Show time as busy") in between of some normal buttons and the "Alarms" button opens a new window which uses 7/10 of the space for the "custom" alarm which is only one of the options in the dropdown list (and maybe the most rarely used one).

Another example is the compose mail window: half of the space of the window is used for other things then the text of the email, which should be the central part of the ui.

The notification area at the bottom of the main window is confusing too, when there are more things going on you can watch the buttons and labels fly around like in one of the good old videos of the 90's.

I really don't want to piss someone off: I respect the work everyone did for Evolution and I do understand as well that it's not easy to design complex ui's.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

maybe you should have tried Thunderbird3 with this: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/9656

This gives you the basic Gnome integration and the UI will be light-years ahead of Evolution.

Bad timing for migration ;)

Anonymous said...

try thunderbird 3 beta 4. this version integrates very well with gnome and is super fast with imap compared with evolution which sucks

Tom said...

Evolution is very bad at handling IMAP or tons of mails (thousands)

This my friend won't be a long term solution :P

Pete said...

I'd love to switch to Evolution at some point. But alas, I can't get it to connect to any IMAP servers.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Evolution is in dire need of some UI love. Everything takes too much space on the screen, and there seems to be little logic behind the placement of the UI elements.

Every year I alternate between the Gnome-integration goodness of Evolution and the speed and UI of Thunderbird. Sadly, neither solution is optimal, although I'm willing to trade integration for usability.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to find any user able to use evolution comfertably. Evolution needs to split up the program to have a descent UI from each seperatly from the contrains of the main shell...

oliver said...

Nice thing is, now that you have all your mail imported to an IMAP server, you can switch between clients in no time :-) and even have TB and Evo running side by side.

Anonymous said...

The weirdest thing is, if you attaching a file to a new mail, it 'downloads' it (locally somehow!), and you have to wait until you can send the mail.

Not idea what is going on there :D

andre klapper said...

Some comments here are a bit weird to me. For me it works well with large IMAP boxes, and regarding the last comment I'd love to have the bug report URL of it. :-)

Matthew W. S. Bell said...

Evolution's GPG handling is very poor, to the point of having critical security failures. For example, when verifying a signature, it does not even bother to extract the identity of the signatory.

sebastian-s said...

I've switched from Thunderbird 2 to Evolution last year to have better GNOME integration. Most importantly the Adressbook with its automatic Birthday calendar and GPG out of the box (no addons).

Migrating my pop mail was easy once I've figured out how.
You have to move the mailbox folderstructure from .evolution to .thunderbird/profile/...
Then you need to make sure there are no spaces in folder names and no strange German letters like ä, ö,ü, ß.

I could not find the page where I got the exact details from. :-(

Ever since I've moved my ~500 MB of mail to Evolution I hat to live with frequent crashed file quickly flicking though the mails (deleting).
Strange error messages regarding IMAP on web.de freemail.
Way to small window size and field sizes in the mail filter dialogue.


I will definitely try the new Thunderbird and see how the integration is coming along in Ubuntu.

My feeling is that the GNOME devs should rather work on a Evolution 3.0 than on a GNOME 3.0 ...

Laurent Duperval said...

I wrote a quick blog on this also:

http://speakerinyou.blogspot.com/2009/10/improving-gnome-evolution.html

I tried evolution and I found that the IMAP integration worked very well, with my local IMAP server, as well as with Google IMAP.

I have logged some of the bugs I identified in my blog posting. However, since I wrote it, I have moved to Sylpheed Claws because Evolution crashes so often.

Claws is another beast with its own annoyances. I don't know if I'll stick around very long with it.

I'll probably be back to Thunderbird again, once a stable build for Karmic-64bit is available. I'm hoping that all the performance issues I have seen will have disappeared by then.

Anonymous said...

Now that you've switched to IMAP, you might seriously consider giving a mail client like mutt a try.

adamwill said...

I've been using Evolution with very large mail boxes (there's about 2GB of mail in total on my personal mailserver) via IMAP for ages. Not had any problems. It's an IMAP server on the local network, which is rather different from being away on teh intarwebz somewhere, but still.

Don't like Thunderbird's interface, and it seems to have more IMAP problems than Evo, at least for me (it keeps insisting on opening sixty zillion connections to the server, and since my server is a personal mail server it's not configured to allow that. Thunderbird doesn't handle the failure very well and hence refuses to open any more mail until I close and re-run it. That's what happened last time I used it, anyway).

So, yeah, love your Thunderbird all you like, other commenters, but there certainly are those of us who are happy with Evo.

Götz Waschk said...

Empathy? That must have been a Freudian slip.

Flex said...

of course I meant evolution not empathy in the last paragraph ^^ although I appreciate the work everyone did for empathy as well ;)

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