Re: [Evolution] Request for additions/corrections in Evolution

On Mon, 2002-05-27 at 23:24, Raider wrote:

I'm a happy user of Evolution 1.0.2 on a MDK8.2.

Well... now I don't know if the developers are on this list or not.  If
they are - than maybe they can give me some answers like "this can be
done" "this is out of the question" "this should be out with the next
version".  If they aren't maybe the list can help me with some

I'm a mail hacker, I dont work on the editor, but i'll comment where I

My fist complaint (or did I miss something?) is that I want to use
another editor than the default.  How can this be done?

It can't.

You dont seem to have any real reasons why the editor is unusable
though.  Personally i'd like to use emacs, or even vi, but i can't
*shrug*, its still adequate.

And here comes my list of problems with the editor.
1. There's no word wrap setting (not to my knowledge).  I'd be grateful
if somebody will point me that "missing" option.

You mean setting the mode to 'normal' or 'preformat'?

2. Related with the first one, there's no limit to the text...
"wideness".  It would be great to be a check box like "intelligent
resize" that will wrap text according to window lenght, besides the
normal "fixed" option.

You mean setting the 'normal' option?

3. A new line in an unwrapped quoted text leads to two newlines instead
of one.  And I have to edit by hand the extra newline.  Anyone knows

I guess because its changing the text from preformat to 'normal'.  Its a
different paragraph, and its being done in html, so you get an extra
line becuse you've inserted 'normal' between two 'pre' blocks.

I know the quoting stuff has been worked on a lot, so i dont know if
this will change in the future (1.2?).

4. There's only one type of "quotation".  So if I I have two levels of
quotation there's no change as Evolution doesn't know about it.

That is being worked on I believe, should be in 1.2(?).  This also
affects the 'problem' above, and is probably why it works the way it

5. The "quotation" color is one of the most uninspired parts of
Evolution.  If I accidently delete a '>' sign, when I put it back it
will show up with the same color as my aditions... although '>' at the
beginning of a line means quote.

Not really.  '>' at the beggining of the original text means a quote. 
It is no longer the original text because you've changed it.  You
wouldn't expect to type '> blah' on a line by itself and have it
magically changed to a quote, would you?

6. Breaking lines manually from the quote will show them with the
quotation color, although this is false - to the person that will
receive that mail from the broken lines, only the first segment will be
shown as quote.  The rest will be... just text.

I dont understand what you mean here?

If you're just sending as text anyway there are no colours.  There is no
quoting.  There's only the 'convention' of using '> ' at the begining of
the line, which isn't any hard and fast, defined 'standard', many
mailers use other conventions (such as 'INITIALS > ' or 'Name $ ').

7. As an addition to the previous problem, actually a combination of the
previous two, if I manually add the '>' sign to the beginning of the
line it will show as normal text and the rest will be as quote.  I know,
one solution would be to turn this different coloring off.  But this
doesn't mean that part doesn't need improvement.

Doesn't sound terribly life threatening to me.  Especially when there
are real bugs to fix.

8. Again about quotes - from the reply, normally (and it makes sense) if
I want to break between line X and line X+1 to insert my comments it
will put just one newline.  This is weird as (see above) this would make
sense to give at least two newlines, a lot more than in the previous
sittuation.  Now, I've seen on other mail clients (no names) that a

Why no names?

newline would mean even three newlines, so my text would be clearly
isolated from the original text making things a lot more readable for
all, and especially for the guys who see it in plain text with no
colors.  Anyway, I do that, and I'd like to have this set by the mailer
and not push enter three times than press "up" once.

I'd rather it worked the way it does, personally.  Its more like a plain
old editor (e.g. emacs, vi), which is what i'm used to, not some silly
'smart' editor which gets in the way of what you're trying to do.

9. Evolution crashed on me only twice.  I don't complain about this as I
don't know what triggered the problem and I can't reproduce the
problem.  With this occasion I discovered that it can recover text.  Way
to go!  Great feature.  And it really saves time.  But, to my
dissapoinment it reformatted my text.  My replies go like this... quote,
newline, newline, tab, my text, newline, newline, quote.  With other
words my text is sepparated from the original text by one empty line
both before and after and I indent my paragraph with one tab.  Recovery
just removed the first empty line before my each insertion and it also
removed the tabs.

Perhaps you're only sending as text and its recoving from a text
message, in which case I think it loses most formatting information. 
Although i'm not really sure on this one.

10. Back to the main issue - why not make it smart enough (the editor)
and understand that a newline in the quotation means break the line than
add a '>' to the beginning of the new line and put a space after it than
go on with the rest of the line.  And that the second newline means
keeping the things the way they were set and adding three (or two...)
empty lines than put the cursor on the second empty line. 

I'm not sure, perhaps this is being worked on too.  The quotation stuff
has been developed lately, as I said above.  Again, it doesn't appear to
be a show-stopper bug.

11. I see the editor has a hard time with highlighting addresses as
well.  It highlights even the '>' or the dot that belongs to the end of

Sounds like the end of the world to me!

I have to add that I use only the "plain text" features as I don't plan
to use the HTML mails any time soon.

So why bother about any of the colouring stuff?  It all gets dropped as 
soon as you send it anyway.  Like, who really cares what it looks like
on the screen, just set the quote colour to the same as the text colour
and be done with it?  It seems to be an awful lot of niggling over
something which doesn't even mean anything.

The filter problems:
1. The filters are quite limited.  There is only a global AND and a
global OR for all of the criterions of a rule.  I'm used to employ
procmail, and I have quite some problems implementing rules like:
(E1 OR E2) AND (E3 OR E4 OR E5)

You should probably just keep using procmail then.  If you use a maildir
store, evolution works just fine with it.

You *could* enter the rules (you can basically do anything) as complex
s-expressions, but that isn't documented and liable to change anyway.

2. In case you don't come up with some type of grouping of the
criterions, why not make some "composite" rules.  I mean, so far if I
have two mailing lists to filter for "uninteresting" mails and for
offensive mails I'm lost.  For all simple rules "if... than" type I can
just choose "stop".  this is an excellent option as it speeds up the
process if you have many rules.  But I can't say
rule1: E1 OR E2 - action goto rule 14
rule14: E3 OR E4 - delete; stop.

Just stick to procmail I guess.  The filters werent' designed for this
type of mess.  You can't implement goto's in the s-expressions either.

3. As an alternate, I see Evolution goes for "all in one pack", but how
can I plug in say procmail for processing incoming mail taken by
Evolution.  I see it keeps the mbox...

Just use maildir and point evolution to the maildir tree.

You can use mbox trees as well (at least in 1.1), but they're not as

4. Am I missing something?  If I put 'To:' in the specific field my rule
would be ignored.  It will work only with 'To', no ':'.  Why?

Yep, you are.  "to" is the header name, not "to:".  The ':' is just the
rfc822 syntax to delineate it in the message and is not part of the
header name at all.

The DNS problem.  If I'm online... send now and it is sent.  If I'm
offline and forget to check the offline mode I'm toast.  It will get
into a endless (or very loooong) loop and try to send that message. 
Same goes if I'm disconected - I'm on dial-up.  And reconnecting won't
help at all.  Can't it just "monitor" the connection.  Okay, say you
have a noisy line and the responses are slow... or... maybe you have a
2400baud modem ;-)  No problem.  But if I'm offline it makes no sense. 
And the problem becomes bigger if my line dropps for some reason as I
didn't see Evolution recover for the new connection (both identified as
ppp0! but different IPs for sure).

We use the timeouts that the operating system gives us for tcp
connections.  Tcp timeouts take a while, and we dont know about them
till the OS tells us.  This is how we 'monitor' the connection.  I dont
think there's any way to do more than this in an portable way, as we are
abstracted from the hardware by the operating system.

The above issue triggered two extra problems.

The connection problem: say I want to grab my mail.  For each connection
there is a cancel button.  Excellent.  With one small side problem - the
I can send mails via different relays, and all mails are put in the same
queue and I can't disconect only a certain relay (say the server is
overloaded and instead of being online for 5 minutes I can choose to go
online later for those particular mails).  Hmm... actually this seems to
be another problem.  So this should be entitled "the connection
problems".  Anyway, it's good to have those cancel buttons for every
connection even if they are only incoming connections.  But if I hit
send the mail will be delivered in the background.  If the server is
slow or it doesn't respond I can't cancel this action.  I searched and
found nothing that can kill/delay that send.

The cancel button might work on the main display, then again it might
not, i'm not too sure on this one.

Now... probably this was done with swiftness in mind.  But I don't see
it as a good feature.  What do I mean?  I hit send later... and the mail
will go to outbox, than, after sending to the sent mail folder.  Great. 
And configurable.  But if I hit send (as in send now) it will go...
suspended.  That message won't be anywhere till it getts send.  Or, if I
kill evolution it will go back as "recovered" message and the story
starts from the same point.  Why isn't the "send now" message copied to
"outbox" till the delivery process announced the mail is on its way? 
The last two problems combined with the reformatting part (of the
recovered mail) resulted to a very upseting sittuation.

Well, its because its 'send now',  that means 'send now'.  It doesn't
mean 'send when you can'.  If you want to do that, you should use 'send
later', and use the send/receive button.

It should be launching a background thread to perform the sending
anyway, not hanging the application.

If it'll make you feel any better from being so upset, here's a flower


Hmm... I like the "summary".  And I need the contacts.  But I don't need
the planner or the to do list.  How can I disable them?  Probably there
are guys out there who dislike the summary feature but need the calendar
part.  How can I make them optional so they won't load?

You dont click on them.  i.e. you can't.  You can probably hide them
from the gui by removing their directories in ~/evolution//local, but
some parts will still load anyway in certain circumstances.

And finally, can I turn that outlookish way of rewriting my receivers? 
I have a friend.  Mr. X.  There is mrx home com and mrx work org  Now,
Evolution will put Mr.X and I won't see the address.  And this is
important.  Also, did I miss something or there's no "nick" field in the
contacts list?  I mean I call Mr.X 'dude'.  And I don't want this to
show up in the "To" field.  Let me rephrase I want to write pal... and
in the "To" field would appear Mr.X <mrx homecom>

This i couldn't agree on more.  For some reason the UI 'gods' think that
its better not to know the email address.  I'd like it changed but I
can't imagine it happening while there are bigger problems to fix. 
Still, its not really the end of the world either, but you could always
try submitting a patch.
I agree that some of the features should be optional.  I know I'm not
the only one who feels like that about some issues, but I can't say
"this is the right way".  So maybe some checkboxes and menus would solve
all the problems.

Well... these are the only problems I discovered.  They seem many.  But
as you can see they are related and one solution would trigger the
solution for the next and so on.  So far the rest is good ;-) even
better than that.

By the way, I came up with another idea.  Something I didn't figgure
out as well.  Can I make something like get mail from account 1 and
account 2 by default and only if I specify "all" or get the mail from
the other accounts manually.  I have 4 current mail boxes.  Two are for
mailing lists - as I subscribe to many I just try to be fair and break
the high traffic in two.  One is "official" like job related things, and
one is for my private mail and only a few have the last two.  So there's
no spam, no virii or other attacks and low traffic as well.  I want to
check from time to time the last two.  And download the mails from the
first two when the phone rates are low.  Can this be done?  Or this is
something I have to add to my list?

You can goto the mail config and disable the accounts easily.  It was
done that way specifically for this reason (well, among others, but it
was a high priority reason).

I only covered the parts I use, I have no comment about the other

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