[Evolution] [Fwd: Re: Synchronizing desktop and laptop]

-------- Forwarded Message --------
From: Patrick Ohly <Patrick Ohly gmx de>
To: Michael Ekstrand <michael elehack net>
Subject: Re: Synchronizing desktop and laptop
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 18:25:48 +0100

Hi Michael,

I should have mentioned that I am subscribed now, so we could continue
the discussion on the list. Feel free to forward your email and my

On Mo, 2006-10-30 at 10:05 -0600, Michael Ekstrand wrote:
On Sun, 2006-10-29 at 22:16 +0100, Patrick Ohly wrote:
I just saw your email in the Gmane archive. If I had been subscribed I
would have replied earlier. Well, better late than never...

Michael Ekstrand wrote:
I've also tried SyncEvolution and ScheduleWorld, but that continually
wrecked my evolution address book displays as it stripped all evolution
custom data from the vcard's and Evolution was therefore unhappy.

There are some known limitations due to the fact that ScheduleWorld
stores the contacts in an LDAP scheme which is less capable than vCard.
They are listed on the SyncEvolution compatibility page ("does not
distinguish between different emails", "the order of email addresses and
phone numbers in the Evolution GUI is not preserved").

Are these the problems that made it unusable for you? If yes, then I
guess we need to lobby Mark to extend the LDAP scheme, if no, then you
might have found an unknown problem and I'd be very interested to hear
more about it.

If I remember correctly, that was the most significant issue.  I think
there's probably some things that Evolution could be doing better; I
think that it should assume some reasonable defaults to allow
information to at least be visible when it can't find its custom
properties.  But the destruction of custom properties rendered it so
that I could not view the phone numbers for a contact in Evolution until
I edited and re-saved the contact.

I agree, Evolution could have been smarter, but I believe I have worked
around this in 0.4. From the "known problems" list:

Evolution GUI
        When importing or updating a contact from the server, some
        telephone numbers might only be displayed in the contact summary
        after editing the contact once. Evolution 2.0.4 till 2.6.3,
        ContactSync::testMerge test. Starting with SyncEvolution 0.4
        this is solved by modifying the contact in the same way as the
        internal editor does. If it still fails, the server might send
        phone numbers without setting their type correctly.

I did play with the SyncEvolution source in an attempt to make it set up
some default display properties when it saved a contact; this wound up
not working.

I followed the same approach; I guess we simply tried slightly different
things. Would you mind trying 0.4 again?

I think some of the rest of the issue was connected with the inability
for SyncML to neatly pick up on deleted fields - I wound up with
duplicated phone numbers when I was trying to do some initial testing.

This might be better now that ScheduleWorld has settings for devices
that tell the server how many phone numbers the device supports: if you
set it to maximum for both your clients, then the server should be able
to distinguish between "device has discarded phone number" and "phone
number was deleted". There are some usability problems (like having to
sync once before being able to set the value and having to do it
manually in the first place, missing documentation, ...) but it might be
worth another try.

And I'd seen the SyncEvolution/ScheduleWorld combo as a hack to
accomplish what I wanted - ideally, I wouldn't need something like
ScheduleWorld to keep these two computers in sync.

Agreed, as soon as data conversion is involved there will be drawbacks.
In some case it simply cannot be avoided, though.

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