Re: [Evolution] Evolution release and major regressions, a longtime user's thoughts

While I am as frustrated as you with some of the bugs and regressions
that you mention, I don't think it is constructive, or even in your self
interest, to take such a scolding and tattling tone with people, many of
whom volunteer, to provide you with software for free.

On Wed, 2009-04-08 at 11:48 -0400, Andrew Montalenti wrote:
I recently upgraded from Ubuntu Hardy to Ubuntu Intrepid.  Most of my
GNOME software worked well upon upgrade, there were even some
improvements.  However, a major piece of GNOME software that I use
single day and that is important to both my personal life and business
stopped functioning correctly: Evolution.

It's clear to me that from 2.22 -> 2.24.3, Evolution redesigned its
backend data store and unleashed this onto users as a "stable release"
with disastrous effects. If you look around this list, you'll find
of discontent.  Basic things that existed in Evolution 2.22 -- basic
features -- no longer work.  For example:

* Search folders or searches including "unread message" status does
work (regression)

* Declaring a search folder of a search folder (vfolder of a vfolder)
longer works (regression).  For me and many others on the list, this
essentially meant that all of our vfolders stopped working altogether,
meaning that we had to reorganize our mail in a different way.

* Unread message counts are incorrect vis-a-vis the reality.  For
example, every time I send a message, my inbox's unread message count
goes up by 1.  This despite the fact that there are no unread messages
there.  Others report even larger divergences. (regression)

* The "Unmatched" VFolder no longer exists.  (regression)

It turns out that these fixes still have no been committed even in Evo
2.26, released in March.  Brian J. Murrell has been rightfully
indignant about this.  He has been living with these regressions for

I consider Evolution to be one of the core pieces of software that
GNOME offers, and one that the GNOME release team should carefully
watch when declaring new "stable" releases of GNOME.  I think that you
guys have done the GNOME community a major disservice by releasing
2.24/2.26 as "stable" GNOME software.

I think the fact that Evo was allowed to be released at this new
version with so many regressions is really a sad state of affairs, and
suggests that GNOME needs to reconsider its release process.  I'm
to be contacting the GNOME release team about this.

Evo worked fine at 2.22, and I see very few improvements between 2.22
and 2.24, only regressions.  That suggests that someone on the Evo
thought it was a good idea to "redesign the internals" without really
committing to what that entailed -- releasing the redesigned version
a small "beta" community before declaring it to be the "stable
released to thousands of production users and including in all major
distributions as the latest and greatest stable software from GNOME.

As a software engineer myself, I would never do unto my users what the
evo developers have done unto theirs.  Do you understand that even a
*single regression* can cause users to stop using your software?

I don't know what can be done about it now, but this reflects very
badly on Evolution and GNOME for me.  I'm a long-time GNOME user (~ 10
years), and in recent years as my computer has become more and more
integral to my livelihood, as a small business owner and software
engineer.  I have become more and more hesitant about upgrading to the
latest GNOME versions.  That's why I was still running Ubuntu Hardy as
of a week ago.  At least it worked.  I upgraded to Intrepid only
because Jaunty is right around the corner, and I figured this would at
least represent a "stable" snapshot of software.  I guess I was wrong.

What does it say when some of GNOME's most committed users (users who
have hacking credentials -- I know C, GTK+, and GObject!) are hesitant
to upgrade to your latest stable releases?  Even worse, what does it
say when their hesitancy is justified?

I really want the best for GNOME and Evolution and want to see this
situation improve.  I don't know what can be done about it now from
Evolution side, but at the very least, a "mea culpa" from the core
developers would be a good start.  For those of us in the community
(like myself) that have some hacking credentials and could help fix
mess you created, some pointers for *how* to help you guys out would
a good second step.


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Art Alexion
Resources for Human Development, Inc.          215-951-0300 x3075
4700 Wissahickon Ave.                                 art rhd org
Philadelphia, PA 19144                               267-615-3172

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