Re: [Evolution] Problem viewing calendars on multiple machines

On Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 12:11:45AM +0000, Pete Biggs wrote:

Ummmm... no offense, but just looking at your instructions for changing 
machines makes me think that the design of evolution is a bit insane.  I 
really don't feel like what I want to do should be that difficult.  I figured 
since evolution is the default calendar for most linux systems, it wouldn't 
be... well such a pain to work with on multiple machines.

The issue really is that Evo is a client program, it was never designed
to offer the data that it uses to other programs, it was designed to be
a consumer of data from elsewhere.

The whole "synchronization" process is a can of worms in my opinion,
the idea that you need a 'server' and separate clients makes it all so
unnecessarily complicated for the situation that 99% of users want -
synchronization of desktop and PDA (or laptop in the OP's case).

It's also made complicated by the need to convert to and from various
formats of calendar/contact file with the inevitable issue of things
which are available in on format and not in other formats.

I've been struggling with this for a while, I have a Nokia E71 which I
woudl like to synchronize with a simple desktop calendar/tasks program
and (independently maybe) with a desktop address book.  As far as I
can tell there is *nothing* out there that fulfils this requirement.

There are several huge (mostly positively baroque) groupware suites
that will synchronize with my phone but they're all trying to be more
Outlook than Outlook, far too complex and large for my humble needs.

It is possible to synchronize my E71 with Evolution, using the
Evolution syncMl add-on plus a syncMl server but it's messy and either
needs a server 'out there' or you install Funambol which again is
*huge* (164Mb for a syncMl server, what it's all for?)

I'm about to investigate what I can due using WebDav, it seems to me
that's the right approach, share a single chunk of data between all
applications rather than trying to 'synchronize' different lumps of data.

As others have pointed out there *are* programs that will successfully
extract data from Evo and synch it with another data source, but they
mostly rely on having some external synch server - that can be a 3rd
party, or you could run a server locally, but it's not a 30 second job
to do.

See above!  :-)

If it is only calendars you want to sync, then I suppose you might get
some mileage out of playing with the calendar.ics files.  But as poc
said, you should definitely make sure that Evo isn't running when you
synchronise - and I'm sure the Evo developers would point out that the
consequences of playing with the .ics files in Evo's local store is

But it shouldn't be.  In principle a single user sharing a 'database'
of information in .ics files between multiple applications should have
no trouble at all and it immediately eliminates lots of the problems
associated with synchronization.

Sorry about the long moan, I've wasted days on this problem and still
haven't got a satisfactory solution.

Chris Green

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