Re: [Evolution] Funambol, syncing, etc.

On Sun, Mar 15, 2009 at 12:09:48PM +1100, Nick Jenkins wrote:
[Big snip of description of many/most of the paces I have been too]

== General comments ==

* This is not easy. Any attempt to pretend this is easy is incorrect. My
grandma could not do this. My mother could not do this. Most normal
people will simply not do this many steps. As soon as it requires using
the command line, changing repositories, or anything like that, most
normal people just won't do it.

Agree - I'm a command line junkie having used Unix based systems since
the early 1980s, but it needs some perseverence to get it working.

* This is not quick. Any attempt to pretend this is quick is incorrect.
Most people will give up long before spending this much time (58 minutes
in my case) on getting it to work. Especially when the other methods are
buggy, it makes you far less inclined to spend the time seeing if yet
another method works, since you start to suspect it's an intractable
* The main solution to the above 2 problems, so I can't emphasise this
enough: Please please please add Ubuntu packages for syncevolution and
genesis-sync to the standard repositories. From what I understand,
Fedora gets this right, and has packages. If "aptitude install
syncevolution genesis-sync" had worked out-of-the-box, it would have
saved a LOT of time, and made it much easier.

== Bugs ==

Having said all this, the Funambol method is still a little bit buggy /
incomplete. I particularly notice this with addresses:

Supposedly using ScheduleWorld rather than myFunambol is better. 
However that really only points to the fact that different servers and
different clients may have different problems.

* It doesn't seem to sync a contact's "other" address from evolution to
the phone, as far as I can tell. In fact, it managed to delete an
"other" address from one of my evolution contacts, probably after I
modified the contact on the phone, and then the other address that I
previously had in evolution ended up blank. I would personally prefer
that syncing didn't delete my data :-)
* If a contact has a home address in evolution, I sometimes seem to end
up with both a straight "address" on the phone, and a "home
address" (i.e. 2 addresses from 1). Then if I change the "home address",
in evolution, the "home address" on the phone updates, but the "address"
does not. ... but, if I delete the "address" on the phone, then the
"home address" in evolution sometimes also gets deleted. So there's
something odd going on here.
* I have one contact that I edited multiple times on both the phone and
in evolution, and then synced both (i.e. sync computer, sync phone, sync
computer), so that it should all be in sync, but ended up with the
address on the phone and the address on the computer out-of-sync (i.e.
two different street addresses, yet syncing did not update either, and
no warnings at either end about a conflict or being out-of-sync).

Different problems (in the main) from what I encountered but it's all
down to it being near impossible to translate one device's idea of
contact details to another client's view of the same thing.

It's hard to know where these problems originate from, since there are
so many different bits of software involved, - at least 5 by my count:
Evolution <-> SyncEvolution <-> Genesis <-> Funambol <-> Nokia's sync
software on the phone; and presumably there could be problems at any
stage of that chain.

So some problems, but overall it seems to work, and it does work better
than the other methods I have tried, and once it's running, it seems
extremely easy to use, both on the phone and on the computer.

Chris Green

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