Re: [Evolution] Funambol, syncing, etc.

On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 12:56:27PM +1100, Nick Jenkins wrote:
Hi Patrick,

Thank you very much for the great explanations and information!

Writing up your experience for LWN would be useful to get the attention
of other developers and potential packagers.

I sent LWN a rough draft to see if they were interested, but the
response was "no":

The article, as written, is not really suitable for LWN.  We tend to
avoid how-to articles in general; we also write in a very different
style than is found here.

There could be a place for a look at this topic.  But there would be a
lot more interest in a local, free-software solution than in
somebody's web application.

So I think you're in need of someone who is a) a better writer than me,
and b) preferably someone who has set up a local server.

However, in the course of doing the very rough draft, I found myself
wondering whether SyncML could ultimately do for contacts + calendars +
notes + tasks what IMAP does for email (make it live "in the cloud", and
be remotely accessible & usable by a wide variety of clients). However
to fulfil that potential, it seems to me it would ideally need two more
a) syncing of multiple folders (e.g. I have 5 notes folders, 9 contacts
folders, 24 tasks folders) - whereas currently the UIs in both the
phone's sync client and in Genesis-Sync seem to imply
single-folder-syncing only.
b) Support for SyncML built into multiple PIM clients (e.g. Evolution,
Kontact, Outlook, etc.), in the same way that IMAP comes "as standard".
However, even just having it integrated into one client, such as
Evolution, would be useful for people who seamlessly want the same data
synced on both a laptop & desktop, or work machine & home machine.

I think one of the issues/problems with this is much the same as the
problems one sees with IMAP.  That protocol isn't tightly enough
defined so each client/server pair acts slightly differently.  I have
tried to use IMAP on and off over the years but I always find that the
implementations of different mixes of IMAP server and client are such
that, for me at least, it's not a viable solution.  It's *fine* if you
only ever use one client and one server but otherwise it's still not
quite there yet.

I believe that SyncMl is in the same sort of place.  You only have to
look at the differences you found (and I did too) synchronizing a
Nokia phone to Evolution via different servers - myFunambol,
ScheduleWorld and a funambol installation of one's own.  If you then
add in a requirement for different clients to work as well and you
have a very difficult to solve mattrix of requirements.

Of course, my perspective is entirely from that of a end-user, I have no
idea any whether of this is actually possible, and the amount I know
about the technical details of SyncML and it's capacities and
limitations would not even fill the back of a postage stamp :-)

I wonder why you didn't find first. It's the first hit for
"syncevolution". Probably you searched for "syncevolution Ubuntu".

I'm pretty sure that "syncevolution Ubuntu" is exactly what I searched
for, hence the wrong page :-) Updating the is probably a good idea, as it's
not immediately obvious to the reader that it's out of date information.

Funambol only supports one address in the current release. A few days
ago they announced the features planned for 8.0 and support for a
address is listed. With ScheduleWorld you shouldn't have had that

I tried ScheduleWorld and it seems better for the problems I
encountered. I'd probably recommend this above the My.Funambol site at
the current time for anyone else wanting to try syncing.

Yes, I believe ScheduleWorld is the best server at present but it's a
great pity that so much 'tuning' has to be done to get a satisfactory

Chris Green

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