Re: [Evolution] Google's blockage of Evolution with Gmail, and Web Presence of Evolution

On Sun, 2016-01-24 at 12:34 -0500, Nick Pontillo wrote:
Hey all, there are two things I'd like to propose/bring to attention.

It would be good to know what version of Evolution you are using so we
can put your comments in to historical context.

First of all, Google is blocking Evolution from working with Gmail due
to this:

I think "blocking" is putting a bit strongly - Google changed it's
authentication mechanism, that is all.

There are three options here. One is Evolution starts using 0auth2, and
is therefore not blocked when it tries to login to Gmail.

It does to some extent.  Provisioning of non-imap gmail accounts is
done via Gnome online accounts - that is the mechanism for dealing with
Oauth2 in Gnome and since Evolution is a well behaved Gnome
application, it "all just works".

 A second
option is to tell the user how to connect their Evolution to their Gmail
right in the setup wizard, without them having to look for the
workaround online like I did 

If you set things up as IMAP, then I suspect you got the wrong

(while you're at it, you might as well tell
them to enable POP/IMAP too, since that also needs to be done). The
third option is to do nothing, and essentially alienate every Gmail user
who doesn't have the patience to figure out where to go in the Google
settings to "allow less secure apps".

The help within Evolution tells you how to enable Gmail IMAP.

If it is not feasible, then I would suggest option 2, which is to give
the user more instruction in the very beginning for how to get around
this. Specifically, I think the setup wizard when you run Evolution for
the first time should say something along the lines of "if you would
like to connect a Gmail account, go to and enable less
secure apps. Then log in to gmail with a web browser, go to settings, go
to 'forwarding and pop/imap', and enable pop or imap."

To be honest, that's just not the right thing to do - it presupposes
that the user *only* wants to use mail.  Gmail is a whole lot more than
that - contacts, calendar, notes and so on.  Pointing a user to an IMAP
solution just causes problems further down the line.

And this brings me to the other thing I want to talk about, which is
that in order to give feedback about this I had to sign up for this
mailing list and send out an email. I think there is a good opportunity
for Evolution to improve its user-friendliness by having a forum on the
web of some sort.

Just no. Forums/fora are a pain in the backside.  I get Evolution list
emails into my inbox (well sort of) and I can see them immediately and
try to help people.  I would have to visit a forum on the web and
actively go looking for things to help people with.  

*Forums are better than IRC and mailing lists because people don't have
to sign up to look at them*, 

Err, what about

no sign up for that.

therefore if someone is having a problem
they can look on the forum for solutions. Right now there is no central
place on the web where people can go to look for help and tips with

- unless they set up IRC, sign up to the mailing list, or to
the Gnome wiki. There are threads *about* Evolution in other tech
forums, but there is no Evolution forum.

This does not even require any money, hardware, or investment from
Gnome. All it would take is for someone to make a subreddit called

Oh great, I can really imagine that being immune from the creationist
nut jobs on reddit.

And personally I find reddit a confusing mess.

and then link to that subreddit in the Evolution
manual, gnome wiki page, and setup wizard. Maybe advertise it a bit on
Linux blogs/forums on the same day it's created. And it could even link
to all the other Evolution stuff like this: and this:

Oh, and perhaps on

as well??

So in short:

1: In light of Google's policy, do something to make it easier to
connect Gmail accounts with Evolution.


2: Have a public forum where people can ask for help and provide
assistance anonymously,

Why anonymously??  If you mean that you don't have to sign up, then all
forums I have ever come across you have to sign up to to ask/answer
topics.  Certainly you have to for reddit.  

And in any case, I don't think you have to sign up to use this list -
if you aren't a subscriber, then your post is moderated, but it will
get through if it is suitable.  And you can look at the answers on,
yes, you guessed it:


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