Archive for January, 2004

Freeing James Brown…

James having a bad day
  • Well, once again the Godfather of Soul has found himself in trouble with the law. At least his mug shot isn’t as terrible as Nick Nolte’s. Of course, at 70 years old you would figure that James would begin to mellow out.
  • Colug meeting last night. Wasn’t terribly exciting since the meeting was basically about Postfix, TLS, and GnuPG. Though, they did have a key signing at the end of the meeting, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

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Off To Cleveland…

Well, I finally finished digging out the drive-way from the snow we received last night. Now, I’m off to Cleveland to install Fedora Linux on my sister’s computer.

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Still Around…

Been working on a Gnome application, so I haven’t had much time to write any updates lately. When I started this, I didn’t realize how much the Gnome API had changed from Gnome 1.4 to Gnome 2.2. Most of the widgets I’ve used in the past are depreciated, so I’ve been spending a lot more time than I planned reading the documentation for Gnome 2.2. Oh well, at least I’ve got the time to spare.

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Needing A Break…

I’ve been fairly busy the last few days learning how to build a Gnome application using libglade, instead of having to generate code for the interface. It’s actually fairly straight forward, and makes life a lot easier not having to recompile a program for tweaks to a gui. Libglade basically parses an xml file to generate the gui, instead of glade having to generate new code though compilation. Pretty sweet.

Now, I’ve just got to come up with a better solution for a database backend. Originally, I thought I was going to use Gnome-DB, but the project is still a little too early in its developement to be of much help. It does have potenetial in the future, because it allows you to use pretty much any database (MySQL, Postgre, Oracle, etc.) with out it effecting your code. I’m also looking at using an embedded version of MySQL, but that also is fairly new (came out with the 4.0 release), and the documentation on linking in the appropriate libraries is a little lacking. Figure I have to do some googling tomorrow, and see what I can find.

Oh well, time to fire up the TiVO. I’m pretty sure The Fire Theft were on Craig Kilborn Friday night, and wouldn’t mind seeing if they were any good.

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Ximian Takes Evolutionary Step Forward



This month’s release of Evolution 1.5 provides an early look at what’s set to change when Ximian Inc.’s popular e-mail and calendar application for Linux reaches its major Version 2.0 update in March.

Evolution 1.5 is a development release intended for testing and bug hunting. In eWEEK Labs’ tests, we found the development label an apt one, this version is currently far too crash-prone to supplant Evolution’s stable 1.4.5 version for regular use.

However, we appreciate the changes the Evolution team has made, probably the most welcome of which is built-in spam-blocking support, courtesy of SpamAssassin.

We’ve used SpamAssassin with the current version of Evolution to single out junk mail with a custom message filter, but this requires extra configuration steps that aren’t necessary with Version 1.5. In addition, now that it’s easy for users to label messages as “Junk” or “Not Junk” from within the interface, Evolution allows users to train their spam filters.

Evolution 1.5 shows off an overhauled appearance that continues to take pages from the dsign of Microsoft Corp.’s Outlook. Evolution has done away with its shortcut and folder bars for choosing among the program’s e-mail, calendar, task and contact modules. Instead, as in Outlook 2003, there are buttons for these modules at the lower left corner of the program window.

We’d like to see the Evolution team extend its Outlook flattery by offering the option of viewing folders, message headers and preview text in the same three-column view that Outlook 2003 does. This would enable end users to more efficiently read e-mail.

We’d also like to see Evolution adopt tabs in its interface, with messages, program modules and folder views organized in tabs, as in Mozilla, or with multiple chat windows, as in Gaim.

Evolution’s summary page, which in the 1.4.5 version combines things such as mail counts and RSS (RDF Site Summary) feed headlines, was nowhere to be found. RSS headline-grabbing is a nice feature to have, but we’d rather see RSS handling built more tightly into the application. If Evolution isn’t going to tackle RSS in this way, perhaps it’s better left out altogether.

We were impressed with Evolution’s updated calendar module, which supports multiple calendars, stored both locally and on the network or Internet. We could select or unselect the calendars we set up, overlaying sets of appointments onto the same calendar. Task lists work the same way, except that we could only store tasks locally.

Evolution still lacks support for notes or memo items, such as those used in Outlook or on Palm handheld devices, which can be a problem when synchronizing a handheld device with Evolution.

There’s no version of Ximian Connector the proprietary software that enables Evolution to access Microsoft Exchange groupware available for Evolution 1.5, so there’s no telling what improvement, if any, has occurred with the connector.

Evolution 1.5 handles IMAP accounts in offline mode better than the 1.4.5 version. We’d love to see some progress along these lines with Exchange accounts, which don’t work offline at all with the current version of the connector.

The source code for Evolution 1.5 is available for download at, and the application may be compiled on any platform the GNOME desktop supports.

For an easier installation, there are precompiled, packaged binaries for SuSE Linux AG’s SuSE Linux 8.2 and 9 and for Red Hat Inc.’s Red Hat Linux 9 available for download through that site or through Ximian’s Red Carpet service.

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Miscellanious Items….

* New Year’s here, but hasn’t really registered yet with me, since I’ve been hopped-up on TheraFlu the last couple of days. Really should’ve got the day-time formula, instead of the night-time, because I’m having a hell of a time keeping my concentration. Oh well, hopefully I’ll be back to normal in a couple of days.

* Spent some time today messing around with It’s really a pretty amazing piece of software, and definitely earns some kudos to Sun Microsystems. Of course, given Scott McNealy’s animosity towards Microsoft, you’ve got to wonder if the move was purely altruistic. Regardless, if I was a small business owner, I couldn’t see running Microsoft Office, unless there was some function that I had to have, that doesn’t currently implement.

* Ken’s got his website back up. Go give him a visit.

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