Beauty: Evolution needs to Evolve to make her happy

Evolution IconWe’ve hit our first stumbling block.

Evolution, it the form shipped with the Zonbu, does not include the signature of the respondent (at the top) when you reply to a message. Oddly, while it top posts the text, the signature is at the very bottom of the message chain.

Say what you will about top posting, the reality is that Outlook puts it at the top with the message. For better or worse, that is what people generally expect when they are average windows users.

Someone has finally written a patch for Evolution that gives you the option of turning on this feature (which apparently makes certain geek skin crawl). I, like many others, welcome the feature. Without it, it would literally stop me from switching away from Outlook.  And by the way, my signature starts with two -‘s and I’ve been using e-mail since the Vax.  Never forget that being right, and doing the right thing, are often not the same.

Here is some background on the fix:

Comment #28 from Sankar P (Evolution developer, points: 16)
2007-08-22 11:57 UTC [reply]

I’ve made this a configurable option.

Too many users want this and complain about Evo.

Screenshot at : http://psankar.blogspot.com/2007/07/signatures-on-top.html

Comment #29 from Martin Meyer (points: 6)
2007-08-22 12:56 UTC [reply]

I’ve got this new feature in 2.11.90, which is in Gutsy. I can verify that it
works as expected: check the box and your signature appears above the replied
text instead of below it. Thank you so much!

Comment #30 from Tony Andriani (points: 0)
2007-10-02 01:08 UTC [reply]

Thank you, Sankar! I have wanted to switch to Evolution for months because I
like the calendaring and the look and feel. The lack of this one feature has
been enough to stop me. I doubt that more than 5% of the individuals using
email even know what “netiquette” is, nor would care how email clients strip
quoted text. They do know that when they read an email containing a series of
inline replies that they don’t want to have to count nesting levels to figure
out which quoted email goes with which signature. That wasn’t the way people
used email when I started using it in the late 70’s, but that’s the way it’s
used now. If your software doesn’t adapt to actual use cases, then it won’t be
used. Maybe this “purist” attitude is one reason why linux is having such
adoption problems (and why the business linux users I know seem to lean towards
Thunderbird if they only need a mail client).

The question is, why is the version of Evolution shipping with the Zonbu not at all current (and lacking this feature)?

The Zonbu is reporting Evolution 2.10.3. The Evolution website says current is 2.12.2. Versions as old as at least 2.11.90 have this signature switch option. When are we going to get it?

-Mr. Zonbu

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3 Responses to Beauty: Evolution needs to Evolve to make her happy

  1. Bob says:

    It’s pretty horrible with IMAP too, I think. It accesses IMAP, but not with the same slickness of Thunderbird (or Outlook Express, even), poorly reflecting server changes and not using the IDLE system. Try as I might, I cannot bring myself to enjoy email on Evolution.

    Does there really need to be a fully featured Outlook replacement, or will a decent email programme be sufficient for most people?

  2. mrzonbu says:

    Bob,

    In my experience, for home users, a decent e-mail application like Thunderbird would probably be sufficient. However, for anyone who is keeping schedules and contacts, Thunderbird falls down in a hurry. In my work environment, scheduling, contacts and e-mail all go hand-in-hand, so unfortunately I’m stuck with Outlook.

    I haven’t tried the IMAP support but I am disappointed to hear it is problematic at best. I want to move to IMAP in the future. On the upside, GMail will let you use their interface to access any IMAP account. Have you tried that?

    -Mr. Zonbu

  3. Bob says:

    I can (and do) use a webmail interface for my mail provider (Fastmail.fm – lovely people) but I prefer to use the better design of a mail programme when I can – just much easier, somehow.

    I understand TB has a significant problem with how it stores its’ mail files (wrong format – all in one lump, rather than little pieces, hence not so slick with the S3 storage system). There are loads of other Linux programmes which I think use the more useful mail storage system.

    The issue has been raised up in the Ubuntu forums

    http://ubuntu-utah.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=600880

    and on other blogs …

    http://www.murrayc.com/blog/permalink/2006/10/01/evolution-and-imap/

    To my mind, the best answer is to switch to an email client, and keep Evolution as an Easter Egg for those who need it.

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