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infoAnarchy.org: Evolution: Exchanging Microsoft

May 03, 2002, 16:00 (0 Talkback[s])


Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers

"Right now, I have an Evolution window open with about 40,000 mails from the last 5 years. (It's amazing how much traffic some mailing lists generate.) These are all sorted nicely into folders. One of these folders contains 14,000 messages that I received from May 1998 to May 2000 using Netscape Messenger. Searching the full text of all these messages for a string, say, "Finnish", takes about 5 seconds. Doing the same with Netscape Messenger would probably take a minute or longer.

"This example highlights some of the greatest features of Evolution. By indexing all incoming mail (explained below) it offers amazingly fast searches. These searches can be stored as so-called "virtual folders", which can then be browsed just like real folders. Evolution imports mail from many common clients and uses the Unix standard mailbox format itself, so that Evolution mail can easily be moved to other clients should the need arise. Evolution is multi-threaded, which means that in most cases, it doesn't matter if the client is doing something in the background (like reorganizing your mail to save harddisk space) -- you can keep using it normally.

"Now that I've teased you by listing some of the cooler features, let's look at the application's background and purpose -- you can probably skip this part if you're familiar with the Linux/Unix world. In any case, you may have heard of KDE or GNOME. These are projects which aim to make Unix easier to use by providing a pretty, well-integrated and intuitive graphical user interface (and the underlying backend). This goal has not been fully met, especially as competitors like Microsoft and Apple are also constantly improving their desktops. Linux in particular struggles with problems of standardization: The installation procedure for applications and hardware drivers is often difficult, and getting fonts under Linux' X-Window-System to look right is a perpetual nightmare (by now, most Linux distributions offer good, but not quite satisfying defaults)..."

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