I’ve been running Evolution as my email/calendar/groupware/etc solution in Debian and KDE 4.6 at work ever since I gave up on Windows for anything beyond PowerPoint presentations and such. In spite of the Novell Groupwise server misery that we are forced to live with at Condesign, Evolution does the job. I’ve actually managed to synch my mail and appointments with both my trusty N900 and an Android thingy that the company wants to be my primary work phone, and have been if not pleased then at least content with the situation.
I should add that using a KDE solution (KMail/Kontact) has never worked for me. I can’t get Kontact to log in to the Groupwise server, no matter what.
Anyway, unfortunately a recent apt-get update did… something. I’m still able to read my email in Evolution but the calendar and address book both crash with a DBus error whenever I try to view or use them. The usual suspects, from deleting caches to looking for non-UTF-8 characters in calendar ICS files, do not seem to apply and upgrading or downgrading Evolution doesn’t help either. The problem seems to be more fundamental.
Yesterday, however, I booted into Gnome rather than KDE, mostly because I was bored and wanted to see what Gnome 3.x is like. Thing is, for some inexplicable reason Evolution now runs without a hitch. Calendars, address lists, everything. No crashes, no DBus errors.
Now, I’ve used KDE for years, preferring it over Gnome because the latter always feels a bit patronising to me. Gnome is like a Linux equivalent to OSX, built on the assumption that users are all idiots and the inner workings-on of a computer should always be kept hidden so the user is not unnecessarily confused with anything even remotely technical.
Yet, OSX, for the most part, does the job. It just works, which I discovered recently when setting up a MacBook Pro for my daughter. It had no problem finding and configuring our home network HD and printer (tricky subjects for our Windows and Linux boxes, for some reason), and even displayed a nice image of the exact printer model to help me install it. Pretty cool, actually.
And this is what Gnome 3.x seems to focus on also, on just working. Yes, it feels a bit dumbed down, but it really seems to just work. I even think that I could learn to live with the 3.x GUI.
And I got my calendar back.