From the slashdot interview with Miguel de Icaza, for those that don't read slashdot.
Evolution is probably the most exciting application that is
being developed in the GNOME world right now.
First, Evolution is based entirely on Bonobo components. It
is one of GNOME's proving grounds for component-based
programming. We have spent over a year developing the
Bonobo component model, and in Evolution it's beginning
to pay off in a big way. Each component in Evolution
(mail, calendar, tasks, notes, contacts) is a Bonobo
component, fully CORBA accessible (to enable automation
and scripting of applications, and yes, it is secure. We do
not feed any unsecured data into components, in case you
The component-based pluggable architecture means that
we can make Evolution into a universal communicator. So,
yes, we have every intention of integrating with Exchange
environments. Picture an office populated by Outlook
clients and an Exchange server or a Lotus Notes server; we
can infiltrate that place from the bottom up by making
Evolution talk to those Exchanges or Notes servers. Clients
can upgrade to Evolution one by one, without the
requirement of a top-down organizational decision to dump
This is how GNU/Linux won. This is how we will win.
But the beauty of Evolution's architecture goes much
further. It is the first communications tool designed for
modern users like the free software community. The free
software community stays in touch thanks to e-mail and as
we grow, we need more powerful and efficient tools to
handle our communication loads.
For example, I receive about 2500 mails a day. Even with
procmail and Gnus, filters, scoring and lots of complex
scripts, I still spend about four hours a day on e-mail
related tasks. And it is pretty hard to find information on
the gigabyte of mail that I have archived over the last few
years. Traditional mail tools are not keeping up with the
demands of modern Internet citizens like myself.
We believe that the mail loads that most free software
developers are handling these days are going to become
the norm for normal users in the future as the Internet
becomes more ubiquitous and e-mail becomes the tool of
choice for communication.
Evolution scales to mammoth mail loads perfectly, though.
The hackers in the Evolution team designed the entire
system to scale: we avoid copying data wherever possible,
we never load the whole message into memory even over
IMAP, and we used asynchronous interfaces across the
Now, the real beauty is that we index all of the mail as we
incorporate it into our mailboxes. Dan Winship wrote this
beautiful indexing library called libibex which we use for
indexing and Michael Zucchi is working together with him
in our vFoldering setup. So you can treat all of your
archived mail as a giant database, and perform queries on it
(think "Altavista for your mail"). So you will finally be
able to find information in your mailbox, and you will
finally be able to keep track of things.
And then you can save that query as a "virtual folder"
(vFolder). So in fact your folders are actually the results of
searches on your mail.
Also every element in evolution can be annotated and
annotations can be cross referenced, so you can keep track
of your contacts, your tasks and your information flow
And that's just part of the whole system. We are working
on fully networked calendaring and contact management,
too. So you can schedule appointments with people over
the Internet, and have servers storing address-books. We
are going to have a gnome.org Evolution server with all of
the address-book entries for all the GNOME hackers.
The system is still under development, of course, but it's
the most fun thing to hack on, and we are applying a lot of
the tricks we have learned over the past years and enjoying
Evolution is not only limited to handling the standard
Personal Information Management features, but through
Bonobo components you can plug any sort of
communication system and have it integrated with the rest
of the system. So hopefully, your irc conversations will
also be fully indexed, as well as any other personal
messaging system that ships with Bonobo support.
Think "deep integration" and think "I can find that e-mail".
If you want to learn more about Evolution, I suggest you
check its Web page here, and as with every other free
software project, we would love to see you join the effort,
and help us get this out and deployed.
"The fool must be beaten with a stick, for an intelligent person
the merest hint is sufficient" -- Zen Master Greg
Maintained by the ILUG website team. The aim of Linux.ie is to
support and help commercial and private users of Linux in Ireland. You can
display ILUG news in your own webpages, read backend
information to find out how. Networking services kindly provided by HEAnet, server kindly donated by
Dell. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds,
used with permission. No penguins were harmed in the production or maintenance
of this highly praised website. Looking for the
Indian Linux Users' Group? Try here. If you've read all this and aren't a lawyer: you should be!