Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Ximian Connector 1.4

As many of you will know, one of Ximian's money-making schemes is to sell a commercial plug-in for Ximian Evolution that allows it to talk to Microsoft Exchange Server 2000.

Now for some reason, my employer who "should know better" has installed said groupware server.

So, excitedly we paid for 3 Ximian Connector licences to cover the number of Evolution users (and left the KDE users to their own soon-to-be-released devices).

Now, Ximian Connector does not talk using MAPI to the MS server. Presumably because this is a proprietary protocol at the whim of MS to change at any point.

It uses OWA: "Outlook Web Access" to retrieve XML files over HTTP and then renders them. Very clever, shrewd, cheap and quick-to-implement (given Ximian's knowledge of XML) solution.

The biggest problem with this is - it takes a f*ck of a long time to download, parse and render that much XML. If you get more than about 5-700 messages, say "bye-bye" to Evolution. Hello? I do not want my MUA to crash!!! It's my lifeblood!

Also it gets confused about the number of messages in a folder, oscillating between two numbers or just lying and showing a larger number than you have. Some of these invisible messages do in fact exist and are visible in Outlook. This has improved in 1.4 over 1.2 but is still an issue

Then there is the Deleted Items folder. It is never emptied, and is normally too big to visit unless you want Evolution to crash (for the reason given above).

All in all Ximian Connector 1.4 is a pile of rubbish. It's unstable, and does not do what it is meant to.

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