I never understood why the Open Source Outlook replacement Novell Evolution never took off. It would be the perfect cross-plattform and open source candidate for getting rid of the crappy proprietary Microsoft-only standard-uncompliant market leader. Instead of spending millions and millions on licenses, companies could have supported Evolution development years ago and now have a really good and free product in their hands. It never happened – maybe readers have a clue as to why.
The Mac has a pretty decent suite of interoperating PIM applications, but they still do not provide the same seamless integration that Outlook (or, in this case, Entourage) or Evolution offer. There is an Evolution port for Mac 10.3 (Panther) and 10.4 (Tiger), which uses the X Window system and therefore doesn’t look very nice in terms of the Mac Aqua look & feel, but that’s not really important in terms of usability, as long as everything else works.
If you are on a OS 10.5 (Leopard) Mac, there is one major reason why you might want to use Evolution – it provides the – as far as I know – only LDAP-based Address book that is can actually write to a LDAP directory. I haven’t as of yet been able to get the Mac “Address Book” to connect to my LDAP server, and even if that would work, from what I have read on the web, it is read-only. Mozilla (Thunderbird) LDAP support has been languishing for years and it is read-only, too. Since for lack of time and knowledge of C, I cannot contribute to changing that situation, and therefore shouldn’t complain. But I am quite puzzled that there seems to be such little (corporate) interest in integrating read and write LDAP support into free (as in beer) software.
In any case, and to come to the point, the current ( 06/2008 – version 2.6 ) OS X port of Evolution doesn’t work on OS 10.5 (Leopard) – you’ll get an error
/opt/gnome-2.14/bin/evolution-start.sh: line 16: open-x11: command not found Unable to find application named 'XDarwin'
What you need to do is to edit the startup script ( /Applications/Evolution-2.6.app/Contents/Resources/Scripts/main.scpt) with the Scripteditor into
set results to do shell script "/opt/gnome-2.14/bin/evolution-2.6"
This way, it will start up without an error message, although you still have to confirm the running of the script each time you start evolution.
I’d be happy to know about other people’s experience with Evolution on the Mac.
- I know about the AddressBook4LDAP project, but I never got this to work, either. It is an interesting project, but the webpage says that active development has stopped. UPDATE 2008/10/16: See comments by the developer below. My problems seemed to have something to do with the slapd server configuration. After a fresh install on a different server, ABxLDAP works like a charm – a real alternative to Evolution’s address book and then closely integrated in the system. Until Thunderbird 3’s access to the Mac OS Address book is available, I can use the LDAP server as a transmitter.
- The Chandler Project also looks promising, but unfortunately, it doesn’t have an address book!