My Annoyances in Ubuntu and Evolution

I recently installed Ubuntu 11.10 64-bit and Fedora 16 64-bit on my e-machines W3400 desktop (Yes, I know, why on an e-machines). There are a few minor issues that I have with the experience so far (at least in Ubuntu). Some are in Ubuntu itself, while others are in the Evolution email application. My hope is that someone from Canonical, Gnome, or the communities sees this. And that they will do something to fix these issues, or at least give me some guidance on why they are there. So here we go. Also it should be noted that I’ll probably be editing this post a lot, as I find other things. Ubuntu: 1. When installing a 64-bit version, there should be a check box to automatically install the 32-bit libraries. I shouldn’t have to google how to do it (ia32libs), nor should I have to rely on an application (Skype, for example) to do it for me. I realize that it’s just one application that you have to install. But, the average user won’t know this. They may (or may not) be able to find the information easily enough. And some of the information is outdated. All that would be required is a check box that says something like: Install 32-bit compatibilityThis will allow you to run 32-bit applications on your system. Required if the application maintainer hasn’t created a 64-bit version. or something similar. 2. WTF is the ‘white-list’ for in the indicator panel? Things that need to be there (read as Skype, amsn, pidgin) aren’t seen. I tried setting it to “‘all'” in dconf-editor, but it wouldn’t take. Setting it to ‘all’ in gsettings works (at least as far as what dconf-editor shows) but they still aren’t visible. I ended up having to add the cinnamon desktop manager to finally see my icons. And it didn’t work in XFCE/Xubuntu desktop either. Either set the white-list to ‘all’ by default, make it easier to configure this, or generate a list of applications that most likely need to be in the indicator panel–and when they are installed, add them to the white-list automatically. For reference, this is the “Systray” or “Notification Area” (XFCE). This would also make it easier for certain applications like HPlip to “find” the Systray and open properly. Evolution: 1. If I Choose “Mark As Read” from the folder menu, I have the option to never see the confirmation dialog again. However, if I right click on a folder name, I get the dialog box EVERY time. Either put the option in that box as well, or honor the choice made from the other box automatically. I mean it’s the same application, and the same option. If it were an application suite (like Office or LibreOffice) or an Operating System, you would expect “communication” between the pieces. So why not here? 2. One minor annoyance of mine is in the Preferences. The option to Sync mail locally with Remote folders (this isn’t the exact wording) is nice. But I think that it should be renamed to “automatically sync mail for offline viewing”–since that’s what it does. I thought that it was a way to keep my gmail account synced up without having to set it to automatically check for new messages… Nope. Well, technically it might work for that. 3. Something that I would like to see is an auto configure for mail accounts. For example, if my email address ends in, when I click “Next”, it should automatically set the imap server information (or pop). Granted, you would need to add a check box or radio button on the first page with either IMAP, IMAP+, or POP as options. But, it would be nice to save some time in configuring my accounts. I also realize that they would have to maintain a list of the more popular email providers (and their setup information). And that they would have to update this information whenever one of the providers (Google) decides to change their configuration settings. But, it would make life easier for the end user, and possibly encourage more people to use Evolution. I think that’s enough for now. As I mentioned earlier, I’ll have more in time. Have a great day everyone:) Patrick.

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