Thursday, December 18, 2008

Webcals, Summit & Remote Evolution

Things around here have been busy. I have been QAing and testing Evolution 2.24 and its interaction with Groupwise heavily. We are nearly to a milestone where I can increase the pilot/beta and add more people. I also have been installing a MoinMoin Wiki instance for use by City employees. Right now IT is testing it and trying to create some work flow suggestions, and it looks excellent. I will be devoting an entire blog entry to our goals and ideas.

Intranet Webcals

Our internal use of Webcal files has exploded over the last few years, so I have been writing a new GUI to make it easier for users to add sources to Evolution. We have a lot of information stored in databases that is appropriate for people to view on their calendars. Examples of this are employee birthdays, hire dates, anniversaries and so on. So we create .ics files of this type of information and drop it into an internal web server. That makes them available for all employees. Evolution has the ability to add webcals from the command line, so the GUI passes the webcal:// on the command line and it appears right inside their running Evolution session. All they have to do is pick a calendar color. The current state of the GUI is below:

Summit 2009

I have gotten approval to announce the availability of our facility to conduct the 2009 Summit on our premises if there is interest. I know that Boston is the tradition, so I'm just making a humble offer that it can be held at our location if you wish. We have a building that is used for training and emergency operations, and we could conduct the hacking in that facility. The one thing that we could offer is real GNOME users for focus groups and study of new features. We are a short drive from the Tampa (TPA) airport on the Gulf of Mexico. Hit me up on the IRC if this seems like a fit for the community.

Remote Evolution & Miguel

Miguel posted a blog about wanting to gain access to his Evolution while traveling. That exact product existed, was purchased and buried by SCO and now is owned by Sun. Tarantella let us run Xwindows applications 10 years ago, and was one of those great ideas that came out at the wrong time. During that period, people were still excited about client/server computing and how many Ghz you had at your desktop to care about centralizing applications. We ran Tarantella on SCO and Linux and it worked *great* for us. All you did was lay it down in your Apache web server, and point it to your applications and they immediately worked in a browser. In the pre-Evolution-1.0 days I even ran Evolution in this manner. You would log in from any browser, and it started a Java applet, and you would see the gray/white X checker boxes for a split second and your X application would immediately open. No plugins to add to the browser, no client side software. I found this old picture describing how it worked. It's too bad these types of products haven't become more commonplace.


Anonymous said...

Sun still sells this, they've just rebranded it a few times.

sn0n said...

wat theme is that?

ingwa said...

If you are interested in Tarantella, you should perhaps take a look at ThinLinc as well. It's a similar, but newer and more modern product which is based on Linux from the start.

You can download it and try it out from .

Disclaimer: I work for Cendio that develops ThinLinc.

Dave Richards said...

anonymous: I saw that it seemed to be in the Sun bundle of products. Sun has probably improved it greatly since I saw it 10 years ago.

sn0n: I am using the Chlorophyll theme. The icons were just pulled out of stock Tango icons.

ingwa: Cool on thinlinc. Hit me up if you get it running on the Mac server. That's one of our current projects. We would like to run multiple Mac instances from one physical machine and get crisp response time.

sn0n said...

actually the window border.. sorry.. :-x

i cant find it anywhere, i pray its a metacity theme thou!! i love it.

Dave Richards said...

sn0n: Sorry to report that it's a Compiz/Emerald window manager.