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SyncEvolution + Funambol iPhone plugin: how they are related

Some bloggers have started to pick up the announcement of the Funambol iPhone plugin, but only spoke of Funambol’s involvement – and that although Fabrizio made it very clear that the plugin would not have been possible without SyncEvolution. I got a free iPhone from Funambol, but that would never have been enough to pay for the time I spent on this project. Folks, be so kind and report the complete story! The distinction is not just important for my already inflated ego ;-)

Users also need to be aware where to report problems and how to install updates: the two components are developed independently and consist of separate binaries. It is just because of limitations in the packaging system on the iPhone that the GUI package contains the SyncEvolution executable instead of depending on the SyncEvolution package.

Fabrizio and I discussed future updates and came up with the following plan:

  • the GUI will contain the SyncEvolution executable (as it is now) but under a different name: this way users can install one package and have a working sync application
  • a notice during the installation reminds them that installing SyncEvolution is the best way to always have an up-to-date sync engine
  • if installed, the GUI invokes the normal SyncEvolution instead of the embedded one
  • SyncEvolution will be installable via the Funambol repository in addition to the one on www.estamos.de; currently getting it there is a manual process so the Funambol repository might be a bit behind

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Frederik | November 28, 2007 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    I really like SyncEvolution and I think it’s great that it now comes to some more attention through the use in the iPhone.

    But I’d be interested in one detail: Is there any way to communicate with SyncEvolution other than through the command line? How did the authors of that iPhone-GUI to it? Did the parse the stdout to show the success of the sync?
    I’m thinking about writing a simple PyGTK GUI for syncevolution to make it a bit more comfortable to use. So do I have to parse stdout or are there more elegant ways?

  2. Patrick Ohly | November 28, 2007 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Frederik, it would be great to have a GUI. The iPhone GUI really just invokes the command line tool and checks the return code for success/failure. In the case of failure the GUI offers to display the client.log, I’m not sure how Fabrizio finds the location of the client.log (it depends on configuration options) – either he parses the stdout output or hard-coded the default location.

    As the command line tool doesn’t currently print any progress messages while the synchronization runs (due to limitations in the client library’s logging mechanism), this does not loose any functionality and works okay, but it clearly lacks visual feedback about the operation.

    Post 0.7 I intend to print messages during synchronization; they could be plain text as it is now or we could define a more parse-friendly format (XML?).

  3. Frederik | December 2, 2007 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I took some free time this weekend and hacked on a first try for a SyncEvolution frontend for the GNOME Desktop. You can have a look at http://my.opera.com/freedo/blog/2007/12/02/genesis-a-graphical-frontend-for-syncevolution

    I’d really appreciate your comments on this!

{ 4 } Trackbacks

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