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Matthew Barnes mbarnes at
Thu Feb 21 13:36:46 UTC 2008

On Thu, 2008-02-21 at 14:19 +1000, Jens Petersen wrote:
> Ok, probably not very technically accurate, but I was thinking of the 
> custom gtk widgets and gtkhtml that Evolution uses.

That's a valid point and it's an issue I've been trying to chip away at
since landing this gig.  Evolution has a lot of old cruft underneath the
hood and still relies on technology that fell out favor years ago.


- GtkHTML -- Evolution's HTML rendering library -- is no longer under
  active development.

- Parts of Evolution's UI look like something out of the Motif era.

- It's still heavily dependent on the GNOME Applications Library, a
  library that never gained much popularity and Evolution eventually

- Don't even get me started about Bonobo.

Here's what I'm doing about each of them:

- Alp Toker and I have talked about a possible migration to WebKit/GTK+.
  WebKit/GTK+ still lacks an editing API and adequate printing support,
  among other things, but looks very promising.  I've begun prototyping
  code but it's still in a very early stage.

- I've been aggressively moving Evolution off deprecated and custom
  widgets to modern GTK+ widgets.  Still much more work to be done.

- Chipping away at the GNOME Applications Library.  Slow going.

- I'm in the midst of rewriting Evolution's message composer to not rely
  on Bonobo.  Once done, I plan to use those results as a blueprint for
  moving the rest of Evolution off Bonobo.  I hope to start this last
  phase by year's end.

I also have to say Evolution development seems more active and positive
now than I think it has been in years.  That's a good sign.

Matthew Barnes

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