MAPI Support in Evolution is Far From Stable

For the past two weeks, I’ve been enjoying 64-bit Ubuntu 9.04 on my HP 8530w. It’s very fast, and ext4 is helps considerably with boot times. Overall, I find this release to be pretty good. But, there’s one item that irks me to no end and that is the much touted “MAPI” support for Evolution.

For starters, the MAPI support is not installed by default, but it’s a post-install add-on. No big deal really, but it is misleading to say that it’s included in the release when it’s actually just in the repos. Next up is that fact that it simply doesn’t work. In fact, the Evolution-MAPI plugin is alpha quality at best. For starters, just setting up an account is busted. Each time I’d go to authenticate, Evolution would simply crash. Then I found this post which suggested using the IP address instead of the host name, which actaully worked.

When Evolution connects to the Exchange server, the initial load is PAINFULLY slow. The other thing is that folder structure is weird as well. In my case, my inbox was buried under 4 other sub-folders. The good news is that I can see email, with caveats. For example, replies or forwards are not prefixed with “re:” or “fw:”, even if they were in Outlook. Second, any meeting request acceptance or decline doesn’t get prefixed with “accepted:” or “decline:”, you just see the subject of the original meeting request. Which brings me to calendar and contacts. While I can see my calendars, they don’t get translated into my local time zone. This is kind of a problem. Contacts kinda work. I can see some of them, but for the most part, Evolution crashes before I can successfully select a contact.

Yeah, I know I should probably file some bugs. But be advised that if you’re upgrading to 9.04 to gain Exchange 2007 support, this isn’t the release you want. Here’s to hoping that things improve significantly in Karmic Koala.