Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Experimental Evolution installer for Windows

It is a pleasure, fun and honour to introduce to the distinguished audience our newest Evolution installer for Windows. You can find it for instance in this repository of our wonderful openSUSE Build Service. The installer is hiding in /usr/i686-pc-mingw32/sys-root/mingw directory of the mingw32-evolution-installer RPM. For people that don't know what to do with RPM packages on windows, 7-zip does just a wonderful job at unpacking RPMs even if they use LZMA payload.

As you can see from following pictures,

the functionality offered by the installer is basic for instance. Nevertheless, it does the most important job which is to install Evolution on your windows box.

On the first launch, Evolution will register itself as a mail client able to handle mailto protocol and it also registeres the necessary verbs to be able to become default mail client on Windows,

and on versions of Windows where the start menu Internet and E-mail links are supported, it can install its icon and open verb in that region:

Apart of those technicalities, it can be used to read mail:

to manage one's contacts and timetables, even to understand why one is feeling suddenly so hot:

Not to mention that evolution will in principle detect your timezone and even your online status.

The installer is for the development series of Evolution (2.31.x). It is possible to produce one for the "stable" (2.30.x) branch, but the quality of both branches on Windows is comparable and doing a "stable" installer would be slightly missleading for the user. Having said that, this version is quite usable although, I would not advise anybody to use it in mission-critical environment yet. But if you decide to adventure into this, it will be enriching endavour for all of us. The bugs can be filed in GNOME Bugzilla against evolution. Help us to make it better!

OpenSUSE Build Service

What is really really really cool with this installer is that it is produced completely inside the openSUSE Build Service, a wondeful tool, a once-in-a-lifetime innovation. All the binaries are cross-compiled from Linux and the installer is produced by a version of Nullsoft Scriptable Install System running on Linux and producing Windows installers. The installer is automatically regenerated when the rebuild of Evolution is triggered by any event: change in dependencies, change in Evolution version, etc. It requires a minimum maintainance and is a good starting point for improving further. Since such improvement can now be an incremental one building on the top of the existing infrastructure.

I will never say it enough, but openSUSE Build Service is one of the best invention on the earth since the Butterbrot