Evolving Migraine from 'Evolution' Migration

(or “Cut out the stupid puns and fix my Linux pleeease!”)

Since working in a mounted home directory was slowing things down, I decided to move to a local home dir instead. Usually you can migrate apps in Linux by simply copying the old dot-files to the new location before starting the app there for the first time.

Not so the Evolution mail client. Only my mail is there (which has cowardly been camping up on the IMAP server and therefore doesn't count), — contacts, calenders and tasks didn't make it out alive. Annoyingly enough, I now can't even add new items to neither calendars nor tasks, and the import function gives some vage "failed access" error for reading in its own old dot-files (which I first had to copy to my home dir, because the file browser didn't care to list those useless dot-directories such as, say, ~/.evolution/).

Just great. So I take a look at the Evolution files. Half of them are in ~/.evolution — and for some reason there're a couple more lurking in ~/.gconf/apps/evolution. Whatever, copying .gconf/ over to the new account doesn't do the trick, either. For, now that I have started Evolution for the first time, it has already taken control: I quit Evolution, edit some config files, restart Evolution — and the files are restored with their old (useless) content. WTF? “Hurray for the new gPaddedCell demon, codename Sysiphus!”, or what? I for my part suspect this fishy gconfd process. Silly modern trinkets. What the hey, I just log out and use the text terminal, baby, gconfd doesn't do text. Sheesh, when I was your age, we had no gconfd. And no window manager other that fvwm2, and we were happy. We punched cards. With our teeth! In cuneiform, baby!

Anyway, where was I? Well, one ctrl-alt-F1 later I'm scanning through files checking boring read/write permissions and groups... nope, situation normal. I see my calendar data and my tasks there allright — Evolution just doesn't read them for some reason. Then I notice, in those %gconf.xml files, there's my old home path and my old hostname... Dang. If Evolutions takes these configs serious, it might just be protecting my personal data (calendar etc) from the "strange" user that I am now...

There is even some weird kind of ID number appearing in those %gconf.xml files: uid="1121950749.6099.12@oldhostname"? The first number changes rarely and looks similar to the timestamps those files use, I'll just leave it that way. The second, isn't that my old UID? I don't remember. The third ID number changes often, just a counter of some sorts? What now, do I have to update each mention of my old UID, home and hostname before I can use calenders and tasks again? \*sigh\* Well, it's worth a try, since I find no easier solution in newsgroups, either.

OK, after updating millions of %gconf.xml lines with the correct $HOME, $UID, $HOSTNAME entries, I open Evolution, and... Yay, the contact list wakes up from its beauty sleep. Then, Evo develops a Bad ConcienceTM and gives me like half a dozen popups for all those meetings that I have "missed" during the last 2 days due to "sudden invisibility". (Yeah, right, does Evo truely believe I trust a computer with reminding me? Kiss my analogue hardcopy, baby.) However, still no tasks nor meetings visible in the list, neither can I add new ones. Or can I? Adding a test task via the New Task menu item doesn't show any response (not even an error message). But when I double-click the task list, type "test test test" into the line, and hit enter — it shows up in the list! And with it, all the other old entries!? Yay! Evo blushes and quickly highlights all the tasks red that were due yesterday, just in case I didn't know.

Unfortunately, this "solution" only goes so far it seems, for the calender part still doesn't show anything even after I've added some test appointments. I look at the \*.ics — Strange, the test entries seem to have made it into the files... but are not displayed...? Well, to cut a long story short: If it should ever happen to you that some config ought to be working, but the data still doesn't show, check whether there is a filter or tiny checkbox somewhere that switches visibility on/off... \*whistles innocently\*

Now I sit here again happily hacking away with my Linux (well, as happy as one can be without Sylpheed), only interrupted now and then by an overeager Evo popping up little windows saying "Appoointment! test test test!" Shoot. Should have deleted those...


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