'Synchronization sucks!'

Čt 14 dubna 2011

One of my biggest pet-peeves in the free software world hit me again. Whenever I asked my friends what are their biggest blockers against switching to Linux, I get two questions. The first one is "Will my Word documents work? Will I get something equivalent to MS Office?" And I am happy to say that I can point to Libre/OpenOffice and with a kind help from our friends in Redmont, I usually can persuade them that we have a good alternative here.

The second question is though "Will it synchronize calendar/addressbook with my cell phone?" and there I get always sad. Given the frequency this question comes up and up again, I am constantly surprised how little major Linux players do in this regard. The last time synchronization reliably worked for me was when I was using Psion PDA and {KDE,Gnome}-pilot. Not that there wouldn’t be enough trying (OpenSync, SyncEvolution mentioned by Adam and many others), but none of them is really reliably allowing me to share my contacts, calendar, and TODO list between my N900, Thunderbird on desktop and my server (which runs Zarafa 7.0beta3 currently). Currently the only working solution for me is to use … ehm … ActiveSync from above mentioned friends on the west Coast of the United States. Yes, it is quite unreliable (especially with regards to emails) and it omits synchronization of contacts in Thundebird, but at least I have calendars more or less in sync.

In relation to the recent news I have chatted on IRC with Ludovico and we agreed that actually well working Lightning and Address book synchronization/sharing is must for any serious deployment outside of hobbyist area.

And now I am reading Adam’s blogpost on his suffering with the state of synchronization and I feel at least a bit of consolation that I am not alone with my pain. I cannot add much to his blogpost than couple of nits:

  • I am not completely persuaded that synchronization is not the way to go, or that the difference isn’t mostly lexical. At least git seems to show that synchronization of two repositories is possible, and synchronization of changes from cache to the central repository doesn’t seem to be too different from synchronization.
  • I am not sure how reliable the information is, but some birdie told me that the next version of Zarafa (after 7.0) should have the official support for CardDAV (CalDAV is already supported) and I really hope it will be so.

I still hope that future is bright, but I really wish it was closer than it is.

Category: computer Tagged: OpenOffice OwnCloud


Stalled inovation

Čt 10 srpna 2006

I am still thinking about scripts­how incredibly useful they are and how surprisingly little of them are in GUI-Linux world. Given the fact, that every Linux user (not talking about programmers) knows very well how scripting capabilities could be useful for everybody (not only for programmers), I would expect …

Category: computer Tagged: linux OpenOffice


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