SyncEvolution 1.2.99.1 released

SyncEvolution 1.2.99.1 released

First pre-release of SyncEvolution 1.3. Contains bug fixes that were not backported to 1.2.x, so upgrading is recommended. For example, SyncEvolution 1.3 is required for Evolution 3.4, otherwise photos are not exported properly. Further workarounds for recent changes in Google CalDAV were added.

Major new features are KDE/Akonadi support in the syncevolution.org binaries and ActiveSync support (only in the source code). The D-Bus server and local sync were rewritten considerably, to make the code cleaner and more robust. The CalDAV backend now also supports tasks and memos. Details:

  • phone sync: delete<->delete conflict + phone calendar+todo sync (BMC #23744)

    When deleting an item on phone and locally, the next sync failed with ERROR messages about "object not found". This has several reasons:

    • libsynthesis super data store attempts to read items which may or may not exist (triggers ERROR message)
    • it checks for 404 but Evolution backends only return a generic database error (causes sync to fail)
  • phone sync: get phone vendor and model from Device ID profile (BMC #736)

    In the past we have relied on the user-modifiable device name to be the fingerprint for matching a phone to a template which is unreliable.

    This release changes this in the cases where the phone supports the Device ID profile (DIP). If support for DIP is detected, then we extract the vendor and product ids and attempt to associate them with a product and vendor name by using a newly added lookup table.

    This lookup table has to be maintained manually and depends on contributions by users to cover more devices. See http://blixtra.org/blog/2011/09/22/syncevolution-needs-you-or-at-least-y...

  • vCalendar 1.0: fixed recurring all-day event support

    vCalendar 1.0 cannot represent all-day events. The workarounds for mapping iCalendar 2.0 all-day events into vCalendar 1.0 was incomplete, leading to effects like shifting EXDATEs and end times.

  • GTK-UI: accept service config with a username again (BMC#23106)

    Suppressing configs with empty username had undesired side effects: modifying configs for direct syncing with a device incorrectly triggered the same error message, without any means of entering a username. The faulty check was removed without replacement.

  • GTK-UI: added GTK 3 version of UI

    When GTK 3 is found during compilation, a GTK 3 version of the UI is built. The source code of both is different to avoid excessive use of ifdefs. At the moment, both versions offer the same features. In the long run, the GTK 3 version will replace the GTK 2 version.

  • command line: added refresh/one-way-from-local/remote (BMC #23537)

    The -from-client/server sync modes are confusing because the direction of the data exchange depends on which side acts as SyncML server or client.

    This release introduces new modes which use -from-local/remote instead. The statistics and messages also use these variants now. The old modes are still understood, but are declared as "not recommended" in the documentation.

  • command line: config and source names are optional (BMC #23783)

    The need to add "foo" and "bar" pseudo config and source names to the command line even when all parameters for the operation where explicitly specified on the command line was confusing.

    Now it is possible to invoke item operations without the config and source name. Names which refer to non-existent configs are still accepted, as in previous releases. Typos are handled better by producing a detailed error report which includes (as applicable):

    • config doesn't exist
    • source doesn't exist or not selected
    • backend property not set

    Because luids used to be positional arguments after and , a new --luids keyword is necessary to indicate that the ensuing parameters are luids and not and .

  • command line: introduced --print-databases, supported for CalDAV/CardDAV

    Listing databases is now a dedicated operation, instead of being done whenever syncevolution was invoked without parameters.

    Advantages:

    • can be combined with property assignments for backends which do not work without that additional information, for example CalDAV/CardDAV:
          syncevolution --print-databases \
                        backend=[caldav|carddav] \
                        syncURL=... \
                        username=... \
                        password=...
    • can be done for configured sources
  • command line: use both stdout and stderr

    Traditionally, the "syncevolution" command line tool mixed its INFO/ERROR/DEBUG messages into the normal stdout. This has the major drawback that error messages get lost during operations like syncevolution --export - @default addressbook | grep "John Doe"

    Now anything which not the expected result of the operation is always sent to stderr. Obviously this includes ERROR messages. INFO and DEBUG are harder to decide. Because they usually convey meta information about the running operation, they are also sent to stderr. The output of running a sync goes to both stdout (summary) and stderr (progress).

  • command line: allow setting empty properties

    Due to the way how properties were handled internally, it wasn't possible to explicitly set a property to its default value. Instead the property was unset. For example, explicitly setting database= was not possible.

    This is necessary for client-test and ActiveSync, because client-test needs to know that the testing is expected to run with the default databases (something which normally is avoided by overwriting empty database properties).

    Now the "is set" state is tracked explicitly in the config storage and command line property APIs. Unsetting a property via the command line could be implemented with an explicit command line option, but is not supported at the moment.

  • command line + local sync: fixed erroneous "Comparison impossible" output.

    "Comparison impossible" was incorrectly printed after a successful comparison on the target side of local sync.

  • synccompare: shorter data dump of PHOTO

    A full comparison of the base64 PHOTO data can be very long. Now some key characteristics of the PHOTO data (number of characters in base64 encoding, number of bytes in decoded data, md5sum of decoded data) are printed instead.

    That way, unintended changes of the data (different encoding, different content) should still be found while testing and added/removed photos are nicely visible in synccompare diffs.

  • synccompare: fixed output for byte-identical duplicates

    If database dumps contained byte-identical duplicates, they were treated as a single item on the left side of a comparison. This caused erroneous "added" entries on the right side.

  • secure password storage: usage of GNOME Keyring vs. KDE KWallet configurable

    Automatically detecting KDE users is not possible at the moment. Instead KDE users have to manually set the new "keyring" global config property to "KDE" (case insensitive) if the SyncEvolution installation supports both, because GNOME Keyring is the default to avoid surprises for traditional users. If only KWallet support is enabled, then this is not necessary.

    "GNOME" and "true/false/1/0/yes/no" can also be set. This has the advantage that keyring usage can be enabled permanently for the command line in --daemon=no mode; normally keyrings are not used in that mode because accessing them can bring up UI dialogs.

    It also becomes possible to disable keyring usage in syncevo-dbus-server, something which couldn't be done before.

    The --keyring command line option is still supported, as an alias for "[--sync-property] keyring=". The default value for --keyring is true, to match the traditional behavior. In contrast to other sync properties, setting "keyring" does not require an explicit --run parameter. Again this is done to mirror traditional usage.

  • Evolution: always create databases (PTCOM-113)

    Always try to create address book or calendar database, because even if there is a source there's no guarantee that the actual database was created already; the original logic for only setting this when explicitly requesting a new database therefore failed in some cases.

    This problem affected users who had never created anything locally and wanted to use SyncEvolution to migrate their data. Now that works without having to create dummy entries first.

  • Evolution contacts: changed default sync format to vCard 3.0

    vCard 3.0 is the better default because it has saner encoding rules and defines more properties, thus avoiding the need for non-standard extensions. However, Mobical has problems with the new default. See upgrade instructions below.

  • D-Bus server: made notification verbosity configurable with "notifyLevel"

    The new "notifyLevel" per-peer configuration option allows users to control how many desktop notifications the D-Bus server produces while executing an automatic sync:

    0 - suppress all notifications 1 - show only errors 2 - show information about changes and errors (in practice currently the same as level 3) 3 - show all notifications, including starting a sync (default)

  • CalDAV: updated Google workarounds

    Google started sending empty items (VCALENDAR with no VEVENT inside) which cannot be removed. SyncEvolution 1.3 ignores such items.

    The workaround for a 404 from Google Calendar for a GET (sending a REPORT request matching the item's UID) was broken: first, processing the result ended up calling the unset responseEnd boost function pointer, which caused the request to fail. Second, getting multiple items wasn't handled (data from all items concatenated together was used).

    That can happen in the somewhat unlike case that some items have a UID which is a complete superset of the requested UID - not realistic in real life, but happens during testing.

  • WebDAV: bridge with SyncML

    Now a peer accessed via SyncML can read/write data stored in a CalDAV/CardDAV server directly. This can be used to connect a device which only supports SyncML to a CalDAV/CardDAV server, or sync data between a SyncML server and a CalDAV/CardDAV server. See "CalDAV and CardDAV" in the README for details.

  • WebDAV: improved --configure

    Added INFO output about checking sources. This helps with WebDAV when the server cannot be contacted (dead, misconfigured) because otherwise there would be no indication at all why the --configure operation seems to hang.

    Here is some example output, including aborting:

      $ syncevolution --configure --template webdav \
                      syncURL=http://192.168.1.100:9000/ \
                      username=foo password=bar retryDuration=2s \
                      target-config@webdav-temp
      [INFO] creating configuration target-config@webdav-temp
      [INFO] addressbook: looking for databases...
      [INFO] addressbook: no database to synchronize
      [INFO] calendar: looking for databases...
      [INFO] calendar: no database to synchronize
      [INFO] memo: looking for databases...
      [INFO] memo: no database to synchronize
      [INFO] todo: looking for databases...
      [INFO] todo: no database to synchronize

    It timed out fairly quickly here because of the retryDuration=2s. That also gets placed in the resulting config, which is probably not desired.

    Aborting the operation is now supported:

  $ syncevolution --configure \
                  --template webdav \
                  syncURL=http://192.168.1.100:9000/ \
                  username=foo password=bar \
                  target-config@webdav-temp
  [INFO] creating configuration target-config@webdav-temp
  [INFO] addressbook: looking for databases...
  ^C[INFO] Asking to suspend...
  [INFO] Press CTRL-C again quickly (within 2s) to stop immediately (can cause problems in the future!)
  ^C[INFO] Aborting immediately ...
  [ERROR] error code from SyncEvolution aborted on behalf of user (local, status 20017): aborting as requested by user

It would be good to make the CTRL-C handling code aware that it can abort immediately instead of doing the intermediate "asking to suspend" step, which only makes sense for sync sessions.

  • WebDAV: support tasks and memos (BMC #24893)

    The new backend property values "CalDAVTodo" and "CalDAVJournal" select tasks resp. memos stored in a CalDAV collection. "CalDAV" continues to select events.

    Events, tasks and journals can be mixed in the same resource (= URL). However, this is less efficient than storing them separately.

    A good CalDAV server allows filtering items by type, and SyncEvolution uses that. However, it was found that Radicale 0.7 ignores this filtering, which could have led to data loss (SyncEvolution asks for all VTODOs in preparation for a "delete all items" operation in a "CalDAVTodo" source, gets also VJOURNALs, then deletes them).

    Therefore SyncEvolution plays it safe and downloads the VTODO and VJOURNAL data to double-check that it is working on the right items. This causes additional traffic for well-behaving servers; currently it cannot be turned off.

    Tasks are exchanged as vCalendar 1.0 or iCalendar 2.0 VJOURNAL. Memos are exchanged as VTODO or plain text. The logic for storing incoming plain text is slightly different compared to the way how the EDS memo backend did it: instead of copying the first line from the text into the summary, it is now moved. In other words, the first line gets stripped. The change is primarily technically motivated; both approaches have pros and cons.

  • WebDAV: improved Radicale support

    Radicale > 0.7 will return status 200 for delete requests; is now treated like 204 by SyncEvolution. 412 'Preconditiona Failed' when asking to delete an already removed item is treated like the more common 404 'not found'. Same with 410 'gone' instead of 404 when trying to read a non-existent item.

  • file backend: more flexible sync support for memos

    The databaseFormat=text/calendar for memos did not support synchronizing as plain text. When using the new databaseFormat=text/calendar+plain, vCalendar/iCalendar/plain text are all valid sync formats; the storage is iCalendar 2.0 VJOURNAL in all cases.

  • WebDAV: avoid potential crash during database detection

    When a server responds to a PROPFIND for a path with results for some other path, then SyncEvolution crashed during the search for the default calendar or address book because of a bug in the code which was meant to handle that kind of response. Apparently Yahoo Calendar did that. Now seen again in combination with Radicale 0.6.4.

    In general, the code was made more robust to cope with bugs in Radicale 0.6.4. Later Radicale versions fixed these issues and also worked with SyncEvolution 1.2.2 without client-side workarounds.

  • WebDAV: better path normalization

    "syncURL" and "database" properties had to end in a trailing slash, otherwise items were not found (404 errors). Now the necessary slash is added automatically.

  • Funambol: avoid slow syncs in refresh from server

    libsynthesis has traditionally implemented "refresh-from-server" as "delete local data" plus "slow" sync. This is more compatible, because some servers (like Google) do not support "refresh-from-server".

    But it has the downside that the server cannot know that the client won't send any data, and Funambol's OneMedia now only allows one slow sync before blocking the next one for a certain period of time. This is done to prevent excessive resource usage by badly behaving clients.

    To accomodate both kinds of servers, the new "enableRefreshSync" sync property can be set set to explicitly allow the usage of the "refresh-from-server" sync mode. It's off by default. The Funambol template has it turned on, existing configs must be updated manually (see upgrading comments below).

  • Curl transport: support SSLServerCertificates=

    When the setting refers to a directory, then CURLOPT_CAINFO doesn't work (must be a file). Check this and use CURLOPT_CAPATH instead.

    Caveat: there are some comments in the API documentation about "NSS enabled libcurl" which supports a directory in CURLOPT_CAINFO. Hopefully providing an explicit path in CURLOPT_CAPATH also works in that configuration.

  • code cleanup + rewrite: syncing done in separate process

    syncevo-dbus-server now runs syncing in a separate process. Local sync also uses a second helper process. This makes the D-Bus server more responsive via D-Bus (no more blocking operations) and minimizes the effect of bugs in code involved with syncing (backends, system libraries, etc.).

    In the long term this restructuring will also allow more advanced features, like monitoring local or remote storage for changes.

  • SyncEvolution <-> SyncEvolution sync: multiple cycles per session

    SyncML only allows one send/receive cycle per session. There are cases (for example, client side merges data that a dumber server failed to match correctly) where client and server are still out of sync at the end of a cycle. When SyncEvolution syncs with another SyncEvolution instance (locally or remotely), both sides detect that the peer can continue syncing in the same session and start over automatically when needed. Previously the user had to start another sync session manually.

    To the user this is shown as "number of cycles" in a sync session in the sync report. "Restart" is the process of entering a new cycle.

    The cycles are also visible in the command line output as multiple INFO lines:

    [INFO] eds_contact: starting first time sync from client (peer is server)
    [INFO] creating complete data backup of source eds_contact before sync (enabled with dumpData and needed for prin
    Local data changes to be applied during synchronization:
    *** eds_contact ***
    no changes

    [INFO] eds_contact: sent 1/1
    [INFO] eds_contact: started
    [INFO] eds_contact: first time sync done successfully
    [INFO] eds_contact: starting normal sync from client (peer is server)         <===
    [INFO] eds_contact: started                                                   <===
    [INFO] eds_contact: normal sync done successfully                             <===
    [INFO] creating complete data backup after sync (enabled with dumpData and needed for printChanges)

    Synchronization successful.

    Changes applied during synchronization:
    +---------------|-----------------------|-----------------------|-CON-+
    |               |         LOCAL         |        REMOTE         | FLI |
    |        Source | NEW | MOD | DEL | ERR | NEW | MOD | DEL | ERR | CTS |
    +---------------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
    |   eds_contact |  0  |  0  |  0  |  0  |  1  |  0  |  0  |  0  |  0  |
    |   refresh-from-local, 2 cycles, 0 KB sent by client, 0 KB received  |
                            ^^^^^^^^
    |   item(s) in database backup: 1 before sync, 1 after it             |
    +---------------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
    |          start Tue Feb  7 17:07:49 2012, duration 0:03min           |
    |               synchronization completed successfully                |
    +---------------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+

  • SyncEvolution <-> SyncEvolution sync: negotiate UID support via SyncCap (BMC #22783)

    The semantic of UID/RECURRENCE-ID in calendar data is now tracked per data store involved in a sync. If full iCalendar 2.0 semantic (= IDs are globally unique) is guaranteed, then pairs are found based on these IDs. Otherwise pairs must be found by looking at item attributes.

    Previously a hack was used to detect this kind of support (any kind of SyncEvolution instance was assumed to support it, although some backends do not).

  • syncevolution.org packages: fixed D-Bus server autostart in .deb and .rpm packages

    syncevo-dbus-server wasn't started automatically as part of a user session because /etc/xdg/autostart/syncevo-dbus-server.desktop wasn't included in the packages. This broke auto syncing after a session restart (required manually starting SyncEvolution).

  • syncevolution.org packages: support KDE

    The traditional "syncevolution-evolution" package was replaced with "syncevolution-bundle". A meta "syncevolution-evolution" package depends on it, to support seamless updates for users who have "syncevolution-evolution" installed.

    Binary dependencies of the main .deb are ignored for backends because loading them is optional. The new "syncevolution-kde" package has the right dependencies for KDE/Akonadi, while "syncevolution-evolution" mostly just lists standard libs if the "EDS compatibility" mode is used, where libebook/libecal are loaded dynamically.

    Platform specific code (GNOME keyring, KDE wallet) was moved into loadable, optional modules, to allow installation of the SyncEvolution bundle without forcing the installation of unused system components.

  • D-Bus: use GIO D-Bus instead of libdbus if available

    When compiling from source, the more modern GIO D-Bus is used instead of libdbus if available and recent enough (>= 2.30). syncevolution.org binaries still use libdbus, to stay compatible with older Linux distros.

  • several minor bug fixes

    syncevo-dbus-server now runs under valgrind in the nightly testing, plus several more test scenarios were added. This helped to find and fix various minor memory handling issues.

  • developers: backend API changes

    beginSync/endSync() (aka m_startDataRead/m_endDataWrite) may now be called multiple times per SyncSource instance life cycle. SyncSources derived from TrackingSyncSource should work without changes. Use the Client::Source::*::testChangesMultiCycles test to check whether your backend supports this correctly.

    Reading and deleting must throw a 404 status exception when an item is not found. The Client::Source::::404 tests cover this.

    The special semantic of the former RegisterSyncSource::InactiveSource (invalid pointer of value 1) caused bugs, like using it in --print-databases (=> segfault) or not being able to store the result of a createSource() directly in a smart pointer (=> potential leak in SyncSource::createSource()).

    Obviously a bad idea to start with. Replaced with a RegisterSyncSource::InactiveSource() method which creates a real, inactive SyncSource instance which can and must be deleted by the caller.

    This is a SyncSource API change for backend developers. Instead of RegisterSyncSource::InactiveSource, return RegisterSyncSource::InactiveSource(). Comparisons against RegisterSyncSource::InactiveSource needs to be replaced with a call to the new SyncSource::isInactive().

    Long-running backend calls are encouraged to check for events on the main glib context (either in a loop or with g_main_context_iteration(NULL)) and abort when SuspendFlags::getSuspendFlags().getState() returns SuspendFlags::ABORT.

  • packagers:

    libgdbussyncevo is now installed as a normal library in /usr/lib, even though SyncEvolution is the only user.

    pcrecpp is now a new hard dependency.

Upgrading from release 1.2.x:

The sync format of existing configurations for Mobical (aka Everdroid) must be updated manually, because the server has encoding problems when using vCard 3.0 (now the default for Evolution contacts):

   syncevolution --configure \
                 syncFormat=text/x-vcard \
                 mobical addressbook

The Funambol template explicitly enables usage of the "refresh-from-server" sync mode to avoid getting throttled with 417 'retry later' errors. The same must be added to existing configs manually:

   syncevolution --configure \
                 enableRefreshSync=TRUE \
                 funambol

Upgrading from releases before 1.2:

Old configurations can still be read. But writing, as it happens during a sync, must migrate the configuration first. Releases >= 1.2 automatically migrates configurations. The old configurations will still be available (see "syncevolution --print-configs") but must be renamed manually to use them again under their original names with older SyncEvolution releases.

Source, Installation, Further information

Source snapshots are in http://downloads.syncevolution.org/syncevolution/sources

i386, lpia and amd64 binaries for Debian-based distributions are available via the "unstable" syncevolution.org repository. Add the following entry to your /apt/source.list, then install "syncevolution-evolution":

These binaries include the "sync-ui" GTK GUI and were compiled for Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy). Older distributions like Debian 4.0 (Etch) can no longer be supported with precompiled binaries because of missing libraries, but the source still compiles when not enabling the GUI (the default).

The same binaries are also available as .tar.gz and .rpm archives in the download directories. In contrast to 0.8.x archives, the new .tar.gz archives have to be unpacked and the content must be moved to /usr, because several files would not be found otherwise.

After installation, follow the getting started steps.