SyncEvolution 1.4.99.3 released

SyncEvolution 1.4.99.3 released

This release enhances CalDAV/CardDAV and PBAP syncing and fixes some problems. The enhanced conflict handling introduced 1.4.99.2 was unintentionally limited to syncs with EDS on the server side; it is now also available for example in WebDAV<->SyncML bridge setups. Details:

  • CardDAV: implement read-ahead

    Instead of downloading contacts one-by-one with GET, SyncEvolution now looks at contacts that are most likely going to be needed soon and gets all of them at once with addressbook-multiget REPORT.

    The number of contacts per REPORT is 50 by default, configurable by setting the SYNCEVOLUTION_CARDDAV_BATCH_SIZE env variable.

    This has two advantages:

    • It avoids round-trips to the server and thus speeds up a large download (100 small contacts with individual GETs took 28s on a fast connection, 3s with two REPORTs).
    • It reduces the overall number of requests. Google CardDAV is known to start issuing intermittent 401 authentication errors when the number of contacts retrieved via GET is too large. Perhaps this can be avoided with addressbook-multiget.
  • Google Calendar: remove child hack, improve alarm hack (FDO #63881)

    Google recently enhanced support for RECURRENCE-ID, so SyncEvolution no longer needs to replace the property when uploading a single detached event with RECURRENCE-ID. However, several things are still broken in the server, with no workaround in SyncEvolution:

    • Removing individual events gets ignored by the server; a full "wipe out server data" might work (untested).
    • When updating the parent event, all child events also get updated even though they were included unchanged in the data sent by SyncEvolution.
    • The RECURRENCE-ID of a child event of an all-day recurring event does not get stored properly.
    • The update hack seems to fail for complex meetings: uploading them once and then deleting them seems to make uploading them again impossible.

    All of these issues were reported to Google and are worked on there, so perhaps the situation will improve. In the meantime, syncing with Google CalDAV should better be limited to:

    • Downloading a Google calendar in one-way mode.
    • Two-way syncing of simple calendars without complex meeting serieses.

    While updating the Google workarounds, the alarm hack (sending a new event without alarms twice to avoid the automatic server side alarm) was simplified. Now the new event gets sent only once with a pseudo-alarm.

  • ephemeral sync: don't write binfile client files (FDO #55921)

    When doing PBAP caching, we don't want any meta data written because the next sync would not use it anyway. With the latest libsynthesis we can configure "/dev/null" as datadir for the client's binfiles and libsynthesis will avoid writing them.

    The PIM manager uses this for PBAP syncing automatically. For testing it can be enabled by setting the SYNCEVOLUTION_EPHEMERAL env variable.

  • PBAP: avoid empty field filter

    Empty field filter is supposed to mean "return all supported fields". This used to work and stopped working with Android phones after an update to 4.3 (seen on Galaxy S3); now the phone only returns the mandatory TEL, FN, N fields.

    The workaround is to replace the empty filter list with the list of known and supported properties. This means we only pull data we really need, but it also means we won't get to see any additional properties that the phone might support.

  • PBAP: transfer in chunks (FDO #77272)

    If enabled via env variables, PullAll transfers will be limited to a certain numbers contacts at different offsets until all data got pulled. See PBAP README for details.

    When transfering in chunks, the enumeration of contacts for the engine no longer matches the PBAP enumeration. Debug output uses "offset #x" for PBAP and "ID y" for the engine.

  • PBAP: remove transfer via pipe

    Using a pipe was never fully supported by obexd (blocks obexd). Transfering in suitably sized chunks (FDO #77272) will be a more obexd friendly solution with a similar effect (not having to buffer the entire address book in memory).

  • engine: enable batching by default (FDO #52669)

    This reverts commit c435e937cd406e904c437eec51a32a6ec6163102.

    Commit 7b636720a in libsynthesis fixes an unitialized memory read in the asynchronous item update code path.

    Testing confirms that we can now used batched writes reliably with EDS (the only backend currently supporting asynchronous writes + batching), so this change enables it again also for local and SyncEvolution<->SyncEvolution sync (with asynchronous execution of contact add/update overlapped with SyncML message exchanges) and other SyncML syncs (with changes combined into batches and executed at the end of each message).

  • datatypes: fix contact caching

    Adding grouping to the contact datatype in 1.4.99.2 broke PBAP caching: when sending an empty URL, for example, during the sync, the parsed contact had different field arrays than the locally stored contact, because the latter was saved without the empty URL.

    This caused the field-based comparison to detect a difference even when the final, reencoded contact wasn't different at all.

    To solve this, syncing now uses the same "don't send empty properties" configuration as local storages. Testing shows that this resolves the difference for EDS.

    A more resilient solution would be to add a check based on the encoded data, but that's more costly performance wise.

  • datatypes: fix vCard handling

    The new "preserve repeating properties during conflict resolution" feature from 1.4.99.2 was only active when using EDS as storage. The relevant merge script must be applied to all datatypes, not just the EDS flavor.

    The feature was also unintentionally active when running in caching mode. This caused two problems:

    • The cached item was updated even though only the ordering of repeating properties had been modified during merging.
    • The merged item was sent back to the client side, which was undesirable (caching is supposed to be one-way) or even impossible (PBAP is read-only, causing sync failures eith error 20030).

    We must check for caching mode and disable merging when it is active. We also must not tell the engine that we updated the photo property in the winning item, because then that item would get sent to the read-only side of the sync.

    Perhaps a better solution would be to actually tell the engine that the remote side is read-only when we activate caching mode.

  • datatypes: avoid PHOTO corruption during merge (FDO #77065)

    When handling an update/update conflict (both sides of the sync have an updated contact) and photo data was moved into a local file by EDS, the engine merged the file path and the photo data together and thus corrupted the photo.

    The engine does not know about the special role of the photo property. This needs to be handled by the merge script, and that script did not cover this particular situation. Now the loosing side is cleared, causing the engine to then copy the winning side over into the loosing one.

    Found by Renato Filho/Canonical when testing SyncEvolution for Ubuntu 14.04.

  • PBAP syncing: updated photo not always stored

    Because photo data was treated like a C string, changes after any embedded null byte were ignored during a comparison.

  • PIM: fix phone number normalization

    The parsed number always has a country code, whereas SyncEvolution expected it to be zero for strings without an explicit country code. This caused a caller ID lookup of numbers like "089788899" in DE to find only telephone numbers in the current default country, instead of being more permissive and also finding "+189788899". The corresponding unit test was broken and checked for the wrong result. Found while investigating an unrelated test failure when updating libphonenumber.

  • Various compiler problems and warnings fixed; compiles with --with-warnings=fatal on current Debian Testing and Ubuntu Trusty (FDO #79316).

Upgrading from releases <= 1.3.99.4:

If the value of "username/databaseUser/proxyUser" contains a colon, the "user:" prefix must be added to the value, to continue treating it like a plain user name and not some reference to an unknown identity provider (like "id:", "goa:", "signon:", etc.).

The lookup of passwords in GNOME Keyring was updated slightly in 1.3.99.5. It may be necessary to set passwords anew if the old one is no longer found.

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 code bundles for users are available in http://downloads.syncevolution.org/syncevolution/sources and the original source is in the git repositories.

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", "syncevolution-kde" and/or "syncevolution-activesync".

These binaries include the "sync-ui" GTK GUI and were compiled for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid), except for ActiveSync binaries which were compiled for Debian Wheezy, Ubuntu Saucy and Ubuntu Trusty. A backend for Ubuntu Online Accounts was compiled on Ubuntu Saucy. The packages mentioned above are meta-packages which pull in suitable packages matching the distro during installation.

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 1.x .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. More specific HOWTOs can be found in the Wiki.