Evolution, Druids, and Wombats

Volume 7, Issue 27; 25 Feb 2004; last modified 08 Oct 2010

When the calendar stopped working in Evolution, it hampered my efforts to get Palm RDF data into iCal. This is how I got it working again.

A program is only complete when its last user is dead.

I’ve been trying to get my Palm calendar data exported to iCal format. What that really means is, I’ve been trying to get my Palm RDF into RdfCalendar. And what that really means is, I’ve been trying to figure out the RDF Calendar stuff.

None of which, as it turns out, has a whole lot to do with this essay. This essay, inspired in part by an offhand remark Dan made in irc (credit where credit is due), is about getting the Evolution calendar working and getting iCal data into it.

I’ve been running Evolution about once every six months or so, whenever I decide I have a few minutes to to work on this calendaring project. Running Evolution that infrequently has it’s own amusing side effect. Having gotten all of my calendar data into it once upon a time, when I start it now, it pops up a reminder window for every single event that’s occurred since the last time I ran it. At an average of 15–20 telcons a week and 24 weeks in six months, thats a lot of popups!

But at some point the calendar in Evolution stopped working for me: the calendar page would show the task list, the task page would show the task list, and no page would show the calendar. Cries for help eventually lead to the solution: blow away ~/.gconf/apps/evolution and re-run the Evolution druid. Druid, I ask? Everyone else in the world calls these things “wizards,” why is Gnome calling these things druids and not wizards? I can imagine someone taking exception to the word “wizard,” but I can’t imagine caring. And I can’t imagine “druid” being considered much of an improvement by anyone that narrow-minded.

Anyway, that’s the druid part of the story. The wombat part comes next. I built some test data and stuck it in the calendar.ics file that Evolution uses. But next time I started Evolution, instead of seeing the new appointment, it had been remorselessly deleted.

This is where Dan tells me to “kill the wombat”. Now, I’m think this is just a little geeky humor and he really means kill some process that’s running in the background. Sure enough, that is what he means, but the process is really called the evolution-wombat! Too funny. What can I say, I’m easily amused.

It all seems to be working now. Alas, I think getting it working again consumed all the time I had to work on it.


FWIW, I experienced the same issue with the calendar/tasks list... I finally understood that in fact the calendar was "simply" hidden: evolution allows to modify the layout of the calendar view to show a bigger or smaller view of the tasks lists, and during the switch from evolution 1.0 to 1.4, the tasks list (for some reason) got set to the size of the complete calendar window! Once that understood, you just have to draw the appropriate handle to get it back as wanted.

—Posted by Dominique on 25 Feb 2004 @ 02:18 UTC #

I recently upgraded to Fedora Core 1 and then copied my entire home directory (. folders and all) into my new account.

After which I had the same problem with the Evolution calendar.

To fix the problem I simply removed ~/.gconf/apps/evolution/calendar/display/conf.xml.

I found the calender view a bit more to my liking. However, the appointment times where all messed up. A quick check of the calender view properties and I found the time was set to UTC. A quick change back to local time and I was a happy camper.

—Posted by Rick on 23 Mar 2004 @ 03:33 UTC #