About 1.5

This version is the new stable, supported version of SyncEvolution. Compared to the last pre-release only minor changes were done (see below). This section summarizes the changes since the last stable release, 1.4.1.

Based on community feedback and discussions, the terminology used in
SyncEvolution for configuration, local sync and database access was
revised. Some usability issues with setting up access to databases
were addressed.

Interoperability with WebDAV servers and in particular Google Contacts
was enhanced considerably. Access to iCloud contacts was reported as
working when using username=foobar@icloud.com and password, but is not
formally tested. Syncing with iCloud calendars ran into a server
limitation (reported as 17001498 "CalDAV REPORT drops calendar data")
and needs further work (FDO #72133).

Contact data gets converted to and from the format typically used by
CardDAV servers, so now anniversary, spouse, manager, assistant and
instant message information are exchanged properly. Custom labels get
stored in EDS as extensions and no longer get lost when updating some
other aspects of a contact. However, Evolution does not show custom
labels and removes them when editing a property which has a custom
label (BGO #730636).

Scanning for CardDAV/CalDAV resources was enhanced. It now finds
additional calendars with Google CalDAV. For Google, the obsolete
SyncML config template was removed and CalDAV/CardDAV were merged into
a single "Google" template.

Using Google Calendar/Contacts with OAuth2 authentication on a
headless server becomes a bit easier: it is possible to set up access
on one system with a GUI using either gSSO or GNOME Online Accounts,
then take the OAuth2 refresh token and use it in SyncEvolution on a
different system. See the oauth2 backend README for details.
syncevolution.org binaries do not include this feature.

The PIM Manager API also supports Google Contact syncing. Some
problems with suspending a PBAP sync were fixed. Suspend/abort can
be tested with the sync.py example.

Performance is better for local syncs and PBAP caching. The most
common case, a two-way sync with no changes on either side, no longer
rewrites any meta data files. CPU consumption during local sync was
reduced to one third by exchanging messages via shared memory instead
of internal D-Bus. Redundant vCard decode/encode on the sending side
of PBAP and too agressive flushing of meta data during a normal sync
were removed.

The EDS memo backend is able to switch between syncing in plain
text and iCalendar 2.0 VJOURNAL automatically.

Graham Cobb fixed some all-day conversion issues in activesyncd. The updated version is part of the 1.5 release on syncevolution.org.


source -> datastore rename, improved terminology

The word "source" implies reading, while in fact access is read/write.
"datastore" avoids that misconception. Writing it in one word emphasizes
that it is single entity.

While renaming, also remove references to explicit --*-property
parameters. The only necessary use today is "--sync-property ?"
and "--datastore-property ?".

--datastore-property was used instead of the short --store-property
because "store" might be mistaken for the verb. It doesn't matter
that it is longer because it doesn't get typed often.

--source-property must remain valid for backward compatility.

As many user-visible instances of "source" as possible got replaced in
text strings by the newer term "datastore". Debug messages were left
unchanged unless some regex happened to match it.

The source code will continue to use the old variable and class names
based on "source".

Various documentation enhancements:
Better explain what local sync is and how it involves two sync
configs. "originating config" gets introduces instead of just
"sync config".

Better explain the relationship between contexts, sync configs,
and source configs ("a sync config can use the datastore configs in
the same context").

An entire section on config properties in the terminology
section. "item" added (Todd Wilson correctly pointed out that it was

Less focus on conflict resolution, as suggested by Graham Cobb.

Fix examples that became invalid when fixing the password
storage/lookup mechanism for GNOME keyring in 1.4.

The "command line conventions", "Synchronization beyond SyncML" and
"CalDAV and CardDAV" sections were updated. It's possible that the
other sections also contain slightly incorrect usage of the
terminology or are simply out-dated.

local sync: allow config name in syncURL=local://

Previously, only syncURL=local://@ was allowed and used
the "target-config@context name" config as target side in the local

Now "local://config-name@context-name" or simply "local://config-name"
are also allowed. "target-config" is still the fallback if only a
context is give.

It also has one more special meaning: "--configure
target-config@google" will pick the "Google" template automatically
because it knows that the intention is to configure the target side
of a local sync. It does not know that when using some other name
for the config, in which case the template (if needed) must be
specified explicitly.

The process name in output from the target side now also includes the
configuration name if it is not the default "target-config".

command line: revise usability checking of datastores

When configuring a new sync config, the command line checks whether a
datastore is usable before enabling it. If no datastores were listed
explicitly, only the usable ones get enabled. If unusable datastores
were explicitly listed, the entire configure operation fails.

This check was based on listing databases, which turned out to be too
unspecific for the WebDAV backend: when "database" was set to some URL
which is good enough to list databases, but not a database URL itself,
the sources where configured with that bad URL.

Now a new SyncSource::isUsable() operation is used, which by default
just falls back to calling the existing Operations::m_isEmpty. In
practice, all sources either check their config in open() or the
m_isEmpty operation, so the source is usable if no error is

For WebDAV, the usability check is skipped because it would require
contacting a remote server, which is both confusing (why does a local
configure operation need the server?) and could fail even for valid
configs (server temporarily down). The check was incomplete anyway
because listing databases gave a fixed help text response when no
credentials were given. For usability checking that should have
resulted in "not usable" and didn't.

The output during the check was confusing: it always said "listing
databases" without giving a reason why that was done. The intention
was to give some feedback while a potentially expensive operation
ran. Now the isUsable() method itself prints "checking usability" if
(and only if!) such a check is really done.

Sometimes datastores were checked even when they were about to be
configure as "disabled" already. Now checking such datastores is

command line: fix --update from directory

The "--update " operation was supposed to take the
item luids from the file names inside the directory. That part
had not been implemented, turning the operation accidentally
into an "--import".

Also missing was the escaping/unescaping of luids. Now the
same escaping is done as in command line output and command
line parsing to make the luids safe for use as file name.

sync output: hide ": started" INFO messages

These messages get printed at the start of processing each
SyncML message. This is not particularly useful and just
adds noise to the output.

config: allow storing credentials for email address

When configuring a WebDAV server with username = email address and no
URL (which is possible if the server supports service discovery via
the domain in the email address), then storing the credentials in the
GNOME keyring used to fail with "cannot store password in GNOME
keyring, not enough attributes".

That is because GNOME keyring seemed to get confused when a network
login has no server name and some extra safeguards were added to
SyncEvolution to avoid this.

To store the credentials in the case above, the email address now gets
split into user and domain part and together get used to look up the

config: ignore unnecessary username property

A local sync or Bluetooth sync do not need the 'username' property.
When it is set despite that, issue a warning.

Previously, the value was checked even when not needed, which
caused such syncs to fail when set to something other than a plain

config templates: Funambol URLs

Funambol turned of the URL redirect from my.funambol.com to
onemedia.com. The Funambol template now uses the current URL. Users
with existing Funambol configs must updated the syncURL property
manually to https://onemediahub.com/sync

Kudos to Daniel Clement for reporting the change.

EDS: memo syncing as iCalendar 2.0 (FDO #52714)

When syncing memos with a peer which also supports iCalendar 2.0 as
data format, the engine will now pick iCalendar 2.0 instead of
converting to/from plain text. The advantage is that some additional
properties like start date and categories can also be synchronized.

The code is a lot simpler, too, because the EDS specific iCalendar 2.0
<-> text conversion code can be removed.

SoupTransport: drop CA file check

It used to be necessary to specify a CA file for libsoup to enable SSL
certificate checking. Nowadays libsoup uses the default CA store
unless told otherwise, so the check in SyncEvolution became
obsolete. However, now there is a certain risk that no SSL checking is
done although the user asked for it (when libsoup is not recent enough
or compiled correctly).

CardDAV: use Apple/Google/CardDAV vCard flavor

In principle, CardDAV servers support arbitrary vCard 3.0
data. Extensions can be different and need to be preserved. However,
when multiple different clients or the server's Web UI interpret the
vCards, they need to agree on the semantic of these vCard extensions.

In practice, CardDAV was pushed by Apple and Apple clients are
probably the most common clients of CardDAV services. When the Google
Contacts Web UI creates or edits a contact, Google CardDAV will
send that data using the vCard flavor used by Apple.

Therefore it makes sense to exchange contacts with all CardDAV
servers using that format. This format could be made configurable in
SyncEvolution on a case-by-case basis; at the moment, it is

During syncing, SyncEvolution takes care to translate between the
vCard flavor used internally (based on Evolution) and the CardDAV
vCard flavor. This mapping includes:


Any IMPP property declared as X-SERVICE-TYPE=AIM will get
mapped to X-AIM. Same for others. Some IMPP service types
have no known X- property extension; they are stored in
EDS as IMPP. X- property extensions without a known X-SERVICE-TYPE
(for example, GaduGadu and Groupwise) are stored with
X-SERVICE-TYPE values chosen by SyncEvolution so that
Google CardDAV preserves them (GroupWise with mixed case
got translated by Google into Groupwise, so the latter is used).

Google always sends an X-ABLabel:Other for IMPP. This is ignored
because the service type overrides it.

The value itself also gets transformed during the mapping. IMPP uses
an URI as value, with a chat protocol (like "aim" or "xmpp") and
some protocol specific identifier. For each X- extension the
protocol is determined by the property name and the value is the
protocol specific identifier without URL encoding.


The mapping is based on the X-ABLabel property attached to
the X-ABRELATEDNAMES property. This depends on the English
words "Spouse", "Manager", "Assistant" that Google CardDAV
and Apple devices seem to use regardless of the configured

As with IMPP, only the subset of related names which have
a corresponding X- property extension get mapped. The rest
is stored in EDS using the X-ABRELATEDNAMES property.


Same here, with X-ABLabel:Anniversary as the special case
which gets mapped.

X-ABLabel parameter <-> property

CardDAV vCards have labels attached to arbitrary other properties
(TEL, ADR, X-ABDATE, X-ABRELATEDNAMES, ...) via vCard group tags:

The advantage is that property values can contain arbitrary
characters, including line breaks and double quotation marks,
which is not possible in property parameters.

Neither EDS nor KDE (judging from the lack of responses on the
KDE-PIM mailing list) support custom labels. SyncEvolution could
have used grouping as it is done in CardDAV, but grouping is not
used much (not at all?) by the UIs working with the vCards in EDS
and KDE. It seemed easier to use a new X-ABLabel parameter.

Characters which cannot be stored in a parameter get converted
(double space to single space, line break to space, etc.) during
syncing. In practice, these characters don't appear in X-ABLabel
properties anyway because neither Apple nor Google UIs allow entering
them for custom labels.

The "Other" label is used by Google even in case where it adds no
information. For example, all XMPP properties have an associated
X-ABLabel=Other although the Web UI does not provide a means to edit
or show such a label. Editing the text before the value in the UI
changes the X-SERVICE-TYPE parameter value, not the X-ABLabel as for
other fields.

Therefore the "Other" label is ignored by removing it during syncing.

X-EVOLUTION-UI-SLOT (the parameter used in Evolution to determine the
order of properties in the UI) gets stored in CardDAV. The only exception
is Google CardDAV which got confused when an IMPP property had both
X-SERVICE-TYPE and X-EVOLUTION-UI-SLOT parameters set. For Google,
X-EVOLUTION-UI-SLOT is only sent on other properties and thus ordering
of chat information can get lost when syncing with Google.

synccompare: support grouping and quoted parameter strings

Grouped properties are sorted first according to the actual property
name, then related properties are moved to the place where their group
tag appears first. The first grouped property gets a "- " prefix, all
following ones are just indended with " ". The actual group tag is not
part of the normalized output, because its value is irrelevant:


FN:Mr. John 1 Doe Sr.



Redundant tags (those set for only a single property, X-ABLabel:Other)
get removed as part of normalizing an item.

WebDAV: use server's order when listing collections

When doing a recursive scan of the home set, preserve the order of
entries as reported by the server and check the first one first. The
server knows better which entries are more relevant for the user (and
thus should be the default) or may have some other relevant
order. Previously, SyncEvolution replaced that order with sorting by
URL, which led to a predictable, but rather meaningless order.

For example, Google lists the users own calendar first, followed by
the shared calendars sorted alphabetical by their name. Now
SyncEvolution picks the main calendar as default correctly when
scanning from https://www.google.com/calendar/dav/.

WebDAV: improved database search (Google, Zimbra)

Zimbra has a principal URL that also serves as home set. When using it
as start URL, SyncEvolution only looked the URL once, without listing
its content, and thus did not find the databases.

When following the Zimbra principal URL indirectly, SyncEvolution did
check all of the collections there recursively. Unfortunately that
also includes many mail folders, causing the scan to abort after
checking 1000 collections (an internal safe guard).

The solution for both includes tracking what to do with a URL. For the
initial URL, only meta data about the URL itself gets
checked. Recursive scanning is only done for the home set. If that
home set contains many collections, scanning is still slow and may run
into the internal safe guard limit. This cannot be avoided because the
CalDAV spec explicitly states that the home set may contain normal
collections which contain other collections, so a client has to do the
recursive scan.

When looking at a specific calendar, Google CalDAV does not report
what the current principal or the home set is and therefore
SyncEvolution stopped after finding just the initial calendar. Now it
detects the lack of meta information and adds all parents also as
candidates that need to be looked at. The downside of this is that it
doesn't know anything about which parents are relevant, so it ends up
checking https://www.google.com/calendar/ and

In both cases Basic Auth gets rejected with a temporary redirect to
the Google login page, which is something that SyncEvolution must
ignore immediately during scanning without applying the resend
workaround for "temporary rejection of valid credentials" that can
happen for valid Google CalDAV URLs.

WebDAV: enhanced database search (Google Calendar)

Additional databases where not found for several
reasons. SyncEvolution ignored all shared calendars
(http://calendarserver.org/ns/shared) and Google marks the additional
calendars that way. The other problem was that the check for leaf
collections (= collections which cannot contain other desired
collections) incorrectly excluded those collections instead of only
preventing listing of their content.

With this change,
https://www.google.com/calendar/dav/?SyncEvolution=Google can be used
as starting point for Google Calendar.

WebDAV: fix database scan on iCloud

The calendar home set URL on iCloud (the one ending in /calendars/) is
declared as containing calendar data. That was enough for
SyncEvolution to accept it incorrectly as calendar. However, the home
set only contains calendar data indirectly.

WebDAV: support redirects between hosts and DNS SRV lookup based on URL

When finding a new URL, we must be prepared to reinitialize the Neon
session with the new host settings.

iCloud does not have .well-known support on its www.icloud.com
server. To support lookup with a non-icloudd.com email address, we
must do DNS SRV lookup when access to .well-known URLs fails. We do
this without a www prefix on the host first, because that is what happens
to work for icloud.com.

With these changes it becomes possible to do database scans on Apple
iCloud, using syncURL=https://www.icloud.com or
syncURL=https://icloud.com. Giving the syncURL like this is only
necessary for a username that does not end in @icloud.com. When
the syncURL is not set, the domain for DNS SRV lookup is taken
from the username.

WebDAV: more efficient item creation

PUT has the disadvantage that a client needs to choose a name and then
figure out what the real name on the server is. With Google CardDAV that
requires sending another request and only works because the server happens
to remember the original name (which is not guaranteed!).

POST works for new items without a name and happens to be implemented
by Google such that the response already includes all required
information (new name and revision string).

POST is checked for as described in RFC 5995 once before creating a new
item. Servers which don't support it continue to get a PUT.

WebDAV: send "User-Agent: SyncEvolution"

Apple iCloud servers reject requests unless they contain a User-Agent
header. The exact value doesn't seem to matter. Making the string
configurable might be better, but can still be done later when it
is more certain whether and for what it is needed.

WebDAV: refactor and fix DNS SRV lookup

The syncevo-webdav-lookup script was not packaged. It did not report
"not found" DNS results correctly and the caller did not check for
this either, so when looking up the information for a domain which
does not have DNS SRV entries, SyncEvolution ended up retrying for
while as if there had been a temporary lookup problem.

Google: remove SyncML template, combine CalDAV/CardDAV

Google has turned off their SyncML server, so the corresponding
"Google Contacts" template became useless and needs to be removed. It
gets replaced by a "Google" template which combines the three
different URLs currently used by Google for CalDAV/CardDAV.

This new template can be used to configure a "target-config@google"
with default calendar and address book database already enabled. The
actual URL of these databases will be determined during the first
sync using them.

The template relies on the WebDAV backend's new capability to search
multiple different entries in the syncURL property for databases. To
avoid listing each calendar twice (once for the legacy URL, once with
the new one) when using basic username/password authentication, the
backend needs a special case for Google and detect that the legacy URL
does not need to be checked.

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

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

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

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.

oauth2: new backend using libsoup/libcurl

New backend implements identity provider for obtaining OAuth2 access
token for systems without HMI support.
Access token is obtained by making direct HTTP request to OAuth2 server
and using refresh token obtained by user in some other way.
New provider automatically updates stored refresh token when OAuth2
server is issuing new one.

signon: make Accounts optional

The new "signon" provider only depends on lib[g]signon-glib. It uses
gSSO if found, else UOA. Instead of pulling parameters and the
identity via libaccounts-glib, the user of SyncEvolution now has to
ensure that the identity exists and pass all relevant parameters
in the "signon:" username.

gSSO: adapt to gSSO >= 2.0

signon: fix build

Static build was broken for gSSO and UOA (wrong path name to .la file)
and gSSO was not enabled properly (wrong condition check).

datatypes: raw text items with minimal conversion (FDO #52791)

When using "raw/text/calendar" or "raw/text/vcard" as SyncEvolution
"databaseFormat", all parsing and conversion is skipped. The backend's
data is identical to the item data in the engine. Finding duplicates
in a slow sync is very limited when using these types because the entire
item data must match exactly.

This is useful for the file backend when the goal is to store an exact copy
of what a peer has or for limited, read-only backends (PBAP). The downside
of using the raw types is that the peer is not given accurate information
about which vCard or iCalendar properties are supported, which may cause
some peers to not send all data.

datatypes: text/calendar+plain revised heuristic

When sending a VEVENT, DESCRIPTION was set to the SUMMARY if empty. This may
have been necessary for some peers, but for notes (= VJOURNAL) we don't know
that (hasn't been used in the past) and don't want to alter the item
unnecessarily, so skip that part and allow empty DESCRIPTION.

When receiving a plain text note, the "text/calendar+plain" type
used to store the first line as summary and the rest as description.
This may be correct in some cases and wrong in others.

The EDS backend implemented a different heuristic: there the first
line is copied into the summary and stays in the description. This
makes a bit more sense (the description alone is always enough to
understand the note). Therefore and to avoid behavioral changes
for EDS users when switching the EDS backend to use text/calendar+plain,
the engine now uses the same approach.

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

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

vcard profile: avoid data loss during merging

When resolving a merge conflict, repeating properties were taken
wholesale from the winning side (for example, all email addresses). If
a new email address had been added on the loosing side, it got lost.

Arguably it is better to preserve as much data as possible during a
conflict. SyncEvolution now does that in a merge script by checking
which properties in the loosing side do not exist in the winning side
and copying those entries.

Typically only the main value (email address, phone number) is checked
and not the additional meta data (like the type). Otherwise minor
differences (for example, both sides have same email address, but with
different types) would lead to duplicates.

Only addresses are treated differently: for them all attributes
(street, country, city, etc.) are compared, because there is no single
main value.

engine: UID support in contact data

Before, the UID property in a vCard was ignored by the engine.
Backends were responsible for ensuring that the property is
set if required by the underlying storage. This turned out to be
handled incompletely in the WebDAV backend.

This change moves this into the engine:

UID is now field. It does not get used for matching
because the engine cannot rely on it being stored
by both sides.

It gets parsed if present, but only generated if
explicitly enabled (because that is the traditional

It is never shown in the DevInf's CtCap
because the Synthesis engine would always show it
regardless whether a rule enabled the property.
That's because rules normally only get triggered
after exchanging DevInf and thus DevInf has to
be rule-independent. We don't want it shown because
then merging the incoming item during a local sync
would use the incoming UID, even if it is empty.

Before writing, ensure that UID is set.

When updating an existing item, the Synthesis engine reads
the existing item, preserves the existing UID unless the peer
claims to support UID, and then updates with the existing UID.

This works for local sync (where SyncEvolution never claims
to support UID when talking to the other side). It will break
with peers which have UID in their CtCap although they
rewrite the UID and backends whose underlying storage cannot
handle UID changes during an update (for example, CardDAV).

engine: flush map items less frequently

The Synthesis API does not say explicitly, but in practice all map
items get updated in a tight loop. Rewriting the m_mappingNode (case
insensitive string comparisons) and serialization to disk
(std::ostrstream) consume a significant amount of CPU cycles and cause
extra disk writes that can be avoided by making some assumptions about
the sequence of API calls and flushing only once.

local sync: exchange SyncML messages via shared memory

Encoding/decoding of the uint8_t array in D-Bus took a surprisingly
large amount of CPU cycles relative to the rest of the SyncML message
processing. Now the actual data resides in memory-mapped temporary
files and the D-Bus messages only contain offset and size inside these
files. Both sides use memory mapping to read and write directly.

For caching 1000 contacts with photos on a fast laptop, total sync
time roughly drops from 6s to 3s.

To eliminate memory copies, memory handling in libsynthesis or rather,
libsmltk is tweaked such that it allocates the buffer used for SyncML
message data in the shared memory buffer directly. This relies on
knowledge of libsmltk internals, but those shouldn't change and if they
do, SyncEvolution will notice ("unexpected send buffer").

local sync: avoid updating meta data when nothing changed

The sync meta data (sync anchors, client change log) get updated after
a sync even if nothing changed and the existing meta data could be
used again. This can be skipped for local sync, because then
SyncEvolution can ensure that both sides skip updating the meta
data. With a remote SyncML server that is not possible and thus
SyncEvolution has to update its data.

It is based on the observation that when the server side calls
SaveAdminData, the client has sent its last message and the sync is
complete. At that point, SyncEvolution can check whether anything has
changed and if not, skip saving the server's admin data and stop the
sync without sending the real reply to the client.

Instead the client gets an empty message with "quitsync" as content
type. Then it takes shortcuts to close down without finalizing the
sync engine, because that would trigger writing of meta data
changes. The server continues its shutdown normally.

This optimization is limited to syncs with a single source, because
the assumption about when aborting is possible is harder to verify
when multiple sources are involved.


When set to 0 or less, the chunk size is not getting adapted at all
while still using transfers in chunks.

PBAP: use raw text items

This avoids the redundant parse/generate step on the sending
side of the PBAP sync.

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.

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).

PBAP: Suspend/ResumeSync() (FDO #72112)

By default, the new API freezes a sync by stopping to consume data on the
local side of the sync.

In addition, the information that the sync is freezing is now also handed
down to the transport and all sources. In the case of PBAP caching, the local
transport notifies the child where the PBAP source then uses Bluez
5.15 Transfer1.Suspend/Resume to freeze/thaw the actual OBEX transfer.

If that fails (for example, not implemented because Bluez is too old
or the transfer is still queueing), then the transfer gets cancelled
and the entire sync fails. This is desirable for PBAP caching and
Bluetooth because a failed sync can easily be recovered from (just
start it again) and the overall goal is to free up Bluetooth bandwidth

PBAP: transfer data via pipe (part of FDO #72112)

The main advantage is that processed data can be discarded
immediately. When using a plain file, the entire address book must be
stored in it.

The drawback is that obexd does not react well to a full pipe. It
simply gets stuck in a blocking write(); in other words, all obexd
operations get frozen and obexd stops responding on D-Bus.

PIM: include CardDAV in CreatePeer()

This adds "protocol: CardDAV" as a valid value, with corresponding
changes to the interpretation of some existing properties and some new
ones. The API itself is not changed.

Suspending a CardDAV sync is possible. This freezes the internal
SyncML message exchange, so data exchange with the CardDAV server may
continue for a while after SuspendPeer().

Photo data is always downloaded immediately. The "pbap-sync" flag
in SyncPeerWithFlags() has no effect.

Syncing can be configured to be one-way (local side is read-only
cache) or two-way (local side is read/write). Meta data must be
written either way, to speed up caching or allow two-way syncing. The
most common case (no changes on either side) will have to be optimized
such that existing meta data is not touched and thus no disk writes

PIM: handle SuspendPeer() before and after transfer (FDO #82863)

A SuspendPeer() only succeeded while the underlying Bluetooth transfer
was active. Outside of that, Bluez errors caused SyncEvolution to
attempt a cancelation of the transfer and stopped the sync.

When the transfer was still queueing, obexd returns
org.bluez.obex.Error.NotInProgress. This is difficult to handle for
SyncEvolution: it cannot prevent the transfer from starting and has to
let it become active before it can suspend the transfer. Canceling
would lead to difficult to handle error cases (like partially parsed
data) and therefore is not done.

The Bluez team was asked to implement suspending of queued transfers
(see "org.bluez.obex.Transfer1 Suspend/Resume in queued state" on
linux-bluetooth@vger.kernel.org), so this case might not happen
anymore with future Bluez.

When the transfer completes before obexd processes the Suspend(),
org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.UnknownObject gets returned by
obexd. SyncEvolution can ignore errors which occur after the active
transfer completed. In addition, it should prevent starting the next
one. This may be relevant for transfer in chunks, although the sync
engine will also stop asking for data and thus typically no new
transfer gets triggered anyway.

PIM: add suspend/resume/abort to sync.py

CTRL-C while waiting for the end of a sync causes an interactive
prompt to appear where one can choose been suspend/resume/abort and
continuing to wait. CTRL-C again in the prompt aborts the script.

PIM: enhanced progress notifications (FDO #72114)

This adds GetPeerStatus() and "progress" events. Progress is reported based
on the "item received" Synthesis event and the total item count. A modified
libsynthesis is needed where the SyncML binfile client on the target side of
the local sync actually sends the total item count (via NumberOfChanges).
This cannot be done yet right at the start of the sync, only the second SyncML
message will have it. That is acceptable, because completion is reached very
quickly anyway for syncs involving only one message.

At the moment, SyncContext::displaySourceProgress() holds back "item
received" events until a different event needs to be emitted. Progress
reporting might get more fine-grained when adding allowing held back
events to be emitted at a fixed rate, every 0.1s. This is not done yet
because it seems to work well enough already.

For testing and demonstration purposes, sync.py gets command line
arguments for setting progress frequency and showing progress either
via listening to signals or polling.

PIM: add SyncPeerWithFlags() and 'pbap-sync' flag (FDO #70950)

The is new API and flag grant control over the PBAP sync mode.

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

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).

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

D-Bus server: fix unreliable shutdown handling

Occassionally, syncevo-dbus-server locked up after receiving
a CTRL-C. This primarily affected nightly testing, in particular (?)
on Ubuntu Lucid.

D-Bus: use streams for direct IPC with GIO

When using GIO, it is possible to avoid the DBusServer listening on a
publicly accessible address. Connection setup becomes more reliable,
too, because the D-Bus server side can detect that a child died
because the connection will be closed.

When using libdbus, the traditional server/listen and client/connect
model is still used.

LogRedirect: safeguard against memory corruption

When aborting, our AbortHandler gets called to close down logging.
This may involve memory allocation, which is unsafe. In FDO #76375, a
deadlock on a libc mutex was seen.

To ensure that the process shuts down anyway, install an alarm and give
the process five seconds to shut down before the SIGALRM signal will kill

Upgrading from releases <=

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 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
syncevolution --configure \
enableRefreshSync=TRUE \

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.

SyncEvolution -> 1.5

Mostly a bug fix release.


vcard: fix caching of PBAP contacts (FDO #84710)

After changing PBAP to send raw items, caching them led to unnecessary
disk writes and bogus "contacts changed" reports. That's because
the merge script relied on the exact order of properties, which was
only the same when doing the redundant decode/encode on the PBAP side.

Instead of reverting back to sending re-encoded items, better enhance
the contact merge script such that it detects contacts as unchanged
when just the order of entries in the property arrays is different.
This relies on an enhanced libsynthesis with the new RELAXEDCOMPARE()
and modified MERGEFIELDS().

sync: ignore unnecessary username property

A local sync or Bluetooth sync do not need the 'username' property.
When it is set despite that, issue a warning.

Previously, the value was checked even when not needed, which
caused such syncs to fail when set to something other than a plain

D-Bus server: fix unreliable shutdown handling

Occassionally, syncevo-dbus-server locked up after receiving
a CTRL-C. This primarily affected nightly testing, in particular (?)
on Ubuntu Lucid.

scripting: prevent premature loop timeouts

The more complex "avoid data loss during merging" scripting ran for longer
than 5s limit under extreme conditions (full logging, busy system, running
under valgrind), which resulted in aborting the script and a 10500 "local
internal error" sync failure.

signon: fix providersignon.so (TC-1667)

The shared providersignon.so ended up being compiled with "gsso" as
prefix for the username. There also was a problem with invalid
reference counting.


When set to 0 or less, the chunk size is not getting adapted at all
while still using transfers in chunks.

Upgrading from releases <=

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 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
syncevolution --configure \
enableRefreshSync=TRUE \

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
and the original source is in the git repositories.

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

deb http://downloads.syncevolution.org/apt stable main

Then install "syncevolution-evolution", "syncevolution-kde" and/or

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. 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

After installation, follow the getting started steps. More specific HOWTOs can be found in the Wiki.

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