Some prominent software featured in Ubuntu as currently reviewed in the Ubuntu Software Centre:

Chromium - 4.5 | 69 ratings
Firefox - 4.5/5 | 44 ratings
Banshee - 4.5/5 | 38 ratings
LibreOffice Writer - 4.5/5 | 14 ratings
Shotwell - 4.5/5 | 12 ratings
Transmission Bittorrent Client - 4.5/5 | 12 ratings
Ubuntu One - 3.5/5 | 17 ratings
Evolution - 3.5/5 | 15 ratings

At the end of the list what are the key differences between the Ubuntu One rating and Evolution rating?

People reviewing Ubuntu One are almost polar opposites, it's either 5/5 awesome or 2/5 buggy and lacking features, you can fix bugs and you can implement missing features, in fact one of the 2/5's was commenting on a missing feature that is being implemented and tested right now (windows support), there is a lot of positive press that Ubuntu One in 11.04 is a massive improvement from Ubuntu One in 10.10, so I can see Ubuntu One improving from here on.

The review feedback about Evolution doesn't inspire confidence, "good try but useless", this is the same opinion you can find from 6 YEARS AGO.*

If we pretend that LibreOffice Writer had one job and that was to replace Microsoft Word 2010 from head to toe, as it stands even if they only implement 50% of that, it is still a fully functional document writer, that has more features than other document editors and is a pleasure to use, even though it doesn't fully replace Word 100%, what it does do, it does it well.

Another example is Audacious, it was very similar to Winamp and while it doesn't fully replicate Winamp on Ubuntu (and it never intended to), those who use it feel that what it does do, it does well.

A bigger example could be Google Chrome, when it first came out did it have all the features of Firefox or Internet Explorer? Not even close, but damn it was fast, and a pleasure to use, that by itself made it end up on so many people's desktops.

Evolution is attempting to do many things, and failing at all of them, even partially implemented things.

"Evolution proved sluggish and unreliable, and lacks all of the surrounding features that I’ve come to rely upon so desperately."**

If you want fast email not tied to a desktop, Gmail is there, if you want a solid email experience with a desktop client, Thunderbird is there, if you want an Outlook replacement, Evolution will attempt to help you but ultimately fail miserably, and if you try and use the basic features it does implement you'll find a horrible experience compared to other email clients.

The question then becomes, what's the point of this software in the first place? If it can't do what it's supposed to do, what's the point of having it there?

"I always remove this from my Ubuntu installations. I find no use for it. I suppose if you were forced to use a Microsoft Exchange system there might be some justification, but thankfully I don't."

At this point I really only have one thing to say: Why does the Ubuntu team continue to include awesome applications that people enjoy using, but still includes evolution despite the continual assurance from users that it DOES NOT meet users expectations***.

Maybe you guys are looking at a different evolution client to me?


- ikt

* <- "Evolution is a rubbish email client" May 24th, 2005 ** "Running PC Pro on Ubuntu: the verdict" - February 11th, 2011
*** read: sucks

ps. Since Greg Kroah-Hartman appears to work at the same company that produce the evolution client, I was wondering if he could get some people to work on it, you know, give back to the community that has managed to include the software that so many people hate as the primary email client for so damn long. :-)

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