Evolution gets a new e-mail formatter


While porting  Evolution to WebKit, I have made some major changes in how formatting emails in Evo works. But lately I’ve been more and more aware, that it’s not flexible enough and that there is a lot of space for improvement.

With Milan Crha we designed a proper, object-oriented (within the limits of C and GLib) parser and formatter. They are now both very flexible, easily extensible and displaying e-mails is a bit faster thanks to more asynchronous approach.

The main feature that comes out of this redesign is an extension we call text-highlighter. It uses the highlight utility to format text parts. For now we only highlight diffs and patches, but the list can easily be extended by all formats supported by highlight.

But we intend to go a bit further. We want to allow users to choose how each part should be formatted! The popup menu on each part of the email will contain a list of available (and compatible) formatters. Selecting one will reload the given part (each parts is in an <iframe> ) and render it again using specified formatter.

As far as I can tell this is a quite unique feature among e-mail clients  and hopefully it will make lives of our users a bit easier :). This particular feature is not in place yet, but it will included in Evolution 3.6.

Now I’ll spend a week or so by fixing regressions that we missed during testing (quite thorough, as always when Milan tests someting :D ) and that will appear when more people start using it, After that I’ll finally move over to porting the message composer to WebKit.

Stay tuned ;)