My dear Evolution,

please, please stop the utter madness of not showing email addresses in the to: and cc: fields if they match an entry in the addressbook.

I’m writing an email. therefore it is safe to assume I know what an email address is. you don’t have to shield me from the existence of email addresses, especially if this prevents me from checking that the email I’m sending is effectively directed to the people I intend to, and not to what your brain damaged autocompletion decides to fart in my text entries.

no love,

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31 Responses to My dear Evolution,

  1. DeeJay1 says:

    Well this behaviour mimics a well know proprietary app and I agree it has it’s drawbacks…

  2. Leo S says:

    Probably got that silly idea from Outlook, which does the same thing.

    Hello! People have multiple email addresses and you know it might just be useful to know which one you’re sending to. Stupid software trying to be smart. Nothing worse.

  3. aklapper says:

    I’ve seen too many “I can’t see if I’ve chosen the work or private email address” bug reports and complaints – hence WONTFIX. ;-)

  4. ebassi says:

    @aklapper: no problem. I’ve had it enough of evo. I might as well go back to using mutt.

  5. In the development version at least there’s an “Always show address of the autocompleted contact” checkbox under Autocompletion Preferences.

  6. I love auto-completion. But I wouldn’t mind if it just auto-completed and showed the address, not the name.

  7. antimonio says:

    Use thunderbird.

  8. Hub says:

    Shall we really fork Evolution?

  9. Jeff Tickle says:

    I officially vote Claws Mail as the official GNOME mail client, and use a small, efficient, ‘do one thing and do it well’ calendar system, tasks system (tasque?), etc etc…

  10. DtW says:

    There are two good e-mail clients: Gnus and Mutt.

    I also appreciate Kmail for being one of those easy-to-use clients but still quite rich in features and suitable for heavy use.

  11. Alex says:

    A certain email application closely associated with a certain free desktop that is not GNOME has the behavior you’re looking for.

    On a more serious note, this is a great example of Linus’ gripes about GNOME. Dumbing-down of the interface trumps functionality (and, ironically, actual usability). Is there a bug report about this issue? If so, what response has it gotten? I really hope it’s not a WONTFIX in the same vein as the screensaver configuration bug.

  12. ebassi says:

    @mbarnes: glad to hear that. though I think I’m still going back to mutt.

    @antimonio: please. the new mail interface that clarkbw is working on is interesting, though.

    @jefftickle: dear lord, not claws. that’s even worse than thunderbird. :-P

    @hub: there’s barely no maintainance power to keep working on evo — let alone forking it and rewriting its UI from scratch.

  13. Daniel Borgmann says:

    Certainly there are better solutions to this, then just making it optional… E.g. show the email address only when the contact has multiple ones, always show it as a tooltip, show the email address in the autocompletion box, etc (no reason not to do all of those probably).

    Also, if a contact has multiple email addresses saved, shouldn’t they be labeled? E.g. “Tom – Work”, “Tom – Private”, etc.

    I don’t think that generally just showing email addresses makes things easier to parse, and this is certainly not a feature to “shield” you from them, but to actually make it easier to scan a list of recipients. It also helps to see on a glance that you haven’t misspelled an address.

  14. Dirk says:

    The fact that it mimics the broken behavior of a proprietary app is no excuse.
    But evolution is so unusable – to me that’s the least of its problems.

    I switched to claws and am much happier. And no, claws doesn’t hide email addresses from me. I wonder why you think it’s worse that ThunderingHeard…

  15. ebassi says:

    @Alex: this has nothing to do with GNOME or dumbing down. I dare you — I double dare you to find me one official document or guideline that tells application developers to remove functionality or settings. stop propagating this bullshit meme. and I’ll be dead before I use kmail — an email client known to have lost emails from IMAP servers.

  16. ebassi says:


    I don’t think that generally just showing email addresses makes things easier to parse, and this is certainly not a feature to “shield” you from them, but to actually make it easier to scan a list of recipients. It also helps to see on a glance that you haven’t misspelled an address.

    how can I even scan a list of recipients if all I see is a list of names that might be mailing lists or that are supposed to be private addresses?

    the only way to scan a list of recipients is to show me the damned list of recipients. highlight the name, change the style of the address, but show me the damned email address.

  17. ebassi says:

    @Dirk: it’s been a couple of years since I last tried claws — and the UI didn’t strike me as particularly good. maybe I’ll just give it a go again. my wife uses Thunderturd and I can’t even bear to look at the thing.

  18. mike says:

    Well, we have so many good UI hackers in the community, one day one might create a new UI.

    But all Bindings I have seen, are incomplete and not so great at all.

    I bet if we had decent C# or Vala bindings things like tasks/dates/contacts would be improved and complemented by sth. called “mails” ;)

  19. iain says:

    You know, evolution use is so much better if you only use the email part of it.

  20. iain says:

    Or come to think of it, it might be that I don’t have many people to email…

    Oh. Hmm, maybe thats it

  21. Vadim P. says:

    @#15 ebassi: Well said! KDE fans seem to have a hard time accepting that features can come in usable interfaces.

  22. Mert says:

    Go Claws! At least it’s faster.

  23. smidty says:

    If there only was an email part to use:

    Sometimes I really wonder if it is developers arrogance or just lack of man power, but Evolution seems… aehhmm… different.

  24. FUCKING YES!!!!!


  25. Justin says:

    it could be worse.. you could work with people that regularly put things like “Joe User” into forms that require an email address, and expect it to work :-)

  26. Goose says:

    Not just Outlook… Apple Mail does the same.

  27. MH User says:

    Just use nmh (new MH) and you’ll see everything.

  28. artopal says:

    Why has everyone apparently forgotten Balsa? Is it so bad? I use gmail nowadays, but last time I tried Balsa, it seem OK for just email.


  29. Rick says:

    You can turn it off in (Apple) by disabling Smart Addresses.

  30. Stu says:

    Either a disclosure triangle to toggle showing emails or not.


    Just show email addresses, but have the address part in a different colour to the name, to make it easier to pick out one part from another.

  31. Nick says:

    ebassi: I know you’ve churned already but I am informed that you can get a more sane display by pressing ctrl+down on a name. Hidden features ftl.

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