Exchange WebServices Offline AddressBook

It is now possible to download GAL contents for offline usage through exchange web services in Evolution. Offline GAL is termed as Offline Address-book (OAB) in Exchange WebServices and it may contain one or more Offline Address-lists (OAL).

The check-box, ‘Cache offline address-book’ would be sensitive if the OAB url is discovered using the AutoDiscover service from the previous page (‘Receiving’). On clicking the fetch buton, the available offline address-lists would be displayed in the combo box.  The user can select the address-list which he is interested in.

If the GAL is not selected for offline usage.  A GAL folder would be created in Contacts component and would be used just for auto-completion when Evolution is online.

To change an offline address-list, one just needs to go back to ‘Receiving page’ in preference and select a different address-list. This would remove the old OAL folder and its contents and create a new OAL folder.  At the moment, evolution-ews supports caching only one OAL, though it is very easy to extend it to support many. I feel it would sufficient to have one at the moment, but if a need arises, the plugin can be extended to create new OAL folders on demand.

If an address-list is chosen for offline usage, one CAN auto-complete while the caching is in progress!! All operations are asynchronous and cancellable.

Internals

OAL’s would be listed in the link  <OABUrl> + ‘oab.xml’. They would be available as compressed files, compressed using LZXD format.  There are three versions of OAB ‘2, 3, 4′ and Evolution supports downloading, version 4 OAB Full Details file.

LZXD

To put it simply, lzxd extends the lzx decompression format adding support for differential updates. I have picked up the lzx decompression code from libmspack and modified it to make it decompress the lzxd file. The support for differential update is yet to added.

OAB

The format for the uncompressed OAB Version 4 file is available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc463914%28v=EXCHG.80%29.aspx . Evolution-ews has the decoder which decodes the oab file, converts to EContact and then we  populates the address-book sqlitedb in chunks of 1000 contacts.

And now the contents are available for offline use :)

CamelUrl props

“oab_offline” – says if oab is marked for offline.

“oal_selected” – contains the selected “oal id:oal name”

“oaburl” – contains the oab url

ESource props

“hosturl” – contains the host url, used for auto-completion.

“oaburl” – contains the oab url.

“oalid” – id of the OAL.

“gal” – a boolean that it indicates that its gal folder.

Thoughts and Energy level of the body

I started experimenting with anandha mandala during the last couple of weeks. I found during the period that the thoughts that arise are very much related with the energy level of the body.  When the energy levels are low the thoughts are often questions/complaints and seek an escape from the situation. While on the other hand, immediately after doing the ananda mandala, the thoughts are entirely different on the same issue.

If one does believe that the thoughts belong to an individual and acts based on them, it might be necessary to raise the energy levels of the body.  I guess there are many forms of breathing exercises in the form of yoga which is would help. The physical exercises like running and cycling also  helps in regulating the breathe, in turn affecting the mind. If some of these are followed consistently, the reaction for a particular situation would be often positive..

While on the other hand, if one observes the movement of thought and realizes the futile nature of the same and renounces it  in relationships with people, the energy would remain still. Which means the thought would find its use for some technical work and then cease. This, with my current observations is the way to be in the present. While am inquiring on these, I get a feeling that its a new way of living and its still sinking in me…

Note: these are just my personal observations through experimenting with teachings from oneness university and j krishnamurthy.

self introspection and ‘My experiments with truth’

There has been some issues  hindering my work for quite sometime.  With the help of teachings/realizations from oneness and ‘http://jkrishnamurti.org/index.php‘ I was able to constantly get over it. But suddenly I was confused again whether the current direction would lead anywhere and remained in it hoping I would get someone to guide.

I used to get guidance from Harish Krishnaswamy w.r.t directions related to my work and later after he left, used to seek my mother’s guiadance though she has no real idea of software industry. She usually gets answers through her prayers and they have served flawlessly when I outght to make some critical decisions. Though I would just get to know only ‘yes or no’ from her. Sometimes my reasoning will coincide with her answer and many times it wont. Later in time I would be surprised to see the reason behind her answer. At times it would be comical to look back on my reasoning  foolishness. This has constantly led me to renounce my thoughts and take no credit for my action. [i have some discussions with other people, but i will omit them as they are co-workers atm]

Many a times, there has been a quite a lot of youtube videos and forwarded messages that came to rescue.  I started seeking guidance from God with some reasoning rather than ‘yes’ or ‘no’. While I waited for a while lingering on the confusion with no hope that the hindering issues will be solved, suddenly I came across Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography, ‘My experiments with truth’.

Reading this autobiography just reinforced me to seek the Truth again. The fear of uncertainty on the unsolved and long standing issues was certainly confusing whether I was on the right path and at right place. But reading and digesting the life of Gandhi the confusion has vanished :) Some quotes which I would like to remember and re-inforce,

‘ I have found by experience that man makes his plans to be often upset by God, but, at the same time where the ultimate goal is the search of truth, no matter how a man’s plans are frustrated, the issue is never injurious and often better than anticipated’

This was the answer for me :)

There were certain other quotes which I liked that added as a knowledge and making me extremely humble,

‘That the good of the individual is contained in the good of all. That a lawyer’s work has the same value as the barber’s inasmuch as all have the same right of earning their livehood from their work’

‘Hate the sin and not the sinner’ This which I also realized from JKrishnamurthy’s talk where he says ‘Knowledge in relationship is destructive’. On my introspection into these leads to say, in trying to act intelligently we may think that attaching a character to a person is useful. But overtime am realizing through experiences that a conscious act using the knowledge would cause differences in dealing with people and move one away from humility, truth.  More of these characterization in memory leads to unwanted burden of conversation between thoughts in mind, which becomes a real struggle later.

I also liked Gandhi’s view on parenting Part III, chapter 6, spirit of service (Page:191).  His ways to impart spiritual and litreture teachings for children at  Part IV, chapter 32, As Schoolmaster to chapter 34, Training of the spirit (page:311-318, in my edition).

I also realized the power of vow from this reading. I have taken a vow this Sunday April 17th and it is working wonderfully well though there were some tests. I will wait for couple of months more before I speak about the vow.  I would probably read Bhagvad Gita as well.

Lightening up Evolution with Exchange Web Services

Off-late we have been working quite aggressively on improving our exchange connectivity using Exchange Web Services .  Some evolution hackers sat together during GUADEC 2010 and discussed on the focus areas which our community users as well as corporates would be interested in. Exchange Web Services was on top of the list and David Woodhouse kick-started the work at the same time!  The development went on in David’s repo – http://git.infradead.org/evolution-ews.git and you can watch out the progress there..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The festival season has started for evolution exchange and we have evolution showing the folders, mails and meetings using Exchange Web Services.  We currently just have the read-only support for mailer and calendar at the moment and we are working towards providing a complete support for calendar, mails and contacts.

Its always very nice to thanks all the contributors. Thanks to David Woodhouse who kick-started it, Michael meeks he is always there :), Johnny, Bharath Acharya, Akhil  Laddha, Chen, Fridrich who has been constantly getting it to compile on Windows…

There are more developers getting involved now and thanks to the organizations for supporting the development!! We are looking forward to deliver the package by the beginning of May 2011 for all the users.. One would be able to use EWS connector with Evolution version 2.32 onwards..

A wonderful story that i read from a mail – The youth and his hands

One young person went to apply for a managerial position in a big company.

He passed the first interview; the director did the last interview, made the last decision.

The director discovered from the CV, that the youth’s academic result was excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research, never was there a year that he did not score.

The director asked, “Did you obtain any scholarship in school?” and the youth answered “no”.

The director asked, “Did your father pay your school fees?”. The youth answered, ”my father passed away when I was one year old and  it was my mother who paid  my school fees”.

The director asked, “Where did your mother work?” the youth answered, “my mother worked as cloth cleaner.” The director requested the youth to show his hands and the youth showed a pair of hands that was smooth and perfect to the director.

The director asked, “Did you ever help your mother wash clothes before?” The youth answered,” never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books, furthermore, my mother could wash clothes faster than I could”

The director said, I have a request, when you go back today, go and help to clean your mother’s hand, and then see me tomorrow morning.

The youth felt that the chance of landing the job was high and when he went back, he happily wanted to clean his mother’s hands. His mother felt strange. With happiness mixed with fear, she showed her hands to the kid.

The youth cleaned his mother’s hands slowly and his tears fell as he did that.  It was the first time he noticed that his mother’s hands were so wrinkled, and that there were  so many bruises in her hands. Some bruises were so painful  that she  shuddered when his  mother’s hands were cleaned with water.

This was the first time that the youth realized and experienced that it is this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday to earn him the school fees and that the bruises in the mother’s hand were the price that the mother paid for his graduation and academic excellence and probably his future.

After finishing the cleaning of his mother’s hands, the youth quietly washed all the remaining clothes for his mother.

That night, the mother and son talked for a very long time.

Next morning, the youth went to the director’s office.

The director noticed the tear in the youth’s eye and asked: ” Can you tell  what  you did and learnt yesterday in your house?”

The youth answered, ” I cleaned my mother’s hands and also finished washing all the remaining clothes’

The director asked, ” please tell me what you felt”

The youth said, “Number 1, I know what appreciation is’. Without my mother, I would not be successful today. Number 2, Now I know how to work together with my mother.  Only now do I realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done.  Number 3, I know the importance and value of family relationship.

The director said,  “This is what I am asking, I want to recruit a person that can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the suffering of others to get things done, and a person that would not put money as his only goal in life to be my manager. You are hired.

Later on, this young person worked very hard, and received the respect of his subordinates, every employee worked diligently and as a team and the company improved tremendously.

A child who has been protected and habitually given whatever he needs,  develops “entitlement mentality” and always puts himself first. He is ignorant of his parent’s efforts. When he starts work, he assumes every person must listen to him, and when he becomes a manager, he would never know the suffering of his employees and always blame others. These kinds of people, can achieve good results and  may be successful for a while, but eventually would not feel a sense of achievement or satisfaction.  If we happen to be this kind of (protective) parent, this is the time to ask the question- whether we  did/do love our kids or destroy them.

You can let your kid live in a big house, eat a good meal, learn to play the piano, watch a big screen TV but when you are cutting grass, please let them experience it. After a meal, let them wash their plate and bowl together with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you do not have money to hire a maid, but it is because you want to love and show them the correct way.  You want them to understand that no matter how rich their parent are, one day they will grow old, become weak and that their hair too will grow grey,.

The most important thing is for your kid to learn how to appreciate,  experience and learn the effort and ability needed to work with others to get things done.

They should also value, appreciate what the parents have done and love them for who they are!