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Evolution Email Client Now Uses a Title Bar/CSD

screenshot of Evolution 3.46 with client-side decoration header bars
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this Evolution email client now uses client-side decoration (CSD).

I checked the latest development builds of Evolution prior to GNOME 43 release to make sure I didn’t miss anything important and guess what? I was missing something important: login title bars!

I don’t think title bars are as controversial as they were a few years ago, but that’s the way forward: people don’t change, they get used to a change, they adopt change as a new foundational normal, and then when things change again, kick in – rinse, repeat, forever.

However, even those who don’t normally like CS might find the actual implementation here more palatable because it doesn’t throw the menu bar away to make room for buttons.

Evolution Adopts Title Bars

Fans of the Evolution groupware package will be able to enjoy the newly updated titlebar UI in the next stable release, Evolution 3.46. This is because it will ship with GNOME 43 this month (September) and can be installed on Ubuntu 22.10 from the repositories.

Evolution is a robust and reliable software package with a large number of passionate users. Those involved in the GNOME ecosystem and relying on this software for their communications and productivity will appreciate the approach taken by the developers as it complements rather than reshapes Evolution’s existing identity:

screenshot of Evolution 3.46 with client-side decoration titlebars
Evolution 3.45.3 (and yes, the menu bar can be hidden)

While I don’t think the above design will win any prestigious software design awards, this is a thoughtful translation of the modern GNOME approach to toolbars, with software whose extensive features are accessed from the menu bar.

That’s the important thing; It should be noted that Evolution is a built-in piece of legacy software with a wide variety of features, capabilities, and ultimately responsibilities to users. fail “swept away” just to look sea like a modern GNOME application.

If evolution had been built from scratch today, what would its design look like? Well, that doesn’t mean the CSD was “taken” carelessly or thoughtlessly.

screenshot of Evolution 3.46 with client-side decoration titlebars
Client-side decorations used in the main window and dialogs

The titlebar implementation that was merged in Evolution 3.45.3 (it will become Evolution 3.46 when released) is the result of months of exploration, discussion, testing, iteration and more, and its details can be seen in bug reports, merge requests. and the code commits Evolution’s Gitlab page.

Evolution implements CSD almost everywhere, from the main window (specifically that holds a window title inside) to the compose dialog, preferences window, and pop-up dialogs for adding new tasks, calendar events, and contacts.

For comparison, the latest stable release of Evolution on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS looks like this:

screenshot of evolution email client on ubuntu desktop
Evolution 3.44 on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

This is the biggest change coming in Evolution 3.46 when it was released in September. Note that everything shown here is under active development and may change (somewhat or significantly) between now and release.

If you’ve been a long time Evolution fan, I’d love to know what the UI changes are, so share your thoughts in the comments!

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