Another post just to get some information out there on Google – there is a known bug in Evolution regarding receiving meeting invitations from MS-Outlook 2003 clients, and several Google searches didn’t come up with the solution, so here is the problem and the workaround:
A default Evolution installation has problems with meeting invitations from MS-Outlook 2003 – when such an invitation is received, it is shown as a plain text message like this:
And you can’t take any action on the email. The problem is that Evolution ships with several demonstration plug-ins which while they have some functionality that some people would find useful, are mostly there as examples of how to write plug-ins. One such plug-in is called “Prefer plain-text” and what it does is add a configuration option in the “Mail Preferences” properties screen to allow a user to prefer to view incoming email as plain text messages when an email contains both an HTML formatted message an a plain text formatted message.
Somewhere around Evolution version 2.8.2, the “Prefer plain-text” plug-in was moved from “experimental” status to “stable” status and as thus was enabled by default on subsequent Evolution installations. Apparently this plug-in introduces some behavior that analyzes the content of the email and specifically for the MS-Outlook 2003 meeting invitations in goes all screwy and decides to render them as text even if it is configured to “Prefer HTML if available”. This also messes up with Evolution’s ability to recognize the calendar attachment in the invitation request.
The work around is quite easy – assuming you don’t actually want to ever render HTML emails as plain text (I’m not exactly sure why people would ever want that), then just go to “Edit”->”Plugins” and disable the “Prefer plain-text” plugin:
After you do that, invitations would immediately start to work correctly (if you are currently viewing an invitation, you might need to change to another email and back to have the current invitation “fixed”):
That’s it. Its an easy workaround, but the plug-in should still be fixed, maybe I’ll look at it if I have some spare time.