I just noticed: no more crashes! Thanks, KDE team!

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Fri Aug 5 22:27:16 BST 2011

Alex Schuster posted on Fri, 05 Aug 2011 15:35:40 +0200 as excerpted:

>> Dolphin doesn't really seem to be designed for that sort of use -- if
>> it was, it'd have options (as does konqueror, performance section in
>> the config) both to have separate windows use separate instances (the
>> memory settings, minimize memory uses threads on the same instance so
>> if one crashes they all do, while never minimize forces separate
>> instances for each window, so if one crashes, it's just that window
>> gone), and to keep instances preloaded, so they don't take long to
>> launch.
> So KDE's default file manager is not meant to be used in multiple
> instances?

Not really.  Based on the discussions I've read about the default-switch 
from konqueror in kde3, to dolphin in kde4, with support from the changes 
headlined for dolphin in 4.7 (dolphin is now simpler, less confusing 
display by default, etc), the idea is that those who need something more 
powerful are going to be the power users, who by definition are 
comfortable changing config options from the defaults, etc.  Meanwhile, 
the goal for dolphin as the default file manager is apparently to be as 
simple and dumbed-down as possible, since that fits better the 
demographic of those who don't know how or are afraid to mess with the 
defaults anyway.

As mentioned, the default-views, etc, for dolphin itself are getting 
simpler and more dumbed-down -- and in fact this was one of the headline 
features for kde 4.7.  But users comfortable doing so are able to 
configure dolphin for somewhat more complexity, etc.

And as mentioned, those comfortable changing defaults (and who are likely 
to be able to find the setting in kde settings aka kcontrol, workspace 
appearance and behavior, default applications), can set the default file 
manager to something else, too.

FWIW, the choices available for default filemanager appear to be taken 
from the file associations setting for inode/directory, so any app 
associated with directories becomes a choice for default file manager as 
well.  The two main kde choices are of course dolphin and konqueror, but 
if gwenview's installed, it's on the list too, as is filelight if it's 
installed (tho neither one of those makes a particularly good general 
filemanager, that's not their goal, they simply happen to have an
inode/directory association so they're listed as choices), and here, I 
manually created an mc (in konsole) association for inode/directories as 
well, so it shows up as a choice too.  That's in addition to the "Other: 
click Add..." option.

I'd say that switch to dolphin by default is still a controversial 
choice, but it DOES make sense given that it's ONLY the default, that 
there's a relatively straight-forward/easy way for the power-users who by 
definition are likely to want/need something less "dumbed-down" to change 
it, and that precisely the same "computer literacy challenged" 
individuals who aren't likely to be comfortable changing the default 
should have less trouble with a dumbed-down dolphin than with something 
else, as well.

Plus as I said, while the default dolphin layout is itself deliberately 
simple and dumbed-down now, even dolphin can be configured for /some/ 
additional complexity, if desired.

But it does seem that the assumption that power users will configure 
konqueror or something else as the default, with konqueror the presumed 
choice.  That's why konqueror has the separate process options that 
dolphin lacks -- the simple users dolphin targets are apparently assumed 
never to have enough separate file manager windows open at once that it 
really makes a difference for them.  And konqueror functionality remains 
richer in terms of multiple pane modes, multiple profiles so users can 
choose the mode they want at launch, etc.

Meanwhile, as already mentioned as asides, konqueror uses the dolphin 
kpart for file management mode too, so the "interior" functionality is 
similar-to-identical, while konqueror has a more capable (and robust) GUI 
wrapper around it than dolphin does.

So really, for your usage, I'd strongly consider switching to konqueror 
as default file manager, or at least for the multiple windows you keep 
open.  The internal dolphin kpart should mean very similar functionality 
there, in a more robust (if configured for separate processes, aka never 
minimize memory usage) package.  And I expect you'll eventually learn to 
appreciate the additional flexibility/functionality, as well.  I know I 
was initially surprised that dolphin didn't make available the filesize 
or filelight views, for instance, which can be very helpful when trying 
to pin down what's using all that space, but given the target user, I 
realized that it really /did/ make more sense for dolphin not to have 
those additional "confusing" options, only exposing them to the more 
power-user target demographic of konqueror.  Etc.

Talking about simple target demographic, it surprises me a bit that 
dolphin even has a konsole kpart option.  But I'd guess that 
functionality was added before they settled on the real simple dolphin 
target demographic, and once added, given that as a kpart the dolphin-
specific maintenance is trivial, they probably decided removing it would 
cause more protest than it was worth.  However, I'd still not be 
surprised to see it disappear for dolphin, for say kde5.  It really does 
seem a natural progression, since it'd reduce the "confusing" aspects of 
dolphin for its target demographic, while providing just that little bit 
of extra push toward the konqueror power-user default, for those who are 
already likely to find dolphin not particularly fit for their usage.

>> Or alternatively, do something like I do and use mc for sysadmin work,
>> and gwenview for images and video, so there isn't much left for dolphin
>> to actually do -- it's basically an enhanced file-open dialog, and as
>> such, it doesn't generally stay open that long anyway.
> I use mc sometimes, but I do most admin tasks directly on the command
> line. Gwenview for images and videos? I just tried that.. oh dear, no,
> NO!!!1 I thought Gwenview would not be the best utility for this, but,
> sorry, it is totally unusable.

Well, that puts to rest /that/ option, I guess. =:^)

>> > Oh, and the Amarok constantly uses 70% or one of my two cores. But it
>> > doesn't crash :)
> That was the Amalymp II script. It shows lyrics in karaoke style, I
> never used it, but I had it activated after the last Amarok upgrade to
> 2.4.3.

Glad you traced and eliminated the problem for you, then. =:^)

>> The last time I booted with akonadi [it] started using 97% of one
>> core. [I] tried to terminate (SIGTERM) it [but] I had to SIGKILL it.
> I often see processes like akonadi_imap_re eating CPU time, not
> constantly, but it's enough to make large videos drop frames (dual core
> AMD 4650e @ 2.5GHz here). But I keep using it. Thunderbird does not show
> new mails and I don't knwo why, and I was not happy with Claws when I
> tried it once, so I decided I'll just wait for things to become better.

You're usage, with kontact, with IMAP3 instead of the POP3 I use, etc, is 
different enough and aligned closely enough with the ultimate goals and 
reasons for akonadi in the first place, that it very likely is your best 
shot now and going forward, for many of the very same reasons it became 
an increasingly poor fit for me.

Now for users who haven't already done the akonadified kmail yet, I'd 
agree with the developing gentoo/kde policy and recommend staying with 
kdepim 4.4 at least for 4.7.0 and likely thru 4.7, but it should be 
maturing nicely by 4.8, and very likely will be seeing some of the 
benefits of the kmail akonadi integration by then as well.  (OTOH, knode 
and akregator will possibly be going thru their akonadifying struggles by 
then, but for most people that's not likely to be as highly significant 
for them as mail, so not as much of a problem as akonadified kmail in 4.6 
and possibly 4.7.)

By 4.9, kontact integration users in particular should be seeing some 
real pleasing results from the new framework.  Since you're squarely in 
that camp, I expect that you'll be quite pleased by then.

For me, OTOH, there wasn't a lot of upside in the forecast, and the down 
side was simply too great to be sustainable.  So getting off it was a 
wise decision.  Meanwhile, I'm appreciating claws ever more as I 
integrate with it and integrate it with my style -- both ways.  It really 
IS amazingly flexible -- I hadn't appreciated HOW flexible until I 
started going thru the unsorted hotkey dump, sorting a copy of it (as I 
did for pan) into menu order, for easier editing later.  There's WAY more 
functionality available than I originally appreciated, and it'll take me 
quite some time to absorb and integrate it all.  It's quite a learning 
curve, indeed, reminding me of the difficulty of my first three months on 
Linux, during which time I learned how to configure and build my own 
kernel, hand-configure xorg.conf (back then, xf86config), hand configure 
lilo, etc, because as a power user the demands I had of my new software 
were high enough that "doing it the simple way" simply wasn't going to 
work.  But much as the time I invested in that first three months on 
Linux has paid off many many many times over since, I expect the time 
I've invested in learning the incredible flexibility and functionality 
available in claws, will pay off handsomely in the months and years to 

Meanwhile, I've been thinking.  My recent changes, to firefox, to claws-
mail, etc, have been after very close to a decade on my previous tools, 
konqueror and kmail.  In some ways it fits, somehow, with the kernel 3.0 
switch as Linux itself enters its third decade, while I begin my second 
decade on Linux.  A decade on any software, particularly Linux software 
that tends to evolve "at Internet speed", says something major about just 
how good that software was and how well it was able to keep up with 
changes to Linux and to the Internet and the world in that time.

So I really /can/ be pleased with my choices way back then, nearing 10 
years ago, when I switched to Linux and to kde and kmail and konqueror, 
in the first place.  If my new choices for mail and browser last another 
decade as they have every indication they might (altho I'm not sure what 
the coming switch to gtk3 might mean for claws... I've seen the bug on it 
for firefox and am reasonably satisfied with the chances for it at this 
point), I'll consider them just as good a choices.  Meanwhile, that kmail 
and konqueror lasted me that long without major issues really *IS* 
something both they and I can be proud of, even as we go our separate 
ways, now.

>> Of course, at that time I didn't know that within about 12 hours,
>> before I restarted kde again, I'd have settled on a replacement for
>> akregator, got it setup, and unmerged both akregator and since that was
>> the last kdepim app I was running, all of the kdepim libraries, plus
>> akonadi- server, etc, as well.  And after it was gone I could finally
>> kill USE=semantic-desktop and remerge kdelibs, dolphin, etc, without
>> it.
> Hooray :) I read about your efforts to make this work, I'm glad you
> finally sorted it out.

=:^)  (If this was an HTML mail, it'd certainly have an animated gif of a 
stick figure doing a jig, or some such, at this point. =:^)

>> As I said, the system feels lighter and faster, now! =:^)  Maybe I'll
>> try semantic-desktop stuff again... someday... when even the disposable
>> paygo phones are a dozen-core-plus and come with half a terabyte of
>> RAM!
>> =:^)
> Yes, I also have the impression that my system if becoming too old to
> use KDE, and that I should get a better one if I like to run it.

By contrast, I think my system's fine.  But I'm definitely becoming an 
old-timer on Linux now, and have certain expectations about the behavior 
of my software that need to be met, or I'm a very unhappy camper!

Parts of kde are simply going a different way than I am, which is fine.  
It really was an enjoyable decade, but the time as come to part ways, as 
our journeys are taking us in different directions, now.  But I'm still 
on core KDE, and expect to continue to be happy on it for some time to 
come.  In part, that's because of how incredibly configurable it is.  
Were it not possible to switch off the whole semantic-desktop stuff, just 
as Linus is finding in his problems with Gnome 3 right now (after having 
found that for him and kde4 some years ago, he was a kde3 user), and has 
switched to xfce, I'd have likely done similar.

I do feel sorry for the folks on binary distros who by definition are 
restricted in their range of choices, however.  That's probably some of 
Linus's problem, FWIW.  KDE-wise, they're very likely going to be stuck 
with either the full kde experience, semantic-desktop and all, whether 
they want it or not, or with a neutered kde, because the distro defaults 
to gnome and doesn't choose to activate many of the kde options as they'd 
be too heavy or interfering with their gnome-default use-case.  It's only 
distros like arch, gentoo and lfs that are likely to expose enough of 
that choice at the end sysadmin level to be really useful in that regard.

Oh, well.  For the simpler target user, just as with dolphin above, the 
whole semantic-desktop thing is probably the right way to go, anyway.  Or 
gnome-3 and neutered kde.  By definition, such users wouldn't be 
comfortable with those choices anyway, so no great loss.  It'll just take 
the power users a few more iterations to find a distro niche that really 
fits them, is all.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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