KDEPIM 4.6 prob^Wimpressions

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Wed Jul 13 08:49:05 BST 2011

Alex Schuster posted on Wed, 13 Jul 2011 03:09:32 +0200 as excerpted:

> Duncan writes:
>> FWIW, I use neither grouped windows (which don't seem to work with my
>> chosen window decoration, kde2)
>                             ~~~~
> Ieeeek :)

Just a window decoration name... ships with current kde. And I don't 
quite understand why they call it kde2, either, since iirc the gradient 
titlebar was a new feature of 3.something, so kde2 wouldn't have had it.

>> nor kontact.  I don't use knode or korganizer at all (along with
>> kontact, not installed at all, except that korganizer is a gentoo dep
>> of kmail, as covered earlier in the discussion, so it's installed), tho
>> I do use kmail and akregator... but as separate apps, generally opening
>> the one I want from its tray icon.
> I only used KMail for a long time, but then I gave Akregator a try, and
> I liked it. And so I thought why not, and started using the whole
> Kontact suite.

FWIW, akregator still feels a bit kludgy (hey, "kludgy" would make a nice 
kde app! =:^) to me.  I preferred the knewsticker kicker applet that was 
part of kde3.  But lacking that, akregator works.  It'd be nice to have 
feed keyword filtering, tho.  I don't care about most sports, nor, 
really, about ubuntu.  Certainly not when I'm pressed for time.  It'd be 
nice to be able to filter based on related keywords in the titles, and 
not even see those posts.

Now that kdepim is moving again, perhaps we'll get that sort of akregator 
features at some point.

But when I read mail I read mail.  When I read news, I read news (FWIW 
using pan to do it, not kde's knode).  And when I read feeds, I read 
feeds.  I don't have any desire to unify them in some way, for the same 
reason I rarely view the combined feed list instead of tech/linux news vs 
other.  If I'm thinking about Linux and reading Linux/tech feeds, I don't 
want to be off-tracked by the latest about Obama or the debt talks, tho I 
value that too and follow it separately.  But the key is just that, 
/separately/.  Having mail from my family, or from my voicemail service, 
while valuable in themselves, intrude on my Linux concentration, would be 
even worse!   So keeping the apps separate is just fine by me; no kontact 

> But still something seems wrong. When I send the mail, I get an instant
> notification that a mail has successfully been sent, and few seconds
> later I get another notification about the new mail in my inbox. But
> KMail does not show it yet. Looks like Akonadi checks for mail often, or
> even gets notified by the IMAP server about it, but KMail has to check
> the Akonadi resource for itself, which it does every few minutes. Does
> this make sense? Would be nice if Akonadi would inform KMail about new
> mails.

I'm guessing that will come.  Remember, this version was aiming for 
feature parity only.

>> The problem, IMO, is that while mysql might be a very reasonable
>> backend for professional database administrators who have the knowledge
>> to set it up correctly, it's altogether unsuited for ordinary users,
>> who would vastly prefer that it just work, without them having to set
>> it up for best performance, etc -- which mysql pretty much requires. 
>> Further, it's not a one-time thing, either.  Due to mysql's version
>> incompatibility policies, there's also potential format update issues,
>> etc, every time a user upgrades from one stable series to the next. 
>> This sort of thing is NOT something even most non-database-oriented
>> /technical/ users (like us,
>> running kde on gentoo) wish to have to deal with, let /alone/ the
>> average "just so it works" user.
> I think I run a mysql server since to build with an embedded mysql.
> Maybe I did not understand something, or maybe that was because I was
> running a bleeding edge version of Amarok at that time (which I had
> installed in order to report some bugs I had with it). I thought I was a
> good idea, so I could browse my music collection from other hosts in the
> LAN, too. Well, that does not work, and when I just tried again, I ran
> into other problems, but this will be another posting on another list.

FWIW, the way they handled mysql was the straw that broke the camel's 
back in terms of Amarok, for me.  Upstream mysql-embedded was broken on 
amd64 (aka em64t aka x64) at the time, because it's a library and on 
amd64, libraries require -fpic (compiled with position independent code) 
as defined by the architecture.  Now, one could add that CFLAG to the 
entire build if necessary, but that made the regular mysql app slower and 
less efficient, and kmail was using regular mysql.

So amarok switching to mysql-embedded for its kde4 version, with no 
alternative, at a time when kde3 was no longer being supported by 
upstream kde so it wasn't a viable alternative either, was a giant

Not that said behavior was a whole lot different than what the entire kde 
project was doing with kde4 vs kde3 at the time, but the difference for 
me was, there were viable alternatives to amarok.

Plus, amarok had always had huge and bloated dependencies, and on a 
sources based distro like Gentoo, that MATTERS.  It was the only app I 
had requiring ruby, for instance.  I never did really use all that 
collection stuff.  I can sort music just fine using directory trees, with 
symlinks if I want them sourced by multiple categories, and indeed, I 
already had a basic tree doing just that.

What I DID like (and use) with kde3's amarok was features like winamp 
skin compatibility, the mini-visualizer, and full-screen visualizations 
using projectm.  Unfortunately the kde4 amarok jettisoned the miniplayer 
so no more winamp skins or mini-visualizer, and they weren't yet 
supporting regular visualization either.  Meanwhile, they were all gaga 
over "useless" (to me) features like a minibrowser that seldom could find 
anything on the stuff I play anyway, a lyric display for my trance, 
electronica and classical (chamber) music that didn't have lyrics to 
speak of, etc.

Put it this way.  There comes a time when you recognize that your 
previous app/platform/isp/whatever of choice is going in an entirely 
different direction than you are, and it's time to part ways.  MS did 
that to me with eXPrivacy and activation.  I've had ISPs that started out 
great but when another direction, and here, amarok was doing the same 

So I split, and as with every case where that has happened to me, I'm 
glad I did, only wishing, perhaps, that I had done so sooner, altho 
recognizing as well that there comes a time when you are ready, and 
trying it sooner would be rather counterproductive.  (In particular, 
that's the way it was with MS, for me.  It took me two years after I'd 
basically decided Linux was where I was headed, before I finally made the 
switch.  Had I tried earlier, it would have likely been an abortive 
attempt and I don't know if I'd have /ever/ made the switch.  That's why 
I will certainly argue that Linux is the better way, but there's no way 
I'd try to force people to switch before they're ready for it.)

FWIW, I use a split music-player-daemon (mpd) and client model, now, with 
various front-ends.  (My front-end of choice for kde is qmpdclient, but I 
have mpc for CLI use and both ncmpc and ncmpcpp as curses frontends.  So 
I can control the music from the CLI or using a qt GUI or two different 
ncurses semi-guis, my choice, and the combined total is *STILL* a very 
long way away from amarok and its bloated dependencies that I don't 
otherwise have installed!)  I can quit X to CLI without interrupting my 
music play, can still control it from there, and if I wanted, there's 
even remote web based and etc front-ends available.  I've never bothered 
configuring the visualizer tho there's a way to set it up to work with 
projectm, if desired, so I don't have visualizations, but amarok for kde4 
was lacking them back when I switched (I've no idea about now), too, so 
no loss there, and I can always play the music in smplayer or vlc if I 
want visualizations.

> Now I also need the mysql server for a phpBB boad I am hosting. But I
> never configured it for Akonadi stuff.

Then it /might/ be worthwhile continuing to use it for akonadi, too.  
After the switch to the sqlite backend here, I was able to unmerge mysql 
entirely (and good riddance, I say, it's no secret that I don't like the 
thing, piling up bad experiences tends to have that effect on a person!), 
and I expect that's the case for many other users as well.  Not if 
they're using amarok, obviously, and not if they're using it for phpBB or 
other server related stuff, but arguably, the server related stuff is 
what it's designed for.  Use by ordinary users for mail, and arguably for 
a personal music database, not so much.

OTOH, I'd venture a lot more desktop users are using sqlite for various 
things, than mysql.  Tho that's probably tilted mysql's way since the 
early kde/akonadi defaults, especially with the user config complication 
as described in the previous mail.

> So I had the embedded MySQL, then SQLite, MySQL again, and from then on
> SQLite. 

... at the /system/ level.  Your user is quite a different matter.

> Why there are no drivers shown being available I have no clue. I
> usually read the elog messages, but this did not get my attention. Maybe
> because things still were working somehow, I'd expect nothing at all to
> work any more without drivers being available.

It's very possible that the build had and perhaps still has, an 
"automagic" dependency on mysql, and since you already stated that you 
still have it installed for phpBB (and perhaps amarok, I wasn't quite 
sure if that discussion was past tense or present tense, there, but 
AFAIK, amarok still does use it, tho I don't follow it closely any more 
and might have missed a change, optional or not, to something else), it 
was detected and the drivers still built for it, regardless.

Might be worth some investigation and filing a gentoo bug, if 
appropriate...  Automagic dependencies are bad news for a number of 

> But in the Akonadi settings, the database driver is set to Mysql, with
> the only other option being PostgreSQL. 'Use internal MySQL-server' is
> checked. And right below the MySQL program is set to /usr/sbin/mysqld.

If you're talking about the GUI settings, akonaditray (or kcmshell4 
akonadi, same dialog both cases) in particular, yes, I noticed that.  I 
believe it's shipping in exactly the same form as it did during the kdepim 
4.4 era, before the sqlite driver matured to proper viability.  Actually, 
that was a bit of a disappointment for me as I expected the 4.6.1 kdepim 
update to include an updated akonaditray/akonadi-kcm as well, finally 
including the sqlite driver, but it didn't happen.

akonadiconsole seems to be the newer, more powerful alternative, and it 
DOES support sqlite at least to some degree (I see it in the DB Browser 
tab, for instance) but opens with a warning that it's a development tool 
only, use is at your own risk!  And for sure, the stuff it shows looks 
scary enough and I know little enough about it that I'd be scared to 
touch much of anything therein, without direct instructions from someone 
who knew more about it than I do!

I expect at some point they'll have to either update the akonadi kcm or 
create a far dumber default mode for akonadiconsole, for "ordinary users" 
to use.

But meanwhile, that's why the instructions (both mine and those in the 
ebuild's ewarns) say to check/change the config by editing the text-based 
config file itself -- at present, the GUI unfortunately doesn't handle it.

> Now I expected this to be QSQLITE3, as the elog message says, but of
> course these are MY settings, not the system-wide defaults.
> Okay, I so changed it. Um, die you mean SQLITE3, or QSQLITE3? Only the
> latter is available here.

Yes.  Sorry about that, QSQLITE3.  Thanks for pointing out my mistake as 
you could well have saved anyone coming across this from google or 
whatever quite some headaches! =:^/

>> 3) Restart akonadi.
> My collections were updated, for a long time. Over and over again,

Uh oh! Well, I did say I had done the conversion back when it was just 
the address book to worry about, and I didn't know exactly how it would 
actually work, with the kmail message database to worry about too, now.  
I'm glad I added that caveat! =:^\

> I
> watched this by opening the progress view by clicking at the blue arrow
> at the bottom right of Kontact. I changed my settings so new messages
> would not be fetched every two minutes, but still this was going on.
> After about 45 minutes, Kontact crashed. I let Akonadi continue for a
> while, then stopped it, and restarted. It was still doing stuff, using
> 35% of CPU time (according to the Ctrl-Esc system monitor, top showed
> 75% for one of my two cores). I started Kontact, but it opened a
> notification window with 'Major error in KMail, it will be quit, error
> fetching resource collection'). I edited the specialmailcollectionsrc as
> I did before, and set the DefaultResourceId to akonadi_imap_resource_7,
> which is my main IMAP server. I got the name by opening the Akonadi
> console.
> Now KMail started. First, the folders were empty, but when I reloaded
> them, I saw all messages. Now reloading is no longer necessary. Even the
> two folders that weren't working are okay now.

Seems the transition isn't entirely bug-free, yet.  Hopefully Kevin and 
the other akonadi/kmail folks are able to use a bit of this feedback to 
help improve things.

> I get a notification every few minutes: '<server>: Unknown error. (Could
> not create collection).'
> And I had a 'KMail-Folder' before, which was the content of my local
> .kde4/share/apps/kmail/mail directory. This is gone. There is a 'Local
> Folders' resource pointing to that directory, which I already had
> before, but it only shows the usual folders (Drafts, Inbox, Outbox,
> Sent, Templates). I'm missing the Trash, no idea why that is gone, I
> think this already was the case since the KDEPIM upgrade. Deleting to
> trash still works though, I wonder where these messages are. BTW,
> deleting via shortcut now also works, it didn't before.
> I added a new 'mail' resource, selected the mail directory (it would be
> nice if one could use the directory selection dialog to browse this, but
> I don't know how to make it show hidden files (Alt-dot works in the file
> select dialog, but not in the directory dialog)). Cool, the folders are
> back.
> The address book is still working. Hooray! But I still cannot use a
> distribution list. I can create a new contact group and add email
> addresses to it, but KMail does not seem to know about it, it does not
> auto-complete when I start entering the group's name.

I don't do enough multi-address mails to be of any help to you there.

> Well, some things seem to work better now. I can see all mails again,
> and I did not yet notice folders that claim to have unread mails, but
> don't.

Well, that's good. =:^D

> *BUT:* I cannot send mails. 'Problem encountered enqueuing the message
> into the sending queue: Unknown collection'. Too bad, you know, sending
> mails always has been one of my favorite features of Kmail :)


You mentioned not having a trash.  You said you had an outbox, but 
perhaps it's screwed up, somehow.  I know I had to delete a bunch of 
weird half-configured resources at one point, tho again that was when it 
was only the address book I had to worry about.  And I had to redo the 
conversion/import to akonadi a few times, when I did the kdepim 4.6 
upgrade.  But it's possible the backend conversions causes some of the 
weird resource stuff earlier, and combining that with the kmail folders 
resources now, you may well need to delete the bad resources and possibly 
recreate new resouces, manually.

It's a hairy experience trying to sort all that out, but it /does/ seem I 
have it generally working, now.  So it /does/ appear to be possible.  
Just be sure you keep the old pre-akonadi versions around for awhile, so 
you can reimport if necessary.  Luckily I don't have /too/ much mail 
traffic here to worry about, and you have your remote IMAP folders to 
fall back on, so there's not too much worry about lost mail for either of 

I *DO* hope they get things working rather smoother before the six-month 
distro updates start including this stuff, tho.  And if our experiences 
can help with that, so much the better.

[About the duplicate message warning that Kevin says is a known issue 

> It happened again this morning, right in this list's folder, and this
> time I chose both. And indeed both messages showed up. But now when I
> visit the kde mailing list folder, I again get the '<server>: Remote id
> is empty or invalid.' notification, and all the mails in it are gone. I
> see new mails, but once they are read, they also disappear.
> So now it's two folders I cannot access. I use thunderbird for them now.

I KNEW there was a reason my instincts were saying WARNING!! DO NOT 

It's rather worse than simply having two copies, tho, which is what I 
figured would be the extent of it.

You'll probably have to delete and recreate that resource again, to get 
it working, unfortunately. =:^(  But at least it's on remote IMAP so 
there's little danger of data-loss. =:^)

> BTW, I usually add a note about these things in KNotes, but when I
> wanted to, I found that I cannot access the notes via the panel any
> more. A right-click still opens the menu, but a left click does nothing.
> So I edit the notes in Kontact now, which is rather complicated.

That I don't know about.  I do see a notes resource, and figured it must 
be for personal notes, but I've never used it in any way shape or form, 
that I know of at least, so there was nothing to convert or get lost 
there, and I don't even know what app/applet/plasmoid/whatever I'd use to 
interact with the resource.  You mention kontact, which I don't have nor 
want installed, and knotes, which I could install but doesn't happen to 
be installed ATM.  And apparently they're connected to akonadi.  Also, 
judging by the version numbers (a gap between 4.6.1 and 4.6.90), it's 
part of kdepim, as would be expected for an akonadi-connected app.  
That's already way more than I knew about it previously!

> Same goes for Klipper. I found this out when I wanted to view the
> Akonadi error log, there's an option to store the messages in the
> clipboard.

??  I'm not sure what you're referencing there at all.  AFAIK, klipper is 
working just fine, here (altho I've not actually used it since I 
installed kde 4.6.95 aka 4.7-rc2, less than 24 hours ago), and isn't 
related to akonadi at all.

Actually, just tried it; I /think/ I tried what you were referencing. 
>From the akonaditray dialog (aka the akonadi kcm), server config tab, I 
ran the test, then hit copy to clipboard.

It worked here and I can see it in klipper. <shrug>  Either you have some 
other klipper related issue or some other akonadi issue, or perhaps I 
didn't follow your reference correctly and you were talking about 
something else entirely.  That's entirely possible as the reference 
wasn't entirely clear to me.

> Yet another problem with 4.6.5 is that cookies no longer work in
> Konqueror. I got a message window about this, and this way I found out
> that the PrtSc hotkey no longer starts KSnapshot. But at least KSnapshot
> now can open the current snapshot in Gwenview, this was not possible in
> 4.6.4.

FWIW, I had intended to skip 4.6.5 entirely, installing 4.6.95 aka 4.7-
rc2 instead.  However, they were a few days behind the roadmap in getting 
rc2 out and I wasn't brave enough to try rc1 (plus, it was dated by that 
time anyway).  I would have simply stayed on 4.6.4 until 4.6.95 did come 
out, but Sunday I gave up and built/installed 4.6.5 after all, as the 
rest of this week I'm not sure about my schedule and I decided I might as 
well be fully updated, at least.

Then Monday, 4.6.95 DID finally come out, and since I already had my 
unmask files prepared and sets updated, etc, I decided I might as well.  
So I installed it.

As a result, I was only running 4.6.5 for about a day.

Couple that with the fact that the konqueor double-form-submission bug in 
4.6.3 finally pushed me to give up on konqueror and switch to firefox as 
my default browser (FWIW I still have some manually created shortcuts, 
etc, that invoke konqueror), and if 4.6.5 konqueror had any cookie issues 
here, I'm not at all surprised I didn't notice them.

FWIW, 4.6.95 has been quite smooth for me so far, with the single 
exception of that heisenbug mentioned in the 4.6.95 thread, which is gone 
now.  My kdepim stuff is still all 4.6.1, as the kdepim-4.6.95 tarball 
didn't appear to be available when I tried, not too surprising as their 
release schedule will probably take a bit to resync with the rest of kde, 
but the rest is 4.6.95.

I'd guess kdepim will skip a 4.7.0 release synced with the rest, and will 
release something about the time of 4.7.1 if they're trying to re-sync, 
tho whether they'll call that kdepim-4.7.1, 4.7.0, or continue with the 
4.6.x series for awhile longer, I'm not sure.  I'd really like to see 
them get back in sync with 4.7.1 and call it 4.7.1, as it would simplify 
things, but of course it's not up to me. =:^)

> And one more problem: KNode lost _all_ old messages. Again. I have to
> unsubscribe and subscribe again, then I see the messages. I assume that
> all my markings are gone, but so be it, it's not important, I had few.
> But this just shouldn't happen. It did so four days ago already.
> In the dialog for adding Akonadi resources there is an entry for usenet
> newsgroups (NNTP), but it seems KNode is not akonadified yet, as I do
> notsee such an existing resource.

I use pan for news.  Way back in early 2002 when I made that decision, 
there were a number of technical reasons for that, and I've been a very 
long-time regular on the pan lists, so I've some history there, tho I've 
no idea if the reasons I originally chose it still exist or not.

I've thought about trying knode again, but if it's doing the akonadi 
thing too, I'll wait awhile until that's good and stable before even 
/considering/ it, as news is major-important to me, way more than mail, 
for sure.  So maybe about kde5 time or so, by which time it should have 
had quite some time to mature on akonadi, as well as akonadi having quite 
some time to mature on its own.

But for sure thanks for mentioning that, as I hadn't even considered the 
possibility of knode going akonadified.  That's one thing I can now put 
solidly out of my mind for another year, at least.

>> AND, I've not has a single issue of that nature since. =:^)

I've had one since.  Fortunately minor as I still had the pre-akonadi 
versions available and don't believe any mail had come in for that mail 
folder since, but my family folder just up and went empty on me, possibly 
due to a hard-lock system crash while I was playing with an unstable 
OpenGL screensaver.  Whatever.

That's exactly the type of scenario people feared when they read about 
kmail going database-based.  Losing everything in the family folder, of 
ALL folders, is not a good thing AT ALL, tho for me it wasn't bad because 
I did have the pre-akonadi backup so all I had to do was a reimport.  But 
that sort of thing *MUST* *STOP* if kmail ever wants to be taken 
seriously again.  I NEVER had that sort of issues back before akonadi, 
and few people (including me) are going to put up with it for long after 
akonadi, either, tho for the time being I'm somewhat philosophical about 

> It's strange, but my setup feels better to me than before. Less usable,
> because I really want to be able to actually send mails with KMail, but
> this can probably be solved easily. Sonehow. Now now, it's late, this
> stuff just took me some hours, I'll have a look at it tomorrow.

LOL!  I know the feeling!

> But I understand Akonadi better now.
> Duncan, many, many thanks for this elaborate explanation. I hope it also
> helps others who stumble upon this.

Indeed.  The story of the akonadi backends is not well publicized, and if 
that doesn't change before the big distros do their kdepim 4.6+ upgrade, 
I'm afraid a lot of users are going to go thru a lot of unnecessary 
grief.  It's MUCH easier to deal with the backend switch BEFORE the kmail 
datastore gets akonadified, for sure!

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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