KDEPIM 4.6 prob^Wimpressions

Alex Schuster wonko at wonkology.org
Thu Jul 21 15:07:33 BST 2011

Duncan writes:

> Alex Schuster posted on Tue, 19 Jul 2011 18:27:59 +0200 as excerpted:

> > Then there's kded4 and
> > knotify4, I often have two of those processes running and eating all
> > CPU time until I kill them, this happens on another KDE4 desktop,
> > too.
> I believe that's ultimately down to instabilities in the audio system
> (alsa, pulse-audio if you use it but I think you don't, etc).  Or it
> could be phonon-backend related.  Fortunately, I don't have that sort of
> issue here now, tho I have in the past.

No, I don't use pulse-audio. It's not too bad, when I see the CPU running, 
it usually is those two processes, and just kill them. This does not seem to 
harm, I hope this is true. My current strategy is to wait for 4.7 and see if 
it still happens.

> There's several possibilities for that.  One is setting the phonon output
> to the dummy audio device -- no effects or kde system sound, but anything
> using alsa directly, etc, should still work.  I believe I did that for a
> time back in the kde3 era (before phonon, obviously).

Although there are few system sounds I hear, so I probably wouldn't even 
notice they're gone, I somehow would not like to be without any.

> Another is switching the phonon backend.  phonon-xine gave me problems
> here but I've been very happy with phonon-vlc.  Some others have had good
> results with phonon-gstreamer but quite some time ago I had problems with
> gstreamer and it's an entire subsystem that I've avoided having on my
> system every since, tho in fairness the gstreamer problems are very
> likely long since gone, but I just don't want to load all those
> dependencies again for one little thing, and since I have everything else
> using something else, it's /always/ just one little thing, that would be
> changing over, so I never try gstreamer...

I'm using GStreamer, and Xine is also on the list. I think I read one is 
deprecated and the other should be used, but I do not remember which was 
And now that you mention phonon-vlc, I remember reading somewhere about it 
and it sounded good. So I emerged it, and switched the backend. Whoops, 
Amarok crashed. But it seems to work fine, let's see if the situation with 
kded4/knotify4 improves. Although it didn't happen for 2-3 days now.

> > Oh, and plasma, it often hangs, or crashes, forgets its settings.
> That has been quite stable for me lately, perhaps because after an issue
> earlier and having to hand edit a very complex plasma-desktop-appletsrc,
> I've been rather careful about playing around with it.
> I DID edit out some serious cruft from that file, tho.  Few will be
> willing or able to spend the time I did to figure out the file and hand
> edit it like that, but wiping it and starting from scratch may help, as
> it's quite possible there's some cruft in there that's causing
> instabilities, especially if you're using the same base file as you were
> back in the early 4.5 era, which is when I had my issues and wiped out
> the cruft with a hand edit.

I once fixed some problems with this file, when the desktops had switched 
their order. This happened for again a couple of times, but now I just copy 
back the file from a backup. I did not dare to remove more of the cruft, 
because I am not sure if it really is cruft, or if I might damage some 
The last time I started with a clean .kde directory was June last year, with 
KDE 4.4.4. BTW, I looked up the date by googling for a posting of mine on 
the gentoo-user list where I mentioned this, in a thread about KDE4 
problems. I first wanted to look this up browsing through my archive of this 
list, which I thought I had moved from my IMAP server to local already. 
Which is not true, but this way I found out that all of my local mails are 
gone. Here's what I wrote on this list about these folders:

  Still, my local mail folders were missing - the 'Local Folders' resource 
  points to .local/share/local-mail/, and when I change this to 
  .kde4/share/apps/kmail/mail, my folders there do not show up. So I created
  a 'KMail-Maildir' resource, pointing to that directory. So, even if the 
  locations of both the 'KMail-Maildir' and the 'Local Folders' point to the 
  same directory, only the former displays my custom folders. Then I moved
  my custom folders with KMail into the 'Local Folders', and FINALLY, things
  are back as they were.

My local mails have a 'Backup' folder with sub-folders for things like 
mailing list archives I do not want to have on the IMAP server because of 
their size, and because I rarely need them. The 'Backup' folder is still 
there, but no sub-folders.

Good thing I have my backup. So I just started rdiff-backup-fs in order to 
browse through the snapshots. Right at this moment, or maybe a little 
earlier, system load went up A LOT, to about 45. The cause were kded4 
processes, in total I had 39 of them! Killed them. They were running as my 
user, while those two pairs of kded4/knotify4 I sometimes see run as root, 
at least some of them.
And there was one acroread process eating CPU time. ps -axf shows it was 
started by nspluginwrapper, which was started by 'kdeinit4: konqueror 
[kdeinit] --silent'. What is going on here...

I think I should rename the subject to Wonko's KDE4 live ticker... I just 
answered a mail that came on another mailing list and was CCed to me. This 
makes it show up in my inbox, not in the mailing list. So I did a 'Reply to 
All', and cleared the 'To:' entry. The CC field automatically got cleared 
and its content moved upwards into the To: field. But when sending I got a 
message that the To: field is empty. I could send it after I simply copied 
the text and pasted it again in the To: input field.

I like to make screenshots of such events, this way I noticed that the 
PrintScreen key no longer starts KSnapshot. I wanted to take a note of this 
in my KNotes KDE4 log, but the KNotes icon in the system tray does not react 
to left button clicks. I had this before once. Other things in the tray 
work, but the KMix icon looks different now (colored, not only white as it 
used to be), and it opens the mixer when pressed, instead of showing a 
volume slider. Oh, and the hidden icons (accessible by clicking the little 
white arrow at the right) are all visible. Well, the next login will 
probably cure this, seems it's about time.

> > I did not use webkit yet because I simply did not know how, the
> > settings dialog in Konqueror only showed KTHML. But browsing through
> > the package database I found kde-misc/kwebkitpart, and after
> > installing I have the webkit option.
> /That/ must be what I'm missing!  Sure enough, it's not installed.

Let's see if this will make you use Konqueror again.

> > Akregator seems to honor it. When Konqueror is set to use webkit, I
> > can watch embedded youtube videos in Akregator that only show up as
> > black boxes otherwise.
> I'll have to try it.  Maybe it'll show images for me.  akregator doesn't
> here, at present, despite my having konqueror set to show them.  It may
> be that I have on-disk cache turned off in konqueror, tho, but as I use
> privoxy, turning that on can cause stale refresh issues after I edit a
> privoxy filter or set it to bypass.

Strange, it always showed them here.

> > While this is cool, there's a drawback of course: When plain images are
> > displayed (like when downloading then via the KDE-Look RSS feed), I
> > sometimes cannot save them, the menu has no entry for that. Hmm, I
> > cannot reproduce it now. But I see another effect, with KTHML a link
> > opens in another tab as I want it, with webkit it tries to start
> > Firefox.
> Since I only use the akregator preview pane, and open in (a real) browser
> instead of in new akregator tab when I click a link, that wouldn't be an
> issue, here.  Then again, if akregator's browser tabs worked more like
> real browsers, I might actually use them!

Doesn't this give you lots of browser windows? Or does this open tabs in an 
existing Firefox windows? That's how it is here, but when I have multiple 
windows open, new tabs open in the last window I used, which often is not 
the one I want to have the tab in. So I prefer the tabs to be in Akregator 

> > I understand this. That's why I prefer usenet much over web forums, at
> > least for things that are mostly text-only. The web is fast these
> > days,
> > but I hate latencies when clicking through messages.
> I'm a usenet guy too.  What I haven't quite figured out is why I prefer
> lists as gmane newsgroups to having them in my mail client, but it is
> certainly saving me *HUGE* frustrations with the kmail akonadi
> switchover.

Until four years ago, I used the ancient DOS software CrossPoint for this. 
It did both mail and news, and I really liked that it could show discussions 
in different usenet groups AND mail in the same thread display. Using the 
keyboard only it was quite fast. Over time, the setup grew somewhat 
complicated - I used the Linux version only to download and send messages, 
and the DOS client as frontend, because in Linux I never got some keys to 
work and also had other problems. And some years earlier there I even had to 
use some DOS programs running in an Windows NT VM for data exchange. It was 
a very big hack.
HTML became more important, attachments could be viewed in external viewers, 
but they still were inside DOS, with 8.3 filenames, and I finally switched 
to other mail and news clients. But I still miss some of its features.

So, this mail is done. One last weird thing: All my six desktops suddenly 
show plasmoids from the last desktop only. Time to log out, and probably 
copy back that plasma-desktop-appletsrc file again.

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