KDEPIM 4.6 prob^Wimpressions

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Wed Jul 27 07:43:31 BST 2011

Anne Wilson posted on Sun, 24 Jul 2011 17:44:25 +0100 as excerpted:

> On Sunday, July 24, 2011 03:11:45 PM Duncan wrote:
>> That leaves the gtk-based sylpheed and the claws project that started
>> as a developer testing branch of sylpheed, but grew into its own
>> project. Claws actually looks to be my best alternative at this point,
>> with lots of plugins in the Gentoo tree as well as claws itself.
> At one point when I was having a lot of PIM problems I was tempted by
> claws.
> Unfortunately all my efforts to migrate my korganizer calendar failed,
> and since my life and my family's lives depend on that, I had to forget
> it.

Well, it's installed, and I've ported my messages and address book.  It 
has been slow going, tho, because the import scripts are old and only 
sort of documented.  I had to "use the source, Luke", for both.

I used the kmail-mailbox importer script they had on their site.  First, 
I had to ensure that it was for maildir, not mbox, since kmail has done 
both.  It /was/ for maildir.  Then I had the thing trying to string 
together two parts of a path without a / in between.  Come to find out 
/that/ was due to my using tab-completion when feeding the initial part 
of the path to the script at the command line -- because it was a dir, my 
tab-completion scripts added a terminating /.  Unfortunately, the script 
did a perlre substitution with that string, thus removing the /, which it 
didn't add back in when it reassembled the two parts of the string.  Once 
I figured /that/ out and removed the terminating / on the directory path 
I was feeding the script, it went fine.  Well, except for the fact that 
the script had hard-coded the claws-default mail location of ~/Mail, and 
I'd already changed that to something else.  So it did the work, but I 
then had to manually move the subdir it created to the customized 

The address book importer was worse.  It's a python script.  The first 
problem was figuring out a way to get kaddressbook's vcard files (vcfs) 
into a single combined vcf to import into claws.  I found kabcclient, a 
kaddressbook command-line client, could do it.

Then I switched to the claws side.  The first problem there was that it 
hard-coded a python2.2 shebang -- the script was from 2003.  So I edited 
that to simply python, which got me a bit further.  Next, it was 
complaining about the copyright symbol in a comment.  Seems thee way 
character encoding is managed had changed between 2.2 in 2003 and today.  
But that was easy enough to spot since it gave me a line number to look 
at and the copyright symbol stuck out like a guy with handcuffs still 
dangling from one arm when there's and APB (all-points-bulletin, police) 
out for a prison escapee.  Simply deleting that got me farther.  Then it 
complained about not finding the address-book list index, asking me to 
run claws-mail once before I tried the script, which I had done, and 
actually deleted since the existing address books were default-stubs I 
was replacing anyway.  So then I had to run claws again and recreate a 
stub for it to use.  But apparently the address book was originally in 
the main config dir but is now in a subdir by default, so I had to 
manually adjust that.

Then the thing /said/ it worked, but loading claws and the address book 
didn't show anything -- the script was placing the file one place while 
claws was looking in a different one -- the 2003 script date strikes 
again.  So I resolved that.  Then claws address book could see it, and it 
had names, but no email-addresses!  So I dove into the code and 
discovered that the script had been written to deal with evolution's vcfs, 
and their email key isn't (or wasn't in 2003) simply email, but 
email;internet (not sure about the semicolon separator, maybe it was 
colon, anyway...).  Of course it took me quite some time to make sense of 
the code and figure this out (well, there was a comment telling me where 
the setting was, but I had to figure out how to change it without 
breaking things), since I don't /really/ know either perl (the first 
script) or python (this one), I just sort of muddle thru it.  So I 
changed the key from email;internet to simply email... and the thing 
STILL wouldn't work!  Now the file appeared to be correct, but the claws 
address book was saying the format was wrong and not even showing the 
names, now!

It turns out that last error was one last bit of file-in-the-wrong place 
-- I had moved the one file to the addressbook subdir but not another, 
and the wrong format error was a red herring, it actually wasn't seeing 
the file at all, since it was looking in the subdir and I had the file in 
the maindir!

But... that's all done.

Now I have to port the filters.  I have about 50 of them, and there's no 
script to convert filters from kmail style.  There's a script from 
something else, tho.  So I can take a peak at that and see if I can hack 
it for kmail filters, or I can manually transfer them one at a time...  
It'll probably be the latter, since I've had enough of hacking scripts by 
now, and since most of them move incoming mail to various directories 
(plus adding a header so I can see what filter applied), I'd probably 
have to manually convert those to the folder layout in claws, anyway.

When /that/ is done, it'll be time to setup the actual mail account 
info.  I've deliberately left that for last, so I don't have new mail 
coming in to an incompletely setup claws, and have to reprocess it later, 
after I get everything setup.

Already I can see that I'll be saving quite some space.  Both kmail's 
maildir and claws' mh format dirs use a file per message (but the 
filenames are handled differently, and I've about 10K mails, so that bit 
definitely needed a script to handle!), so that usage is very close to 
the same, but akonadi's indexes more than double that, and what with all 
the akonadi issues, I've various backups and old import attempts 
scattered around, that I'll be able to eliminate as well, once I know the 
data is safely transfered.  (I could probably eliminate some of it now, 
but figuring out what's actually still in use and will break if I remove 
it, and what's safe to delete... put it this way, I already made that 
mistake once with akonadi, and now that I'm moving off of it, it's just 
easier to let it alone until I KNOW it's safe to delete!)

All totaled I'll free up several gigs on my home partition, plus the old-
kmail backup over on my media partition.

But what I'm *REALLY* looking forward to being able to do is killing 
USE=sementic-desktop and very likely getting rid of huge chunks of 
various kde database and semantic search junk that for me have done 
little more than throw sand in the gears of what would otherwise be a 
quite decently running kde desktop!

I still don't understand why, if kmail /had/ to go all akonadified, 
someone couldn't have created a nice and basic kde mail client to 
continue where old kmail was leaving off.  (Actually, I guess I do, 
apparently no developer with the kde knowledge and skills has developed 
that itch that he needed to scratch...  I can understand that, since it's 
a lot of what FLOSS is about.  But it's still hard for me to believe 
that /everyone/ is happy with the situation.  OTOH, perhaps those that 
aren't had already switched.)  Had someone developed such a "nothing 
fancy, just do mail and do it well" alternative kde mail client, it's 
likely they'd have stuck with the same basic maildir format, filter 
format, etc, or at least have provided reasonable converters, 
uncomplicated by all this database stuff.  Claws claims to be fast and 
efficient with the file-per-message MH format, but maildir has the same 
factor, plus as it was based on the older MH format, it could learn from 
some of the mistakes.  I'm already appreciating that, as I had to move 
mail folders around a bit after the conversion, and having just done the 
same thing in kmail after the import of the old files there, I did notice 
quite a difference, both in moving multiple dirs, and in marking 
everything read after the import.  I already appreciate the speed and 
directness of working with the directories themselves, without the akonadi 
database in between, bugging things up, and even when it works, never 
being sure that the changes I just made had synced to akonadi, the 
maildir backend, and the kmail front-end, all three.  It's sort of like 
the experience one gets in a manual transmission and direct-steering 
sports car, as compared to an ordinary family car with automatic 
transmission and power steering.  It's good to be able to "feel the 
road", the actual syncing of the message dirs on the filesystem, once 
again, when I'm moving thousands of messages between dirs, and know that 
when claws says it's done, it's done.  (Claws does have a faster vs safer 
setting, which I'd guess uses fsync in safer mode, the default and what 
I'm using.  I like that! =:^)

Anyway, enough break.  Time to get to work on those filters, now. =:^\

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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