Munch munch munch

Alex Schuster wonko at
Mon Apr 2 15:20:15 BST 2012

Duncan writes:

> Alex Schuster posted on Sun, 01 Apr 2012 19:08:08 +0200 as excerpted:
> > And there was not much time between me moving the folder and KMail
> > crashing, probably not enough to actually download 12,000 messages
> > from my remote IMAP server to my local folders.
> > I also checked on the IMAP server, there is no longer a
> > Gentoo-User-2010 directory.
> That's bad.  Any sane app won't delete the source during a move, until
> it knows the destination is safely complete.  Unfortunately, there's a 
> rather big question ATM as to whether the kdepim devs are sane... or to 
> put it a bit less severely... whether they actually consider the fact 
> that people depend on their tools, vs just using them as toys, no big 
> deal if they screw up.

I also couldn't believe what happened. I just tried that again, with a
folder containing a single mail only, which I just had copied into it.
Moved the folder to Local Folders/Backup.
Yay, instant Kontact crash.
After restart, the folder has indeed been moved. And when I accessed it,
I saw the mail - for a second, then it disappeared. Reloading does not
make it show up again.
When I look in .local/share/, it
is empty.
Tried again with a fresh folder I created, put two mails into it, moved
the folder - no crash this time. But no content either.

And I tried again, just like before. Created a new IMAP folder, dragged
three mails into it. Thsi time, I got a notification: Virtyou: Select
failed, server replied: A003488 NO Empty mailbox name. Happens every time
I access this new folder where I just dragged the mails into. Until I
restarted Akonadi.

So, even if I do the same like before, different things happen.

Apart from the error message, I can access the folder and its contents.
And moved it to my local folders. Whcih gives me this notification
(translated from German): Virtyou: Error while deleting folder; the folder
list will be rebuilt.
Again, when I access the moved folder, the mails show up for a second,
then they are gone.

What is going on here... I just found this report, where someone lost 54k
emails when he moved an IMAP folder to another parent:
Filed three months ago, by someone who lost 54,000 mails. And I am the
first one to respond.

About the devs' sanity... I would assume they do their best, but lack the
manpower they need. I guess they had the idea about akonadification,
which is good idea in my opinion, but they underestimated the work this
would be, and the complexity that emerged. Then they were behind
schedule, KDEPIM was hold back, and when it was decided to be stable, it
still had many problems, things that were not tested. I'm a developer,
too, and I know about these problems. All seems to work fine in your own
setup, but you need to test all kinds of setups, like those the users
have. Which often were created years ago, migrated, and which may contain
cruft that triggers problems you wouldn't expect.

> I had thus assumed that kmail/akonadi would have been sane enough not
> to delete from the IMAP server until the messages had actually been
> copied to local disk, even if the database indexing it got screwed.  
> Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case.  Oh, well...  Just 
> more reason to get off kmail/akonadi if you actually rely on mail not 
> disappearing unless you actually delete it, I guess.

Yes, this is very scary.

> >> However, it was exactly that sort of games with my mail that I had
> >> had enough of when I switched to claws-mail.
> ... Even more so if they're deleting from the remote when moving to 
> local, before the local copy is known to be safely stored away.

BTW, I tried the same with another IMAP account, just in case it is
triggered by a remote problem. But the same happens.

> > BTW, there is no function to just move on to the next unread mail,
> > wherever it is, or is there? I can move to the next unread mail of the
> > current folder, and I can move to the next unread folder. No big deal,
> > but somewhat inconvenient. In Claws I just press the space bar,
> > advancing from page to page, from mail to next unread mail, from
> > folder to next unread folder.
> I wouldn't know, as that doesn't match my usage pattern at all.  I 
> routinely deliberately leave messages marked unread, to come back to 
> later.  So when I'm done in a folder, I'll move to another SPECIFIC 
> folder, not simply the next one with unread messages.  And when I'm
> done with a message, I'll often move to another SPECIFIC (by title or
> author or whatever) message, as well, not just the next message or next
> unread.
> So when there's hotkeys for next unread and next unread folder, I tend
> to immediately unmap them, both to free up the hotkeys for use with
> other functionality, and to avoid hitting it accidentally.  Or
> sometimes I keep them mapped, but to a rather more involved hotkey
> sequence.

Ah, okay. I like to read sequentially, until there are NO unread mails. I
like to have things clean and tidy :)
Another thing that is better in Claws: When I am at the bottom of a
folder, but there are new mails shown above, because they are in a
thread, going to the next unread mail will open the first unread mail in
the same folder. In KMail, I would have to leave the folder and enter it
again. I wonder why it is like this. Again, no big deal, but why not do
it the Claws way? Or do I think different from others here?

> Back in the kde 3.5 era, all I needed was a decent qt-based news app to 
> replace pan, and I'd have been able to get gtk off my system entirely.  
> Now, firefox and claws are gtk based as well, and I'm beginning to
> wonder if ultimately, I'll switch to enlightenment or some such, and
> it'll be kde coming off the system instead.  I still really like kde as
> a desktop, *ESPECIALLY* now that I have USE=-semantic-desktop set and
> get the faster speed AND all the fancy plasma desktop plasmoids and
> kwin effects, but back on kde 3.5, if you'd have told me that I'd be
> dropping kmail, akregator, konqueror, etc, I'd have said not very
> likely, and that happened.  Now I really DO have more invested in gtk
> than in qt/kde, and it really WOULD be easier to drop kde than to drop
> gtk.  Oh, well...

KDE still does not work well here, up to the point that it is embarassing
to have other people watching me use my desktop, expecially if they are
Windows users and say that it just works.

My sister also is a KDE4 user, with a very simple setup: One desktop, one
actvity, no plasmoids except for folder views. Still, she has problems.
The panel sometimes does not show her minimized windows. Or she gets
delays of 20 seconds when accessing the window menu, and during that time
the desktop is completele unresponsive, except for the mouse that still
can move. It's working again after a logout. She is a KMail user, but I
had a hard time to migrate her setup from KDE 3.5.

And a collegue has a shortcut to kill and restart plasma-desktop, because
he had trouble with that so often. It's not only me having problems.
Although I seem to have very many. And there are happy users for whom KDE
is very stable, and all just works.

> > And Plasma... it's acting weird so often. Yes, I could try to start
> > with a fresh install, but I do not want to do this once per year,
> > with many things still not working after that. At least that's the
> > experiences from the past. And it takes much time to re-configure all
> > as I like it. Now I'll dig through my .kde4 backups, let's see if I
> > can make plasma work again.

At least this suddenly worked just fine after I copied a backup
of .kde4/share/config back.

> I've often wondered about your setup, and why, both of us on gentoo,
> you seem to have so many more problems than I do.  FWIW, plasma has
> been very stable for me, since some problems back in the 4.6.2 and
> 4.6.3 era.
> Part of it now is almost certainly that I'm running a much less complex 
> kde, now that I'm built without the semantic-desktop stuff entirely, or 
> very close to it.  But even when I was still running that, I had less 
> problems than you seem to.
> For plasma, it's also possible that by 4.5 or so, I had come up with a 
> plasma desktop arrangement I liked and that was stable, and I've made 
> very few changes to it since.  Plus, only the single activity, no 
> switching, and the same setup on all four desktops, not a different
> config for each, seriously reducing complexity and memory/resource
> usage both.

Well, I have six desktops, each one with different plasmoids, and
sometimes a lot of them... see the first image on:

Most of the plasmoids are file watcher plasmoids, though. But even with
those I had much trouble in the past, when a log file was about 100M
large, and plasma read all of that into memory. Too me a while to figure
that out, it looked like a plasma memory leak, and I did not nwo how to
find out which part was the problem.

I use a single activity, although I have two others that I think were
created automatically, search and execute and a photo activity. From time
to time some of these activities get duplicated, this is happening for
years now, and it still happens. In the last days, plasma often took ten
minutes to start, but did not use CPU resources during that time.
Sometimes KDE did not come up at all until I killed the plasma-desktop
process. When plasma came up, there were no widgets at all, and the
plasma-desktop-appletsrc file had gone from 22K to 8K.
It's working now, but I wonder what happens after I log out and in again.
At last, I have 16G of RAM now, and I do not have to log out so often in
order to free memory as I had to do when I had only 8G (yes, that was not

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