Years later, kmail still is not a viable email client?

Draciron Smith draciron at
Fri Oct 16 08:05:04 BST 2020

On Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 4:29 PM René J.V. Bertin <rjvbertin at>

> On Thursday October 15 2020 20:49:21 Marek Kochanowicz wrote:
> >>Anyway, I can't understand why one would insist on running KDE on a
> obsolete
> >>machine
> >An obsolete machine could still have a nice, complete and well-thought
> out desktop environment, to serve for (simple) >document editing, web
> browsing and other tasks which shouldn't require a competition PC. NB: many
> brand-name PCs and l>aptops that are sold in department store are in fact
> more or less obsolete PCs, because of the components they use.
> An obsolete machine by Windoze standards has been for decades been just
fine for a full function Linux machine. It wasn't until the latest releases
of KDE and Gnome that you had to have Windoze level of hardware just to do
basic stuff. I could do ANYTHING on KDE 4 with Akondi turned off. Which I
did the second I installed KDE 4 on this machine. I NEVER got to where my
machine locked up or got windoze like glitches. I could compile software,
edit very large videos, binary files, hunt through gigs of dump files with
a hex editor, I could mix down music, all while having 10-100 FF or Chrome
tabs or have both open at the same time.  I could do basically anything and
with minimal slow downs. Flash was buggy and always has been under Linux,
so I had to limit how much flash I had running on various websites. That
was the only gotcha.

KDE 5 and I can't even single task on this machine. Same machine that a
week before ran fine under KDE4. Even with Akondi killed, which became a
big time challenge, where it was simple to do in KDE4. Even then it's just
too resource hungry to be useful. There's also a lot of annoying "features"
like how focus is handled that drove me nuts. In KDE4 I could tell it to
stop that. Never did find a way to do that in KDE5. I don't want my
OS/desktop trying to decide what I should see or not. I frequently need to
pull info from one window into another and want those windows staying put
and in full view. Frequently I'll have 3 different apps in layered windows
moving back and forth between them as I use various PDFs and website tabs
for reference while I work in some sort of document editor or another Web

> >Compare this with the Mac OS. As far as I know the current version should
> still support my MBP from early 2011 and the >trend has always been that
> newer versions do not slow down older hardware (the same can NOT be said
> for iOS!).
> >There is no hard reason why this would NOT be possible for KDE.
> I fully agree.  I actually run a Mac mini for some stuff. Mostly drivers
for break out boxes, and recording software that doesn't exist on Linux.
The video editing is also superior. Mac OS X on a machine with 4 gigs of
RAM can handle anything I toss at it. Even though it's the cheapest Mac
Mini you can buy and is 4 years old. There's no reason any Linux distro
running KDE cannot do the same.

> >> KDE 5 works for people with higher end computers, which excludes a huge
> >> percentage of Linux users. Akondi is the primary culprit.
> >I agree with Marek: akonadi is not the main resource hog. It could really
> burn some CPU and hog the d-bus under KDE4 but >that issue has been
> addressed. Of course akonadi *is* the main culprit for issues in
> KMail/Kontact so if that's basically all the >only KDE application you use
> you might get a skewed impression.
>  A lot of AKONDI stuff shows up as Plasma. Turn Akondi off. Check your
Plasma usage, then turn Akondi back on and look again. Even with no apps
running you'll see a big bump in Plasma usage with Akondi turned on.

As for Kmail and any other app that invokes Akondi, I don't dare use it
period. I rarely use any of them anyway. The KDE apps I use most often are
things like Krusader, Gwenview, Kcompare, Kedit (I really miss Kedit on KDE
5. It's in Trinity and I'm loving that), with KDE 5 I have to use the
memory hungry and akward Kate.  Kcalc I use frequently. I also use
Konversion frequently. Kaffiene I used to use more, but it struggles now
with some formats. I've moved to VLC as my default and Kaffiene only now
and then. Back when I still used Fedora, Kyum was my favorite. With Ubutu I
use Synaptic. Hydrogen is I believe a KDE app. I use it a lot. If Kparted
still exists it's not listed in the repositories. So I use Gparted instead.
I preferred Kparted but it wasn't a big preference. I use Koffice now and
then. I actually prefer it over Libre, but the compatibility with Word is
crappy with Koffice. So I just default to Libre nowadays. Knmap is handy at
times. Krename is invaluable at times. I love Krename. Ksnapshot rocks and
I use it all the time. Kwave every once in a while but Audacity is my go to
for most editing like that. Kedevelop is handy at times, but I'm not
writing much code any more. KsIRC I use now and then but nothing about it
really grabs me over other IRC clients. The rare times I burn a CD any more
I still use K3b, It really was/is the best burner software ever written in
my opinion. I used to burn a LOT of CDs. I'd wear CD drives out in 6-12
months. Today I burn maybe 1 or 2 CDs a year.

As you see NOTHING I use invokes AKONDI. I'd use Kmail now and then but
that would invoke Akondi and nothing I'd want to do would be worth the
trouble of killing Akondi.  A lot of stuff like Gimp there's no KDE equiv.
Same with Audacious. No way I'm opening up Amarok just play local tunes.
Amarok does EVERYTHING, but all I need is something low on resources that
has an easy to access volume control, play and pause buttons and displays
full song name and title. Audactions & Qmmp fit the bit on that.  I do
email on the web. I downloaded my gmail as a back up. Have ancient Yahoo
downloads from back when they let free users download their email. I used
Kmail back in the day a lot. It was my prefered email client. Still have
hundreds of megs of old Kmail back ups I cannot access since it'll bring up
Akondi. To get rid of Akondi I have to reboot to kill it all.

MySQL unless you are hitting it hard is very light on system resources. I
turn it off as a security precaution if I'm not using it. Default passwords
are a big security problem and MySQL DBs are the most common default
password on most machines. They are also by default listening. So a hacker
just needs a security flaw in MySQL and they are into machines that often
had no idea they were even running MySQL.

>> The PC is redefining itself right now. KDE can help keep the PC platform
> >> alive or it can help doom it, relegating people to phones, tablets and
> >> Android as a primary OS.  The desktop needs to evolve and be good at
> things
> >I think the KDE team sees things the opposite way. People will move to
> phones & tablets anyway if they no longer have a >need for the things they
> had a desktop or laptop for. They appear to have taken this observation as
> a justification to focus on >development for tablet and phone environments
> (under Linux or possibly even Android) and to make the traditional desktop
> >look more and more like what everyone (ahem) is used to on phones and
> tablets, nowadays.
> What do you need a PC to do nowadays? Things that require a lot of screen
real estate. The ability to put the kernel into RT mode such as when
recording music, development, storing large files, editing docs locally,
Network security, video and music editing, running servers, large scale
document/image management as in thousands of files. When you need to type a
lot such as writing tasks, long emails, etc. Autocad and other visually
intensive tasks. Some scientific apps need some heavy CPU crunching.
Running a server.  Some things like games run MUCH better on a PC, both
because of the greater visual real estate and the higher resources.

Tablets never took off primarily because they lock them and the very
limited local storage. Tablets are basically just overgrown phones. I tried
to put Audacity on a tablet once. Jail breaking it was painful enough. Then
the limited local storage became a bigger pain. The coup de grace was the
really poor recording quality due to Audacity being slapped to a background
task as the tablet went out and checked turned off Wifi connections trying
to hunt down email that wasn't being read on the tablet to start with. All
so my daughter could use her tablet to record a few tunes on.  If tablets
had larger drives and didn't need to be jail broken they'd really taken
off. Instead they are built with the idea that the cloud is everything and
it's not. There are things that work great in the cloud and things that do

The things that do not is where PCs remain viable and important. I'm sure I
missed several things commonly done on PCs, but I covered the bulk of them.
Email is rarely done on a PC anymore. Just too much hassle getting it. Web
based email uses SSL not Pop 3. Email clients need to switch to SSL and for
some reason refuse too. They also lack the ability to consume web based
email. For example it'd be awesome to log into my Yahoo with Kmail through
SSL and download all my Yahoo emails that way. It's not happening. Kmail
only supports IMap and Pop 3. Kmail lacks any idea of how to log into a
webmail server much less go back and digest all the emails on that account
or offer you pop 3/IMap access.  SSL is the now in terms of email. It'll be
replaced eventually. Pop3 is all but gone as is Imap. Kmail could borrow
most of the code necessary from Konquer to add these features and to allow
you to basically browse a web based email account but display it in Kmail
organization and store emails in Kmail formats. It's not that complex.
Though when Gmail and Yahoo change their formats it'll require updates to
Kmail some times. In this idea Kmail isn't trying to display the webpage,
just consume the data. Then reformat it for the traditional Kmail view and
organization as configured by the user. It's really not much different than
IMAP or Pop3. A little more complex since HTTPS isn't designed for email
like that. So you have to use code to naivate the email, consume the mail
and reformat it. I've written way more complex code than that. The browser
is already consuming that information. So you just pull it out of the
borrowed Konquer modules and force the Konkerer modules to march through
emails much like you would iterate through a dir listing. Unlike a dir
listing there's only a few levels typically as the user would use KMail to
sort not the webmail account. So your worried about inbox, and spam and
outbox generally. The outbox just looking for anything that doesn't already
exist. The inbox going until you hit emails that already exist based on
date, subject and sender.  If you have duplicate emails with same subject &
sender then that gets a little challenging forcing a compare. Though there
are probably msg IDs in the headers. That will solve that issue if there
are. I'd have to look at the raw msgs from Yahoo and Gmail to know. Last I
remember Yahoo at least still offered a msg ID in the view header details.
Pretty sure that function still exists.

>> Make it smooth, pretty and efficient
> >> people will flock to KDE.
> >No, people flock to distributions that made a name for themselves, which
> are known not to cause trouble with their hardware >and for which you can
> find the usual 3rd party applications that aren't usually shipped by
> distributions. If those few select >distributions make KDE a well-visible
> and preferably install-time option (if not the default), people will use
> it. If not, well, >there's always the select few who'll bother installing
> it and setting it up themselves...
> I look to a distro for it's driver support, support for
priopriotry formats, and most of all LTS support. No LTS support the distro
is useless in my opinion. Another consideration is the size of the
repositories. Ubuntu has one of if not the largest repositories. The best
driver support db. The best support for proprietary formats. Ubuntu also
has excellent support for LTS. So I use Ubuntu almost exclusively. for
desktops For servers, I use CentOS primarily.

I look to the desktop manager for performance and features. I want best of
breed apps preferably. The ability to run KDE apps are essential as there
are some KDE apps like Krusader I consider absolutely essential. Kedit is
another really important app for me that I've not found a good
replacement/alternate for. I need multiple desktops and easy access to
those desktops. The ability to use different backgrounds is a plus. A
consistent interface is a plus. Far less memorization to do for keyboard
short cuts and where to find things in menus. If it's pretty I can show
friends afflicted with Windoze and get a much more favorable response. XFCE
is kinda ugly. Trinity is kinda blocky. KDE always did have a really
polished look too it. Still does even if it's too slow to be useful. Gnome
is a mess. I hate using Gnome nowadays. Unity is/was an abomination. The
inspiration for that horrific Windows 10 desktop.

> >I for one did experiment with different DEs when I was considering
> getting a Linux machine in addition to my Mac. KDE 4.10 >or 4.11 seemed a
> reasonable alternative that was acceptably comparable to OS X so I
> installed Kubuntu 14.04 (still using an >updated descendant of that
> install!). I'm not happy either with the design choices and directions
> taken in KDE5 but it's still the >only DE I can live with.

Ubuntu 14.04 doesn't get updates any more or I'd still be running it on
this machine instead of Trinity. You get only security updates and I think
those stop also at the end of the year. I'm runing 18.04 on this machine
right now, have 16.04 on another machine and am trying out 20.04 on yet
another. Starting with 16.04 it's KDE 5. Which is why I got away from
Kbuntu and KDE on all my machines. I'm currently running Trinity on all my
machines. I was running XFCE on one but preferred Trinity  so I switched
over to Trinity.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the kde mailing list