Not all that much better with PostgreSQL

Martin Steigerwald martin at
Fri Apr 12 19:11:09 BST 2019


Martin Steigerwald - 12.04.19, 19:39:
> Since five (!) minutes I am trying to access a mail in a folder that
> has been indexed before and just got the "Retrieving …" thing. Now,
> it finally came up.

Shortly after I killed akonadi_indexing_agent once again.

Maybe after when Dan comes around to rewrite the indexing architecture 
as he planned, things will be a lot better.

> Why? Likely cause I happened to click on a folder that has not been
> indexed and then Akonadi prioritized indexing the folder over my most
> recent request.
> This in my opinion has been the major issue with Akonadi for years and
> still is the major issue:
> Whenever Akonadi decides that it needs to do something in the
> background, it often *completely* stops responding to any user
> requests.
> However what is Akonadi's purpose? To serve the user of the
> applications that are using it.
> For me after the rule to store all data safely and reliably the second
> most important rule would be:
> The user goes first. Whenever the user clicks on a mail, a folder, an
> appointment, I let everything pause if need be in order to serve the
> other in a timely manner. I will always prioritize user requests above
> all background processing I do. And if the user decides differently
> after the moment, the user is always right and I stop or background
> the processing the user requested before in order to serve his/her
> most recent request promptly.
> Basta.
> The third most important rule, that is an addition to the first one
> is:
> I do only work when it is useful. For example Akonadi currently thinks
> it has to re-index a folder just cause it filtered some mails into
> it. However, as a user I may not even intend to look into the folder.
> It just has to stuff those mails into it and *be done with it*. And
> when I click the folder, it can still apply rule 1 as follows:
> Make sure the first mails are shown as quickly as possible and extend
> when the user likes to see more or uses the search facility. Display
> incrementally and remain responsive while doing so.

In addition to that:

Why on Earth re-scan a folder that has already been indexed just after 
filtering a few mails on it, anyway? I'd like to be able to tell Akonadi: 
You are the only one accessing that Maildir folder structure. Stop 
needlessly re-scanning folders that you already scanning. You know you 
moved some mails there. You know what mails are in there already. That 
is what you have that database for to begin with. So there is no need to 
re-scan anything. I still know how to tell you do re-scan manually if 
need be or, it at all, you can re-scan when I actually access the 

Akonadi still does a huge ton of completely needless work causing a lot 
of additional wear to flash based media while doing so.

> I believe in order for Akonadi to be enjoyable by users it absolutely
> must abide by these rules.
> Always and not just sometimes.
> Also with a lot of mail.
> I have seen this before – with Zimbra Collaboration Server which uses
> MySQL/MariaDB and Lucene. Even with a folder with 450000 mails.
> So it can be done.
> Rant over.


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