kmail

Story: KMail Complexity - and a little PatienceTotal Replies: 49
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nmset

Jan 27, 2014
5:51 AM EDT
Very respectfully, you have it mostly wrong.

kmail is also designed for stand-alone computers as the database backends of Akonadi and Nepomuk do no reside on remote hosts, but locally. There are no remote dependencies. No one needs a LAN to use kmail at its best.

Nepomuk is not a file sharing service. It is meant to search indexed data ligntning fast anywhere on storage. It may be emails, calendar events, notes, files by location, files by content, user tags on files or mail, document type, document dates... You can perform a search with krunner or Dolphin and you find whatever is indexed very fast. I agree there are rough edges, even in KDE 4.12, about some search results, like opening a found calendar event, yet we may know where the searched cirteria has been found. Also, Nepomuk can be disabled completely in the control panel; it is at the same time highly customizable.

Akonadi cannot be bypassed. It centralizes data from many sources in a single location where they can be indexed by Nepomuk. It works transparently.

KWallet can be bypassed. But KDE won't store the mail server password(s) (that's what you may be missing) and you will be prompted for these when accessing every single mail account. It is easier to use kwallet and provide a master password once only.

The Nepomuk/Akonadi combo is great to search for any kind of resources on storage, and they become indispensable if the linux desktop want to compete with Windows. You don't even have to remember file location, just type a hint in Dolphin's search bar.

KDE is not meant to be a light DE, LXDE, XFCE... do that very well. And we can't imagine that it gets written in stone once for ever, even if older ways of doing things have to be dismissed. Developpers would have a hard time maintaining these old routines, let's remember that even the Linux kernel has dropped support for very old CPUs (the 8086 Intel AFAIR, not sure).

Yes, I'm a KDE fan, and I have not seen anything better on the desktop. On handheld devices, other considerations prevail.

If it ain't broke, let it not wither by the sickle of time.
Ridcully

Jan 27, 2014
6:54 AM EDT
With even more respect Nmset, what you got in that article was what happened to me during my tests of KMail and that cannot be changed nor can it be wrong. A generality such as "you have it mostly wrong" is very unhelpful. You may not like the conclusions I reach, but that is an entirely different matter.

You should also remember that just because you yourself enjoy the complexity of desktop searches and tags on data etc. etc., others with far simpler requirements neither want them nor need them. I think this is the group that has been either forgotten or ignored by the KMail team.

These latest versions of KMail certainly can be used by a stand alone user.....I know because I have done it.....but it was not an enjoyable experience. Moreover, I never once suggested that Akonadi or Nepomuk were anywhere else but running on the local computer. That's a first red herring.

I'm happy to be corrected on the semantic desktop software package Nepomuk; but what I wrote was what I obtained from a search on the software on the internet.....So blame my source please, because other than what I read, I don't use Nepomuk or go near it. However, if you read the three "enable" dot points in the KDE link below, you will see that an interpretation of Nepomuk actually can be that it aids data sharing with Akonadi through the metadata tags. So with respect, my perception is that Nepomuk aids data sharing.

http://docs.kde.org/development/en/kde-runtime/kcontrol/nepo...

If you like the present combination, that's fine with me.....I definitely don't. I repeat, I disabled Nepomuk and instantly found KMail complaining I had done so. That is a fact.

Use of the enforced KWallet storage for the password is entirely your decision. You have concisely what happened to me and why I have rejected that situation.

Also, nothing I wrote in the article criticised KDE, nor do I wish to go over to a "light desktop". That's a second red herring. Read my article again because I stress that KDE is my preferred desktop environment and KDE4 is great - I'm very comfortable with it. What I am not comfortable with is how KMail behaves in that DE. And I have given my reasons.

Post Script.....I read this part with amazement: "they become indispensable if the linux desktop want(sic) to compete with Windows." Why in heaven's name would Linux want to compete with Windows ? It's already won.
nmset

Jan 27, 2014
9:26 AM EDT
>It's already won.

Hmmm... that's another debate, nevertheless : yes and no. Yes, if we consider the widespread usage on Android in handheld devices, newer generations of consumer products like TVs, cars... and Linux on servers, in set-top boxes...

No, as only a negligible number of OEM computers gets shipped with Linux to the final user. Moreover, people want to keep their usual working environement, they don't care about anything else.

Windows can index document content since XP; for that reason, Nepomuk is quite important. I don't know of any other tool on GNU/Linux that does this, perhaps others exist.

We have an agreement at least : KDE is very cool !
tuxchick

Jan 27, 2014
11:31 AM EDT
Kmail in its current form is unusable. This is sad for me, because I relied on it for years as the #1 best mail client. But making the whole entire kdepim subsystem a required dependency is absurd, it's like chaining the poor thing to a herd of lumbering drugged-out hippos. The idea of semantic search is cool, but the implementation isn't even close yet. The old standbys of locate, find, and grep are still better and faster. Kmail is unusable over an SSH tunnel, and Kwallet is effing annoying, and won't confine itself to Kmail but insists on butting in for every login on everything. As far as I'm concerned Kmail has been ruined by all this folderol, and that is very sad.
nmset

Jan 27, 2014
12:21 PM EDT
> locate, find, and grep Most users we would like to seduce will be instantly horrified by the command line, and they will never look back.

>Kmail is unusable over an SSH tunnel I haven't tried it, but ther's a tab in kmail configuration dialog where many types of proxies can be set (HTTP, SSL, FTP, SOCKS).

Anyway, it's quite comfortable for daily usage to me.
Ridcully

Jan 27, 2014
3:51 PM EDT
Hi Tuxchick...thankyou. I wrote extensively in at least two LXer threads a year or so ago on just how annoying KWallet dependency was and it hasn't changed. Incidentally, I have also been told of another alternative, Claws Email client and the screen shots on its site show a layout that is almost identical to KMail in its first forms. Claws looks like another very good alternative, so that's two excellent stand alone options I now have to look at.

It is very interesting to me that you also confirm the very, very annoying tendency of KWallet to intrude its tentacles into other software that you may be using. I thought I might have it wrong, but it happened as I documented it, and you have found the same thing.

I guess this article was born out of sheer frustration and the hopes that I could shake the KMail tree of complacency so hard that perhaps one of its developers sitting on the branches might take a serious look at what they and the Akonadi/Nepomuk team have done and how for at least one community of KDE users, all the "data search and rescue PIM" add ons are irrelevant and in the case of KWallet, frustrating and very annoying.

I didn't mention a couple of other things in the article that became detrimental with respect to KMail and its associated software in openSUSE 12.1. First of all, empty copies of the email files "cur, new, tmp" suddenly began to pop up all over the place in my data files....Why ? I certainly didn't ask for that to happen. Second, my hdd would go into hysterics at the drop of a hat and all work would have to be suspended until it finished.....I strongly suspect it was to do with Nepomuk and Akonadi, but I am uncertain. One thing is for sure: during my ongoing tests of Thunderbird and Claws, both Akonadi and Nepomuk will be confined to the "uninstalled software" section, or at least disabled completely. To me, both items are unfortunate drags on the operating system and as you say, the enforced dependency of KMail on Akonadi/PIM is absurd. "KMail-Light" would be awfully nice.



@nmset.......we never differed in our liking for KDE, though I wouldn't call it "cool".....just a very good DE that I prefer to use. As regards Linux having won, if you think only of the desktop the answer is no.....if you think of all computing, super computers, cars, white goods, tv and entertainment, smartphones, pads, embedded software, defence, government authorities, etc. etc.......Linux in its various forms has passed the finish line. I'd also suggest the desktop is now under very strong challenge with Chrome and Android......sure, not huge amounts yet, but the OEMs are actually moving in those directions......Several years ago, Redmond would have squashed them already; not any more. The OEMs are actually becoming independent in thought.
Alcibiades

Jan 27, 2014
4:38 PM EDT
Carla is the one who has it right. Its simply unusable in its new form. I have moved to Claws - its one of those things you know you have to do, put off, and finally have no choice. After an upgrade I am supposed to fix nepomuk and some other package, though no idea how, and its lost all my passwords on the old accounts (which is why I put off changing for so long). The calendar doesn't work. I have no idea why.

The old kmail was just fine. All they needed to do was leave it alone. A bit like the old KDE and the old Gnome. I'm moving my users to xfce4, and also moving them to Claws, Evolution having proved to have its problems also. Xfce4 is not perfect, but at least they have the sense not to fix things that work perfectly well.

The next thing for me to do is break out the hex editor and decode the passwords, which kmail stored in a form that is too obscure to be convenient, and too basic to be secure. Thus managing to inflict on its users the worst of both worlds!

It will be the subject of research papers by future PhD students why exactly Microsoft, Gnome and KDE all at about the same time suddenly decided to make their user interface impossible for their users to adjust to. KDE took it even further of course, they decided to screw up their applications at the same time.

It could be worse. At least we have an alternative in Xfce. If you happen to find yourself stuck with Windows 8, there is no other desktop in sight, and the most basic things have suddenly become impossible. I've worked with people trying to use the thing and they are tearing their hair out with frustration.

A lot to be said for fluxbox. The ability to put windows into tabs, and also have multiple workspaces, well, it just makes things so easy. Its tempting to take naive users to it and spend the time showing them how, but Xfce is familiar and safe so that's what always gets installed. LXDE is not bad also. Both Gnome and KDE have totally lost it, its difficult to see why anyone with a choice would use either one at this point.
gus3

Jan 27, 2014
6:35 PM EDT
Quoting:a herd of lumbering drugged-out hippos.
A new metaphor to add to my arsenal. I love it. Thanks, tc.
notbob

Jan 27, 2014
6:49 PM EDT
Being intimately aware of the median age of my generation, I kept reading it as "lumbering drugged-out hippies". Definitely woulda been equally apropos. ;)
Ridcully

Jan 27, 2014
8:21 PM EDT
When you search around the web with the aim of finding people "unhappy" with the current KMail package, you will be amazed at what you find. There is a plethora of blogs and articles detailing how users have found the present KMail virtually impossible to use. My latest find is this little gem with the most recent post on 19 December 2013:

http://oao.no/wpe/2013/04/thunderbird-import-mail-from-kmail...

COME ON, KMail developers.......accept that something is very, very wrong with the package and DO something about it. Remove the Akonadi, Nepomuk and KWallet dependencies and give us back a decent email client as KMail once was. KMail itself is terrific, but coupled to those three "search and destroy" packages, it becomes almost unusable and a pain in the neck to use on the occasions it works - as far as I am concerned, and I am not alone, I'm part of a very large number of people.

But of course, I forget, ......developers always know better than the users, don't they ?? Well, in this case, I think you are dead wrong, you don't know better, and the users are migrating. From the looks of things, I will be also migrating come midyear and I have become so concerned about the incoherent situation of the trio of software packages noted above and their unwanted attentions on both KMail and the rest of my DE, that for the first time I am seriously considering dumping KDE altogether and switching to Xfce. I figure that is the only way I can be sure that I have a DE that does NOT have any of those three present. KMail looks like the straw that finally broke the camel's back.
tuxchick

Jan 27, 2014
11:45 PM EDT
I switched to Claws. It has good filtering like Kmail, and handle multiple accounts and personalities almost as well. The interface isn't quite as sleek and it takes more clicks to create filters and other configs, but I'll live. It's nice and fast over an ssh tunnel. You know what would have been a nice improvement for Kmail, and that is importing from other clients. That's always been a weakness and it hasn't improved. I like KDE4 and use it, but dang it has some vexing "features".

Forgot to mention that's a nice writeup, Ridcully.
Alcibiades

Jan 28, 2014
4:26 AM EDT
Ridcully, got it exactly, couldn't agree more. They really have got it to the point where you ask yourself what do I have to do to get rid of Akonadi, Nepomuk and KWallet, and whatever it is, decide you are going to do it. Sad.

Try fluxbox though. Xfce is fine, but fluxbox is finer. Its so completely out of your way, and the ability to merge windows into tabs when you are working on a series of documents is wonderful.
nmset

Jan 28, 2014
5:53 AM EDT
>merge windows into tabs KDE does this too.

Nepomuk seems to be made for extra-terrestrians ? I can understand many won't dump Windows just because they are used to it. Perhaps younger generations would find it fitting.
jazz

Jan 28, 2014
3:50 PM EDT
Aaron Seigo has a blog post dedicated to nepomuk here:

http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2010/05/i-dont-need-no-stinking-n...

In the post he says:

"For me, Nepouk's ability to index my files is a nice feature. It's also one I currently have turned off due to personal preference."

Question: what happens if you are in a office setting with /home directories mounted over the network? Word is, all you need to do is to drop a large file/ISO image in a directory mounted by everybody to bring down the network.
nmset

Jan 28, 2014
4:23 PM EDT
1. The post is 3 - 4 years old, Nepomuk has matured since and no longer re-index everything on session start. Moreover, indexation is now done in 2 phases : file location first (all files), file content next and only unindexed or modified files. Not sure, but I may remember the second phase is throttled. If all this grudge comes from old binaries in distros that do not update fast, then it's easy to understand this thread. I use ARCH and hence, I'm always using fresh new libaries.

2. Files can be excluded by extension, directories can be selectively excluded.

3. We were discussing on "stand-alone" hosts !

Ridcully

Jan 28, 2014
5:33 PM EDT
Thankyou both Tuxchick and Alcibiades for your support and comments. I'm not a programmer, just a reasonably knowledgeable user and I hesitate very much about putting articles into print where I know they are going to be controversial so your comments are deeply appreciated.

I have also received independent information from a source (that I wish to keep strictly anonymous), that indicates that my article will probably be completely ignored or trashed by the KDE4/KMail teams despite increasing evidence that the development path they are pursuing is not welcomed by what currently appears to be a very large number of KDE users.

The aims of the KDE4 group are to produce a semantic desktop come "hell or high water", and there ain't nuthin' gonna distoib that aim, even if in the process it means that previously highly regarded software becomes crippled through their efforts. For them to remove the mandated dependencies of KMail on KWallet, Akonadi and Nepomuk would mean that their entire project would be reversed or even wiped out - the "loss of face would be enormous" and one suspects they would rather sink KDE than admit they could be wrong in their aims. As my source indicated: from the perspective of the developers, KMail is already a stand-alone piece of software, but ONLY if you look at it as part of the semantic desktop so dear to their hearts.

At least part of the problem I think, is that the KDE development path seems to have been "monolithic" rather than modular at the choice of the user and in FOSS, removal of choice is always a dangerous alternative.

As Alcibiades remarked "its sad". I am currently exploring what happens if you disable or uninstall the entire software cluster of KMail, KWallet, Akonadi and Nepomuk. Do you alter speeds, reliability, user friendliness etc. On the other hand, removal of that cluster might return KDE4 to a great piece of software needing only a good email client such as Claws or Thunderbird.......I shall pursue the matter at my leisure. If it doesn't work, Xfce always beckons.
jdixon

Jan 28, 2014
8:05 PM EDT
> I have also received independent information from a source (that I wish to keep strictly anonymous), that indicates that my article will probably be completely ignored or trashed by the KDE4/KMail teams...

And exactly how is this different from their normal mode of operation? It's what they've always done, and the reason I've never considered using KDE 4 as a desktop. I do use some KDE programs, but they run fine in XFCE.

tuxchick

Jan 28, 2014
10:57 PM EDT
A semantic desktop sounds cool, and it's genuine cutting-edge development. Nobody else is even trying. KDE's killer feature has always been its configurability, so this take-it-or-leave-it mentality is like a poo in the KDE punchbowl.
jazz

Jan 28, 2014
11:56 PM EDT
> 3. We were discussing on "stand-alone" hosts !

My desktop is a standalone host, it just gets connected from time to time to work over an ipsec tunnel. In that moment things get mounted, and nepomuk kicks in and starts downloading aggressively. To download everything would probably take one week, and in all this time it would be impossible for me to use my DSL connection.

I guess my point is KDE team got the defaults totally wrong. Most people don't know about nepmuk, they just see the network going down. Bringing down the network usually gets you banned and replaced by XFCE.

> A semantic desktop sounds cool, and it's genuine cutting-edge development.

I am waiting for the professional version, what we have now is just a toy.
Ridcully

Jan 29, 2014
12:50 AM EDT
Tuxchick, I think the thing that angers me the most is that until the KDE4 team took the software down this particular path, they had something that was great. I have always believed that KDE was just about the most comfortable DE for an ex-Windows person to head onto, but the deliberate destruction of a key piece of software like KMail through the efforts to produce a "semantic desktop" is nothing short of ludicrous. Sheer stupidity.

Right now I am installing and updating openSUSE 13.1 on an i5 Toshiba laptop with Xfce running as the DE. I note already that Thunderbird is the email client. I can live with that. I also have another laptop running openSUSE 13.1 with KDE4 and am about to attack it and remove the semantic desktop quartet of KMail, KWallet, Akonadi and Nepomuk and see just what happens.......should be fun.
tuxchick

Jan 29, 2014
2:08 AM EDT
Thunderbird is pretty nice. The last time I tested it was a couple-three years ago, when it was on the brink of being abandonware. Since then it's gotten good attention from its Mozilla masters, so it's probably trustworthy. For now :)

openSUSE always does good KDE. I wrote a 30-day review that will show up on Linux.com one of these days.
Ridcully

Jan 29, 2014
2:58 AM EDT
My efforts to get Xfce installed have come to a screaming halt and I suspect it is something to do with the graphics section of the Xfce installation sequence. I have installed Xfce twice and it installs perfectly and I even got to the main screen......but as soon as I reboot, it freezes halfway through the bootup process......I have NO idea what it can be other than what I suggested above: a flaw in the Xfce section of the openSUSE 13.1 installation disk......Right now, I'm repeating the process with KDE4 and seeing if that behaves the same way....>BUT, I am not on line with the machine at the moment....I'll get the thing running first, if I can, and then prod around and do the update......I took the Xfce hdd that would not work in the Toshiba and tried it out in a very old but pliable Lenovo, and it behaved the same way, so it seems to be a flaw in the Xfce section.......maybe.

Later Update.......Okay.....I reinstalled openSUSE 13.1 but this time used KDE4 and I kept offline. Unlike the situation with Xfce, no problems. I then began to trial various moves with respect to the deadly four of KMail, Akonadi, Nepomuk and KWallet........I am now starting to document what happens and honestly, it is almost unbelievable. Let me say only that the KDE4 team has so thoroughly intertwined Akonadi into the DE, that if it is removed, the results are virtually catastrophic.......You would NOT believe the dependencies that devolve around Akonadi......I'm still sitting back stunned. I do have another alternative to try but I won't spoil it by spelling it out now. I'd rather get it all in black and white so we can all "enjoy" it in its entirety. The ridiculous extremes to which the KDE developers have gone with their "semantic desktop" even mean that if Akonadi is removed, then innocuous games like KMahjong are also removed because of their dependency on Akonadi......This is becoming frightening.
JaseP

Jan 29, 2014
3:44 AM EDT
You can't remove Akonadi,... but you can neuter it to a degree... After you do, KDE becomes more useable...
Ridcully

Jan 29, 2014
4:06 AM EDT
I already KNOW that JaseP........and in fact I already know how to disable it from even starting, but I wanted to spell it out later.....You're stealing my thunder......waaaaaaaaaah......Goes home and sulks. LOL. :-)

However, I did want to see what would happen if you removed it completely and now I know......The word I used above, "catastrophic" is accurate.
nmset

Jan 29, 2014
5:59 AM EDT
>nepomuk kicks in and starts downloading aggressively

I did the same experience over an SSH tunnel and Nepomuk did not pose that problem. Once more, what version of KDE are you using ? I'm on 4.12, the semantic stack is more friendly here.

>Most people don't know about nepmuk

Developpers have already gone to the furthest extremes to keep things transparent and friendly to the end user, with things like "Do you really want to close the session ?". Users must know what they are using, it's like driving a car. We still see many people using a word processor as an advanced typing machine, even in professional situation where the word processor is the tool that earns them a living. Developpers cannot always spoon feed the final user, they must know what they are doing, as matured citizens of the information age that gives them so much pride.
Alcibiades

Jan 29, 2014
6:11 AM EDT
TC, I think the problem with Thunderbird, which agreed is pretty nice, is the file format of the address book. It seems to be the file format from hell. Which might not matter to a user, but when you try to import to it using the Thunderbird import tool, at least in my experience it doesn't get all the info properly. You then think OK, I'll just fix this in a text editor or something... and you discover that what you are trying to do is import into a basically unusable file format.

When I got to this point in moving someone off Evolution into Another Mail Client, Claws seemed like a very attractive alternative so that's what I'm doing now. The last thing one wants is to get stuck on an open format that is so obscure that it might as well be proprietary.

Agreed that the semantic desktop is a very interesting intellectual pursuit, and who knows, one day it might lead to something revolutionary. But for the time being its like your child learning to play a violin in your flat at 8am every Sunday. Yes, they may one day be the next Menuhin or whoever. But right now its a truly dreadful noise and they are waking you up!
jazz

Jan 29, 2014
9:48 AM EDT
> I did the same experience over an SSH tunnel and Nepomuk did not pose that problem. Once more, what version of KDE are you using ? I'm on 4.12, the semantic stack is more friendly here.

Try to mount using sshfs, see what happens by default. I know you can switch if off, however by default it is on. I've noticed it about two years ago, and I dropped KDE for this reason. The misfeature is documented, for example here:

http://userbase.kde.org/Nepomuk/RemovableMediaHandling

"Nepomuk creates a large amount of traffic on network shares during startup? Nepomuk has to install watches on Network Shares in order to watch for changes in files and to get notified whenever a file is moved from or into a network share."

My guess is the default is still on, so be careful!
nmset

Jan 29, 2014
9:56 AM EDT
> sshfs

That's exactly what I did. I'll try again tonight with a "heavier" directory.
nmset

Jan 29, 2014
10:28 AM EDT
I mounted the / partition of a remote host with sshfs. After 30 mins :

$uptime 15:28:24 up 12 days, 15 min, 7 users, load average: 0,12, 0,18, 0,28

Really, Nepomuk, virtuoso-t, akonadi_feeders... don't get mad.

I checked that all directories under / are marked for indexing. In fact, they are not indexed at all.



jazz

Jan 29, 2014
3:21 PM EDT
You probably have nepomuk disabled, KDE webpage (http://userbase.kde.org/Nepomuk/RemovableMediaHandling ) says it creates lots of traffic on the network. Try also other type of network mounts.

I gave up on KDE a long time ago, and I have no intention of trying it again until they make nepomuk opt-in. It should not be started by default, it should not go out on my network without asking me first - I am the one paying for the bandwidth!
tuxchick

Jan 29, 2014
3:24 PM EDT
Quoting: Agreed that the semantic desktop is a very interesting intellectual pursuit, and who knows, one day it might lead to something revolutionary. But for the time being its like your child learning to play a violin in your flat at 8am every Sunday. Yes, they may one day be the next Menuhin or whoever. But right now its a truly dreadful noise and they are waking you up!


bahahahaha, so true.



nmset

Jan 29, 2014
3:59 PM EDT
>You probably have nepomuk disabled

It's definitely enabled. I enabled also automatic indexing of removable media, network mounts being treated as removable media. The remote mount does not get indexed at all.

Please note http://userbase.kde.org/Nepomuk/RemovableMediaHandling refers to KDE 4.10, and I'm on 4.12.
nmset

Jan 29, 2014
4:04 PM EDT
>But for the time being its like your child learning to play a violin in your flat at 8am every Sunday

Outdated binaries won't perform as good as latest ones, old bugs or malfunction or dysfunction have been corrected. I would be happy to read from one who uses ARCH with latest KDE. We are just speaking of uncomparable software, nothing holds. I tried on 3 different hosts !

N.B.

I'm not after silly things like having the last word or whatever related to pride. But my user experience on that question is in contradiction with the article's content. Had it been on par with the message, I would have approved.

tuxchick

Jan 29, 2014
4:10 PM EDT
nmset, ever since the first KD4 release we've been hearing "But but the current release fixes stuff and it's better!" Which is partly true. It's also used as an excuse to dismiss user's concerns over core architecture, such as we've been discussing in this thread, and which is not going to be changed or made more user-configurable. You can like it all you want-- what you can't do is make excuses for it, or hope to persuade knowledgable users what we like and don't like.
nmset

Jan 29, 2014
4:29 PM EDT
>persuade knowledgable users what we like and don't like

No, every one is free. Free to mislead too ? ...

I, and the final user, don't care about the core architecture, good or bad. I just want it to do the job and from my observations, it does it nicely.
jazz

Jan 29, 2014
4:46 PM EDT
> Please note http://userbase.kde.org/Nepomuk/RemovableMediaHandling refers to KDE 4.10, and I'm on 4.12.

You are misinformed, the page refers to the latest and any previous release of KDE. Dream on...
nmset

Jan 29, 2014
5:17 PM EDT
Funny. We can read on this page :

last edited 15 February 2013 at 13:56 (translated)

"With the 4.10 release, Nepomuk does not offer a public way to disable this. With 4.11 we plan to include more user visible options and a better interface. For now, however, you can..."

The latest to which it allegedly refers is ... 4.10.

(:-
jdixon

Jan 29, 2014
6:06 PM EDT
> Free to mislead too ?

Like the KDE devs who released 4.0 as usable software? And 4.1, and 4.2, and 4.3? It wasn't until 4.4.x that KDE 4 became remotely usable.
Ridcully

Jan 29, 2014
6:10 PM EDT
Right on, jdixon.....and I feel that KDE4 reached its zenith with KDE4.6 and has gone backwards ever since.
jazz

Jan 29, 2014
6:36 PM EDT
> last edited 15 February 2013 at 13:56 (translated)

> "With the 4.10 release, Nepomuk does not offer a public way to disable this. With 4.11 we plan to include more user visible options and a better interface. For now, however, you can..."

This is the main KDE documentation on the subject, and I would say it is very accurate. In Feb. 2013 when the page was written, nepomuk was flooding your network with unwanted traffic. Today it does exactly the same. They didn't fix the problem, they just promised to include "more user visible options and a better interface". I don't even think they recognize it as a problem.

I've looked in the release notes also, there is nothing about fixing the network traffic. Your nepomuk 4.12 is the same old garbage, and a waste of time.
nmset

Jan 29, 2014
6:49 PM EDT
Well, there are more user visible options. And away from paper evidence, I could not find any concerning increased network traffic in 4.12.
slacker_mike

Feb 13, 2014
10:44 AM EDT
Ridcully, really enjoy your articles. I am actually trying Kmail now in an attempt to see if it works for me as a viable email client going forward.
telanoc

Feb 13, 2014
4:04 PM EDT
I guess the reason I've not been having any problems with kmail on my Slackware 14.0 (yeah, I should upgrade it one day) system is that I've got Nepomu[c]k turned off, all of my incoming mail is handled by a fetchmail / procmail combination, and outgoing is done via a 'smart host' entry in sendmail. Kmail is basically just a reader for me, easily replaced with 'mutt'.
Koriel

Feb 13, 2014
4:58 PM EDT
I dropped KDE4 at 4.0 after being a KDE user since version 1.0 because it was simply a buggy piece of cr@p and moved my mail to Thunderbird and my desktop to XFCE.

At around about version 4.5 I took a look at KDE4 again and it was a far better experience and I was sure the devs were starting to get things just right and starting to take on aboard what users were telling them. Sadly this turned out to be short lived as after 4.6 the Nepomuk/Akonadi stuff they started to introduce with a vengeance became incredibly intrusive and chewed up my old machines limited cpu resources so I dropped it again and went back to XFCE and havent been back to KDE since. From what ive heard those features just became even more invasive and no I don't want to have to go through the hassles of turning them off when it should be off by default and then turned on by a user if he needs it, in fact just the some of the same reasons I dropped windows so long ago in the dim and distant past.

I also can't ever see the attitude of the KDE devs changing, im just glad their is a desktop like XFCE available that suits my functional needs perfectly, although it could stand to have some (but keep em lite) visual improvements such as vsynching.

I do use one KDE app and thats Kwin so I can get tear free compositing but that will also be dropped once either the XFCE devs get vsynching fixed and I do believe that they are working on it for 4.12, compton works as well but it has other issues when used with Xfce but im sure this will get fixed by the compton dev in time to.



JaseP

Feb 13, 2014
6:18 PM EDT
If you disable nepomuk's drive scanning, you'll pretty much nip the thing in the bud on KDE 4.8 & +... I too abandoned KDE from 4.0 until the version that shipped with Kubuntu 12.04.
Ridcully

Feb 13, 2014
6:31 PM EDT
Thankyou _slacker_mike. Right now I am writing up getting Thunderbird running on openSUSE 13.1 with Nepomuk/Strigi disabled via the Configuration Desktop menu and Akonadi disabled via the "akonadiserverrc" file in the akonadi folder in .config of the home user desktop filing system. (What a mouthful !) And "jazz", I also want to thank you for your helpful comments in the past as well - they've been very useful to me.

This is gonna be a long post, but it says and summarises a lot of things about this semantic desktop saga.

I will candidly admit there have been some errors in my description of what the "semantic desktop" components are. The whole thing is so complex that this has been a "voyage of discovery" for me as well. For the record and at this stage and as I currently understand the "beast", it boils down to this:

1. Nepomuk/Strigi is the semantic part of the desktop; Akonadi is an sql server which sets up an intermediary cache containing the information held in the kmail data folders, kontact data folders and in fact the diary, emails and personal contacts of the user in what could be called the PIM (personal information management) cache.

2. Strigi, assuming it is still around, is a "spider" that trawls your desktop and fires back info to Nepomuk which is an "ontological dictionary" which allows it to effectively collate all this information and put it together coherently when you ask it a search question. (This is rough, but it's better than I started out with.) It needs to be stated bluntly here that nmset is dead right in this part: you can disable Nepomuk and Strigi and KMail will still run happily. KMail will whinge that you have turned off Nepomuk, but it certainly will not stop running. And here's the extra thing, you can disable Strigi separately and Nepomuk will still happily go on with what it's doing. Strigi is very useful to Nepomuk but it is NOT indispensable.

3. KMail and its PIM cluster of software are no longer designed to operate from their individual data files.....instead, they are now designed to look ONLY into the information stored in the Akonadi cache and so if Akonadi is disabled, then (to put it very bluntly) "KMail is shot"......it can do nothing. This is why when I broadly described the situation as KMail wholly dependent on the semantic desktop for operation, "nmset" got all upset ......and strictly in one sense, he's (she's ?) dead right. KMail isn't dependent on the semantic desktop by strict definition, it's dependent on the Akonadi cache and again (to belabour the point) Akonadi isn't part of the semantic desktop sensu stricto......but loosely defined, the three software packages, Akonadi, Nepomuk and Strigi are three strands of a package that loosely form what I would call a "semantic cluster" and which work with KMail and the other PIM components. Right, so far so good. Whew !! :-)

Now I am sure you can pick holes in that explanation, but it's much better than I started out with and it's taken fights with my own concepts to get there.

The next bit as someone has pointed out to me, is that the KDE4 semantic desktop is a work in progress. Its earlier versions were rather similar to the first release of KDE4.0 which upset everybody. What happened after my present version of KDE4.6 was very like that. I will be continuing with my article on using Thunderbird, but what I do want to do is not shut my mind off permanently......Has the KDE4 team in opensuse 13.1 and with KDE4.11.2 managed to get hdd usage down and CPU activity reduced ? I don't know and I'd like to. Is KMail more user friendly ? I don't know and I'd like to. Is KWallet still as intractable as when I first encountered it ? I don't know and until I put my toes in the water, I really don't know if I am going to be scalded or enjoy the results. I'll be keeping an open mind on this one, but the toes will be very, very tentative, given previous experiences..

Finally, as Koriel has aptly implied, we live in the "bazaar" not the "cathedral"......we can shop around and if KDE4 gives us indigestion, then there are other options readily available to be sampled. Even with KDE4, there are options on how you deploy it, although my understanding at the moment is that Akonadi and KMailPIM are welded as a dependency.....But, you could remove both of those packages and shift to the KMailPIM package now developed for Ubuntu which is Akonadi independent..........OR.........you could move to the Trinity desktop which is definitely Akonadi, Nepomuk/Strigi independent.....The choices are incredible and the KDE4 development may or may not suit any given user. I note a recent FOSSWorld poll indicated that 70% of its respondents preferred KDE4......I'd love to know if they are using the desktop with everything enabled or not, and exactly which version of KDE4 they are using.....

Thankyou everybody for your inputs.....and don't stop either......This steady uncovering of how KDE4 works with its semantic structures has been one heck of a learning experience and I wouldn't have missed it for worlds....even if many of my original concepts have been altered or shattered.
Koriel

Feb 13, 2014
6:51 PM EDT
Just a quick follow up, I don't want to be misinterpreted.

I do like KDE4 and think its an excellent desktop especially for businesses but its just not functionally suitable for my needs while this semantic stuff is enabled by default and so heavily intertwined with what really should be a standalone independent app like kmail which is why I have opted for a light desktop option of XFCE and standalone email of Thunderbird.

I will keep checking back on KDE on the chance that the situation changes or the stuff becomes very easy to completely disable and not lose the functionality of basic apps which have functioned perfectly well in the past without them, and done through highly visible options in settings and not hidden away or having to modify startup scripts etc.

As a KDE user from version 1.0 to 3.5 and intermittently 4.5,4.6 im fairly sure I can't be considered a KDE hater, I just hate to see what was once a great personal desktop just become great for business/corporate users only as I think both sets of users can be catered for and thus make it an exceptional desktop for everyone.

Cheers
Ridcully

Feb 13, 2014
7:13 PM EDT
No problems Koriel, I was simply looking at the fact that you had made various choices to get what you want and that to me is "the bazaar".......the terrific Linux world in which you really CAN choose and select to get exactly what YOU want......nothing else. I hope my comments didn't upset you in any way, it's simply that they fitted my ideas so very well. :-)

Oh, and one last thing Koriel, is that right now as I compose this, I am using KDE4.6 which to me is a superb DM. I like KDE immensely.....just didn't like what happened after 4.6, and I suspect a lot of others were in the same boat.
Ridcully

Feb 13, 2014
7:18 PM EDT
@JaseP.......What you have said is exactly what I was getting at in my long post above and "should I dip my toes in the water again" ? Spot on.......and it may be that the worst parts of KDE4 "semantic cluster" have been ironed out.....be interesting to see.
anda_skoa

Feb 26, 2014
10:47 AM EDT
I think there are a couple of misunderstandings or misinterpretations in the article and the discussion of it so far, e.g. confusing semantic desktop with PIM infrastructure. Concentrating on the latter since I have followed the development there more closely.

I didn't quite get the single user vs multi-user/networked user piece as KMail is always only run by each user individually and receiving and sending email almost always requires some for of network access.

Decisions made for KDE PIM might not make sense for all users, but they are all based on quite some thinking :)

One of the goals of KMail (and KDE PIM in general) has for a long time been the possibility to work in environment where servers cannot always be accessed. For example KMail very early added support for what it called "disconneted IMAP", the ability to work with IMAP based email even when not connected. Other email clients now support this as well.

That mode of operation became increasingly important with people moving some or all data onto servers, moving beyond just email but also including calendar and contacts, etc.

Such a feature may or may not be important for users depending on how their setups are. People with laptops or other form of mobile computing equipment or off-premises servers will likely want that, people with fixed workstations and on-site servers will not.

The architectural decision on local caching was based on the assumption that most users would not have LAN access to their server, but of course that could have changed since then, i.e. most people nowadays might run their own servers built-into some appliance in their homes.

The archtectural decision on component separation was based on the observation that more than one application needed access to certain functionality.

For example some people using calendar needed to have access to the address book for adding attendees to events, needed to be able to send emails to attendees when event details changed. Non-PIM application developers showed interest in being able to access contact data, people receiving events through email wanted to be able to add then to their calendar etc.

This form of multi application access was first attempted by each application accessing the same files, but file locking turned out to be highly unreliable. File access through an arbiter, on the other hand, removes the need to locking. Basically taking inspriation at Evolution Data Server, whiich has been doing that for contacts and calendar for quite some time already, just extending it to emails.

Obviously none of that matters of people who only use email, but since that kind of interaction was already a supported use case, it seemed better to improve it. One of the deciding factors being that there were, at the time, quite a wide range of email-only programs but almost no other PIM suite.

I didn't quite get the KWallet thing since KMail has been using that as its primary credential storage for more than a decade. Is there a special need in having the credentials stored in an INI based config file? Some form of scripting access?

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