Very nice article, totally insane situation!

Story: Removing/Disabling The Semantic Deskop in KDE4 (and firing up Thunderbird) Part 1Total Replies: 23
Author Content

Feb 08, 2014
11:13 PM EDT
Its really amazing sleuthing, so well done! But lacking the author's devotion to KDE many will read it and think what it is really telling us is to run, not walk, to an alternative. For me personally its fluxbox, and when I got brave and put this in for a naive user there was surprisingly little resistance. But in the end xfce seems to do what gnome used to do so well. Maybe Mate will be the answer, haven't tried that out yet. If so it would be ideal.

The tragedy of it is that KDE 3x and Gnome 2x used to be different but in their own ways excellent. Gnome 2 in particular was simple elegant and out of your way. No more.

Future historians will spend lots of time wondering why the two main linux destops made themselves unusable in different ways just at the point where Microsoft was also launching its own foray into unusability. Very strange indeed. The only thing one can think of is that it must all be due to climate change. That or mass hallucination.

Feb 08, 2014
11:54 PM EDT
The concept of Akonadi did not bother me. I even drank the kool-aid and accepted the explanation it followed the UNIX philosophy by handling all of the mail/calendar/contact/etc management and allowing the client programs to provide the rest of the functionality.

But it didn't work.

I know it works for some, but I would routinely lose mail just by moving it between inbox (downloaded) and a local folder. Every Slackware upgrade I would hope that it would be more stable, but it never would. I continued to rely on Thunderbird while using KDE.

Nepomuk reliance exposed it to additional issues as well. Contact auto-complete when composing messages would fail because of problems with the Akonadi + Nepomuk integration. While this bug has since been fixed, the workaround was to wipe out the Nepomuk database which would wipe out other items store there (e.g. Gwenview photo tags).

This needs to be more solid if it is the only option.

Feb 09, 2014
12:29 AM EDT
>>The tragedy of it is that KDE 3x and Gnome 2x used to be different

Why say <used> ? KDE3 is still alive under the Trinity Project .

I stop right here! grin grin

Feb 09, 2014
12:55 AM EDT
@frankiej........Lemme throw a little light on that matter from past experience. Okay, KMail used to have a simplistic filing system. Now remember I am using version 1.13.6 in KDE4.6, and this is the last version of KMail (to my pretty certain knowledge) that behaved traditionally and was quite easy to use. It's why I treasure my current KDE desktop and its KMail version and the Evergreen project because all of it simply works without any impediments, even if Akonadi is present. I think with this version, Akonadi had not yet been thrust into KMail and the KMail files - it runs but it does nothing and it certainly does NOT engage in hdd mega-activity.

Now, with this early version, if you want to transfer files using the file manager (Dolphin or whatever) you simply go into the folder defined by :


and there they all are.....You can do as you choose, copy, delete, move, etc.. OR, you can use the KMail export function, which produces a zip file to wherever you want to store the archives. The disadvantage of the latter was that the file names are lost and turned into numbers......but it works. the next version of KMail, the files became fully intertwined with Akonadi and they are no longer beholden to KMail, they are Akonadi's property and Akonadi is a full databasing program. I found that if I did any traditional file manager movements, you could not use KMail to read the files; it had to have Akonadi "approval", so suddenly the only way of moving files around was to create folders in the home folder, put the files in those folders and export and import strictly via KMail's mechanisms which in turn were locked into Akonadi. Use anything else and you almost certainly lost those files. Cumbersome ? Very annoying ? Oh yes, extremely so, as far as I am concerned..

I may be wrong, but that is how the situation developed according to what I experienced.

@Francy......I live in hope that openSUSE will pick up Trinity as an alternative high speed desktop for KDE enthusiasts who are now fed up with the extremes to which the KDE4 team has gone out of their way to make one of the most important communications linkages, KMail, as difficult and cumbersome to use as possible. There. That's my opinion anyhow. I have remained polite, but oh boy, do I think things in the quietness of my mind.

Feb 09, 2014
5:51 AM EDT
>>>@Francy......I live in hope that openSUSE will pick up Trinity as an alternative high speed desktop for KDE enthusiasts ............

You can have a look here to see if you should maintain your hopes <>

Feb 09, 2014
6:00 AM EDT
I assume Francy, that you are using Trinity right now ? On what OS platform ?

Feb 09, 2014
7:32 AM EDT
I am using the liveCD for PCLinuxOS ( I installed on HD of course ). It is NOT supported by that community, but they don't mind that it exist either.

Since I am a home user with a 4 pc network, for private use , the demands are not high. The main reason I use it ( TDE ), is that both Dolphin and Konqueror in KDE4 still give to many issues if you get a boatload of 1000 files/folders to rename ( language job ).

I also use the pure KDE4 Minime version ( which I have undressed just that little more), as I personally don't see fault with KDE4 per se.

Software is software, and bugs and issues will always be here.

EDIT If you are planning to install Trinity yourself in openSuse, you better read/subscribe to the mailing list, as those who install it on an existing installation have quite a lot of small < mods > to do.

Feb 09, 2014
7:51 AM EDT
Thanks Francy......I suspected it might be the case that you weren't on openSUSE.....Okay, I had a look at the site you noted and it's a good one for "playing and experimentation".....I may even do that.....BUT....what I am interested in, is openSUSE actually supporting Trinity, the way they do with Gnome, KDE, Xfce, etc. Dare I say it, but Trinity would be possibly a better, faster, and slimmed down DE than some of the others they are currently supporting. At the moment, I'm very content on openSUSE 11.4 and's a very good, fast and functional desktop without the semantics thrown in.

I have seen articles that suggest that turning off Akonadi is fine for a majority of users, purely because that majority never use Akonadi's aspects....the sad bit of course, is the loss of KMail.......however, I am looking at the next part which will deal with Thunderbird and possibly Claws.

Feb 09, 2014
8:04 AM EDT
Suse officially supporting Trinity.....? Hmm....The problem with supporting is that you need users who need support.

Personally I think that the only support Trinity ever will get is the existing mailing list.

As for mail, I use Thunderbird for donkey years already, with a few addons for conveniance, like the <ImportExportTool> which I use as a backup tool. Again, the demands are not high !

Feb 09, 2014
1:48 PM EDT

>> Future historians will spend lots of time wondering why the two main linux destops made themselves unusable in different ways just at the point where Microsoft was also launching its own foray into unusability.

Brings to my mind the ever-recited M$ song-and-dance rant "Developers, developers, developers, developers,..." Seems to me that these two main linux desktops similarly made themselves unusable due to the whims and featuritis-cravings of THEIR two teams of ever-aspiring "developers, developers, developers,..." !!

My 2c

Feb 10, 2014
8:53 AM EDT
@ ridcully

I am downloading openSuse 12.3 TDE 64bit, just for fun . I will let you know what I think/experience/etc Will take a few days for that anyway. Don't watch this page I'll email you

Feb 10, 2014
9:41 AM EDT
I use TDE on Debian, have for years now. It works just fine.

Kmail continues to function just as it always did, saving mail in mbox files, easily searched with standard unix tools if anything goes wrong.

Feb 10, 2014
5:55 PM EDT
@Francy.....great stuff.....let me know how you get on. This is one of the things I am promising myself as well. I have already said this pretty much on the other thread, but at the expense of repetition, here it is again. On that thread, I've been in a dialogue with frankiej and for the first time he/she has enabled me to put some very confusing bits of the semantic desktop jigsaw together. I now have a very good idea of exactly what the KDE developers are up to and why the KDE desktop behaves as it does. In a sense, KMail has been emasculated and it can do nothing on its own - it must have Akonadi present or it simply will not function.

Given that, plus the fact that the statement out of the Nepomuk home site makes it very clear that the KDE semantic desktop is designed for huge corporate/industrial/research networks, it is obvious, at least to me anyway, that KDE is no longer a desktop aimed at the small, stand alone user. So, with that in mind, my only conclusion is that KMail is a "gone goose" and will not be made available in its original simple form. Therefore the only solution, as I see it, is to disable the semantic desktop and use an alternative email client. you are now exploring, reject KDE4 altogether as simply not worth the time and trouble and move to an alternative desktop. Trinity and Xfce are now beckoning. I wonder if I will have the time to put all of this together and write some more......But it is extremely sad for me.....I am now being forced to alter my concepts of KDE as a desktop that a stand alone system user could feel comfortable with. Some may like what it has become - no worries on that score from me, but I do not like it at all.

And thanks for the quick comment Bob_Robertson........I have the feeling that Trinity is likely to be my way ahead, but for the moment, the Evergreen project supports my present desktop of openSUSE 11.4 and its version of KDE, so there is no hurry yet......

Feb 11, 2014
9:20 AM EDT
@Francy, Ridcully,

Last night I wrote a blog-post with the experience of installing Trinity-DE, hopefully it will be approved and posted some time today.

Let me be the first to say that there are still some little annoying bugs that a team as small as Trinity hasn't gotten around to fixing, such as the fact that the K3b doesn't do well with verifying written DVDs, but they have fixed several aspects of the IO-slaves in Konqueror that were breaking right at the end of KDE3 as the developers were losing interest.

I will happily be using Trinity for the foreseeable future.

Feb 11, 2014
10:11 AM EDT
............. the fact that the K3b doesn't do well with verifying written DVDs

@ Bob.... I have reason to believe that <this> bug is not trinity related. I have it on my normal up to date distro as well, for the last few years. Also, not every one got is, with same distro and version number. However, I have done some experiments a good year ago. Burned DVD size iso with K3b, which all failed either on burn or verification, but when verifying with other means, they are OK

But of course, I could be wrong ! Also, maybe this maybe that,,,you know ! Anyway, I always use acetoneiso for DVD, but for anything else, I use K3b

Thanks for the warning anyway. I will watch it.


Feb 11, 2014
10:27 AM EDT
I am constantly amazed at how the developers of some projects refuse to listen to the users of the project. I have had multiple and continual problems with kmail/kontact since they did that whole akonadai and nepomuk integration, and yet after hundreds of requests to separate the two, they keep justifying it, and refusing to give the users a choice. Doesn't THAT fly in the face of the idea behind Linux and KDE in the first place?

sigh. I don't like Thunderbird, as it's missing some of the best parts of kmail, but I"m at my wits end, and fed up with running my i7 based laptop like it was a 386 because of the resource hogs (akonadai and nepomuk).

Feb 11, 2014
11:21 AM EDT
> ...and yet after hundreds of requests to separate the two, they keep justifying it, and refusing to give the users a choice. Doesn't THAT fly in the face of the idea behind Linux and KDE in the first place?

If enough people get upset then maybe someone will decide to fork Kmail and write a non-Akonadi tied version. In fact, from the other thread on this subject, I believe someone has done just that.

Feb 11, 2014
12:13 PM EDT

The K3b-Trinity application, as with the KDE3 app before it, writes the disks just fine, there simply seems to be an issue with ejecting/reloading the disk to read it back for verification.

The K3b in KDE4 has no problems at all, which is why I expect the developers just didn't bother fixing it when they set their sights on KDE4.

Feb 11, 2014
4:29 PM EDT
> hopefully it will be approved and posted some time today.

It's posted and I've replied here.

> K3b doesn't do well with verifying written DVDs

Or CDs.

> I will happily be using Trinity for the foreseeable future.

Ditto. I'm currently running two TDE machines: one, a Tribuntu (TDE over Ubuntu 12.04 LTS), the other a Sparky live-install (TDE over Wheezy).

Feb 11, 2014
5:43 PM EDT
Very nice Bob_Robertson, and congratulations.......I hope to trial the Trinity DE on openSUSE.....and I am informed that Trinity is somewhere in it's repositories already. That may be an error....but if true, then it is possible that the entire stock of openSUSE software is available, including K3b. have, so to speak, hit on what I consider is the real centre of the problem. Here's how I see it now, given the benefit of having written these articles on the topic:

KDE was originally designed for the individual user and those users still remain a huge user base. The direction the developers have taken KDE4 however, is right away from that user base and straight into the requirements of enormous networked systems that are used in large corporations, industry, research, government, etc. They have modified the desktop operation to conform with those requirements and literally forgotten about the individual user's needs, which have always been simplicity, speed and ease of use. KDE4 can't be recommended for an individual user any more.

When you start reading the comments about how disabling the semantic packages leads to higher speeds on the desktop and less hdd activity, you need to think about that in the context of the fact that KDE4 is forcing your personal computer to try to do what the enormously powerful network servers can do without blinking an eye. It's no wonder that when running a non-disabled KDE4 on openSUSE 12.1, I began to be concerned that I would end up with hdd damage due to the incredible stresses the system was placing on that component.

The more articles that appear which castigate the KDE4 system as it currently stands, the better, as far as I am concerned. Options are now appearing in all directions. If you do anything about searches on the subject, you will be amazed at what you find and there is serious annoyance in many quarters over the direction the KDE4 devs have taken. You like KMail, do's my preference. YOu can get it in the Trinity desktop which is a very updated and modernised KDE3.5, or you can try the option of the earlier KDEPIM package which you can find in a link on the other thread attached to this article.....An even more interesting option is to do what I am doing and that is running KDE4.6 on openSUSE 11.4.....This uses the last version of KMail before it was corrupted and emasculated, and while Akonadi runs, my experience is that it does virtually nothing and is only attached to Kontact......which I have never opened and never used in any way. openSUSE 11.4 is supported by the Evergreen project until this mid-year, but it is possible it may go on further.

I'd like to mention that my daughter uses this same system but has not had Evergreen support activated, so she is using a totally unsupported version of openSUSE 11.4. Nevertheless, it still runs perfectly and as she remarked: All my friends report problems with malware on their Windows machines......I have much satisfaction in saying I get no such problems and they all look amazed; but then go back to their messes. She reckons it's a case of "better the devil you know........."

Feb 11, 2014
6:08 PM EDT
They're hooked on street-dirty Windowpain. I rely on pure LSB.

Feb 13, 2014
10:45 AM EDT
Ridcully, another very interesting article, thank you for your time and effort.

Feb 13, 2014
6:33 PM EDT
My pleasure please go over to the kmail thread ( for my next set of comments on this "saga" as they are addressed to you and they summarise pretty much where I find myself at the moment. Thankyou.

Feb 13, 2014
11:28 PM EDT
Quoting: They're hooked on street-dirty Windowpain. I rely on pure LSB.



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