Open Source: My Migration from Kontact to Evolution

I will say again, for the record, I am not a fan of bloated GUI desktops like KDE and GNOME. I am a GUI minimalist and use the fluxbox window manager for my “GUI desktop”. However, I do like some of the applications that are available for both KDE and GNOME. For a long time now I have been using Kmail and then Kontact with Kmail for my e-mail needs. With Kontact/Kmail I have saved a few thousand messages in Maildir format going back several years, have dozens of contacts both personal and professional, and over 200 filters to keep messages organized. I have been pleased with Kontact/Kmail … until now.

You see, the KDE folks decided to pretty much dump everything prior to KDE4 and rewrite KDE4 and applications for same from the ground up while rethinking everything to make it “better”. While this is a commendable idea, it stinks in the real world out here where we who rely on these applications for real work get to deal with the consequences of these actions. Frankly, I blame both the KDE project and the many distributions that jumped on the KDE4 bandwagon before that thing had enough wheels. My best friend in the world, who is a former KDE fanatic, has stated she will never use KDE again after moving all her stuff to GNOME. My friend is so adamantly opposed to the direction of KDE4 that she refuses to use any QT applications that are designed for KDE and has completely migrated to all GTK / GNOME based applications. She was determined to do this because of all the problems she had with the “new” and “improved” KDE4.  The last straw for her was when Amarok “broke” and no longer worked like her beloved Amarok 1.4. I had to help her with her Kontact to Evolution migration, which for her needs was fairly simple. Now it is my turn, and it is not so simple for me. I have actually dreaded having to make this move.

Why leave Kontact? After upgrading my Linux distribution and all the applications for same, my Kmail address book is not working correctly. It now uses akonadi or whatever for managing the contacts and will just stop responding after a while. Given enough time, I could likely figure out how to fix it. I do not believe I should have to figure out how to fix it. The address book / contact list should just work always. Even after a major update it should still just work always. I honestly do not have the time to fix it, then hope it does not break again with the next KDE4 update, then fix it again when it breaks again. All  this is a result of the KDE folk deciding on a rewrite and the Linux distributions deciding to include alpha level KDE4 software. Thus, I am moving to something that is stable and I can expect to keep working even after an upgrade.

Enter Evolution. Before closing Kontact for, hopefully, the last time I restarted it to get the address book working long enough to export my contacts. Then I closed Kontact and copied my Maildir mail from Kmail to a new ~/mail/ directory in preparation for migrating to Evolution. Unfortunately I know of no way to export / import my 200+ filters I have created in Kmail, so I will just have to recreate those as needed while using Evolution. I then started Evolution for the first time and ran through the setup of my initial e-mail account. I have several e-mail accounts that would have to be added later. Then the “Evolution Setup Assistant” got to the “Importing files” screen. I deselected both options and clicked the [->Forward] button. Nothing happened. No matter what I did on this window, no going forward. So, I canceled, started the process again and got the same result at the same spot. This was not looking good.

I opened an xterm and restarted Evolution setup by typing evolution at the command prompt. When I got to the page that was hanging, the xterm terminal window displayed this:

(evolution:29817): Gtk-CRITICAL **: Page flow is broken, you may want to end it with a page of type GTK_ASSISTANT_PAGE_CONFIRM or GTK_ASSISTANT_PAGE_SUMMARY

A critical error was not going to let me proceed. I pondered the problem a bit and then decided to try running the setup from within a GNOME session. Luckily under Linux I can switch to a console screen, login with my user account and then type startx gnome-session — :1 to start GNOME without having to exit my preferred fluxbox. Regardless, that did not work either. Then I noticed I had some updates waiting for installation. On a hunch I checked the updates. Sure enough there was one for Evolution. Figuring this could not make things worse, I installed the update to Evolution and removed the .evolution directory that had been created during the failed setup. That solved the problem and I was able to get Evolution set up with an initial e-mail account.

I then restarted Evolution and imported my contacts. Since I had exported the contacts from Kaddressbook to a LDIF file the import worked flawlessly. Then I had to set up a “bogus” account to access the ~/mail/ directory with all my Maildir files in it. I created an account named Maildir and pointed it to that directory. Evolution “saw” all my old e-mail and displayed the “folders”. The old Kmail Maildir directories that began with a period had to be reorganized to get Evolution to work correctly with the Maildir structure. The new  directories have no preceding period. I had to close Evolution and use a file manager (mc) to get rid of all the directories that had a leading period after I reorganized everything.

At this point I began to set up all my e-mail addresses, both business and personal, and began creating filters to organize the messages in the Maildir  format as that is what I prefer. Since I had over 200 filters in Kmail I am obviously not going to be able to recreate them all from memory. I plan to recreate them as needed while sending and receiving e-mail. This is how I managed to get that many filters in the first place. This will let me learn the Evolution filtering system as I go along. So far, I am not too fond of the separate inbound and outbound filters. In my opinion both should be accessible from the same window without having to switch back and forth. I seriously miss the Kmail filter option to set a single filter to work for both inbound and outbound messages. But I will get used to the new way even though I find it irritating to need to create two filters that are just alike, one for inbound and one for outbound, to keep my messages organized.

What I would have liked to see for this migration:

  • Evolution setup asks me if I am migrating from Kontact/Kmail and just handle all the grunt work for me. Yeah, I’m lazy and just lay around all day so I have time to do this myself … not.
  • Evolution filters give an option to import filters from another popular e-mail application. Like maybe, oh let’s just pick one at random, Kmail.
  • Evolution DEFAULT to using Maildir.

Now that I am using Evolution I look forward to not having to change my e-mail application ever again for as long as I live. Amen.

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Edit Wed Sep 29 01:46:16 CDT 2010: Add URL for mc project site.


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Gene A.

Gene is a "Unix Guy", network technologist, system trouble-shooter and IT generalist with over 20 years experience in the SOHO and SMB markets. He is familiar with and conversant in eComStation (a.k.a. OS/2), DOS (PC, MS and Free), Unix, Linux and those GUI based systems from Microsoft. Gene is also a follower of Jesus (forgiven, not perfect), and this does inform his world view.

37 thoughts on “Open Source: My Migration from Kontact to Evolution”

  1. Hi All,
    FYI, I successfully imported my KDE4 calendar from Korganizer into Evolution using these steps:

    * Open File -> Import in Evolution
    * Import a single file
    * Filename -> ~/.kde4/share/apps/korganizer/std.ics
    * Click through the rest of the prompts

    Some systems may have just .kde instead of .kde4, so be aware of that. Evolution automagically recognized this as an iCal file. My recurring events, such as the local once every second Thursday of each month LUG meeting, all imported without error.

  2. Hi Again,
    I had been using Akregator for RSS feed reading. Since that is now part of Kontact, I am no longer using it. I chose Liferea to replace Akregator. Liferea imported the Akregator feeds from:


    I lost my current feed count, but that is a small price to pay to get away from the problems with KDE4’s personal information management SNAFU.

  3. Hello Once More,
    I will put a rough timeline on this migration, including time I had to be away from my desk and could not work on this. I started late Monday afternoon, 2010/09/27, expecting to be done in a couple of hours. I finally finished getting my news feeds back up with Liferea and setting up my e-mail accounts around 2:00 PM today, 2010/09/29. Of course I will be recreating filters for quite a while since I am only creating them again as messages come in and go out.

    In my role as a small business owner of a SOHO business I have several business e-mail addresses that had to be set up. Then I have two e-mail addresses that get mail from client servers as part of our company monitoring service. Then I have three local e-mail addresses to monitor my own servers and my local desktop, all of which have cron jobs that send e-mailed reports.

    As you can see, my e-mail use is probably atypical compared to average end-users. My friend’s migration was comparatively very simple as she only has one e-mail address. I had the fun of learning how to do the Maildir mail in Evolution with her mail.

  4. “My friend is so adamantly opposed to the direction of KDE4 that she refuses to use any QT applications that are designed for KDE and has completely migrated to all GTK / GNOME based applications.”

    I’m sure we’ll miss your best friend. We’ve found many new such best friends during this process, however. Maybe we’ll see you and your best friend again. Fickle is as fickle does, after all.

    “The address book / contact list should just work always.”

    I agree.

    “Even after a major update it should still just work always.”

    True. It was broken for one x.y release, and fixed in x.y+1. That was still too much, but at least it’s fixed, and was done so pretty switfly.

    “All this is a result of the KDE folk deciding on a rewrite and the Linux distributions deciding to include alpha level KDE4 software.”

    For others reading this blog: some things have been rewritten, most things have not. Big brushes, these bloggers paint with.

    “Thus, I am moving to something that is stable and I can expect to keep working even after an upgrade.”

    Good luck with that.

    1. Aaron Seigo, thanks for reading and replying.

      Do you truly attempt to represent the entire KDE project with your responses? I pray someone with more tact from the KDE team speaks up.

      You dismiss us as unimportant, “I’m sure we’ll miss your best friend. We’ve found many new such best friends during this process, however.” Thank you ever so much.

      Then you insult us, “Fickle is as fickle does, after all.” How nice of you. Do you believe it is helpful calling users “fickle” because they found the new direction of the KDE project does not solve their problems or meet their needs? I do not see how that helps.

      You also say, “For others reading this blog: some things have been rewritten, most things have not. Big brushes, these bloggers paint with.” I do admit to using hyperbole somewhat. The statement I made is over-generalizing. Regardless, my “big brushes” are pointing out problems with this process the KDE team has started. Instead of going on the defensive, how about just admitting the process has been mishandled and work to make sure that a release actually functions before sending it out to those of your users who need the applications to work?

      Edit Sat Oct 2 13:52:08 CDT 2010: Clarify the last paragraph in this comment a bit.

  5. @Gene: “I had been using Akregator for RSS feed reading. Since that is now part of Kontact, I am no longer using it.”

    Sorry, but the premise is a load of bollocks. Akregtor is still a stand-alone piece of software. It’s also a plugin Kontact. You get to choose how to run it. Neither requires the other.

    “I lost my current feed count, but that is a small price to pay to get away from the problems with KDE4?s personal information management SNAFU.”

    Or you could have just run Akregrator as you always did stand-alone, had your cake and eaten it too. Instead your moved to another piece of software that lost you data in the process .. and you proclaim satisfaction. Amazing.

    1. Aaron Seigo, thanks again.

      Yes, one can run all the applications outside of Kontact, including Akregator, for now. Thank you for pointing that out. Will it stay that way? I have no confidence that the KDE team will keep these as separate applications given the other actions taken that did not seem to have a care for the end-users.

      Actually, I had not been all that satisfied with Akregator for a while now. Akregator seemed to crash on occasion and thus took all of Kontact with it at the most inopportune times. Such as when I was replying to important business e-mail. Yes, I could run it outside of Kontact and still run Kontact for all the other PIM functions (I think I could anyway). But having all that in one window under Kontact was nice. I will agree that combining those in a single window is a good idea, but only if none of the applications take Kontact with them when they crash.

      Regardless, I just decided to make a clean break instead of trying to keep Akregator. The data for the feeds I follow was not “lost”, just the current count that showed read versus unread feeds. I already know what I have read, so that definitely is a small price to pay and not “Amazing.” at all.

      1. Umm, you say you won’t use Akregator anymore because it’s part of Kontact and then you say you’ve been using Akregator and now you say it was actually nice to have it under Kontact as a plugin.. Clearly you are upset with kde dev team but that’s a bit contradicting in terms..

        I too have some grievances with kde4 kmail/kontact (e.g. columns always a bit wider than what I’ve set them to be) and have tried both Thunderbird and Evolution every now and then but simply because with KMail I can read/delete/answer mail quickly with keyboard (e.g. select multiple messages and still see the body of last selected message) I’ve given up on both of them.


        1. Mike A, thanks for reading and for your comment.

          I am not certain what you are pointing out in your first sentence, so I will just let that stand. However, be assured I am not “upset” with the KDE development team. I am not “upset” at all as a matter of fact. I quit being “upset” about most things outside my control sometime in my mid-40’s.

          What I have done is I have pragmatically moved my e-mail and contact list to Evolution since the Kontact/Kmail suite is “borked” as is in the Linux distribution I use. Then I wrote about my experience. My aside about Akregator is just an “Oh, by the way …” incidental comment.

    2. Aaron Seigo,
      I just recalled something else about Akregator. Today while I was reading my feeds in Liferea there was a power outage that took down my PC, and jogged my memory. Your comment about Liferea losing data just because I lost my feed count is unfortunate. You see, Akregator has lost my entire feeds.opml file several times when crashing or when power outages happened in the past. When Akregator would restart the feeds.opml file would be zero length. That, my friend, is losing data. Luckily I have backups of my /home partition and could restore the file. Today, Liferea recovered from the power outage just fine and all my feeds are still there. Plus my feed counts are intact.

      Before you start stoning Liferea for simply losing the feed count, maybe you should take care of Akregator losing the entire feed file. That’s my suggestion anyway. 🙂

  6. This is why I run dovecot as an IMAP server. I am completely e-mail client agnostic. (And I even have squirrelmail set up so I can access my home e-mail from anywhere).

    One of my main concerns with Kontact (old and new) is that the data file locations are hard wired into .kde (or .kde4). .kde should be used only for configuration, not data (IMO).

  7. You should have migrated to Thunderbird. Very easy to migrate address book and mail from one PC to another. You can even migrate from Linux to Windows and back if you wish.

    1. Jimmy, thanks for reading and for your suggestion.

      I did consider Thunderbird. I looked to see if Thunderbird supports Maildir now, and as far as I could determine it does not. Unless Thunderbird gets Maildir support I will not use it. In my experience Maildir is a better solution than mbox or binary blob e-mail storage.

  8. I moved to KDE because of the problems in Gnome when using Ubuntu 10.04. I have not experienced any problems and love the new plasma stuff. If you had done your research before having your “rant” about KDE you would have found Gnome has it’s share of issues as well.

    Another reason I switched was I do not like the design of the new gnome shell. Will you be back for another rant when Gnome Shell 3 is released?

    1. “KDE User”, no real name for you?

      I have not ever used the full GNOME desktop nor KDE desktop for my “GUI desktop”. I have them installed so I can test things for our company clients. I use some of the applications that are designed for each. But I will not use the bloated “desktop” part of either of the projects. As I said in the article:

      I will say again, for the record, I am not a fan of bloated GUI desktops like KDE and GNOME. I am a GUI minimalist and use the fluxbox window manager for my “GUI desktop”. …

  9. Aaron,

    please try to not let these inflexable traditionalist get under your skin. People who scream and holler the loudest are just people trying to force their will on others. They think that by blogging how horrible kde4 is (even though they probably haven’t used it since 4.0)that they can shame you into proclaiming “you are so right, we were soooo stupid and you are soooo smart, we will scrap it all and go back to the good old days of doing things that only you approve of” These people probably have brick phones, black and white console tv’s with a huge 15″ screen, a ford pinto in the driveway and think microwaves are really small ocean waves.

    Anyone with more then the tiniest amount of adventure in them have whole heartedly embraced the changes and helped to make KDE one of the best environments out there. Let them go away, these people don’t help the cause anyway and will just go scream at the GNOME developers when big changes happen in GNOME 3.0 and beyond. If his best friend was just angry about Amarok 2.0 she could have easily chose to use Clementine (a fork of 1.4 code) and be happy but chose to switch environments completely. So be it.

    For anyone considering which environment to use, don’t base your decision on anything these expatriates regurgitate. They have the same monolithic thinking that has embedded microslop winblows into world society like a pandemic.

    1. Dear Bart Burroughs, you are so right, I am soooo stupid and you are soooo smart. Obviously the direction taken with KDE4 is perfect in all aspects and I am just a dumb traditionalist. My bad. 🙂

        1. Just so everyone knows? I make these comments with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Linux has always been, and will continue to be about choice. If you don’t like code heavy environments then use a lite environment. If you don’t like GNOME use KDE or visa-versa, like GNOME but also like Amarok? then run Amarok in GNOME. All too often these blogs are just people venting, taking sides, slamming developers on their lousy choices (even though they work their back sides off, like Aaron, for free) etc. This blog should have been about how to migrate to evolution “IF” you don’t like Kontact any longer, not about bashing Kontact and KDE. These types of blogs are just mean spirited and why I usually make comments on them. I would do the same on a blog bashing GNOME for their choices. With choice comes great freedom but also great responsibility.

  10. All,
    Just to be clear about my stance on KDE and GNOME. I could not care less what each project does with its “desktop”. I do not use their “desktops” at all. I have no plans to use their “desktops” in the future.

    Until I started having problems with Kontact I was abstracting the angst of the large number of KDE users that were being discombobulated by the changes in KDE. Once I hit this problem with a KDE application that impacted me directly I worked to solve it for a few weeks, then decided my time is better spent doing something else. Such as getting back to work so I can make a living.

    During this process of moving from Kontact I looked at several e-mail / contact replacements and settled on Evolution. I had three requirements that had to be met for a replacement:

    1) It should be targeted toward businesses and thus be more likely to avoid disruptive changes in the future.
    2) It must be able to import most or all of my data from the former application.
    3) It must support Maildir mail directories.

    Of all the applications I studied over the past few weeks, only Evolution met all these requirements. Note I did not say GNOME, I said Evolution. I still do not care one bit what KDE and GNOME do to their “desktop”. But I do care if an application I rely on suddenly does not work when I need it to work.

    1. I have had evolution delete information from my computer for no reason when using it in the past but gave the developers time to fix the bugs without declaring how sucky evolution was. Developers make mistakes (Humans after all, remember?) so to make a pronouncement that it is KDE4’s fault is unfair at best and malicious at worst. Kontact had issues in KDE 3.x from time to time, as all programs written by people can, and had to be given time to fix those issues. Evolution will also have issues from time to time but will fix them in time. My comments remain valid, bugs happen but attacking the developers as being somehow incompetent because the bugs happened at all, and then stating that the only fix was to abandon QT based programs and KDE as the root cause of all the problems is just mean.

      1. Bart Burroughs,
        I appreciate your comments. However, you and Aaron Seigo both are misconstruing my article as an “attack” on KDE and/or the KDE developers. My article is only partly an observation about the project and problems for same as I see them. I wrote about what affected me and those around me directly, and what I did to resolve the problems. I am not on the attack against the KDE developers at all. I expect they will get the problems ironed out eventually as do almost all large software projects. They have my best wishes in their endeavor. I just will not be using their software while it is so unstable. I will most likely not be using the software I abandoned again. Nor will I recommend it to my friends, associates and business clients until it is stable.

        I am not alone in pointing out there are some serious problems with the way the KDE3 to KDE4 migration has taken place so far. Just search the WWW and you can see many other articles about these problems. If you believe I am being “mean” you are entitled to your opinion. I assure you being “mean” is never my intent when I write any article on this professional, company web site. To do so would be unprofessional. What I will do is point out problems if and when I see them. That is not being “mean”, it is being honest about what I experience.

        1. Again, I really don’t care what people use. I just don’t like personal attacks. You state that you never meant to be mean yet your blog is full of mean spirited personal jabs at the kde developers. I won’t list them all here, people can read for themselves but I will post this final quote….

          “Now that I am using Evolution I look forward to not having to change my e-mail application ever again for as long as I live. Amen.”

          I will assume that you either think you will never have any trouble with Evolution? or you will never complain about it even if you do? either way, we will never see another one of these blogs from you about email program problems. So, I guess in a way that’s a positive.

          1. Bart Burroughs,
            Since you see personal attacks in my article I would appreciate your recitation of those attacks. As you claim I am making personal attacks then please point out where. I avoid ad hominem attacks at all costs. I will question decisions and actions. I will also state my opinions about those decisions and actions. But I do not “attack” people individually or as a group.

            For the record, when I wrote:

            I blame both the KDE project and the many distributions that jumped on the KDE4 bandwagon before that thing had enough wheels.

            That was not an attack. It was an observation about some of the poor decisions made by both the KDE project and Linux distributions during this migration from KDE3 to KDE4. Poor decisions meaning those decisions that had a direct negative impact on the end-users. Other than that sentence I see nothing that I believe could be considered an “attack”, personal or otherwise.

            Finally, you “assume” incorrectly. I always reserve the right to change my mind as well as the right to make observations.

  11. I’m somewhat different in that I stopped using KDE while it was still in the 3.5 branch. It was what I first loved when I joined Linux about six years ago. I jumped back and forth between Gnome, KDE, Xfce, and Fluxbox. At first I was running Linux on an underpowered machine and KDE was just consuming way too much RAM. When I finally got a decent computer, I went back to KDE for a while. But I always found the 3.5 branch to be a lot more crashy than Gnome. KDE 4.0 was incredibly crashy for me. The latest KDE in Fedora 13 was super crashy, but I have the feeling that when I checked it out my SELinux was acting up. I’ll have to give it another shot. I’ve always liked the look/feel of KDE and KDE programs. I really liked KMail, Akgregator, and Kopete. But they were always too crashy for me.

    Maybe when Fedora 14/KDE 4.5 come out in Nov, I’ve give my first love another shot.

  12. Ladies, ladies, why all this rant?
    The “KDE 4 is broken / poor decision / sucks / ” vs “KDE 4 rocks / is technologically superior / ” debate is just not going anywhere.
    It’s spread all over the blogosphere, but KDE 4 will keep it’s direction. Like it? Jump in. Hate it? Jump out.
    I’m personally a KDE fan which switched to Gnome after 4.5 was slow on my machine, but the need to return to KDE is stitching.
    I love it’s directions. Love the configuration possibilities. And I’m pretty sure I’ll be running it again on a few days…
    The point is: Both Gnome and KDE have a release each 6 months. It’s impossible that Gnome 2.32 (16 stable releases) isn’t stabler than KDE 4.5 (5 releases). But things will get there…
    Those who want a real stable desktop will eventually get hit by KDE, but will have to use a terribly boring DE (Gnome), or some other (XFCE, LXDE…).
    Wanna know something which I just don’t get how can be so dumb? The GTK file picker. Try uploading a photo on a folder with hundreds of pictures named after random numbers, and you’ll see. “But you can click on it, and will see a preview pane”. Yes, but you have to click each… And with sites like facebook relying on flash to upload multiple files at once, things get ugly, because flash doesn’t even adds that preview pane.

  13. I m a long time KDE user.

    I jumped in with both feet on 4.0 and yes that was a mistake and while I’ve enjoyed watching 4 evolve I think I am not alone in suggesting it only got there with 4.3.1 – from 4.1-ish it was usable but luckily it’s now 4.5.1

    The whole re-platforming thing sounds lik it was a shed load and a half of work, and the reasons for it have been well documented. I have read that, e.g., Gnome 3.0 will be similarly interesting.

    There have been a few niggles with Kontact/Kmail some a bit annoying and others I have read) Kontact/Kmail associated both with legacy issues and prepping for using the underlying KDE 4 architecture and data preservation durin migration..

    However I have also read the developers’ road map and I’m looking forward to getting the new version.

    It’s all been described quite calmly and cogently and that works for me.

    (Amid all of this, last time I checked 3.5.10 is still available)

    I have never experienced this “crashy” KDE on a variety of 32 and 64 bit architectures (after 4.0) perhaps it is a hardware/power supply problem.

    Nor do I understand the lengths to which detractors want to go to explain why even cuniform on clay tablet would be better than KDE.

    I use KDE for real work, I use every aspect of Kontact except RSS to keep track of things, there are a couple of workarounds on email addresses that I am confident will soon not be needed.

    Did I mention that KOffice is also useful for real work and that I would be lost without Okular?

    And I like the way it looks too.

    YMMV, SWALK, IANAS, whatever… If you don’t like it, don’t use it, but be proportionate

  14. Now seems a strange time to jump ship from Kontact to an alternative. KDE and it’s suite of apps (it is still a whole ecosystem even if you are only interested in some components to use under your minimalist approach) have been steadily progressing since 4.0 and have about reached feature parity with 3.5 and to my mind at least (admittedly not very scientific) stability parity too with a infrastructure underpinning that is relevant for the immediate future (something it’s competition for the most part still has to tackle).
    The PIM suite is adding functionality all the time and is starting to stretch it’s neck ahead of the competition (again IMHO). It has warts as does any software package, and every now and then we as users get sick of the warts and jump ship often only to return to the “devil we know” – this I think is Aaron’s point about fickle behaviour.
    While your experience has clearly been an unhappy one of late and your quite rightly indicate that it’s within your control to change – so you are doing so, the blog does have a little hint of a rant to it.
    The KDE devs have been hearing this for a long long time and are probably more sensitive to it than they should be, but I have seen many examples of where Aaron and the others have taken criticism and come back with a better product tackling the pain points we keep highlighting to them.
    I support your right to change, I would love to hear how it has gone in a months time. Maybe you do find PIM nirvana, but I would also like to throw it out there that there are some very satisfied KDE-PIM users who think the work Aaron (with Plasma) and the others on the KDE team are doing.
    You guys rock – keep up the good work.

  15. @ everyone

    I am a kde4 fan. In its present state, it is more stable, quicker, more cohesive, and more functional than 3.5 (for me on my machines).

    It is not without problems, however. I used to LOVE Amarok. Now, I tolerate it.

    Also, the points about releasing terribly buggy versions of kmail/kontact for redistribution by the various distros is inexcusable. A certain amount of minor bugs is to be expected with new releases in the open source world, as another poster writes. However, to LOSE functionality of the address book through an update is asinine and short-sighted. (Thankfully, this is working again.)

    Another minor (but glaring) thing is that kmail will not remember the order I place my columns: Date, sender, subject. Every time I restart the program, my columns get rearranged to Subject, Sender, Date. WHY WHY WHY!!!??

    As well, tiff attachments to my received mail will not be auto-opened by okular, even though I check “use this program every time to open this type of file”. I get my faxes by email (tiff) and EVERY time I need to open a fax, I get the “what program do you want to open this file with” dialogue, and I have to go through the menus or type “okular”. Bizarre thing is that when I forward the file and it is an attachment to my OUTGOING email, I can DOUBLE CLICK the file and open it without the “what program do you want” dialogue.

    So why a double click for your own message’s attachments, even though my desktop is set to open files with a single click and incoming attachments can be opened with a single click??

    Anyway, point is, I very VERY much understand this blog’s author’s point of view. I am an avid (not quite fanatical) kde4 fanboy, but I can call things as they are and agree that the kmail/kontact development is at present a big … mess, and that basic functionality should be VERIFIED before releasing a public version for redistribution, and that basic functionality should be the focus before any bells an whistles are added.

    So, Aaron, I respect what you are doing with your KDE efforts and I very much see eye-to-eye with you on many topics regarding which you have written. But, WTF is happening with Kmail, specifically? Why is it such a mess?

    Admin edit: Removed obfuscated swear word. It was not necessary for the point in question.

  16. With the upgrade of the kubuntu, I installed KDE4, and I found it a real mess. In my point of view KDE4 is not ready at all for daily use in a desktop environment. Maybe many hobbyists like it, but in a professional environment, it’s a no go.

    Further is it taking to many resources. Also my beloved application kmail became a hog with … Akonadi …

    I never understood why the KDE guys throw away such a good desktop environment, and replaced every thing, only because it’s newer. What a waste of good code.

    And for what, for the portability ? Where is KDE on other (non Lninux) platforms ?

    For me, the programs need to work, and the need to work good, without days of tweaking, and checking.

    Thanks to the trinity project we still uses linux as desktop, together with winXP. If that project didn’t exists, I thrown linux out of my office.

    Editor: removed swearing as it is against our current comment policy and is not necessary to make your points.

  17. I've been a HUGE KDE fan since I first played around with an early version of 2.x. I loved the configurability, I loved the way the entire app suite was designed to interact, I loved that stability seemed to be uppermost in the developers' minds throughout.
    Then came KDE 4. For some reason, the KDE developers decided to dispense with all those silly version control conventions about how to number stuff. You know, the tags that all sane projects use for alpha and beta quality code.
    KDE 4.0's initial release SHOULD have been numbered KDE 4.0.alpha-1. Why? Because it's a well understood convention that alpha labels should be applied to software with major missing pieces. Major breakage is to be expected. Instead of following this very basic, well known, well established convention, the KDE project team decided to release it as just 4.0 along with a text warning that this was code that was far from complete. They expected that all of the distro teams would be smart enough to read that warning and recognize that it wasn't ready for packaging quite yet. Silly KDE team. Since when do geeks read documentation? lol Seriously, though. I think that the distros simply expected that KDE was taking its usual, fairly conservative approach to stability and assumed that KDE 4.0 was reasonably ready to go.
    The end result was as predictable as the sun rising in the east. KDE 4.0 came out, the distros promptly packaged it and the end user community paid the price.  What I as a KDE fan have found endlessly enraging ever since is the KDE team's complete denial of their respsonsibility in creating this mess in the first place.  Rather than acknowledging their mistake in labeling and promptly reverting to those well established tagging conventions, they have continually ducked the issue.  Worse still, some vocal individuals like Aaron continue to haunt the blogosphere, constantly pointing out how everyone else is wrong and only the KDE team is right on this.
    Sorry, Aaron.  As a chief petty officer told me once early in my enlistment in the Navy, "If one person tells you you're wrong, don't worry about it.  He's probably the one who's off base.  However, when 50 people tell you you're the problem, you'd better take a long, hard look in the mirror."

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