KDE4.5: akonadi, nepomuk, strigi. Linux desktop options.

Going forward with KDE 4, I’m concerned with the integration into KDE 4.5 of: akonadi, nepomuk, strigi. I currently have nepomuk, strigi disabled and stopped the server in KDE 4.3.5. I never ran beagle in KDE 3.5. Some reviews compare akonadi to Window’s registry. :frowning: Icks!

Additional Info:

Will you consider changing desktops?

If not KMail, which email client?

Will you continue to use KDE PIM?

Your thoughts or ideas are appreciated.

Thank you.

There was obviously some very high goals set when they laid down the framework for semantic desktop, and for some (i know not who) this will eventually be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I’ve tried repeatedly to find the value of this resource hungry system and perhaps i organize better than others, have less data, am stupid, or completely misunderstand it’s purpose… it just collects and collects and collects (when it works) and i very rarely have a reason to use it.

Using it in 4.4 was informative and educational but kio-locate solves 90% of my search needs…but i can be convinced if someone can show me the blessing akonadi/nepomuk/strigi/mysql/virtuoso/redland/soprano (whew) really is…

i’ve turned it off too, but for a different reason… turning “indexing” off… simply doesn’t. I’m not fond of periodic cpu spikes when i’m making large file transfers/rsync/burning disks.

On 20/03/10 23:36, opensuseforumorg42 wrote:
> Will you consider changing desktops?


> If not KMail, which email client?

I’ve switched back to Thunderbird, partly because of the change to use
of Akonadi (after complaining that bits of the address book weren’t
working, I was told that the KDE 4.4 version was bleeding-edge and I
shouldn’t expect it all to work) but mainly because there seems to be no
support for Knode.

I’ve linked Lightning 1.0b1 in to TB to provide calendar facilities. So
far it seems to be all that I want and - again I say “so far” - seems
more reliable than the Kontact version. I see that Lightning is included
in openSUSE 11.3 M3 but not 11.2. Another advantage of TB is that the
RSS browser doesn’t cause it to crash as Kontact’s Akgregator does.

> Will you continue to use KDE PIM?

No. Reasons above. Also, Akonadi is only linked into the address book so
far but this development work is promised to be spread to the other
features. Presumably they’ll then be bleeding-edge. What are
beta-versions for?

> Your thoughts or ideas are appreciated.


Graham P Davis, Bracknell, Berks., UK. E-mail: newsman not newsboy
“I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.”

opensuseforumorg42 wrote:

> Going forward with KDE 4, I’m concerned with the integration into KDE
> 4.5 of: akonadi, nepomuk, strigi. I currently have nepomuk, strigi
> disabled and stopped the server in KDE 4.3.5. I never ran beagle in KDE
> 3.5. Some reviews compare akonadi to Window’s registry. :frowning: Icks!
> Additional Info:
> - KDE Forum thread: ‘Please add option to disable Semantic Desktop’
> (http://tinyurl.com/ylasbhj)
> - ‘Akonadi’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akonadi)
> - ‘Strigi, Nepomuk’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strigi)
> Will you consider changing desktops?
> If not KMail, which email client?
> Will you continue to use KDE PIM?
> Your thoughts or ideas are appreciated.
> Thank you.
In 2009 I worked most of the time with gnome after many years where I solely
used kde (started with kde in 2000, the 5 years before I used different
window managers no desktop environment), then I switched back to kde in
January 2010 with the hope that the situation is better now.

My main problem with kde 4 (beside some glitches a came across) seems to be
that I do obviously no longer belong to the target audience of the new kde.
There is a variety of new features introduced (semantic desktop, social
desktop and whatever) which are of no value for me and at the same time base
functionality (also a personal preference what I consider as base
functionality) disappeared.

I can see the same problems with strigi/nepomuk as mentioned in your first
link (I did not yet disable it - I am still looking for use cases where it
makes sense for me to have it).

Since I can either fight against windmills (I looked into the kde bug
tracker to see if it makes sense to post feature requests for reintroducing
features like metadata handling which existed for years and recognized that
there are entries which are two years old and have status “new”) or find a
different solution.

So I consider the switch to gnome especially with gnome 3 available in a few
months (and from what I read about it and which new functionality it will
contain, I have the impression that I belong to the target audience for the
new gnome desktop).

I am still unsure about that because I prefer some kde applications over the
corresponding gnome applications (k3b vs brasero, konqueror vs nautilus,
kontact vs evolution and some others). In kde 4 for example kontact lost
ground compared to evolution (or thunderbird) so this is no longer that much
an argument for me (and of course I can run kde apps also in gnome with the
disadvantage not having the tight integration with the DE).

From the eye candy point of view (I am not free from being catched by eye
candy) a cannot agree with the people who consider gnome as ugly (by default
it is but this can easily be changed), my wife use linux mint after looking
at several distros for her and it shows how good and usable it can be
configured from ground of).I personally do not consider switching from
opensuse to something else, I am too conservative to do this and I like
opensuse too much but most likely I will use no longer kde in the near

To answer your last question about kmail and pim:

I used evolution (on notebook) and thunderbird (on my netbook) but I am
still not completely sure which I will choose in the future (there is a
slight trend in my mind towards evolution).

Sorry for my bad english.

If I understand correctly (do I?) this whole ‘semantic desktop’ (Strigi, Nepomuk) thing is just for finding files. Or is not?

In that case it is definitely not for me. On rare occasions, when I want to find a file I use Kfind just like I did in KDE 3. It can search by file names and by file contents. When Kfind finds something, it shows file names and directories where those files are. No indexing, no other stuff which needs memory and CPU time. Perfect.

As for the KDE 4 PIM…

At the moment I use KDE 3 Kontact suite - Korganizer, Akgregator, Kmail. Most important for me is Korganizer - other parts can be switched to something else in any moment.

The only exception is kaddressbook. KDE 3 kaddressbook was too buggy (it hanged for a couple of minutes when I changed any contact - very annoying), so I migrated to KDE 4 Kaddressbook. It is not perfect, but without that bug. And addressbook is important for me too. So I cannot use only KDE 3 PIM.

The logical step would be migrating from KDE 3 Kontact to KDE 4 Kontact. But everytime I try doing it I just begin to hate it. Interface just became less informative. And more bloated. Literally. See for yourself: to-dos and events look like bubbles, old were rectangular. That’s ok. But with the same font size and same bubble size I only see one row of text, while with old rectangulars I saw two. That is big drawback if you are using notebook with small screen. I will fill a bug report, when I figure out how to clearly define the problem in text. So I will continue to fight with the windmills.

There is one more regression: there was an icon on recurring events (two arrows), now it is gone. One year ago (2009, 22 March) I have filed a bug report: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=187859
Still no answer. But I have bubbles! Nice.

I tried to work with Kontact 4 today and see, maybe miraculously something has changed in the settings and I can make everything look compact and informative just like in Kontact 3. But Kontact crashed 4 times while I was examing it. Well, that is not good.

That is why I feel torn between two versions of KDE PIMs. But at the moment I will stay with 3d version and use kaddressbook from version 4.

Concerning “akonadi”…

When Kaddressbook 4 starts it automatically loads all that ‘akonadi’ stuff, just like KDE 4 Kontact.
As I see in KDE’s ‘System Monitor’ it loads 13 new processes, which eat memory (and maybe CPU). Do I need all that?

I couldn’t synchronize Korganizer with Google Calendar or my Nokia 5800 with KDE 3 native tools. Though with not native tools - read Gcaldaemon - synchronization worked not very well. And I were not able to synchronize with Nokia 5800 at all (so now I do it through Google semi-manually).

Just a minute ago I have found a thread, where user claims to have Google Calendar and Google Contacts synchronized with akonadi:
Arch Linux Forums / Google calendar in akonadi
If synchronization works, then akonadi may be very useful for me. So akonadi = synchronization. Even better would be direct synchronization with the my Nokia 5800 phone, without using Google as an intermediary. I vote for akonadi.

And about the whole KDE 4 desktop…

Sometimes I feel that I am not the “target audience”, like martin_helm said.

But I tried to fight with Plasma and make it do, what I want. And I succeeded. It was a painful process, but finally I managed to tune my desktop through manually editting plasma configuration files in text editor:
Post #27 - 11.2 and dual monitors - openSUSE Forums

Later I even managed to install special plasmoid for toggling panels visibility (I have 4 panels). And, what is strange, it works! Even better than in KDE 3.

Now it is nearly perfect. So until something breaks (or, maybe, Kontact 4 becomes better?) I will stay with KDE 4 using KDE 3 Kontact. (And Bluetooth stack from KDE 3. KDE 4 Bluetooth still lacks obex:// as far as I know and has problems with sending/receiving files).

Gnome? Well, not for me…

For me, the main issue with the KDE4 PIM applications is that they won’t sync with anything else. I have to run Outlook in Virtualbox just to sync my PDA. It could use Gnome, Evolution and SyncCE but that’s too high a price to pay :slight_smile: Evolution, which I use at work, is painfully slow with IMAP. I use Thunderbird at home, the lesser evil compared with KMail though I’m contemplating a switch to Claws.
Like KDE4 generally though, mainly for the effortless eyecandy…

Cant say I’m a fan of akonadi and nepomuk either. It isnt that often that I loose files that so much effort should be put into this database search functionality :sarcastic:

What I and would assume other users of KDE would prefer is things like:

  1. improved root functionality in Dolphin that works like we have in Konq in KDE 3.5.10 i.e. reliable application launching eg kwrite
  2. SAMBA wizards for quick connections to window workgroups or domains.

I am not a user of KDE SC’s semantic desktop, however that doesn’t mean I am going to completely change DE’s. The semantic desktop is only a small part of the KDE SC. I like plasma, and the multitudes of improvements and new features made to the various individual applications. I like being able to show multiple folders on my desktop at once, and I like what they did with changing the widget framework.

The reason I think I don’t buy into the whole “semantic desktop” thing is b/c I have little use of it. I am a highly organized computer user, and even with the 100s of GBs of data that I work with daily, I know exactly where everything is b/c I worked out a personal organizational structure for everything.

However, semantic desktop, as I understand it, isn’t just about finding files; it also deals with the content of those files. Because data content is much more varied than file types, a database becomes more necessary to handle that larger volumes of data. But the database also allows other features, like searching for data content over a network. And with the proliferation of cloud computing, this feature becomes even more important since the cloud is more or less the “computer”.

Someone I know who uses a semantic desktop is my girlfriend. She makes frequent use of the advanced search functions in Windows Vista, which shares some qualities of a semantic desktop with KDE. She is a very dedicated knitter, and she has hundreds of knitting patterns in a variety of electronic formats on her computer. To her, being able to search the contents of a document on the fly are a blessing, especially since some knitting patterns can be hard read. She is actually eager to try out KDE’s search facilities once I get around to upgrading her DE to KDE SC 4.4 (which won’t happen until the final stability update :P). She also wants to use the social desktop functions, because she has a knitting blog and is a member of a number of hand-craft social networks.

It appears to me that the KDE devs are focusing on the semantic desktop as part of their push to being more cross-platform; they are trying to expand their user base and tap into the needs of users who previously had to look elsewhere.

Do I want to switch to a new DE b/c of this? Absolutely not! The semantic desktop is only a portion of the KDE Software Compilation, and the other areas that I do use continue to improve.

One must also keep in mind that, a lot of times, end-users hold the mistaken idea that there is only one kind of “developer” and skill-sets are interchangeable. This isn’t true. The developers that work on the semantic desktop part of KDE SC couldn’t necessarily work on other parts, just as the Kwin guys couldn’t necessarily work on khtml. Therefore, if one particular feature sees a lot of improvements in a release, it doesn’t mean the other areas were ignored; usually, it just means development was either more active for that feature, or the other features are seeing big changes that slow development.

Thoughtful input. Thank you.

I think I’ll be looking at LXDE. Some distros (i.e., Knoppix) went that route, because of the resource requirements of KDE. It’s interesting that Lucid Ubuntu/Kubuntu, which is a LTS release (that’s 3 years!), is going with KDE 4.4. As far as mail, I’ll be looking at software that supports the maildir format. I’ve never been a big PIM user, but I definitely need an efficient/stable email client. Doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles. I was planning on turning off my Windows email and converting to Kmail until I started looking at KMail in KDE 4.5.

I sort of like KDE 4.3.5. It took me awhile to get organized from KDE 3.5, going through options, trying things, enabling/disabling options. There are some issues, but I felt there was a nice marriage between what I liked and made me productive in KDE 3.5 and what’s new in KDE 4. I’m less excited with KDE 4.5. It’s change in configuration files, use of MySQL (Just to read my email. Icks!). The whole semantic desktop, good for those users who find it increases their productivity. I don’t have a need for it, but it appears I’ll still have to carry the baggage. There’s a sense in the air that this goes against the Unix philosophy (ie., small, compartmentalize, user decides).

Most changes I don’t fret, especially in the Unix world, because if users don’t like it, there is always a techie with a timely tweak. KDE 4.5 will not be tweakable :slight_smile: in that fashion because it’s the foundation/framework.

Helpful links:

I’ll stick with the KDE4 series, it looks pretty and they are eventually getting the bugs sorted out and things working properly. Plus gnome is still butt-ugly and living firmly in the 80’s, E17 is sadly still “unintegrated”, and the rest are just “patchy” at best and are too “manual” for my liking.

I don’t use or need any of these newfangled complicated search thingies, I do it the old fashioned way - I have an ordered filing system and I remember where I put stuff!

PIM - have no use for it, never have.

For email I always use webmail, so again it’s not a concern.

As for gminnerup, my main showstopper for KDE PIM is synchronization with mobile devices.

Linux Journal, 2010/02/01
The Future of the KDE Free Desktop

Great - “cloud computing”, “social networking”, “intelligent search” - all the guff I hate with a passion :.

growbag wrote:

> Great - “cloud computing”, “social networking”, “intelligent search” -
> all the guff I hate with a passion :.


I think I am to old for that things. (I am not really old and I am not
against changes and innovation - otherwise I would not use linux, but I
simply feel old, sick and tired when I am confronted with this hypes and
buzz words were I simply cannot really understand the benefits in real