Goodbye KDEPIM

I have been using KDEPIM 4.3 to 4.9 for at least two years now, and I have been tolerating the many quirks and rough edges. After weathering many upgrades and “What the hell happened to my email?!” exclamations, it became quite evident that even with the stable PostgreSQL backend for Akonadi, my time with KDEPIM should now end.

I use KDEPIM on two systems, Debian and Kubuntu. The Debian system is much more stable, as maintainers there refuse to switch past KDEPIM 4.4.11. Kubuntu, on the other hand, offers the official KDE KDEPIM, and frankly, it continues to be utterly unusable. And that’s a very sad story. So much for the amazing benefits of the Semantic Desktop.

The straw that broke this camel’s back was when I needed to find an email under time pressure. Easy enough, right? Switch to KDEPIM and it cannot find what I’m searching for. I thought Search was the Holy Grail solved by Akonadi and the ballyhooed Semantic desktop. Alas, although I KNEW the strings in a particular email, KDEPIM would not find it. And it would hang. Just. Hang. 30 minutes of struggling later to no avail. Seriously? I recall an email client from the mid 1990′s called Simeon. It was just as terrible. :(

And then… KDEPIM just decided to randomly stop showing any of my mail. It would launch, and show an entirely un-populated window, and start using some CPU— but not enough to persuade me that it was doing something useful. I would wait. For hours. It would draw “Local Folders” and then stop. No display information at all, just a big blank screen. Really?

And then… time to compose an email to multiple recipients. I go about this the #awkward KDEPIM way: First make an address book group. Then compose message to address book group— OH WAIT! no such group shows up in the address listing. What? Moreover, pasting addresses as a CSV is just simply forbidden, for reasons inscrutable to this user. Is a CSV parser really that hard? Time to input each address by hand. :-(

I’m sorry, KDEPIM developers. I really tried, for two years, to make this thing work. KDEPIM on Debian at 4.4.11 is still useful, but really, two years with so little to show? If it is so easy to make a client for accessing the shiny Akonadi resources, why does KDEPIM continue to just waste my time?

Oh, and how about letting those of us who dare to use this software in on the secrets of how to use it successfully, or what developers are doing to make it easier to use? I agree with the Debian and Mandriva maintainers. KDEPIM is not fit for use at this time, it is a developer toy.

Perhaps in the future, but not now.

“I am dissapoint.”

I’m switching back to Thunderbird with Lightning and Enigmail.

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