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making friends with kontact again

Published Mar 12 2014 via RSS

I've used Kontact (KDE's full feature groupware app) since it was available. I used KMail on its own before that. In that time I had never (!) reset the configuration or started from a clean start. I just migrated from version to version carrying over all my settings and local mail as new version became available.

This means I went through the various epochs: when IMAP became the better supported system; grouwpare server support; akonadi; semantic search integration (both Nepomuk and Baloo) with the same configuration and data on disk.

The last several months had become amazingly painful with Kontact, however. Frequently folders would lock up and the caches would fall out of sync; switching folders would take forever; loading mail content was also often painful. Restarting Kontact became a multi-day affair, and dropping Akonadi caches was becoming increasingly frequent. I chalked this up to running bleeding edge master, but my patience was growing thin. I filed bug reports,  I started looking through the code to see where problems might be and I even considered what I could migrate to. (Nothing really comes close to Kontact, however ...)

So the other week I decided to take a drastic measure before going any further: I blew away all of the configuration and data files related to Kontact (including the individual apps such as KMail and KOrganizer) and Akonadi, keeping only my local maildir folders and started from scratch.

Since then it has been a night-and-day difference. Kontact actually works again. It's like having my old trusty friend back. Both my POP and IMAP accounts work well; all the SMTP outgoing is flawless; Kolab works a treat alongside my local maildir folders; local and server-side filters are both humming cheerily sorting my mail for me ... amazing!

When I mentioned this on irc the other day, someone else said they had just done the exact same thing. Sooo .. if you've been using Kontact for a while and finding it is suddenly not living up to your expectations after the next upgrade, consider taking the plunge. Yes, it means setting things up again, though thankfully that doesn't take very long with Kontact if you know where the various settings are (and/or use the included wizards). I happily chalk that investment of time into the "win" column though, given how smooth everything now is.

.. and if you haven't ever seriously tried using Kontact (perhaps because versions in past year left you with a sour taste for one reason or another), give it another try when 4.13 comes out. We migrated one person in the house from Thunderbird to Kontact after they started using Kolab (mostly for the shared calendaring; coordination ftw!) and despite having tried and dropped Kontact twice in the past they are now a very happy user. Old emails were imported accurately, new accounts set up smoothly, multiple IMAP accounts (and a local maildir one for good measure) and integrated calendaring, TODOs and contacts .. what more could one want? ;)

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