Farewell KMail, for now

November 3, 2007 at 11:53 am | Posted in KDE | 11 Comments

Too bad, but I have to say farewell to KMail for now, it doesn’t behave like the usual KDE app wrt. to memory usage and thats not bearable on my laptop. After firing it up and opening my inbox (with about 2300 mails) it goes from 25MB to something like 60-80 MB res-usage. Thats unacceptable.

Also its pretty slow when opening these boxes, given thatthe IMAP-server runs locally on the same machine and it sometimes seems to refetch the full header list even though it already saw the box before. Also I’ve seen it “forget” the already-read mails in a box and thus showing again that I have X unread/new mails in that box. As soon as I then open the box it finds out there are actually no unread mails and obviously removes the indication from the box-list.

I’ll try KMail/KDE3 again after the enterprise branch has been merged, i.e. when KDE 3.5.9 is released, until then I’m glad I have a maintained mutt with sidebar, thanks to Elimar Riesebieter.

Edit: I feel the need to clarify a bit, guess I was once again not clear enough in my words. I’m not ranting about an unusable KMail! Quite the opposite, KMail is a really nice app and I already have some feature-ideas that I’d like to file for KDE4 sooner or later. But the imap support that I do need to be able to read my mails, make the whole application not usable for me right now. That is if KMail runs for something like 10 hours it consumes more memory than Xorg, leaving to little memory for doing any serious developer work. And no I wasn’t that aware that imap support is to be expected to have such problems.

To conclude: Big thanks to the KMail developers for providing a mail application that allows me to easily switch from Mutt (which also means having a ton of keyboard shortcuts) and I hope you can sort out the imap stuff in KDE4.

11 Comments

  1. This is not just directed at you: if you are a KDE developer, and you think something in KDE sucks, please post that to a mailing list before blogging about it.

    I think it doesn’t make sense for a developer of project XYZ to write blog entries “XYZ sucks, so I use something else now.”

    Thanks
    Alex

  2. Well, I don’t want to subscribe to yet another mailinglist, especially when I have no interest in following the development of that application closely. I should file bugreports, yes. But the list of bugs in KMail for just imap+memory is too long for me to go through right now.

    And your second sentence doesn’t make any sense at all, if I’m developing KDevelop of course I shouldn’t blog about things that suck but see that I get them fixed. But I’m not a KMail developer. And I don’t think you can use KDE instead of XYZ here, thats just too broad. KDE is not a real project in itself, its a large developer community with tons of different projects.

  3. I suggest you install KMail from the ‘normal’ branch, which is typically available from your distro (IIRC kubuntu puts it in backports).

    That solved all problems for me.

    ps. I’m using cyrus and kmail-imap (not dimap) and the experience is quite a pleasent one🙂

  4. Not fair to rant against KMail that way. KMail works perfectly well with pop accounts so please be a less strong in your statements. Think of all the work behind KMail. It has bugs, yes, but it’s also great for pop, I have been using it for years.

  5. Thomas: I’m not sure why you think I’d use anything but the standard kdepim 3.5.8 packages from Debian unstable😉 I was saying that once the kdab-stuff is merged back to the KDE 3.5 branch and a new KDE released with that, I may retry KMail.

    But I wonder why it eats memory here if it works fine for you… Maybe I can investigate that sometime, currently I don’t have the time unfortunately.

    @Anne-Marie: See the clarifications I just added. I didn’t mean to rant against KMail.

  6. Thomas: I’m not sure why you think I’d use anything but the standard kdepim 3.5.8 packages from Debian unstable😉 I was saying that once the kdab-stuff is merged back to the KDE 3.5 branch and a new KDE released with that, I may retry KMail.

    But I wonder why it eats memory here if it works fine for you… Maybe I can investigate that sometime, currently I don’t have the time unfortunately.

    @Anne-Marie: See the clarifications I just added. I didn’t mean to rant against KMail in general (nor did I mean to really rant against the imap support, I’m just stating my experiences and my disappointment with them).

  7. Hello,

    Could you please share with your readers where we can find the maintained mutt with a sidebar, preferably capable of handling multiple folders (ie work transparently with KMail) ?

    Thanks – that would be much appreciated!

  8. Halim: I’m using Debian packages from here:

    deb http://www.lxtec.de/debarchiv unstable main

    And that is a standard-Debian-mutt + sidebar and indexcolor patches. I don’t know of any source-releases or packages for other distro’s. The sidebar patch is released against upstream-mutt versions from here:

    http://www.lunar-linux.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=44

  9. I too have the problem with KMail slowly expanding to fill all memory available. Coming back from weekends I have seen some 2G or so. Not related to IMAP as I don’t use it, but I have some 5.9k mails in my inbox.

  10. I’m not KMail’s greatest of fans, because it could be much better, but what evidence do you have that it is consuming lots of memory and what on Earth are you using to get the figures you have got?

  11. Well, all I did was watching tops output, while opening a box. This was a fresh kmail start and opening a box with about 3000 mails had an impact of about 40-50 MB on the RES part in top. Now I know that top is not the “right” tool to measure memory usage, but it should be good enough to see wether an application cares about its memory footprint or not.

    And a KMail that takes up about 130 MB RES after about 10 hours running, from which only 2 hours it was used (having opened something like 6 boxes one after the other), is just not what I’d call a memory-saving app.


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