This week I received several mails about kmail/kontact user which read the blog “The year of Kube” and asked me if “KMail is dead now?”. Or “KMail will be replace by Kube in the future?”
I answered that KMail and KDEPIM are still alive and they still continue to be maintain. We prepare actually the next release 16.04 with a lot of changes as:
- all library are split for helping new developer to use them.
- we created a system of plugins for kmail/kaddressbook/korganizer and we moved a lot of codes in theses new plugins (so we reduced code complexity in base application).
- Akregator was refreshed (bugs fixing, move to qtwebkit rendering html, clean up UI)
- New kmail quote support (modernize quote support as others mail applications)
- Bug fixing and bug fixing.
So for sure kdepim/kmail is not dead.
What is Kube ?
Kube is a new project which started from scratch by the KolabSystem team, based on new backend named AkonadiNext which was renamed as Sink (developed by the KolabSystem team), and it uses QML as technology.
For the moment Kube is just a new email client.
They want to reimplement a new mail client and perhaps other pim components in the future.
They use some codes from kdepim (for example some part of code from the library messageviewer to rendering html).
We decided some months ago to split kdepim libraries to help external applications to use them (We knew that Kube wanted to use some part of codes). We didn’t want to see a fork of kdepim library.
What is KMail/Kontact/KDEPIM ?
It’s a suite of PIM application based on Akonadi technology
Kontact regroups some application as:
- KMail: kde mail reader
- KAddressBook: Address Book application
- KOrganizer: organizer application
- Akregator: Rss reader
- SieveEditor: an sieve editor script
- Kontact: an application which embedded kmail/kaddressbook/korganizer/knotes/akregator
- PimSettingExporter: an application which import/export settings.
- and other little programs.
KMail is the official KDE mail reader from long time.
Why we don’t switch to Kube and we didn’t kill kdepim/kmail ?
Because in Akademy 2015 we didn’t decide to do it. We decided to migrate step by step (on several years) to next backend but not start from scratch a new application. (It’s always critical to migrate to new technology so we take time).
We can’t migrate kdepim application directly without to be sure that new backend is ok and it works fine.
We can’t migrate to Sink if there is not a migrate application for existing data.
We can’t migrate to new backend if we are not sure that all resources are reimplemented (vcard resource, caldav resource etc.)
KMail/KDEPim is used from age. So we will not switch/break all in a release. We have a lot of users which will not understand if we trash all.
Future of KDEPIM?
We will continue to improve each components.
We will continue to read bugs reports and answer to user about them.
We will continue to add new features when they are useful.
We will continue to clean up code, clean up GUI.
We will continue to make KMail and other KDEPIM free bugs, and stable.
We will continue to rewrite kdepim application to allow in the future to move to “Sink” if possible.
KMail/KDEPIM applications will be still in kde for future release.
Kube will not replace KMail in KDEPIM.
Kube will continue to be improved as an opensource project as other opensource project.