smb4k, Amarok and Kontact

I was having fun with some upstream problems tonight.

First, I reported the two issues I had encountered earlier when testing smb4k: it still uses the deprecated smbfs instead of cifs by default, and it does not get the right character set from your locale settings.

Another problem which annoyed me already for some time: when I put new files in the directory defined in my Amarok collection, they did not show up. I asked about the problem on Amarok’s IRC channel, and eeanm helped finding me the real culprit. My files are on a seperate file system, mounted as /mnt/Music. Apparently, Amarok uses the directory’s modification time to detect changes, but when you change something in /mnt/Music, the modification time of the directory Music apparently does not change when it’s a mount point. When you put something in a subdirectory of the mount point, it should work. And I was using the noatime mount option on the XFS file system. I removed that, and then when putting a file in a subdirectory of /mnt/Music, Amarok detected the file automagically! Thanks eeanm!

And another disturbing problem: Kontact (well, actually KMail) is unstable on IMAP. It has always been like that. In the latest versions, it became more stable, but I still have it occasionally hanging when opening an IMAP folder (changing folders is enough to fix this), or an occasional crash. Unfortunately the backtraces are unusable, for example:

0x00002afc8171c2e1 in nanosleep () from /lib64/
#0  0x00002afc8171c2e1 in nanosleep () from /lib64/
#1  0x00002afc8171c0e9 in sleep () from /lib64/
#2  0x00002afc7ca649bc in KCrash::startDrKonqi ()
   from /usr/lib64/
#3  0x00002afc7ca77c34 in KCrash::defaultCrashHandler ()
   from /usr/lib64/
#4  0x00002afc816b6da0 in QWidget::setUpdatesEnabled () from /lib64/
#5  0x0000000000000000 in ?? ()

These kind of occasional, apparently random crashes, are the reason why we need something like apport.

Anyway, it’s a known problem that IMAP and KMail do not go well together. Some SuSE developers finally started taking a look at the various IMAP problems in KMail. Unfortunately, too late for Mandriva 2007.1 :-(

Instead Mandriva KDE maintainers decided to focus on KDE 4, but IMO this was much too early, and I would be surprised if KDE 4 will really be stable and feature complete enough to have it as default in 2008.0. Fortunately, several of my earlier reported KDE problems are fixed now, but other problems still seem to be ignored completely without any clear reason. Oh well, I’ve reported them, and I decided not to continue restating these issues again and again; I’m a bit tired of it. I’ll wait for final release now, and then start focussing on suggesting improvements for Mandriva 2008.

One thought on “smb4k, Amarok and Kontact

  1. I do not think apport will help much to solve this kind of problem.

    If it crash randomly, and you have no way to reproduce the bug systematicaly, then, automated reporting will not help much more than a simple bug report with a human that give relevant information. It will ease the reporting, but the time you win when doing the bug report is time lost by developer that have to do triaging. Mandriva removed anonymous bug reporting from bugzilla for this reason ( back to days before 8.2, if i am not wrong ).

    If you have no way to determine the codepath leading to the bug, you cannot really code the proper correction. More ever, without complete reproduction step, unless something is obvioulsy wrong, you have no way to test the correction.

    I am also facing the same problem with imap and kontact, but so far, i didn’t found anything useful, even with the lengthy stacktrace ( ie with symbols ). If evolution was not in the same state, i think i would have switch to gnome on this computer too..

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