Junior Job Achievements

24 08 2009

I my last post, I talked about Junior Jobs in KMail a bit. Now, I want to write about the progress of those Junior Jobs that was made during the last few weeks.

I think the Junior Jobs program was a success, the wiki page where I listed ideas was almost empty at one point. Some of the developers who started with Junior Jobs later picked something else up by themselves, which is the way it should go. Especially since it is not easy to actually come up with ideas🙂

Now, without too much further talking, let me present you the progress, including pretty screenshots. Note that the order here is totally random, and also I probably forgot many things here, so don’t feel left out when you committed something that isn’t listed here.

James Bendig improved the usability of the options of the new message list. There is now an unified way to configure tooltips for the folder list and the message list. Remember all the buttons next to the quick search field that appeared in KDE 4.2? Those buttons were confusing to new users, who often didn’t discover how to change the theme or the aggregation. Also, those buttons cluttered the UI a bit. This is how it looked like:

Quick search line before the changes

This is how it looks now:

Quick search after the changes

As you can see, the buttons have been removed. Vincent Dupont helped with converting the filter to a combo box again. But where are the options to change the theme, aggregation and sort order now? They are now in two places: The View menu, and in the context menu of the header. The global theme and aggregation now can also be changed in the config dialog. Setting a per-folder theme or aggregation is now also easier, it can be done in the folder properties dialog now:

Folder Properties Dialog

Overall the options for the new message list are now much more user-friendly.

Bruno Bigras ported over some long forgotten features from the old kdepim 3.5.5+ branch, for example an improved recipients picker that shows the alternative mail addresses as children of the contact and has more grouping capabilities like grouping per address book category.

New recipient picker

Bruno also added a new filter action that can add people to the addressbook automatically. Also, you can now filter messages in KMail before they are sent.

Torgny Nyblom again converted one hardcoded dialog into an UI file. I remember a year ago or so, there were no UI files in KMail, but now those keep increasing.

Jonathan Armond brought back searching by status and added searching by tag. Tags can now also be added by filters. Switching the identity in the composer now switches the template as well, if you have not modified the message already. For some people, adding the signature at the beginning or the end is not enough, so now the %SIGNATURE command is supported in templates.

Jaime Torres, whom you probably know as a member of the bugsquad, also contributed a couple of bugfixes.

Apart from the Junior Jobs listed above, there were of course more commits in KMail, but I don’t want to talk about those now. One person deserves special mention though: Martin Koller. He is by no way a “junior”, since he was listed in the KMail about dialog long before I was added there.  But recently he started coding for KMail again and fixed a lot of bugs, over 30 I think. He also went through bugzilla and closed a lot of bugs there as well.

A big thank you to all the people who contributed to KMail and help making it better!

Last but not least, there has been much progress in the akonadi-ports branch. Kevin blogged about progress with the ports of the message list and the reader widget, you should read that if you haven’t already. Constantin made good progress with the port of the composer, which does not sound exciting, but it is a very important step. His work will eventually make it easier to implement HTML replies, share the composer library with other applications, make it easier to support native Exchange sending methods instead of SMTP and much more. But there is so much stuff in Akonadi-land that I really should do a separate post about this.


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21 responses

24 08 2009
Michael Leupold

Good job everyone!

24 08 2009
KenP

Has Kmail got embedded image support in signatures yet? Its something I’ve been waiting for quite some time.

24 08 2009
Thomas McGuire

Yes, I’ve added support for images in signatures last week, it will be in KDE 4.4.
See http://websvn.kde.org/?view=rev&revision=1012617 as a proof, although there were a few other commits related to this.

24 08 2009
KenP

Yes!! I upgraded to KDE 4.3.65 from openSUSE Factory and I can now include images in the signature. One further question:
Does this accept local files only or can I specify a web URL too?

25 08 2009
Thomas McGuire

WordPress doesn’t allow me to reply to your other comment, so here is my answer to it:
We currently support only local images and don’t accept Web Urls.

26 08 2009
KenP

Thanks Thomas. Since you say “currently”, can one hope that Web URL support is coming in the future?

26 08 2009
Thomas McGuire

> Thanks Thomas. Since you say “currently”, can one hope that Web URL support
> is coming in the future?

I’m have no plans to implement that myself, but maybe someone else is interested in writing this.

27 08 2009
KenP

Thanks Thomas. Time to file another request on Kmail wishlist🙂

24 08 2009
Mark

This is so great. Good to see that Kmail improves.

24 08 2009
Vide

Great work everyone!
If I have a couple of idea for new junior jobs (but don’t have time/skills to implement them by myself), what is the best way? A feature request in bugizlla? any other mean? Thank you again, KMail is simply the best graphical MUA for *nix!

24 08 2009
Thomas McGuire

No, don’t put them on bugzilla. Pretty much all ideas about features that one can imagine are already there, anyway, and not every idea is suitable as a junior job.

Junior jobs should be easy to implement, and that is difficult to judge if you are not a developer of that application.
Also, the junior job needs to do something useful for the wider masses, not just some obscure feature that nobody would use.
Lastly, junior jobs should not touch anything that gets thrown out after the Akonadi port anyway.
Sometimes, bugfixes can also make good junior jobs.

For this reason, only KDEPIM developers should add junior jobs to the wiki page.
However, if you think you have a good idea that meets the above goals, leave a comment here or drop me a mail at mcguire at kde dot org.

24 08 2009
Anne Wilson

Great stuff there – many things that should be warmly welcomed. Can I take it that all will be in KDE 4.4? I’ll want to add the info to userbase, but not until they start appearing.

24 08 2009
Thomas McGuire

Yes, all those changes are for KDE 4.4, I should have mentioned that.
Apart from the bugfixes or course, but I’ve already added them to the KDE 4.3.1 changelog.

27 08 2009
KenP

All these changes are already in the development tree of KDE 4.4. If you run openSUSE, you can get them easily by enabling the KDE4 Factory repositories.

Cheers.

27 08 2009
KenP

The above reply is for Anne Wilson, not Thomas🙂

25 08 2009
Mark
6 09 2009
Thomas McGuire

Hi Mark,

thanks for the comment.
However, most of the things are surprisingly difficult to implement, even though it seems straightforward.
I’ve added a note on the Junior Jobs wiki page pointing to this blog, so that people can find your suggestions, but I would hesitate to make them real Junior Jobs.

25 08 2009
John van Spaandonk

Thomas,

Congratulations with the big progress on kmail.
I am very happy that this program now gets some attention after several years.

Normally I am not the kind of guy to go trolling in someones blog about personal annoyances.

However, perhaps you can shed some light on this.
Would it be possible to solve the indexing bug as well?
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=166653

My KDE start-up time has been 5 minutes since kde I started using kde 4 (4.2.0)…

26 08 2009
Thomas McGuire

Sorry, I don’t have that problem. Normally KMail recreates the index files if it detects inconsistencies, for example if the actual mail content is newer than the index file.

I think the bug report is actually wrong, the problem there seems to be the search folders.
Try to delete all search folders you have, that should help in this case.
Slow search folders are a known problem.
Search performance is not going to be fixed in the KMail 1 series, this is something the new Akonadi architecture will hopefully solve.

26 08 2009
John van Spaandonk

AFter reading your reply I tried to delete the contents of the trash, which seems to have solved the problem. It was not cleaned since 2001 and I had multiple migrations (by hand) to new versions of KDE. Guess perhaps I made some mistake in transiting to KDE4 and kmail indeed tried to update the index files upon start.

Thanks for the pointer and again I want to express how content it makes me to see the work being done on kmail/akonadi.

28 08 2009
Vide

Ok Thomas so here we go: better attached images preview. I mean, not HTML inline images, but true attached images.

Something a la GMail for example, with a little 120×80 (or something like this) image preview in a cool picture frame (just like in Dolphin). Double click on it, and it opens automatically your default image viewer.
It would be even cooler if you can trigger a fullscreen slideshow of all the images attached (just like Mail.app on OSX does)




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