KDE PIM, Google Integration & more

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I haven’t blogged about my involvement in KDE PIM in a while, so let’s see what’s new there, especially in the Google integration part….

Reborn Google Resources

Just before the KDE PIM sprint in Berlin this month, I’ve sat down and written completely new API for LibKGAPI (the library that implements Google API and is used by the Akonadi resources for Google services). The new API is job-based, and therefore much more awesome than the old one (which is known to suck). Anyway – what does this mean? It means that the new resources are awesome as well!

Google Contacts rGoogle Contacts resource & contacts groupsesource now has a full support for contacts groups. All contacts are stored in the top-level collection and are linked to the respective groups, so it does not matter where you edit the contact, you are still modifying the same instance. Like in the web interface.

Google Calendar now supports limited sync, so you can choose to only sync events from last year, or last two years (the default is last 3 years) instead of the full history.

Both resources have improved status reporting, error handling, are more stable (no more mystery crashes due to unhandled exceptions thrown from LibKGAPI) and subjectively synchronization is faster too.

Murdered Google Resources

As most of you probably noticed by now, Google is planning to shut down Google Reader by July 1. It’s pitty, because I already had a fully working Akonadi resource for Google Reader ready in the akregator_port branch. Cost me lot of time and nerves. Well, the resource is not there anymore and the only memory of it is greader branch with API implementation in LibKGAPI (which will die as well sooner or later). The good news however is that I can now help Alessandro and Frank with ownCloud News and the ownCloud Akonadi resource, so that we rock when Akregator2 is out :-) I can’t wait to see what has changed in ownCloud since I installed 3.0.0 some time ago…

Upcoming Google Resources

I have two feature requests in bugzilla: one is to support Google Bookmarks, which is fairly complicated because of missing official API and absolutely no write API. So this is not going to happen soon. The second feature request is for Google Drive KIO slave. This is much more interesting task. I already tried writing Google Docs KIO slave about three years ago and I failed epically. Retribution! There’s almost complete API implementation by Andrius in LibKGAPI git, so I plan to port it to LibkGAPI2 and see whether we can together fight the Dark side and create a nice and shiny KIO slave.

Finally, deep in the dark corners of my mind, my so far the most evil plan is slowly shaping. The plan includes modifying the current IMAP resource, reusing most of it’s code and subclassing some specific parts to build a native GMail Akonadi resource that would support some GMail-specific IMAP extensions. The main idea is to support one-mail-in-multiple-folders-at-once case. Right now the IMAP resource handles that by creating a new instance of the same email in multiple folders. My bold plan is to store all emails in Inbox and link them to respective folders. This means that marking an email as read in one folder, will automatically mark it as read in all other folders (because it’s a single instance). The IMAP resource looks scary though, so I don’t know yet when I’ll get the courage (and time) to sit down and actually start coding…I guess probably after Akademy, after I talk to some people.

Batch Operations in Akonadi

I have talked to Volker Krause during the KDE PIM sprint about how to effectively handle “Mark feed as read” in the Google Reader resource. Currently, Akonadi creates a new notification for every change, therefore marking 300 items as read generates 300 notifications, which are delivered to the Akonadi resource, which should then create 300 HTTP request to store 300 changes. You probably agree that this slightly suboptimal. (I temporarily solved the problem by caching the notifications in the resource itself and then sending a big request to Google Reader at once). The solution that Volker suggested sounds fairly simple (it’s not) – batch notifications – i.e. a single notification about single change involving multiple items. The supported changes can be flags change, deleting or linking of items. By being able to deliver single notification about mass-change to Akonadi clients and to Akonadi resources represents new possibilities for optimizations. For instance the IMAP resource could simply send a single command to add a flag to multiple emails at once, instead of doing it one by one. The same goes for other operations and other resources that are dealing regularly with operations on larger sets of items. The obvious result: performance boost! After two weeks the work is in semi-working state – it works, but it goes nuts if more than 5 items are involved. The cause is known, but solution not (but I’ll get there eventually :-) )

Akregator 2

I’m occasionally helping with Akregator2 (Akonadi port of Akregator). Recently (ok, it was two months ago… ) I’ve written Akonadi Nepomuk Feeder plugin that is feeding RSS Articles into Nepomuk and a Search window (slightly inspired by the one in KMail) in Akregator2 where you can do full-text search (+ search via other criteria, including author’s name and date of publishing) based on data indexed in Nepomuk. Obviously, when I wanted to demo that on the KDE PIM sprint I found out that it’s not working as good as I thought, so there’s still some work to be done. But in general I’m happy to say, that from time to time it finds something :-).

Akregator 2 Search Window

Ok, so that’s about what I was, am and will be working on in KDE PIM. Here I’d like to say big thank you to all KDE PIM devs, because they are doing an incredible job. Thank you!

LibKGoogle → LibKGAPI

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This is just a short note mostly for packagers and other developers using LibKGoogle (if there are any). Due to possible violation of Google trademark, the LibKGoogle library has been renamed to LibKGAPI. Thanks to Clifford Hansen for inventing such a nice name :)

Also the license has been changed and the project is now under GPLv2+ instead of GPLv3+.

The entire API is now encapsulated in KGAPI namespace instead of KGoogle and headers were moved to %prefix%/include/libkgapi.

All these changes are now reflected in LibKGAPI 0.4.0 release, which does not contain any other improvements or fixes. I decided to go directly to 0.4 instead of continuing the 0.3 series, as I consider this a big and important change.

The Akonadi resources for Google services in kdepim-runtime will depend on LibKGAPI 0.4.0, the patch has been already submitted for review.

The git repository is still called libkgoogle, it will be renamed when it’s moved to KDE extragear (or somewhere else). Stable branch is LibKGAPI/0.4.

Tarball release: libkgapi-0.4.0.tar.bz2 (will be available on ftp.kde.org soon)

Thanks and sorry for any inconvenience.

Cheers

Akonadi Google 0.3.1

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Hi! Nearly four weeks after the 0.3 release of Akonadi resources for Google there’s a new version with just a few, but important bug fixes and improvements.

UPDATE: In order to use the Google resources, you either need KDE 4.9 (which the resources are part of), or you need to install LibKGAPI 0.4.1 (or newer) and Akonadi resources from git://anongit.kde.org/scratch/dvratil/akonadi-google-resources. See this discussion for details.

Fixed bugs and crashes:

  • Bug #296541 – Uncought exception in signal handler in Contacts resource
  • Bug #297824 – Uncought exception in signal handler in Calendar resource
  • Bug #297548 – Crash at akonadi start after having added a new contact
  •  resource
  • Bug #298054 - Can’t build libkgoogle with KCal
  • Bug #298518 – Unable to edit newly created events
  • Bug #298519 – Deleting events incorrectly reports an error

The first two bugs were especially tricky as I couldn’t reproduce them, but many  users were affected by ugly and repeating crashes. But now the “Google experience” is much much better :).

Big thanks go to Alex Fiestas who has contributed various improvements to libkgoogle to better work with 3rd party apps (so now we can be looking forward to his web-accounts wizard :) ).

Sources: akonadi-google-0.3.1.tar.gz (MD5:  fed8d9082547835ab916edd219831cf6)

Bye!

PS: I found this on Akademy wiki, so:

Akonadi Google 0.3 arrives

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After many months of “I will release it next week” I finally released libkgoogle 0.3 and new version of Akonadi resources for Google this week.

So, what’s new? I managed to implement everything I described in this post back in November. That’s support for multiple Google accounts, and merging the tasks resource into the calendar resource (so now it’s called “Calendar and Tasks resource”). The calendar now properly supports events recurrence and partially exceptions in recurrent events (there’s still some work to be done). The contacts resource now splits your contacts to “My Contacts” and “Others” groups. I hoped to fully support contact groups, the code was even in place, but I’ve run to some problems how to store it in Akonadi and unfortunately KAddressBook is not “compatible” with the Google’s concept of contact groups, so I decided to stick with the two elementary groups and hopefully I’ll get to this later (maybe some PIM dev could help me on Akademy? ;) )

If you run to any problems or bugs, please report them to the libkgoogle product in bugzilla.

Finally, I’d like to thank to Jan Grulich and Vojtěch Zeisek for putting their contacts and events at risk to test the pre-release versions and provided valuable feedback.

Sources

(Updated tarball!) akonadi-google-0.3.tar.gz (md5: 8c5c1e015068bea90bf25dd7858dc913)

 

If you want to follow the most recent development, you can use sources from the master branch.

Have a nice day!

Akonadi Google Resource: what’s comming?

Akonadi Google
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It’s been a while since my last blog about the Akonadi Google resources and since my last contribution to the project (except for a few minor bug fixes lately). Today I decided to change it (at least the former) and show you that the project is still active (I just don’t have much time to work on it) and reveal to you what big changes I plan to do in the near future.

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Akonadi Google Resource: Tasks support

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Hi!

As the title says, I just added support for Google Tasks by creating the Akonadi Google Tasks Resource. The Tasks API provided by Google is really simple and does not support many properties, only name, summary, due to date, completed date and status. You can’t set progress percentage, start date, attendees nor reminders (this sucks!). Despite the fact, that the API provides means for tree-like structure of tasks (tasks and subtasks), it does not seem to work. So you can only have a linear list of tasks. A positive thing is, that due to this limited functionality of Google Tasks the resource has a full support of this API. Continue reading

Akonadi Google Resource 0.2

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Hi,

so it’s been almost ten days since first version of Akonadi Google Resource and now here comes 0.2. This version introduces Google Calendar Resource, so that you can finally access Google Calendar from comfortable interface of KOrganizer.

UPDATE: Akonadi Google Resource is now in KDE git repository!

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Google support in Akonadi, part I

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My job as a Red Hat internet is development of Evolution, the groupware software. Although I’m using Gnome 3 and all the Gtk stuff in work, I’m still loyal to KDE on my personal laptop. But one thing I really like on Evolution and I really miss in KDE PIM is proper support for Google services. As result of this and after some talking with my flatmate, I started to work on real, fullfeatured Akonadi Resource for Google Services.

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