Well, I’ve officially decided to abandon KDE. Why after all this time, you ask, when they’ve done so much work already to alienate and annoy former fans with the rather abrupt 4.x tree? Well, there’s Ubuntu bug #289264, but every large application has the chance of producing some kind of leaky program. No, I can forgive a rather hilarious and long-standing memory leak because I know how to circumvent and disable programs. What I can’t abide, however, is intentional sabotage. What am I talking about? Take a look at this process list.

#> ps ax -o pid,command:40,rss | grep akonadi
 3500 /usr/bin/akonadi_control                  4136
 3502 akonadiserver                             7188
 3504 /usr/sbin/mysqld-akonadi --defaults-file 25132
 3529 /usr/bin/akonadi_vcard_resource --identi 13608
 3534 /usr/bin/akonadi_ical_resource --identif 18772
 3537 /usr/bin/akonadi_birthdays_resource --id 15964

Really KDE? Nearly 85MB for a small subsection of personal information management? Three separate processes for extremely similar items such as vcards, calendars, and birthdays? And… MySQL? Let me just say this once: no trivial and optional tool should ever depend on a database engine. SQLite would have been better, or considering the content here, even a Berkeley DB. This is not a corporate store of dozens of tables containing thousands or millions of rows of customer data, it’s a freaking addressbook, or a calendar, or a birthday, which is somehow magically not just a specialized use of a calendar. And this is on top of the 82MB used by Kontact, which I was using for mail, and the 20MB KOrganizer drags into the mix. That’s nearly 200MB for checking mail. I always thought Gnome’s Evolution was a bloated mess, but this is a whole different level.

When I tried to remove Akonadi, several critical parts of KDE complained bitterly at its suggested absence. I would have been forced to actually downgrade several core KDE binaries, and outright remove major parts of Plasma, and freaking Kscreensaver. Tell me how the entire roster of screensavers critically depends on the presence of an optional part of the personal organization application? What crack-induced, LSD-driven bender are the KDE developers engaged in, that makes this a logical and suggested situation? This baffling dependency nightmare means that KDE needs Akonadi and MySQL to function at all, or at least the packages as defined by Ubuntu.

But it’s not the dependency or memory resources that are the worst. The circumstances themselves imply an inherently broken development model somewhere in the KDE base. This is further borne out by KDE’s Plasma using twice as much memory as Compiz and Emerald combined, while also being slower and providing less functionality. I was skeptical of all the KDE 4.x hate, but was unwilling to try 4.0 or 4.1 since they were too early to consider stable. After sampling 4.2 and briefly 4.3, I’m going to give KDE wide berth until such a time that it no longer requires 600MB, and stops requiring every little pet project, bloaty app, and kitchen sink for basic functionality. I really wanted to like KDE 4.x, but its current incarnation is such a shambling horror of obese code engorged on apparently infinite system resources, that Vista looks petite in comparison. It’s a shame because KDE 4.3 at least looks great and seems stable. I fully welcome a rebuttal, but I won’t be able to hear you over my machine’s memory screaming for mercy.

Until Tomorrow