The current infrastructure for personal information management in KDE strains to keep up with the ever increasing amounts of data it needs to deal with and the ever increasing scope of what users want to do with PIM data and what developers thus want to provide on top of the existing frameworks. Not a friendly code base to begin with, the pim applications and libraries have grown in size and complexity to a point where any non-trivial contribution requires more work than most contributors are willing to invest to get their problem solved. This has lead to a steady decrease in quality and a steady decline in the number of active contributors.
Akonadi is an attempt to accumulate all that the KDEPIM developers have learned about how to handle calendaring data, email, events, instant messaging, notes, journals, etc. efficiently and how to export that data through services and APIs in a way that makes it as easy, fun and effective as possible to build not just the next generation of KDE email and calendaring applications, but also new interfaces and services that permeate the desktop and provide the user with a richer and more interesting PIM experience.
In short, Akonadi is a desktop wide PIM metadata storage, a data retrieval service capable of aggregating data from a variety of sources (mail servers, groupware servers, local files) applying fine grained caching policies, and a programming interface for advanced queries into the PIM data space. It builds on other KDE4 technologies such as Strigi and Nepomuk and of course on the great new infrastructure provided by Qt4 and KDE4.
Apart from being the foundation of KDEPIM4, the aim of Akonadi is to become the shared PIM metadata storage used by all the Free Desktop, not just KDE applications. The service oriented approached allows for language and toolkit agnostic interfaces and the use of already shared technologies such as DBUS facilitates that.
This presentation will shed light on the thought processes and experiences that have led to the Akonadi approach, explain the potential benefits and introduce the programming concepts and models in detail. Example uses of the services and opportunities for contributions at all levels will be presented.
Till has been working on KDEPIM for a while and now spends his limited KDE time mostly on complaining about the limitedness of his KDE time and the state of it all, instead of hacking on Akonadi, which he insists will make it all good. He's a Senior Software Engineer at KDAB, which means hacking and consulting on Qt projects, Kolab and KDE, and teaching Qt trainings. If that sounds like a great job, it is. He likes his vim. A lot.
Volker is a long time KDEPIM core developer and the maintainer of KNode. He's one of the chief architects and implementors of Akonadi. In his got-to-pay-rent time he works on Kolab and KDE at KDAB.