Friday, May 6, 2011

Current issues in Mint 10 KDE

  1. Compositing hates Video (or vice versa): If I try to watch a flash video, say from the Linux Action Show while I have compositing turned on, it slows my performance down to a crawl. Thankfully, turning off compositing is just a hotkey away (Ctrl+Shift+F12), but it's still kind of annoying. I might try to look at it and see if a certain effect I have enabled is causing the disturbance.
  2. Dropbox not syncing: Although this is probably due to me trying to use kfilebox, it's still really, really annoying. After I got all my files sorted out, there are new folders I've created that just aren't appearing on my account.
    On top of that, it's still running at 30+% of my CPU, doing god knows what, since my files still aren't online, and since I'm using kfilebox, I can't even see what the tray icon says its doing. But it still eats up resources, sometimes causing my system to come to a crawl even without compositing enabled.
    It turns out it was trying to sync some KDE dotfiles that were constantly in use, which made it fail to start. I'm a little bummed, but not too terribly. Also, I caved and just installed the official Dropbox app; I haven't had any problems with it and KDE so far, and kfilebox is just too unpolished to use.
  3. Akonadi breaks: I don't even know what Akonadi is or what it does, but apparently it's needed for things like Kmail and Digikam, both of which just broke. It's only happened once and a reboot fixed it, but it disturbs me that I don't even know what Akonadi is, and it's breaking itself. I've tried briefly to fix it, but since I don't even know what it does (something with SQL....mySQL?). Digikam seems to be working again, but Kmail is still broken.
    But the worst part about it is that I don't think I broke it at all; it broke itself when I originally tried to start Kmail....for the first time. Yeah, out of the box, and I can't even get the integrated KDE mail application to work. (But Thunderbird works fine, which makes me laugh. A GNOME app outperforming a KDE app in a KDE environment? Haha.)
  4. Wifi issues: For some reason, my wifi has just been real shoddy ever since I switched. It works, and as far as I know, I have the right drivers installed, but when I first boot into it, even though I'm connected, no data is flowing. I have to keep telling it to connect over and over again until I get a true connection. Definitely the most annoying part about this is Kopete which pops up a new notification every goddamn time I disconnect.
    Furthermore, I keep getting dropped for a few seconds (which I can actually remember happening back when I had Windows XP with this same network card). I'd say I've been dropped probably 3 to 4 times even since writing this last post. (It's not normally that bad though.)
    The fact that I did have this problem for WinXP, then it was fixed for Win7, then it's here again in Mint makes me think that it's definitely not interference, it's a driver issue.
  5. Plasma-desktop freezing: I know that KDE 4.0 was disliked in part for being unstable, I was just hoping that KDE 4.6 had advanced beyond that. I think I might have fixed it, but it had gotten to the point where it would freeze up 30 seconds after starting every time I started it, making my system unusable.
    See, I tried switching the desktop Layout to "Search and Launch" which apparently trashes all of your widgets. (Or at least makes them invisible.) But a Gmail widget was still running because I could see pop-ups, so I uninstalled it. I also removed a CPU monitor from my panel, because I've heard that might cause a problem.
    Like I said, it's working for now, but I'm not that trusting it will stay that way.
  6. Banshee failing at CDs: Undoubtedly the most frustrating error I've encountered. I just don't get it. It reads the CD. It gets the Disc ID. It queries MusicBrainz. It always returns false. So if I want to rip my CDs (with Banshee), I'd have to manually tag them. The weirdest part is that it was working on my family's Ubuntu 10.10, and even after the upgrade to 11.04. Then I went upstairs and tried it with the same CD, and no dice.
    Then today, I happen to launch Banshee and what do I see? "Give Up by The Postal Service". asdf. asdf asdf asdf.
    Also, it only detects a CD on startup, meaning I have to restart Banshee to detect a new CD. Not too big of a deal and I'm betting it's because I'm on KDE instead of GNOME......?
    I am definitely not marking this one solved, because nothing changed, but it fixed itself. The only thing I can think of is some bizarre connection issue or MusicBrainz itself being down.
A major issue is that I really need to figure out where my resources are going. I've been using System Monitor (no, I do not use Htop) and sometimes it says init is using 80% of the CPU and I can tell even at a glance that the running processes don't add up to that.

I wish I could say they're minor issues, but due to a few, it's getting to the point where I am heavily annoyed around 50% of the time I'm running my box. (Try downloading the Natty ISO when your connection drops every 4 seconds and you have to keep pressing "Resume" in Kget. You'll see what I mean.) Hopefully, though, there are fixes:
  • A certain effect could be causing the compositing to get techy, or just switching it off when I'm watching LAS (or other videos) is really fine with me. The real problem is remembering to turn it back on, heh heh.
  • If worse comes to worse, I think I can just install the Nautilus version of Dropbox. Problem solved!
  • God, I don't even know. Akonadi's errors are so cryptic....
  • I've read about using alternative drivers with my network card (D-Link DWA-556), which might work better.
  • Again, really hoping it's a certain widget. I have a feeling that the widgets I had before are Still Alive somewhere, I just need to find where and delete them.
  • Goddamn you Banshee, why do I love you?

So I've at least got ideas for all of them, and honestly, besides these, there really aren't that big of issues, other than the theme deciding to randomly quit a few times, a few icons not showing in Banshee or mint-install, and the system randomly freezing for no apparent reason once. (Ok, that last one is actually a big problem, but I'm too lazy to look into the logs yet, so let's wait until (and if) it happens again.)


This might sound bad for Linux, but honestly and truly, I had an equal amount of comparable issues on both Windows XP and 7, they were often just easier to ignore.

If anyone has solutions to any of these or perhaps even shares the same issue, feel free to post. Maybe we can hivemind and find a good fix for them.
-Bry

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