jkt's blog


Entries tagged "qt".

Dark, Inkpot-like Theme for Qt Creator

If you are looking for a nice dark theme for the Qt Creator, you might want to try my adaptation of the inkpot vim theme. Just save it as ~/.config/Nokia/qtcreator/styles/inkpot.xml and select it in the Tools -> Options -> Text Editor -> Color Scheme.


Please note that this might need a git version of the Qt Creator. Previous releases did not have the feature of switching between several editor themes. Therefore, if you don't have the corresponding item in the settings dialog, put the following into your ~/.config/Nokia/QtCreator.ini:


Tags: gentoo, kde, qt.
Introducing Trojitá, a Qt IMAP e-mail client


When I looked at the state of graphical IMAP e-mail clients several years ago, I was not really impressed. KMail from then-current KDE3 did not do a proper job for me (numerous IMAP bugs like its inability to work as about every other IMAP client when deleting messages, bug 26986 -- there were more issues than that, but years have left my memories washed out a bit), Thunderbird would crash for me every once a week, at least, and I just happened to like KDE applications more than Gnome stuff, so I did not spend much time looking at Evolution. Many MUAs looked like a classic generic e-mail clients designed with POP3 in mind with IMAP added late in the development cycle, while others supported wide range of IMAP features, yet lacked in the GUI part of the problem. In short, using none of these applications made me feel happy.

A programmer not feeling happy is a receipt for disaster. I was about to finish my high school, so I had plenty of time at hand. I was experimenting with Python, so that seemed like a natural implementation language, too. In the end, I started a project called trojita whose remnants could still be seen in an abandoned SVN repo.

Coding in Python was fun. I tried several different approaches to the design of my pet program, I was playing with technologies I had no experience with, I even showed my "IMAP library" at my final exam as an example of a project I made. It did not have much functionality, in fact, only the IMAP parser had been completed, but it was an educative experience nonetheless and I passed the exam.

After some time, however, I discovered Qt and C++ and felt in love. I joyfully returned to the realm of statically-typed languages and suddenly felt a lot better. I began porting my Python library to Qt/C++. It was not really a port, rather a first complete rewrite of my project. Anyway, it did not take long and the C++ version suddenly offered more functions than the old Python branch, with unit tests as a nice added bonus.

Qt's Interview architecture, the Model/View classes, seemed like a decent implementation of the MVC patter I was poking around to use. Several months have passed, and suddenly trojita was able to show a tree of mailboxes stored on a remote IMAP server, listing messages contained therein and showing message bodies. I choose to finish the program as a part of my bachelor's thesis, and ultimately, I succeeded.

The Code

So, in a few blogposts starting with this one I'm going to introduce a new Qt IMAP e-mail client to the world. I hope I will get some attention and folks looking at the code and trying to run the application. I'd love to get some feedback on program design, code quality and general usability as well.

The code is hosted at Gitorious, and a bachelor thesis about Trojitá (PDF) (mirror) which explains its design and compares it against several alternatives is available, too. Perhaps the most interesting part is Chapter 3 which describes the architecture of the application, and Chapter 4 in which I compare Trojitá to several other MUAs on the market. All information about Trojitá are also aggregated on Trojitá's homepage (any web designer listening? :) ). Here is the obligatory screenshot: A
screenshot of Trojitá, a Qt IMAP e-mail client

Trojitá's Features

Some highlights of Trojitá are:

The thesis was completed several months ago. Since that time, I've removed the dependency on std::tr1::shared_ptr and switched to Qt's QSharedPointer which in turn requires Qt-4.5 or newer. There wasn't much more changes since then, as I enjoyed quite a long vacation, but I guess I can tell the development is getting faster again.

How to Use it

It's a fairly standard CMake setup:

git clone git://gitorious.org/trojita/trojita.git
cd trojita
mkdir _build
cd _build
cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=RelWithDebInfo ..
make -j4

Please do join the #trojita channel on Freenode and tell me how you like this application. I'm open to any suggestions and would love to hear any feedback, too.

As you can see, this blog is a static HTML page, so you can't post any comments here. However, I'm eager to answer any questions sent to my mail, both via e-mail and in subsequent blog posts.

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
KWest GmbH to Sponsor Trojita's Development

This weekend I had the pleasure of travelling to a beautiful city of Schlitz. After some six hours on train, I arrived to KWest GmbH, a cool company which specializes in manufacturing of embedded systems, and which is nowadays busy developing an Internet tablet for a German ISP. It turned out that the company likes Qt and free software and is not particularly happy with the availability of Qt-based IMAP clients. As it happens, I was not happy with the world of IMAP clients, either, and I chose that as a subject for my bachelor's thesis a few years ago.

After having met KWest's representatives, we came to conclusion that Trojita is indeed a suitable IMAP e-mail client for them, and that while they do have a skilled development team, it would be beneficial for both me and them to work together. We have agreed that they will focus on bringing the GUI of the application up to speed with modern standards, adding important features like address book and a decent platform integration to the mix, while I will focus on what I'm good at, that is, improving the IMAP support, especially the offline mode.

The good thing for the community is that Trojita will remain under the GPL and that I'll be able to spend much more time on its development. Given enough time, Trojita will mature, and if everything works well, we will see a nice Qt e-mail application pretty soon. As usually, both the bug tracker and all source code remains freely available without any restrictions.

I'd like to thank KWest GmbH for giving me an opportunity to work on a free software project that I'm interested in, especially to Sebastian for inviting me and to Markus for being a nice guy to work with. And if you have some spare time and are looking for a nice little city to visit, be sure to stop in Fulda and Schlitz, their city centers look as if they came straight from a fairytale.

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
QMake Static Libraries, Unit Tests and Much Headache, or the Tale of How Trojita Changed the Build System from CMake to QMake

I've spent more than 10 hours in total changing the build system of Trojitá from CMake to QMake upon a request from KWest. The process was very painful for me, so I think it's worthwhile to include some comments about what were the major obstacles.

The first step, "getting the beast to build", was actually pretty easy -- I (KWest actually) simply created a list of all files in the tree, added them into a single .pro file, removed the #includes for MOC, commented out the unit tests and rebuilt the project. That was the easy part; qmake simply built bunch of .o files and linked them together.

Problem with unit tests is that they all define the main() function. Therefore, as far as I know, one has to create a separate .pro file for each unit test, use the template = subdirs and put each test into a subdirectory. That's slightly annoying when compared to CTest (see the Trojita's git repository for how the CMakeLists.txt looked before we switched), but doable and actually pretty straightforward. Now, a much bigger problem is persuading QMake to create static libraries and using them properly and in a cross-platform way. I care about the Unix platform, some users want to play with Trojita on Windows, and there's that secret device KWest is building.

Trojita currently consists of several parts; we have the core IMAP stuff (which itself consists of three or four components), the GUI layer, some third-party modules even (like Witold Wysota's qwwsmtpclient, the Qt's iconloader, a unifying layer for QProcess and QSslSocket etc). The unit tests for the IMAP protocol clearly should not care about icons at all and shall ignore GUI classes, too, but they do need to link against the IMAP protocol implementation. A reasonable way to express that in the build system is to create a static library for the IMAP stuff and link it to the rest of the GUI when building the application and to each of the unit tests when building tests. That's where problems with QMake start to hurt.

Unlike CMake, under which the static libraries are extremely easy to write, QMake's support and documentation for static libraries leaves much to be desired. A reasonable request is, for example, expecting the build system to isolate me from stuff like library placement -- I just want to tell it that I need to link against bunch of .arelease and debug when caring about Windows builds.

Another expectation is that QMake should relink each binary if any static library it depends on gets rebuilt. Too bad, using QMake, you have to include the library name in three places for this to happen: at first, you have to use LIBS += -Lpath/to/your/lib/directory, then you got to actually link to it by LIBS += -lnameOfTheLibrary, and finally you have to take care of the rebuilding by PRE_TARGETDEPS += full/path/and/the/libIdentifier.a. Oh, and please do not forget about CONFIG += ordered, or the PRE_TARGETDEPS won't affect much stuff anyway. Yuck!

There's the CONFIG += create_prl and CONFIG += link_prl, but they did not help me. I guess they are used for specifying dynamic libraries on which the currently processed static library depends. They certainly did not fix my problems when I played with them, though.

Anyway, this is what I ended up with:

Project file for the GUI stuff, src/Gui/Gui.pro:

trojita_libs = Imap/Model Imap/Parser Imap/Network MSA Streams iconloader qwwsmtpclient

myprefix = ../

Each of tests/test_*.pro:
TARGET = test_Imap_LowLevelParser

A helper file for unit tests, tests/tests.pri:
QT += core network
CONFIG += qtestlib no_lflags_merge
DEPENDPATH += ../../src/
INCLUDEPATH += ../../src/ ../
HEADERS += ../qtest_kde.h

trojita_libs = Imap/Parser Imap/Model Imap/Parser Streams
myprefix = ../../src/

SOURCES += $$join(TARGET,,,.cpp)
HEADERS += $$join(TARGET,,,.h)

And finally, the file, src/linking.pri:
for(what, trojita_libs) {
    mylib = $$replace(what,/,)
    unix {
        mypath = $$join(what,,$${myprefix},)
    win32 {
        CONFIG( debug, debug|release ) {
            mypath = $$join(what,,$${myprefix},/debug)
        } else {
            mypath = $$join(what,,$${myprefix},/release)
    LIBS += $$join(mypath,,-L,)
    LIBS += $$join(mylib,,-l,)
    PRE_TARGETDEPS += $$join(mypath,,,$$join(mylib,,/lib,.a))

Compare the above to the elegance of CMake, depicted below out of sentiment:
add_library(Imap ${libImap_SRCS})
target_link_libraries(Imap Streams ${QT_QTGUI_LIBRARY} ${QT_QTCORE_LIBRARY})
target_link_libraries(trojita Imap MessageView ModelTest MSA QwwSmtpClient QtIconLoader)

That's what I call ease of use. Anyway, the QMake change just had to be done (when the customer asked if I could migrate to QMake, I said I had no preference) and it's been done now. This blog post is just a rant, and hopefully might eventually make its way to Google's results for "qmake static library".

There's always the possibility that I'm just too dumb to miss a completely obvious way to work with static libraries in QMake. If that's indeed the case, I sincerely apologise to QMake designers. Also, I offer one beer as a sign of appreciation to the first person who shows me that I'm indeed missing something from the big picture. In the meanwhile, have fun -- QMake has a lot of nice features and I'm no longer afraid to use it, now that the static libraries are used properly. The make test is still missing, but I guess I can live without that for a while.

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, rant, trojita.
Trojita v0.2 Released -- your favorite Qt IMAP e-mail client gets improved offline support and tons of bugfixes

Today, on the 3rd day of the month, 333 days since the initial announcement, it's my pleasure to announce the immediate availability of a new release of Trojitá, a Qt IMAP e-mail client. This is a technical preview release not designed for production use, but rather a demonstration about what's been done in the past months. It should be safe to point it to your production IMAP server (it has never eaten any mail for me), but one shouldn't send real e-mails or otherwise rely on it apart from testing.

New features in this release include:

If you are interested, you can download Trojitá 0.2 now. There's also a GPG signature of the release. The same contents is available in the GIT repository under the v0.2 tag.

I'd like to use this opportunity to thank KWest for their support which tremendously accelerated Trojitá's development.

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
Trojita v0.2.9: a Qt IMAP e-mail client

It's my pleasure to announce that version v0.2.9 of Trojitá, a fast and lightweight IMAP e-mail client based on the Qt library, is now available. For more details of what Trojitá is and who should use it, please see below.

Most of the changes in this version happened under the hood, but there is a bunch of user-facing improvements -- the most prominent one is probably the support for display of message threading (ie. "conversations").

(Permanent link to this announcement.)

Changes since version v0.2

Sadly, the Maemo version which first appeared as a beta during fall of 2010 could not be merged into the main repository before this release, but you should stay tuned for future updates.

xTuple integration

Trojitá is going to be featured as an addon for the xTuple business management software. Using Trojitá will enable xTuple customers to integrate e-mail messaging into their ERP systems. Please note that xTuple users should use packages provided by their vendor and not this source version.

What is Trojitá

Trojitá is a very fast and lightweight IMAP e-mail client written using the Qt library. While it is not intended for use as a regular e-mail client just yet, it could be interesting to play with it to see if the speed looks compelling to you.

What could make Trojitá interesting for you:

Please note that the "message sending" and "message composing" features of Trojitá are a bit lagging at this point and therefore it is not recommended to use Trojitá for these tasks apart from testing.

Certain features of Trojitá depend on the IMAP server's functionality. Trojitá is written from the bottom-up as an IMAP client and is designed around its feature set. For example, threaded message viewing (ie. "conversations") is supported only if the server implements an appropriate extension for now.

Many of the optional IMAP features are not utilized at this point; there is no support for searching, for example. We have tickets opened for these, so please Cc yourself at the task tracker if you would like to follow the progress here.

Finally, as with any software, Trojitá has some bugs which are already known and reported in the issue tracker and some which are still waiting for discovery. That said, it should be safe to use to for *reading* mail. I've been doing that for several years on a production account, and I have never lost a mail with Trojitá. Please do not send e-mails with current version, though, as it is known to produce non-standard messages in certain circumstances.

Where I can get it

Our web has all the required information, but if you are impatient and just want to grab the tarball for v0.2.9, download from Sourceforge:


Trojitá is known to work on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. It should also run on all platforms supported by Qt. Optimizations for mobile devices and the Maemo/MeeGo are in the works.

Reporting bugs and wishes

Please use the Redmine portal to report issues with Trojitá. If you do not want to be bothered by a registration, please at least send bug reports via e-mail or report them at the #trojita IRC channel on Freenode.


Trojita could always use more people in the community. Areas in which people are needed most, as well as general guidelines about how we prefer to work are documented at Contributing to Trojitá.

The IRC channel is #trojita on irc.freenode.net, the mailing list is trojita@lists.flaska.net (moderation required for non-subscribers, archived at various places etc).


I'd like to thank the KWest GmbH. and OpenMFG LLC, dba xTuple for their support in delivering the exciting new features of Trojitá. Another acknowledgment goes to the helpful folks at the #qt IRC channel and the qt-interest mailing list and also to everybody who reported an issue with Trojita or tested it against another IMAP server.

All the best,

Tags: gentoo, qt, trojita.
What needs to be done for you to use Trojita?

I was thinking that it might be a good idea to share my view on how Trojitá is going on, and what my plans for its future are. For a quick overview of Trojitá, a fast and lightweight IMAP client, please look at the project homepage or see the FAQ.

So, with version out (what a nice number, isn't it?), it's time to take a look at what needs to be done before people can actually use Trojita on a daily basis. For my use case, the following is really lacking:

There are many more issues, both major and minor, and I've filed some of them at the roadmap for Trojitá 0.3 in Redmine. It's very likely that I forgot to mention something, so please, feel free to submit issues and/or comment on what is the biggest blocker for you.

I'm really looking forward to hearing from you, so if you have a minute and this post caught your interest, get Trojitá and write a mail to tell us what is lacking.

All the best,

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
Trojita on N950 MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan

I'd like to let you know that I've succeeded in building Trojitá for MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan, as available on the Nokia N950. It is completely unusable for now due to the lack of a real mouse, but shows pretty nice that it *can* work :). A screenshot:

So, now that I know that the port actually builds and that the device can run my code, I'll plunge into the QML world and create a proper touch-friendly GUI. I'll keep you posted about my progress.

I'd like to say a huge thank you to Nokia and its Developer Launchpad team, especially those that are responsible for the Community Device program. Nokia was kind enough to offer a loan of the N950 at no charge for the purposes of Trojitá development, and I really appreciate it.


Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
Trojita 0.3, a Qt IMAP e-mail client

It's my pleasure to announce that version v0.3 of Trojitá, a fast and lightweight IMAP e-mail client based on the Qt library, is now available. For more details of what Trojitá is and who should use it, please see below.

(Permanent link to this announcement.)

Changes since version v0.2.9.4

This release is a major one, bringing new features, plenty of bugfixes and two new contributors to the table. A quick summary of what has happened:

What is Trojitá

Trojitá is a very fast and lightweight IMAP e-mail client written using the Qt library.

What could make Trojitá interesting for you

Please note that the "message sending" and "message composing" features of Trojitá are a bit lagging at this point and therefore it is not recommended to use Trojitá for these tasks apart from testing.

Certain features of Trojitá depend on the IMAP server's functionality. Trojitá is written from the bottom-up as an IMAP client and is designed around its feature set. For example, threaded message viewing (ie. "conversations") is supported only if the server implements an appropriate extension for now.

Trojitá is under heavy development, features are added on almost daily basis and the codebase is rapidly maturing. Certain useful features are still missing, there is no support for searching, for example. We have tickets opened for these, so please Cc yourself at the task tracker if you would like to follow the progress here.

Finally, as with any software, Trojitá has some bugs which are already known and reported in the issue tracker and some which are still waiting for discovery. That said, it is safe to use to for *reading* mail. I've been doing that for several years on a production account, and I have never lost a mail with Trojitá. Please do not send e-mails with current version, though, as it is known to produce non-standard messages in certain circumstances.

Where I can get it

Our web has all the required information, but if you are impatient and just want to grab the tarball for v0.3, download from Sourceforge:


Trojitá is known to work on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. It should also run on all platforms supported by Qt. A MeeGo version is still pending, though.

Reporting bugs and wishes

Please use the Redmine portal to report issues with Trojitá. If you do not want to be bothered by a registration, please at least send bug reports via e-mail or report them at the #trojita IRC channel on Freenode.


Trojita could always use more people in the community. Areas in which people are needed most, as well as general guidelines about how we prefer to work are documented at the wiki.

The IRC channel is #trojita on irc.freenode.net, the mailing list is trojita@lists.flaska.net (moderation required for non-subscribers, archived at various places etc).


A huge thank you goes to two new contributors who have submitted patches to make Trojitá better. It's my please to introduce Shanti Bouchez who is responsible for the new feature of tagging messages (and fixed STARTTLS for SMTP subscription in the process, among other things). The second contributor is Thomas Gahr who added e-mail auto-completion and fixed bugs.

Since its inception in 2006, many other people have contributed to Trojitá as well. I'd like to mention patches from Benson Tsai, John Rogelstad, Andrew Brouwers, Gil Moskowitz, Jiří Helebrant, Jun Yang, Justin J, and Tomáš Kouba, who have all sent patches in. Finally, another huge thank you goes to anyone who has reported bugs or helped make Trojitá better in any way.


Tags: gentoo, qt, trojita.
Trojita, a Qt IMAP e-mail client, and the Qt Developer Days

I'm sitting on the first day of the Qt Developer Days in Berlin and am pretty impressed about the event so far -- the organizers have done an excellent job and everything feels very, very smooth here. Congratulations for that; I have a first-hand experience with organizing a workshop and can imagine the huge pile of work which these people have invested into making it rock. Well done I say.

It's been some time since I blogged about Trojitá, a fast and lightweight IMAP e-mail client. A lot of work has found the way in since the last release; Trojitá now supports almost all of the useful IMAP extensions including QRESYNC and CONDSTORE for blazingly fast mailbox synchronization or the CONTEXT=SEARCH for live-updated search results to name just a few. There've also been roughly 666 tons of bugfixes, optimizations, new features and tweaks. Trojitá is finally showing evidence of getting ready for being usable as a regular e-mail client, and it's exciting to see that process after 6+ years of working on that in my spare time. People are taking part in the development process; there has been a series of commits from Thomas Lübking of the kwin fame dealing with tricky QWidget issues, for example -- and it's great to see many usability glitches getting addressed.

The last nine months were rather hectic for me -- I got my Master's degree (the thesis was about Trojitá, of course), I started a new job (this time using Qt) and implemented quite some interesting stuff with Qt -- if you have always wondered how to integrate Ragel, a parser generator, with qmake, stay tuned for future posts.

Anyway, in case you are interested in using an extremely fast e-mail client implemented in pure Qt, give Trojitá a try. If you'd like to chat about it, feel free to drop me a mail or just stop me anywhere. We're always looking for contributors, so if you hit some annoying behavior, please do chime in and start hacking.


Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
Trojita becomes a part of the KDE project

I'm happy to announce that Trojitá, a fast IMAP e-mail client, has become part of the KDE project. You can find it below extragear/pim/trojita.

Why moving under the KDE umbrella?

After reading the KDE's manifesto, it became obvious that the KDE project's values align quite well with what we want to achieve in Trojitá. Becoming part of a bigger community is a logical next step -- it will surely make Trojitá more visible, and the KDE community will get a competing e-mail client for those who might not be happy with the more established offerings. Competition is good, people say.

But I don't want to install KDE!

You don't have to. Trojitá will remain usable without KDE; you won't need it for running Trojitá, nor for compiling the application. We don't use any KDE-specific classes, so we do not link to kdelibs at all. In future, I hope we will be able to offer an optional feature to integrate with KDE more closely, but there are no plans to make Trojitá require the KDE libraries.

How is it going?

Extremely well! Five new people have already contributed code to Trojitá, and the localization team behind KDE got a terrific job with providing translation into eleven languages (and I had endless hours of fun hacking together lconvert-based setup to make sure that Trojitá's Qt-based translations work well with KDE's gettext-based workflow -- oh boy was that fun!). Trojitá also takes part in the Google Code-in project; Mohammed Nafees has already added a feature for multiple sender identities. I also had a great chat with the KDE PIM maintainers about sharing of our code in future.

What's next?

A lot of work is still in front of us -- from boring housekeeping like moving to KDE's Bugzilla for issue tracking to adding exciting (and complicated!) new features like support for multiple accounts. But the important part is that Trojitá is live and progressing swiftly -- features are being added, bugs are getting fixed on a faily basis and other people besides me are actually using the application on a daaily basis. According to Ohloh's statistics, we have a well established, mature codebase maintained by a large development team with increasing year-over-year commits.


If you are interested in helping out, check out the instructions and just start hacking!


Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
Collapsing long mail quotes in pure CSS and other new features in Trojita 0.3.92

There's a lot of people who are very careful to never delete a single line from an e-mail they are replying to, always quoting the complete history. There's also a lot of people who believe that it wastes time to eyeball such long, useless texts. One of the fancy features introduced in this release of Trojitá, a fast Qt IMAP e-mail client, is automatic quote collapsing. I won't show you an example of an annoying mail for obvious reasons :), but this feature is useful even for e-mails which employ reasonable quoting strategy. It looks like this in the action:

When you click on the ... symbols, the first level expands to reveal the following:

When everything is expanded, the end results looks like this:

This concept is extremely effective especially when communicating with a top-posting community.

We had quite some internal discussion about how to implement this feature. For those not familiar with Trojitá's architecture, we use a properly restricted QtWebKit instance for e-mail rendering. The restrictions which are active include click-wrapped loading of remote content for privacy (so that a spammer cannot know whether you have read their message), no plugins, no HTML5 local storage, and also no JavaScript. With JavaScript, it would be easy to do nice, click-controlled interactive collapsing of nested citations. However, enabling JavaScript might have quite some security implications (or maybe "only" keeping your CPU busy and draining your battery by a malicious third party). We could have enabled JavaScript for plaintext contents only, but that would not be as elegant as the solution we chose in the end.

Starting with Qt 4.8, WebKit ships with support for the :checked CSS3 pseudoclass. Using this feature, it's possible to change the style based on whether an HTML checkbox is checked or not . In theory, that's everything one might possibly need, but there's a small catch -- the usual way of showing/hiding contents based on a state of a checkbox hits a WebKit bug (quick summary: it's tough to have it working without the ~ adjacent-sibling selector unless you use it in one particular way). Long story short, I now know more about CSS3 than I thought I would ever want to know, and it works (unless you're on Qt5 already where it assert-fails and crashes the WebKit).

Speaking of WebKit, the way we use it in Trojitá is a bit unusual. The QWebView class contains full support for scrolling, so it is not necessary to put it inside a QScrollArea. However, when working with e-mails, one has to account for messages containing multiple body parts which have to be shown separately (again, for both practical and security reasons). In addition, the e-mail header which is typically implemented as a custom QWidget for flexibility, is usually intended to combine with the message bodies into a single entity to be scrolled together. With WebKit, this is doable (after some size hints magic, and I really mean magic -- thanks to Thomas Lübking of the KWin fame for patches), but there's a catch -- internal methods like the findText which normally scroll the contents of the web page into the matching place no longer works when the whole web view is embedded into a QScrollArea. I've dived into the source code of WebKit and the interesting thing is that there is code for exactly this case, but it is only implemented in Apple's version of WebKit. The source code even says that Apple needed this for its own Mail.app -- an interesting coincidence, I guess.

Compared with the last release, Trojitá has also gained support for "smart replying". It will now detect that a message comes from a mailing list and Ctrl+R will by default reply to list. Thomas has added support for saving drafts, so that you are not supposed to lose your work when you accidentally kill Trojitá anymore. There's also been the traditional round of bug fixes and compatibility improvements. It is entertaining to see that Trojitá is apparently triggering certain code paths in various IMAP server implementations, proprietary and free software alike, for the first time.

The work on support for multiple IMAP accounts is getting closer to being ready for prime time. It isn't present in the current release, though -- the GUI integration in particular needs some polishing before it hits the masses.

I'm happy to observe that Trojitá is getting features which are missing from other popular e-mail clients. I'm especially fond of my pet contribution, the quote collapsing. Does your favorite e-mail application offer a similar feature?

In the coming weeks, I'd like to focus on getting the multiaccounts branch merged into master, adding better integration with the address book (Trojitá can already offer tab completion with data coming from Mutt's abook) and general GUI improvements. It would also be great to make it possible to let Trojitá act as a handler for the mailto: URLs so that it gets invoked when you click on an e-mail address in your favorite web browser, for example.

And finally, to maybe lure a reader or two into trying Trojitá, here's a short quote from a happy user who came to our IRC channel a few days ago:

17:16 < Sir_Herrbatka> i had no idea that it's possible for mail client to be THAT fast
One cannot help but be happy when reading this. Thanks!

If you're on Linux, you can get the latest version of Trojitá from the OBS or the usual place.


Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
On Innovation, NIH, Trojita and KDE PIM

Jos wrote a blog post yesterday commenting on the complexity of the PIM problem. He raises an interesting concern about whether we would be all better if there was no Trojitá and I just improved KMail instead. As usual, the matter is more complicated than it might seem on a first sight.

Executive Summary: I tried working with KDEPIM. The KDEPIM IMAP stack required a total rewrite in order to be useful. At the time I started, Akonadi did not exist. The rewrite has been done, and Trojitá is the result. It is up to the Akonadi developers to use Trojitá's IMAP implementation if they are interested; it is modular enough.

People might wonder why Trojitá exists at all. I started working on it because I wasn't happy with how the mail clients performed back in 2006. The supported features were severely limited, the speed was horrible. After studying the IMAP protocol, it became obvious that the reason for this slowness is the rather stupid way in which the contemporary clients treated the remote mail store. Yes, it's really a very dumb idea to load tens of thousands of messages when opening a mailbox for the first time. Nope, it does not make sense to block the GUI until you fetch that 15MB mail over a slow and capped cell phone connection. Yes, you can do better with IMAP, and the possibility has been there for years. The problem is that the clients were not using the IMAP protocol in an efficient manner.

It is not easy to retrofit a decent IMAP support into an existing client. There could be numerous code paths which just assume that everything happens synchronously and block the GUI when the data are stuck on the wire for some reason. Doing this properly, fetching just the required data and doing all that in an asynchronous manner is not easy -- but it's doable nonetheless. It requires huge changes to the overall architecture of the legacy applications, however.

Give Trojitá a try now and see how fast it is. I'm serious here -- Trojitá opens a mailbox with tens of thousands of messages in a fraction of second. Try to open a big e-mail with vacation pictures from your relatives over a slow link -- you will see the important textual part pop up immediately with the images being loaded in the background, not disturbing your work. Now try to do the same in your favorite e-mail client -- if it's as fast as Trojitá, congratulations. If not, perhaps you should switch.

Right now, the IMAP support in Trojitá is way more advanced than what is shipped in Geary or KDE PIM -- and it is this solid foundation which leads to Trojitá's performance. What needs work now is polishing the GUI and making it play well with the rest of a users' system. I don't care whether this polishing means improving Trojitá's GUI iteratively or whether its IMAP support gets used as a library in, say, KMail -- both would be very succesfull outcomes. It would be terrific to somehow combine the nice, polished UI of the more established e-mail clients with the IMAP engine from Trojitá. There is a GSoC proposal for integrating Trojitá into KDE's Kontact -- but for it to succeed, people from other projects must get involved as well. I have put seven years of my time into making the IMAP support rock; I would not be able to achieve the same if I was improving KMail instead. I don't need a fast KMail, I need a great e-mail client. Trojitá works well enough for me.

Oh, and there's also a currently running fundraiser for better address book integration in Trojitá. We are not asking for $ 100k, we are asking for $ 199. Let's see how many people are willing to put the money where their mouth is and actually do something to help the PIM on a free desktop. Patches and donations are both equally welcome. Actually, not really -- great patches are much more appreciated. Because Jos is right -- it takes a lot of work to produce great software, and things get better when there are more poeple working towards their common goal together.

Update: it looks like my choice of kickstarter platform was rather poor, catincan apparently doesn't accept PayPal :(. There's the possiblity of direct donations over SourceForge/PayPal -- please keep in mind that these will be charged even if less donors pledge to the idea.

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, rant, trojita.
Trojita 0.4 "Ukraine" is released

Hi all,
we are pleased to announce version 0.4 of Trojitá, a fast Qt IMAP e-mail client. For this release, a lot of changes were made under the hood, but of course there are some changes that are visible to the user as well.


This release has been tagged in git as "v0.4". You can also download a tarball (GPG signature). Prebuilt binaries for multiple distributions are available via the OBS .

This release is dedicated to the people of all nations living in Ukraine. We are no fans of political messages in software announcements, but we also cannot remain silent when unmarked Russian troops are marching over a free country. The Trojitá project was founded in a republic formerly known as Czechoslovakia. We were "protected" by foreign aggressors twice in the 20th century — first in 1938 by the Nazi Germany, and second time in 1968 by the occupation forces of the USSR. Back in 1938, Adolf Hitler used the same rhetorics we hear today: that a national minority was oppressed. In 1968, eight people who protested against the occupation in Moscow were detained within a couple of minutes, convicted and sent to jail. In 2014, Moscowians are protesting on a bigger scale, yet we all see the cops arresting them on Youtube — including those displaying blank signs.

This is not about politics, this is about morality. What is happening today in Ukraine is a barbaric act, an occupation of an innocent country which has done nothing but stopped being attracted to their more prominent eastern neighbor. No matter what one thinks about the international politics and the Crimean independence, this is an act which must be condemned and fiercely fought against. There isn't much what we could do, so we hope that at least this symbolic act will let the Ukrainians know that the world's thoughts are with them in this dire moment. За вашу и нашу свободу, indeed!

Finally, we would like to thank Jai Luthra, Danny Rim, Benjamin Kaiser and Yazeed Zoabi, our Google Code-In students, and Stephan Platz, Karan Luthra, Tomasz Kalkosiński and Luigi Toscano, people who recently joined Trojitá, for their code contributions.

The Trojitá developers

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
Trojita 0.4.1, a security update for CVE-2014-2567


An SSL stripping vulnerability was discovered in Trojitá, a fast Qt IMAP e-mail client. User's credentials are never leaked, but if a user tries to send an e-mail, the automatic saving into the "sent" or "draft" folders could happen over a plaintext connection even if the user's preferences specify STARTTLS as a requirement.


The IMAP protocol defines the STARTTLS command which is used to transparently upgrade a plaintext connection to an encrypted one using SSL/TLS. The STARTTLS command can only be issued in an unauthenticated state as per the IMAP's state machine.

RFC 3501 also allows for a possibility of the connection jumping immediately into an authenticated state via the PREAUTH initial response. However, as the STARTTLS command cannot be issued once in the authenticated state, an attacker able to intercept and modify the network communication might trick the client into a state where the connection cannot be encrypted anymore.

Affected versions

All versions of Trojitá up to 0.4 are vulnerable. The fix is included in version 0.4.1.


Connections which use the SSL/TLS form the very beginning (e.g. the connections using port 993) are secure and not vulnerable.

Possible impact

The user's credentials will never be transmitted over a plaintext connection even in presence of this attack.

Because Trojitá proceeded to use the connection without STARTTLS in face of PREAUTH, certain data might be leaked to the attacker. The only example which we were able to identify is the full content of a message which the user attempts to save to their "Sent" folder while trying to send a mail.

We don't believe that any other data could be leaked. Again, user's credentials will not be leaked.


Thanks to Arnt Gulbrandsen on the imap-protocol ML for asking what happens when we're configured to request STARTTLS and a PREAUTH is received, and to Michael M Slusarz for starting that discussion.

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
Tagged pointers, and saving memory in Trojita

One of the improvements which were mentioned in the recent announcement of Trojitá, a fast Qt e-mail client, were substantial memory savings and speed improvements. In the rest of this post, I would like to explain what exactly we have done and how it matters. This is going to be a technical post, so if you are not interested in C++ or software engineering, you might want to skip this article.

Planting Trees

At the core of Trojitá's IMAP implementation is the TreeItem, an abstract class whose basic layout will be familiar to anyone who has worked with a custom QAbstractItemModel reimplementation. In short, the purpose of this class is to serve as a node in the tree of items which represent all the data stored on a remote IMAP server.

The structure is tree-shaped because that's what fits both the QAbstractItemModel's and the IMAP way of working. At the top, there's a list of mailboxes. Children of these mailboxes are either other, nested mailboxes, or lists of messages. Below the lists of messages, one can find individual e-mails, and within these e-mails, individual body parts as per the recursive nature of the MIME encapsulation. (This is what enables messages with pictures attached, e-mail forwarding, and similar stuff. MIME is fun.) This tree of items is used by the QAbstractItemModel for keeping track of what is where, and for issuing the QModelIndex instances which are used by the rest of the application for accessing, requesting and manipulating the data.

When a QModelIndex is used and passed to the IMAP Model, what matters most is its internalPointer(), a void * which, within Trojitá, always points to an instance of some TreeItem subclass. Everything else, like the row() and column(), are actually not important; the pointer itself is enough to determine everything about the index in question.

Each TreeItem has to store a couple of interesting properties. Besides the usual Qt-mandated stuff like pointer to the parent item and a list of children, there are also application-specific items which enable the code to, well, actually do useful things like printing e-mail subjects or downloading mail attachments. For a mailbox, this crucial information might be the mailbox name. For a message, the UID of the message along with a pointer to the mailbox is enough to uniquely identify everything which is needed.

Lazy Loading

Enter the lazy loading. Many people confirm that Trojitá is fast, and plenty of them are not afraid to say that it is blazingly fast. This speed is enabled by the fact that Trojitá will only do the smallest amount of work required to bring the data over the network (or from disk, for that matter). If you open a huge mailbox with half a million messages, perhaps the GMail's "All messages" account, or one's LKML archive, Trojitá will not start loading half a million of subjects. Instead, the in-memory TreeItem nodes are created in a special state "no data has been requested yet". Trojitá still creates half a million items in memory, but these items are rather lightweight and only contain the absolute minimum of data they need for proper operation.

Some of these "empty" nodes are, eventually, consulted and used for item display -- perhaps because a view is attached to this model, and the view wants to show the recent mail to the user. In Qt, this usually happens via the data() method of the QAbstractItemModel, but other methods like rowCount() have a very similar effect. Whenever more data are needed, the state of the tree node changes from the initial "no data have been requested" to "loading stuff", and an asynchronous request for these data is dispatched. An important part of the tale is that the request is indeed completely asynchronous, so you won't see any blocking whatsoever in the GUI. The QTreeView will show an animation while a subtree is expanded, the message viewer might display a spinner, and the mail listing shows greyed-out "Loading..." placeholder instead of the usual message subjects.

After a short while, the data arrive and the tree node is updated with the extracted contents -- be it e-mail subject, or perhaps the attached image of dancing pigs. As the requested data are now here, the status of the tree node is updated from the previous "loading stuff" into "done". At the same time, an appropriate signal, like dataChanged or rowsInserted, is emitted. Requesting the same data again via the classic MVC API will not result in network requests, but everything will be accommodated from the local cache.

What we see now is that there is just a handful of item states, yet the typical layout of the TreeItem looks roughly like this:

enum class FetchingStatus {
class TreeItem {
    TreeItem *m_parent;
    QList<TreeItem*> m_children;
    FetchingStatus m_status;

On a 64bit system, this translates to at least three 64bit words being used -- one for the painter to the parent item, one (or much more) for storage of the list of children, and one more for storing the enum FetchingStatus. That's a lot of space, given we have just created half a million of these items.

Tagged Pointers

An interesting property of a modern CPU is that the data structures must be aligned properly. A very common rule is that e.g. a 32bit integer can only start at memory offset which is a multiple of four. In hex, this means that an address, or a pointer value, could end with 0x0, or 0x4, or 0x8, or 0xc. The detailed rules are platform-specific and depend on the exact data structure which we are pointing to, but the important message is that at least some of the low bits in the pointer address are always going to be zero. Perhaps we could encode some information in there?

Turns out this is exactly what pointer tagging is about. Instead of having two members, one TreeItem * and one FetchingStatus, these are squashed into a single pointer-sized value. The CPU can no longer use the pointer value directly, all accesses have to go via an inlined function which simply masks away the lowest bits which do bring a very minor performance hit, but the memory conservation is real.

For a real-world example, see this commit in Trojitá.

Using Memory Only When Needed

Back to our example of a mailbox with 500k messages. Surely a user is only going to see a small subset of them at once, right?

That is indeed the case. We still have to at least reserve space for 500k items for technical reasons, but there is certainly no need to reserve space for heavy stuff like subjects and other headers. Indeed, in Trojitá, we track the From/To/Cc/Bcc headers, the subjects, various kinds of timestamps, other envelope items and similar stuff, and this totals a couple hundred bytes per each message. A couple hundred bytes is not much (pun intended), but "a couple hundred bytes" times "half a million" is a ton of memory.

This got implemented here. One particular benchmark which tests how fast Trojitá resynchronizes a mailbox with 100k of messages showed immediate reduction in memory usage from previous 45 MB to 25 MB. The change, again, does come with a cost; one now has to follow one more pointer redirection, and one has to perform one more dynamic allocation for each message which is actually visible. That, however, proves to be negligible during typical usage.

Measure, Don't Guess

As usual with optimizing, the real results might sometimes be surprising. A careful reader and an experienced Qt programmer might have noticed the QList above and shuddered in horror. In fact, Trojitá now uses QVector in its place, but when I was changing the code, using std::vector sounded like a no-brainer. Who needs the copy-on-write semantics here anyway, so why should I pay its price in this context? These data (list of children of an item) are not copied that often, and copying a contiguous list of pointers is pretty cheap anyway (it surely is dwarfed by dynamic allocation overhead). So we should just stick with std::vector, right?

Well, not really. It turned out that plenty of these lists are empty most of the time. If we are looking at the list of messages in our huge mailbox, chances are that most of these messages were not loaded yet, and therefore the list of children, i.e. something which represents their inner MIME structure, is likely empty. This is where the QVector really shines. Instead of using three pointers per vector, like the GCC's std::vector does, QVector is happy with a single pointer pointing to a shared null instance, something which is empty.

Now, factor of three on an item which is used half a million times, this is something which is going to hurt. That's why Trojitá eventually settled on using QVector for the m_children member. The important lesson here is "don't assume, measure".

Wrapping up

Thanks to these optimization (and a couple more, see the git log), one particular test case now runs ten times faster while simultaneously using 38% less memory -- comparing the v0.4 with v0.3.96. Trojitá was pretty fast even before, but now it really flies. The sources of memory diet were described in today's blog post; the explanation on how the time was cut is something which will have to wait for another day.

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
Removal of the Ubuntu-Touch code from Trojita git

Some of the recent releases of Trojitá, a fast Qt e-mail client, mentioned an ongoing work towards bringing the application to the Ubuntu Touch platform. It turns out that this won't be happening.

The developers who were working on the Ubuntu Touch UI decided that they would prefer to end working with upstream and instead focus on a standalone long-term fork of Trojitá called Dekko. The fork lives within the Launchpad ecosystem and we agreed that there's no point in keeping unmaintained and dead code in our repository anymore -- hence it's being removed.

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
Trojita 0.5 is released

Hi all,
we are pleased to announce version 0.5 of Trojitá, a fast Qt IMAP e-mail client. More than 500 changes went in since the previous release, so the following list highlights just a few of them:

This release has been tagged in git as "v0.5". You can also download a tarball (GPG signature). Prebuilt binaries for multiple distributions are available via the OBS, and so is a Windows installer.

We would like to thank Karan Luthra and Stephan Platz for their efforts during Google Summer of Code 2014.

The Trojitá developers

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
How to persuade us that you're going to be a good GSoC student

It is that time of the year again, and people are applying for Google Summer of Code positions. It's great to see a big crowd of newcomers. This article explains what sort of students are welcome in GSoC from the point of view of Trojitá, a fast Qt IMAP e-mail client. I suspect that many other projects within KDE share my views, but it's best to ask them. Hopefully, this post will help students understand what we are looking for, and assist in deciding what project to work for.

Finding a motivation

As a mentor, my motivation in GSoC is pretty simple — I want to attract new contributors to the project I maintain. This means that I value long-term sustainability above fancy features. If you are going to apply with us, make sure that you actually want to stick around. What happens when GSoC terminates? What happens when GSoC terminates and the work you've been doing is not ready yet? Do you see yourself continuing the work you've done so far? Or is it going to become an abandonware, with some cash in your pocket being your only reward? Who is going to maintain the code which you worked hard to create?

Selecting an area of work

This is probably the most important aspect of your GSoC involvement. You're going to spend three months of full time activity on some project, a project you might have not heard about before. Why are you doing this — is it only about the money, or do you already have a connection to the project you've selected? Is the project trying to solve a problem that you find interesting? Would you use the results of that project even without the GSoC?

My experience shows that it's best to find a project which fills a niche that you find interesting. Do you have a digital camera, and do you think that a random photo editor's interface sucks? Work on that, make the interface better. Do you love listening to music? Maybe your favorite music player has some annoying bug that you could fix. Maybe you could add a feature to, say, synchronize the playlist with your cell phone (this is just an example, of course). Do you like 3D printing? Help improve an existing software for 3D printing, then. Are you a database buff? Is there something you find lacking in, e.g., PostgreSQL?

Either way, it is probably a good idea to select something which you need to use, or want to use for some reason. It's of course fine to e.g. spend your GSoC term working on an astronomy tool even though you haven't used one before, but unless you really like astronomy, then you should probably choose something else. In case of Trojitá, if you have been using GMail's web interface for the past five years and you think that it's the best thing since sliced bread, well, chances are that you won't enjoy working on a desktop e-mail client.

Pick something you like, something which you enjoy working with.

Making a proposal

An excellent idea is to make yourself known in advance. This does not happen by joining the IRC channel and saying "I want to work on GSoC", or mailing us to let us know about this. A much better way of getting involved is through showing your dedication.

Try to play with the application you are about to apply for. Do you see some annoying bug? Fix it! Does it work well? Use the application more; you will find bugs. Look at the project's bug tracker, maybe there are some issues which people are hitting. Do you think that you can fix it? Diving into bug fixing is an excellent opportunity to get yourself familiar with the project's code base, and to make sure that our mentors know the style and pace of your work.

Now that you have some familiarity with the code, maybe you can already see opportunities for work besides what's already described on the GSoC ideas wiki page. That's fine — the best proposals usually come from students who have found them on their own. The list of ideas is just that, a list of ideas, not an exhaustive cookbook. There's usually much more what can be done during the course of the GSoC. What would be most interesting area for you? How does it fit into the bigger picture?

After you've thought about the area to work on, now it's time to write your proposal. Start early, and make sure that you talk about your ideas with your prospective mentors before you spend three hours preparing a detailed roadmap. Define the goals that you want to achieve, and talk with your mentors about them. Make sure that the work fits well with the length and style of the GSoC.

And finally, be sure that you stay open and honest with your mentoring team. Remember, this is not a contest of writing a best project proposal. For me, GSoC is all about finding people who are interested in working on, say, Trojitá. What I'm looking for are honest, fair-behaving people who demonstrate willingness to learn new stuff. On top of that, I like to accept people with whom I have already worked. Hearing about you for the first time when I read your GSoC proposal is not a perfect way of introducing yourself. Make yourself known in advance, and show us how you can help us make our project better. Show us that you want to become a part of that "we".

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
Trojita 0.6 is released

Hi all,
we are pleased to announce version 0.6 of Trojitá, a fast Qt IMAP e-mail client. This release brings several new features as well as the usual share of bugfixes:

This release has been tagged in git as "v0.6". You can also download a tarball (GPG signature). Prebuilt binaries for multiple distributions are available via the OBS, and so is a Windows installer.

This release is named after the Aegean island Λέσβος (Lesvos). Jan was there for the past five weeks, and he insisted on mentioning this challenging experience.

The Trojitá developers

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
Implementing OpenPGP and S/MIME Cryptography in Trojita

Are you interested in cryptography, either as a user or as a developer? Read on -- this blogpost talks about some of the UI choices we made, as well as about the technical challenges of working with the existing crypto libraries.

The next version of Trojitá, a fast e-mail client, will support working with encrypted and signed messages. Thanks to Stephan Platz for implementing this during the Google Summer of Code project. If you are impatient, just install the trojita-nightly package and check it out today.

Here's how a signed message looks like in a typical scenario:

A random OpenPGP-signed e-mail

Some other e-mail clients show a yellow semi-warning icon when showing a message with an unknown or unrecognized key. In my opinion, that isn't a great design choice. If I as an attacker wanted to get rid of the warning, I could just as well sign a faked but unsigned e-mail message. This message is signed by something, so we should probably not make this situation appear less secure than as if the e-mail was not signed at all.

(Careful readers might start thinking about maintaining a peristant key association database based on the observed traffic patterns. We are aware of the upstream initiative within the GnuPG project, especially the TOFU, Trust On First Use, trust model. It is a pretty fresh code not available in major distributions yet, but it's definitely something to watch and evaluate in future.)

Key management, assigning trust etc. is something which is outside of scope for an e-mail client like Trojitá. We might add some buttons for key retrieval and launching a key management application of your choice, such as Kleopatra, but we are definitely not in the business of "real" key management, cross-signatures, defining trust, etc. What we do instead is working with your system's configuration and showing the results based on whether GnuPG thinks that you trust this signature. That's when we are happy to show a nice green padlock to you:

Mail with a trusted signature

We are also making a bunch of sanity checks when it comes to signatures. For example, it is important to verify that the sender of an e-mail which you are reading has an e-mail which matches the identity of the key holder -- in other words, is the guy who sent the e-mail and the one who made the signature the same person?

If not, it would be possible for your co-worker (who you already trust) to write an e-mail message to you with a faked From header pretending to be your boss. The body of a message is signed by your colleague with his valid key, so if you forget to check the e-mail addresses, you are screwed -- and that's why Trojitá handles this for you:

Something fishy is going on!

In some environments, S/MIME signatures using traditional X.509 certificates are more common than the OpenPGP (aka PGP, aka GPG). Trojitá supports them all just as easily. Here is what happens when we are curious and decide to drill down to details about the certificate chain:

All the glory details about an X.509 trust chain

Encrypted messages are of course supported, too:

An ancrypted message

We had to start somewhere, so right now, Trojitá supports only read-only operations such as signature verification and decrypting of messages. It is not yet possible to sign and encrypt new messages; that's something which will be implemented in near future (and patches are welcome for sure).

Technical details

Originally, we were planning to use the QCA2 library because it provides a stand-alone Qt wrapper over a pluggable set of cryptography backends. The API interface was very convenient for a Qt application such as Trojitá, with native support for Qt's signals/slots and asynchronous operation implemented in a background thread. However, it turned out that its support for GnuPG, a free-software implementation of the OpenPGP protocol, leaves much to be desired. It does not really support the concept of PGP's Web of Trust, and therefore it doesn't report back how trustworthy the sender is. This means that there woldn't be any green padlock with QCA. The library was also really slow during certain operations -- including retrieval of a single key from a keystore. It just isn't acceptable to wait 16 seconds when verifying a signature, so we had to go looking for something else.

Compared to the QCA, the GpgME++ library lives on a lower level. Its Qt integration is limited to working with QByteArray classes as buffers for gpgme's operation. There is some support for integrating with Qt's event loop, but we were warned not to use it because it's apparently deprecated code which will be removed soon.

The gpgme library supports some level of asynchronous operation, but it is a bit limited. Ultimately, someone has to do the work and consume the CPU cycles for all the crypto operations and/or at least communication to the GPG Agent in the background. These operations can take a substantial amount of time, so we cannot do that in the GUI thread (unless we wanted to reuse that discouraged event loop integration). We could use the asynchronous operations along with a call to gpgme_wait in a single background thread, but that would require maintaining our own dedicated crypto thread and coming up with a way to dispatch the results of each operation to the original requester. That is certainly doable, but in the end, it was a bit more straightforward to look into the C++11's toolset, and reuse the std::async infrastructure for launching background tasks along with a std::future for synchronization. You can take a look at the resulting code in the src/Cryptography/GpgMe++.cpp. Who can dislike lines like task.wait_for(std::chrono::duration_values::zero()) == std::future_status::timeout? :)

Finally, let me provide credit where credit is due. Stephan Platz worked on this feature during his GSoC term, and he implemented the core infrastructure around which the whole feature is built. That was the crucial point and his initial design has survived into the current implementation despite the fact that the crypto backend has changed and a lot of code was refactored.

Another big thank you goes to the GnuPG and GpgME developers who provide a nice library which works not just with OpenPGP, but also with the traditional X.509 (S/MIME) certificates. The same has to be said about the developers behind the GpgME++ library which is a C++ wrapper around GpgME with roots in the KDEPIM software stack, and also something which will one day probably move to GpgME proper. The KDE ties are still visible, and Andre Heinecke was kind enough to review our implementation for obvious screwups in how we use it. Thanks!

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.
Trojita 0.7 with GPG encryption is available

Trojitá, a fast Qt IMAP e-mail client, has a shiny new release. A highlight of the 0.7 version is support for OpenPGP ("GPG") and S/MIME ("X.509") encryption -- in a read-only mode for now. Here's a short summary of the most important changes:

As usual, the code is available in our git as a "v0.7" tag. You can also download a tarball (GPG signature). Prebuilt binaries for multiple distributions are available via the OBS, and so is a Windows installer.

The Trojitá developers

Tags: gentoo, kde, qt, trojita.