In august, Dan Vrátil wrote about Kontacy and Google integration issues. Kontact is KDE’s personal-information management suite, which builds on top of Akonadi, and includes KMail, contacts and calendaring.

The most important bit of Dan’s blog post is this:

This is due to an oversight on our side which lead to Google blocking Kontact as it did not comply with Google’s policies.

You can see the consequences of that oversight in KDE bugs, for instance kmail no longer allows addition of gmail account or Dolphin Kio-gdrive authentication with Google account fails. There are probably multiple duplicates in KDE’s bugzilla as well.

The Google account used for the integration – the one that “owns” the API tokens and a few other things – has the KDE e.V. board email attached to it. That’s sensible, since Google integration in KDE applications and frameworks is something institutional, not personal (so it wouldn’t make sense to have any individual developer’s address on it). The e.V. exists to support the community, after all.

This does mean that when things break with the integration – and they have been broken, for months now – the board gets email with questions. This is a semi-official statement from the board about what’s going on (semi-, because it is on my personal blog, and statements like “I don’t know” and “I don’t use” are personal, not institutional).

  • Why have things been broken for months? The integrations were shut down by Google for policy compliance reasons. Finding out what those policies are (board), fixing things to comply (KDE-PIM developers) and filing an appeal (board) all take time, lots of time, and then you get into the morass of waiting-for-appeal-to-go-through.

    I’ve clicked around in the application dashboard for our account, mostly going “what do they want us to do?” Frankly, I can’t tell. There’s an orange dot next to sometimes, which suggests the domain needs to be verified. I have no idea.

  • Has there been any progress? Yes, there has. kaccounts-provider has been approved for calendar and contacts (and some others), so it should start to work again. I don’t know what functionality exactly is covered by this provider (but see below).
  • Is there a workaround? You can use the one described in Dan’s blog post.

So, progress is really slow because we’re dealing with a totally opaque “adversary”. There is some progress, and we’re expecting that the KDE PIM developers will announce success soon-ish.

Update: Dan has been active behind the scenes, and calendar and contacts syncing should work again if your distribution backports some specific changes (the changes will be in the February release of KDE software). He writes

We’ve recently had to adjust which parts of Google accounts we request access to when users sign into their Google account in Online Accounts KCM. The list of requested scopes needs to be adjusted in kaccounts-providers package as well, otherwise login is refused by Google. This mostly affects KIO GDrive, which accesses user’s GDrive account through Online Accounts.

Note that GMail is not yet fixed; that’s a separate effort. Thank you Dan for clarifying!