Re: The ideal mail client?
- From: Marko Vojinovic <vvmarko@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 3 Aug 2009 19:16:48 +0100
On Sunday 02 August 2009 02:17:59 Tim wrote:
I've tried many different mail clients across several different
operating systems, most suck in some way, many suck in many ways. As
things stand, I rate Thunderbird as even worse than Evolution, but
Evolution as the least worst one currently available to me.
Have you tried KMail?
Some of the things I look for are:
Must handle IMAP in a sane way.
Never used IMAP, but believe KMail does it as well as POP mail, at least for
sane interpretations of the words "sane way". :-)
How quotes are handled in replies, in particular multi-generational
KMail does all that, and even more, it colors different levels of quotes in
different shades of green, so it is very easy to make distinction between
quoted blocks. Further, if you try to split a quoted paragraph into two (in
order to make a comment in the middle) by pressing return/enter key in the
middle of the quoted text, KMail does the Right Thing --- puts appropriate
number of >'s in front of the newly created line.
However, the problem with quoting is mainly that when you receive a message
that already has badly quoted text in it (from some lousy mail client), there
is not much that can be done. For example, some mail clients (or users?)
prefer | or ||=> or some other weird syntax over simple >. Maybe there should
be some option to mangle the text of the incoming message in order to fix that,
but mail clients usually refrain from doing such things. Some time ago I had
an idea about a filter that would mangle such things, even make transitions
from top-posted to bottom-posted when possible, ie. re-sort the lines based on
the number of quote symbols... ;-)
Text must be WYSIWYG. No changing of the content after I stop typing
and hit send.
AFAIK, KMail is WYSIWYG. Actually, I am surprised to hear that some clients do
change content after I hit send?!
Threading must be done properly.
+1 for KMail, for sane definitions of "properly". :-)
And a three-pane GUI is a must for
stepping through lots of mail fast, and without getting windows all over
Windows? What windows? ;-)
I have the following setup (from now on assume I always talk about KMail
unless stated otherwise):
* only one window (the application itself)
* vertical pane on the left to look at the maildir tree
* horizontal top pane to look at the threads and/or individual messages
* horizontal main (big) pane to display the current message text
* a customized toolbar at the top of the screen with buttons: New, Check Mail,
Collapse/Expand All Threads, Collapse/Expand This Thread, Use Fixed Font,
Addressbook, (Don't) Show All Headers.
In a couple of clicks I can get to any message I want. And a new window opens
only when I an composing a reply or a new message.
The program must be fast.
I have a lot of mail stored locally (I rarely delete anything other than
spam), so KMail takes a bit of a time to load. However, once up and running, I
have seen no speed issues whatsoever, everything seems basically responsive
The program must use a neat GUI. I find Thunderbird a waste of screen
I've already described my screen setup, most of it is used to display message
text and the list of messages/threads. The only downside is that I am not able
to put both menu bar and button toolbar on a single row (next to each other),
which would save one further line for something useful. I think this feature
is missing in GUI's in general, not just KMail.
It needs good filtering
I use only most basic filtering --- move incoming message to this or that
folder based on subject or sender or whatever --- and I have a feeling I
haven't used 2% of KMail filtering potential. It has a huge infrastructure for
configuring all kinds of filtering choices, AFAICS.
It must handle HTML decently.
For safety reasons, KMail doesn't display html mail by default (this can be
changed, of course), but instead displays a warning that message content is
html and thus unsafe, and offers a link to click to override. I don't receive
much of html mail anyway, so the message rarely appears. I find it convenient,
when I see a html message appearing on the Fedora list I simply delete it,
without reading. If it comes from my good friend, I click to override and read
As for sending, I never send html, but this can also be configured, as default
or case-by-case. Don't know how powerful is the html editor, though.
It must handle attachments well, including ones sent with the wrong MIME
Attachments are typically shown as icons at the bottom of the message. When
left-clicked give a choice of "open" (with appropriate app), and "save to
disk". When right-clicked, it offers a whole wealth of options, one of them
being "delete attachment", which does what you want. It also warns you that
deleting attachment renders the GPG signature invalid.
It must handle GPG/PGP well.
I don't use this, but it is integrated by default, and I see that signed
messages sent by others are handled as I would like --- they are colored
appropriately to notify me that a message is signed, that the key has not been
verified, and offer a button to the right of the message header to verify it if
I choose so. I never did, though. No speed issues for me.
Out of all these criteria, and a few others that I can't recall at the
moment, Evolution still manages to be the least worst, overall.
Maybe you are restricting the set to Gnome-only apps?
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