what I want in a mail client

March 21, 2010

From about 2001 until about 2009 I used evolution as my mail client. I got addicted to how it handled vfolders and got comfy with it. Then vfolders self-destructed and started telling me I had MAXINT new messages while not actually having ANY mail and well, it stopped being useful for me. So I switched back to my old stand by of alpine. It works fine more or less there is only one feature I miss from evolution – the ability to have multiple windows open when I’m composing a mail. So I can get info out of one mail and paste it in to use in the one I’m composing.

I setup claws-mail this weekend to see how that would work for me. It looked very hopeful until I went to setup multiple imap servers and it refused to see the other imap server at all. It’s like it didn’t even exist. So I shelved it back away and went looking for something else. Nothing has sprung up so far. We’ll see.

Suggestions are welcome, but here’s what I’ve tried:

thunderbird –

kmail –

alpine

mutt

claws

evolution

14 Responses to “what I want in a mail client”


  1. Have you checked with mbarnes whether the Evo bug is/can be fixed? Seems like it might be better to get Evo or Alpine fixed rather than look for something new again…

  2. skvidal Says:

    alpine isn’t broken – it just doesn’t have this feature.

    And fixing evo…. Maybe – I check in on it every now and again and the vfolders of vfolders seems to persistently be broken or odd – like – the folders won’t update unless you shutdown and reload.

  3. Kevin Fenzi Says:

    Odd on claws not seeing the other imap server. I run here with it pulling from a number of servers and it works fine.

    Perhaps try and debug why it’s doing that before writing it off for good?🙂

  4. skvidal Says:

    I looked around for bug reports on it and I checked the network logs on it. It was just never making any connection attempt. It’s not my first rodeo, I spent a while trying to figure out what was giving up the ghost but nothing leapt out at me.

    I may give it another try – but all I really want is pine w/multiple windows, truth be told.

    • Paul Says:

      Your problem with Claws Mail sounds like a config problem at first site. You were creating new IMAP accounts, and you verified that the ports/SSL/etc was correct?

      • skvidal Says:

        I’ll give it another whirl and file a bug on what was going on. Just in case I missed something. The only odd thing I noticed doing was that the second account was accessible only via vpn. I wasn’t activating the vpn until I wanted to use the account – but the network log showed no connection attempt at all.

  5. someone Says:

    You should check out sup and notmuch. I really wish evolution used notmuch as a backend.


  6. skvidal: well, for alpine, by ‘fixed’ I meant ‘add whatever features you need’. Obviously that could be quite a big issue =)

  7. Matěj Cepl Says:

    What’s wrong with Thunderbird? I used to be happy Evolution user, until like a year or two ago it was so buggy as absolutely useless. Then I switched to TB (after all, I am a bugmaster for it) and although it is not completely pain-free experience TB 3.* is really a huge step towards being on the cutting edge. Also, of course, number of addons (e.g., nostalgy) make Thunderbird attractive for me.

    Last but not least, there are rumours, that Evolution got much better lately.

  8. Stephen Smoogen Says:

    Well for the true power user it comes down to Emacs🙂. It comes with several different email readers.. or if you are really insane you can do an email to news server with each folder becoming a newsgroup. I am not sure you have stared deep enough into the heart of RPM to be that insane though.

    [I have not used Emacs as a mail reader for a long time… I kept simplifying my expectations til I could just use alpine or thunderbird for it :)]

  9. Claire Says:

    I’m still using MH, which fails for IMAP, but is otherwise better than anything else I’ve ever used. But I’m overdue for trying something else — moving from mh-e to GNUS has been a temptation, as getting used to the GNUS interface (again) would make a transition to IMAP mailboxes easier… Hmm….

  10. Mr. Icon Says:

    TB3 is kinda nice. It has vfolders pretty much the same as Evo, but I’m mostly addicted to the search these days (though it eats silly amounts of disk space — of which I have lots).

  11. BJinOIT Says:

    Funny I ran across this — I, too, will have to find a new mail/calendaring client….and I’m incredibly ill about the whole thing.

    I was hoping Evo would be a solution, but apparently it won’t work with the POS we’re moving to.

    I was pleasantly surprised, though, to see you were an Alpine user as well, Seth. In the end, they’ll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands.


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