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Communications Software Linux

Ask Slashdot: Current State of Linux Email Clients? 464

mcloaked writes "We get all kinds of news about new developments, but one subject has been lacking for some time and that is email clients for Linux (or Windows for that matter). A number of reviews (mostly not all that recent) have pointed to the main clients as Thunderbird, Evolution, Claws-mail, and Kmail as possibilities. Up to about a year ago, Thunderbird seemed to be 'the' email client with the best mix of positives. However there are no recent reviews that I have seen. In the meantime Thunderbird has moved to monthly releases, which are more maintenance releases containing security fixes but little functional change — and little new development. Thunderbird also won't be significantly altered in the future, if one interprets the available news information. Evolution is reported to be rather prone to bugs, and Kmail even more so. Claws-mail has limitations, as does Kmail. So where is the future of Linux email clients going, absent any real innovation? We need a well maintained and capable mail client, preferably with good calendar integration (webcal/Google calendar), properly supported HTML composing, good maildir format storage for local mail, and good security support (including the capacity to deal with both GPG and S/MIME encryption and signing). It needs a modern UI and good import/export facilities, as well as good integration with its address book, including import/export of addresses. Are we likely to see this kind of package as we move into the future, or will mail clients slowly disappear? At the moment it looks like email client support is dead — Are too many users moving into web mail and the cloud instead of having a properly functional mail client on their desktops?"
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Ask Slashdot: Current State of Linux Email Clients?

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  • by Albanach ( 527650 ) on Saturday December 08, 2012 @05:53PM (#42228145) Homepage

    I really haven't used a desktop client for email in years. Where's the gain for the user?

    I want my mail and calendar wherever I am. So why keep multiple copies of gigabytes of mail on multiple machines. I just don't see the gain for the average user. I think the lack of demand from users who are moving to webmail is why the Thunderbird is getting less developer attention.

    What I'd really like to see is improvement in the webmail interfaces available to us. Gmail is fast, but I find the interface limiting and clunky. The best I have experienced was Zimbra, but it really prefers to be run on a standalone machine and is pretty resource intensive.

  • Re:Thunderbird works (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Saturday December 08, 2012 @06:06PM (#42228265)

    Keep using Thunderbird, It works. Try add ons if you want more features.

    When I set a Windows 7 machine for my mother and discovered Microsoft's new "Windows Live Mail" agenda, I wiped that an put in Thunderbird, which was judged as "just like the old computer". So now she spends nearly all her computer time using Thunderbird and Firefox, and a little bit of LibreOffice, so the obvious next step is step is, boot to KDE with an autologin and that will be one more soul saved from the grasping tentacles of Microsoft.

    For my part, I suffered through the nasty port of Kmail to Akonadi, which was a truly awful experience, but I got through it with my folders intact and it's finally back to a state resembling usability, though not nearly as fast or solid as the original. The Kmail user interface is still the best going, and one day I might actually see some benefit from the new database backend, instead of just pain, races and nonsensical warnings.

  • Re:Thunderbird (Score:1, Interesting)

    by thetoastman ( 747937 ) on Saturday December 08, 2012 @06:22PM (#42228395)
    And you are composing mail in HTML, why? I read all of my mail as plain text. If you've done some fancy formatting in HTML to call attention to a particular point, I won't see it.

    Try organizing your text in a clearer fashion. Try using lettered or numbered points. Even dashes for underscores work as long as you are not reading / writing in a proportional font.

    If you cannot tell by now, I really dislike HTML mail. Use plain text, you'll know how it looks for everyone, it's lighter in weight, and doesn't distract from the information you're trying to send. Besides, many mailing lists discourage if not expressly prohibit HTML mail.

    / I know, get off my lawn
    // Seriously, HTML is for web pages, text is for email
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 08, 2012 @07:59PM (#42229149)

    Labels are *retarded*. Because you can never ever tell whether an object (in this case a mail) is really deleted and gone or still in some other "label". It's a chaotic mess for idiots who are too stupid to keep any order themselves, are passive enough to let somebody else control things for them, and too ignorant to realize the mess that is actually behind it all.

    And fuck, they are not even actual semantic links. They lack the source, and they lack the ability to group (=label) labels themselves! So it's a dumbed-down crippled version of the concept on top of it all.

    Just like iTunes/Amarok are trying to be smarter than me with that stupid fucking playlist concept. (Which is exactly the same thing as the labels.) Because they are created for drooling fucktards. (Like Apple lusers.)

    Get that shit away from me, I’m not mentally handicapped nor a fucking retard (never confuse the two).

  • Re:no love for mutt? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheGreek ( 2403 ) on Saturday December 08, 2012 @08:28PM (#42229329)

    They are not monkeys and not mentally handicapped, so they have no excuse regarding understanding that. And if they are, then they need some kind of legal guardian, because they clearly can't deal with the real world.

    Yes...they're the ones who can't deal with the real world.

  • Re:no love for mutt? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dwonis ( 52652 ) on Saturday December 08, 2012 @09:00PM (#42229535)

    but when you receive mail from business people, it's usually an image embedded in a Word document, or at the very least a pdf. This is where mutt fails.

    I'm not sure about images, but mutt has a really fantastic auto_view [] feature, which will automatically decode HTML email, PDFs, Word documents, etc into text and display it inline in your viewer. When people email me PDFs, I can not only view them without spawning an external viewer, but the PDF/MSWord text gets included in the quoted text when I hit "reply", so I can just reply to their PDF/MSWord text in-line.

  • Re:no love for mutt? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by garaged ( 579941 ) on Saturday December 08, 2012 @10:54PM (#42230215) Homepage

    That is the beauty of mutt, I have my configuration save on a git repo, so it is trivial to get any new linux/similar OS to run locally mutt so that remote issue is not a problem

  • by Suchetha ( 609968 ) <suchetha@gmail.RASPcom minus berry> on Saturday December 08, 2012 @11:02PM (#42230275) Homepage Journal

    on thunderbird:

    edit > account settings > [account in question] > copies & folders > tick "place replies in the folder of the message being replied to"

    admittedly a few more steps than "click on 'conversation view'" .. but it is there .. and i love it so much


  • Re:no love for mutt? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jethro ( 14165 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @12:53AM (#42230869) Homepage

    Not the parent-post, but I too use Alpine.

    I tried to switch to Mutt back... in the 90s I think? People were ranting and raving about it. Frankly I found it much harder to use than Pine. People pointed out that I can configure Mutt to act exactly like Pine, to which I said that you know, Pine already does that.

    So my question would be "Why SHOULD I switch to Mutt?" Alpine does everything I need.

  • Re:no love for mutt? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dutchd00d ( 823703 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @06:48AM (#42232379) Homepage

    That is the beauty of mutt, I have my configuration save on a git repo, so it is trivial to get any new linux/similar OS to run locally mutt so that remote issue is not a problem

    I do that for all my dot-files (including ~/.muttrc). Log in to a new system, svn checkout ~/src/env, run make install there and boom, it's like coming home. Wonderful.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @09:02AM (#42232849)
    IBM has been selling and supporting Lotus Notes on Linux since before 2006. Also, Eudora 7.1 reportedly runs pretty well under Wine.

Given its constituency, the only thing I expect to be "open" about [the Open Software Foundation] is its mouth. -- John Gilmore