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Next Generation Mail Clients Reviewed 743

Posted by michael
from the kmail-rules dept.
kreide writes "E-mail is the 'killer app' of the Internet; an enormous number of messages are exchanged every day, and while web-based mail has become very popular in recent years, many people still prefer the added speed and flexibility of a mail client application. In this review I compare the next generation of the most popular e-mail clients, including Evolution, KMail, Opera and Mozilla, and their usability in dealing with large number of messages."
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Next Generation Mail Clients Reviewed

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  • hmmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:06PM (#8463883)
    isn't this kind of like reviewing the state of pop music without touching on britney spears, justin timberlake, beyonce, and michelle branch?
    • Re:hmmm (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:08PM (#8463910)
      I'm touching on Britney, Beyonce and Michelle right now!

      Oh, wait... That's me.
    • Re:hmmm (Score:3, Funny)

      Excellent idea. I would love to bring Britney and Michelle over to try out some touching. I could even write a review about it on slashdot :)
    • Re:hmmm (Score:4, Funny)

      by pestie (141370) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:28PM (#8464234) Homepage
      No, it's much more like reviewing the state of music without touching on...
    • Re:hmmm (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:30PM (#8464263)
      They do compare Outlook but only Outlook 2002 not Outlook 2003 which is a completely different product. I've been using it for a couple of weeks and I actually like it a lot. Spam filtering, lets you prevent HTML (by default doesn't download images, etc from internet), new look that is much more user friendly, easier to create rules, better searching, etc. To say you are doing a fair review and not compare the latest offering is just biased.

      And I am not a Microsoft employee or shill. I prefer Linux on the server and Windows and Office on the desktop. It has nothing to do with politics, cost, freedom or anything else. It has to do with what I am comfortable using.
      • Re:hmmm (Score:4, Funny)

        by krog (25663) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:06PM (#8464767) Homepage
        I prefer Linux on the server and Windows and Office on the desktop. It has nothing to do with politics, cost, freedom or anything else. It has to do with what I am comfortable using.

        It has to do with you never having used a Mac! :)

        (straight to hell with my karma)
      • by Bleeblah (602029) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:33PM (#8465129) Homepage

        I find Outlook 2003's spam filtering spotty. Sometimes it captures a message, sometimes it doesn't.

        Of importance to admins will be the fact that Outlook 2003 does not play well with some LDAP servers, and it can sometimes throw funny "errors" (warnings in reality) on IMAP mailboxes that can worry lusers.

        The menu organization for configuration/customization/settings for Outlook 2003 is horrible and after using it for months I still have to click through different button paths to find the right panel.

        Outlook is also a huge resource hog, but that goes without saying, given that it is a modern kitchen-sink app.

        • by Desult (592617) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @02:01PM (#8465507) Homepage
          After having used Outlook for quite a while, I've gone through the same thing with Thunderbird. In fact, I still can't seem to switch between HTML and plaintext email composition without changing my overall composition preferences, which is buried at least four or five clicks away from the composition window.

          I'm not sure if it's a config design issue as much as it is a familiarity issue. I dumped Outlook because of the unease I had with its security, and Outlook 2002's spotty compatibility with Windows XP. Thunderbird is better in some ways, but it definitely has its downsides, not the least of which is the painful configuration of multiple accounts and general preferences.
          • Re: Just give me... (Score:5, Informative)

            by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @02:18PM (#8465716) Homepage Journal
            Just give me good ol'Mutt in most cases. I don't need HTML email...just plain text messages. Mutt is highly customizable...works with POP and IMAP..can choose my editor I want to use with it...once you get the keyboard shortcuts down..you can BLAZE through tons of email. Works with mixmaster, pgp...

            Great little tool...

      • Re:hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

        by operagost (62405) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:40PM (#8465244) Homepage Journal
        This, along with the PENIS ENLARGEMENT SPAM they used in the screenshots, makes for a very unprofessional review.
    • Evolution (Score:4, Informative)

      by B'Trey (111263) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:54PM (#8465414)
      The article claims that Evolution supports only mbox format. This is incorrect. I haven't been able to find a way to force maildir as the default format, but you can click on any folder and convert it to maildir format. Importing maildir format is as simple as dragging and dropping the directories into Evolution's directory.
  • Next killer app? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by teklob (650327) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:07PM (#8463898)
    I hardly think email is the next 'killer app.' I get about 100 spams a day, and about 1 legitimate message every few weeks. Nowadays, virtually all of my communication is done over IM.
    • Good for you, but most people can't rely on IM for virtually all of their communications.

      IM generally requires the party on the other end to be logged in and sitting at their PC. E-Mail does not.
      • Re:Next killer app? (Score:3, Informative)

        by afd8856 (700296)
        No it doesn't. You do check your emails everyday by opening your email client, right? So why wouldn't you open your IM client, to receive all those incoming messages, that are stored on the server until you log in... (Jabber, Yahoo, MSN, all have this feature).
    • by The Angry Mick (632931) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:16PM (#8464046) Homepage
      Some folks might think that receiving 100 spams a day is the "killer" part of the app.
    • Re:Next killer app? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by skinny.net (20754) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:28PM (#8464233)
      Email is not the next killer app; it is the killer app. I just emailed by boss and a client about a bad account number. Those people may not be in the office now. I've never met the client and I'm not about to ask for his Yahoo! ID.

      I sent new documentation to a dozen of my coworkers yesterday; same story there.

      I'm glad IM works exclusively for you. While IM use is growing rapidly, email use is as well.

      I get no spam at work after 8 years. I get plenty at home, of course. If my company had it's own internal IM that didn't require public servers out of our control, it may be feasible, but our information will NOT be stored on MSN or Yahoo servers, PERIOD. There is simply no substitute for email. Yet. It will be the client and not the core concept that gets updated.
      • Re:Next killer app? (Score:5, Informative)

        by IpalindromeI (515070) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:34PM (#8465143) Journal
        If my company had it's own internal IM that didn't require public servers out of our control, it may be feasible

        Your company could run its own internal Jabber [jabber.org] server. There are lots of clients [jabber.org] for the employees, one of which would probably be suitable for or adaptable to the company's environment.
  • This is not a "next-generation" email client review if it does not include Microsoft Outlook 2003. Outlook 2003 boasts a great number of features and usability enhancements over Outlook 2002/XP. By including an older version of Outlook the author is skewing the comparison significantly!

    Feel free to mod me down as a troll, but the author isn't being honest with the community. Open-source folks will be better off knowing what's in the current version of commercial products, not the older versions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:10PM (#8463943)
    Is called mutt...
    • agreed! For some reason, certain people don't consider mutt to be a "real" email client. The fact of the matter is, i can compose/send an email *much* faster (mostly because i don't have to wait for a GUI to load) tnan I ever could with Outlook, all while the mouse gathers dust and feels slightly neglected. I switched to mutt a couple years ago and I can't imaging using anything else...
  • by tka (548076) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:11PM (#8463952)
    What? According to the overview evolution 1.5.2 doesn't support mail importing. That's a bit odd since my 1.4.5 does support it.
  • Where's Mail.app (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CmdrChillupa (166635) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:11PM (#8463958)
    Panther's Mail.app is by far the most usable, configurable mail application I've ever used. It's got all the usability and more of Outlook 2k3 without the high probability of having your computer trashed by virii.
  • by EasyTarget (43516) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:11PM (#8463965) Journal
    I just ditched my email client, I'm 100% on openwebmail [openwebmail.org] now.

    I'm a roaming contractor, so the alternative was trying to manage email clients at several locations, and constantly finding that something (address books, mail archives, etc..) was out of sync.

    • by Zerbey (15536) * on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:19PM (#8464091) Homepage Journal
      I'm a roaming contractor, so the alternative was trying to manage email clients at several locations, and constantly finding that something (address books, mail archives, etc..) was out of sync.

      That's what IMAP is for.

      • Humm.. It's amazing how many company firewalls completely block all POP and IMAP access these days (reasonably so, it's a huge virus/IP security risk). I never did a contract at any place they allowed this traffic to pass outside their intranet.

        Mind you, These days some companies block webmail too, at least major sites like hotmail/yahoo/etc.. My system would probably slip under the radar unless they use heuristics.

        Actually I used to do my roaming by constantly updating mail redirects on my personal and c
      • by daveewart (66895) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:00PM (#8464690)
        I'm a roaming contractor, so the alternative was trying to manage email clients at several locations, and constantly finding that something (address books, mail archives, etc..) was out of sync.


        That's what IMAP is for.

        No, IMAP is just for message storage. You still have to manage the configuration of the clients which access the IMAP server. IMAP simply lets you store your messages in a portable format. If you want to share other things, such as address books, you need to use something else - perhaps LDAP.

        If you want a single 'client' at all locations, you probably want to use webmail.
  • by garcia (6573) * on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:12PM (#8463971) Homepage
    I didn't find anything spectacular about any of them that would make them something I could call "next-generation". Perhaps "up-in-coming versions" or something...

    E-mail is NOT the killer app of the Internet. I have used plenty of different email clients and they all work the same. It is just as important as any other Internet communication device (IM, IRC, whatever).

    In order to get a feel for how each mail client handles daily tasks, I conducted my review by performing a number of tasks:

    Download a reasonably large amount of messages, about 2100 in total


    This is funny to me. I consider myself a "regular" computer/Internet user. I don't see the need to download 2100 messages as part of my "daily tasks".

    Why is new mail notification (on 3 of the 5) "Audio Only"? I much prefer not having sound and just having a popup notification (or a small blurb come up):

    [10:08] > From: Kitch@removed.org
    [10:08] To: Bill
    [10:08] Subject: Re: ok.

    I guess I am old fashioned...

    I also find it strange that only a single one (KMail) supports Maildir. The rest are mbox. I thought Maildir was the future?

    Just my worthless review of a worthless review,
    • This is funny to me. I consider myself a "regular" computer/Internet user. I don't see the need to download 2100 messages as part of my "daily tasks".

      Join the Fedora Mailing list...

  • by jmerelo (216716) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:13PM (#8463988) Homepage Journal
    Evolution is kind of quiet lately; I haven't seen new versions for some time. Besides, so far, it does not include some of the nifty features, like bayesian spam filtering, other email clients do.
    There does not seem to be a roadmap for it, either. Maybe Thunderbird [mozilla.org] is in the future for me.
  • No import? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enrico Pulatzo (536675) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:14PM (#8464012)
    Why doesn't Evolution support importing mailboxes? That seems really weird, not to mention the first feature that will leave an impression on the end-user. If I'm using an email client, and it does a sloppy/nonexistent job of importing my old mail, I'll just stick to whatever I'm using, amazing features or not.
    • Re:No import? (Score:5, Informative)

      by prockcore (543967) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:47PM (#8464485)
      Why doesn't Evolution support importing mailboxes?

      Because he's reviewing a severly beta version of Evolution? The version he's using doesn't even refresh the inbox list until you change folders.

      Stick with 1.4.5 (which does support importing mailboxes) until 1.5 becomes 1.6
  • Incomplete review (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:15PM (#8464025)
    There is no review of Pegasus or Eudora
    • Re:Incomplete review (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Rand Race (110288) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:21PM (#8464989) Homepage
      I did not include Eudora, even though the latest version does include unique features such as a Content Concentrator, Contextual Filing, MoodWatch and Email Usage Stats, as it is both closed source and not available for any UNIX platforms.

      That said, Eudora seems to run just fine on my Mach kernal, BSD-based system.

      It is misleading though: In this review I compare the next generation of the most popular e-mail clients, including Evolution, KMail, Opera and Mozilla...

      As I understand it, the most popular email clients are Outlook, Lotus, and Eudora. He means "the most popular e-mail clients for Linux... oh, and an old version of Outlook for comparison".
  • From Wired magazine: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by andy666 (666062) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:15PM (#8464028)
    "For every email sent, 2 pornographic images are viewed/downloaded"
  • by Mr_Silver (213637) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:16PM (#8464041)
    Virtual folders: Microsoft Outlook does not support this feature.

    Well, yes, it doesn't support virtual folders in the way that others implement it.

    However there is an option called "Current View" (in "View") which allows you to see your inbox in a number of different ways. For example: by sender, by followup flag, by conversation, past seven days.

    In addition, you can create and define your own custom views. So if I want to see all messages with the word "fish" in them, with one or more attachements, where I've been cc'ed and posted in the last week, then I can do so.

    Which sounds very similar to virtual folders to me.

  • Gnus/Emacs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yoghurt (2090) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:17PM (#8464054)
    Gnus in emacs is perhaps the most configurable email client ever. For dealing with massive amounts of email it is especially suitable. It treats email like it was news. It basically arranges your email into newsgroups and does things like sorting messages based on headers/content into the right buckets and expire old mails. I do not know how I could receive, e.g., the linux-kernel mailing list without gnus.
    • Re:Gnus/Emacs (Score:4, Informative)

      by FePe (720693) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:23PM (#8464150)
      For dealing with massive amounts of email it is especially suitable.

      And that's about the only reason to use Gnus for mail, other than the fact that you don't have to leave Emacs. Try to browse through the Gnus Manual [gnus.org] and see how many different configuration choices you have. I prefer Netscape Messenger for reading mail and news, but that's just because I only need the basic features.

    • Re:Gnus/Emacs (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dionysus (12737)
      Check out gmane [gmane.org]. Only way to deal with high-volume mailing lists.

      I prefer mutt for my mail, but I've started to use gnus for my news.
    • by avishal (94227) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:20PM (#8464982)
      lesser than pine, lesser than elm, lesser than GNUs and certainly lesser than the stoopid clients compared - Evolution, Kmail, Opera, Mozilla and (hehe) Outlook. Ofcourse, like most other happy mutt users ("happy" is redundant though), I have installed, configured, used and finally uninstalled them all (thanks god its all over). Outlook (hehe) is an exception, it automatically got uninstalled when I deleted windows.

      Some of the reasons why I hate all the non-mutt clients:

      1. WINDOWS BASED: excellent virus support (is that a feature or a bug?) + (correct me if I'm wrong) hardly any fetchmail / procmail / mbox support. BTW, these are not the only reasons for hating (hehe) outlook

      2. GUI BASED: 'normally' heavy on system resources + un-necessary dependence on mouse + need to have an Xserver if you wish to check your mails from your colleague's windows machine (who is another building).

      3. Text Based: either not as fast or not as configurable as mutt.
      - Mutt loads my 9,000 messages (approx.) mbox faster than pine (haven't compared elm/gnus).
      - Searching for a particular messages takes me atleast 1/10th the time on mutt because it allows localizing searches and sorting results. Don't ever challenge any mutt user on this one.
      - Pine/Elm are not colorful, which is a very usable feature I believe.
      - Threading. Don't know if Pine/Elm have it (please correct me if I'm wrong)?
      - Mutt allows keybindings for almost everything. So, when I press F7, I see all messages from my friends; Esc F7 -> everything except from my friends; F8 -> Friends + Family; F9 -> ...

      Reasons why I sometimes hate Mutt:
      1. doesn't have news support
      2. doesn't work if my keyboard is not plugged in (i.e. solely with a mouse)
      3. no group object model (yet to be invented)

      Someone should do the study again.
      • by Noksagt (69097) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @04:56PM (#8468020) Homepage
        - Mutt loads my 9,000 messages (approx.) mbox faster than pine (haven't compared elm/gnus).
        This is also a function of how you're loading those messages. I don't know about POP performance. Pine is considerably faster at IMAP. It also supports a billion local mailbox formats, some of which are speedier than others.

        - Searching for a particular messages takes me atleast 1/10th the time on mutt because it allows localizing searches and sorting results. Don't ever challenge any mutt user on this one.
        This will also depend on how you're getting your mail. But I will grant you that the reg exp searches are quite good & mutt probably wins on searching ability. Now if only Mutt could search across multiple mailboxes...

        Pine/Elm are not colorful, which is a very usable feature I believe.
        Pine has color. I have different colors for different levels of quoting setup. I also have it set to mark different colors using filters (so mail from someone I don't know is a different color from someone I don't). You can also make header colors different than body colors (which you can't do in mutt).

        - Threading. Don't know if Pine/Elm have it (please correct me if I'm wrong)?
        Pine threads. I think I may like Mutt's threading better still, but Pine does it quickly & accurately.

        - Mutt allows keybindings for almost everything. So, when I press F7, I see all messages from my friends; Esc F7 -> everything except from my friends; F8 -> Friends + Family; F9 -> ...
        This is one thing I am jealous of. I'm also jealous of the macro language & scriptability of mutt. Finally, you guys have a smaller footprint (though I suspect that the lack of features that Pine has out of the box has a lot to do with that).

        Reasons why I sometimes hate Mutt:
        I would add:
        4. the addressbook is crappy
        5. IMAP features leave a lot to be desired
  • Killer app? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phorm (591458) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:17PM (#8464056) Journal
    E-mail is the 'killer app' of the Internet

    Actually, the internet has had several killer apps that kept the boom going:

    a) Communication: This includes IM's and email. In the early days it was mostly email.

    b) PR0N: Actually, it's been around since the early days of the internet. Heck, I remember it was a big part of BBS's before I got on the 'net

    c) Games: This really hit when TCP/IP games became popular over the internet. Less need to lug your PC over to a friends' for a LAN party, and you mom can play solitaire with your aunt in another country

    d) Music: I know a lot of people that subscribed to high speed just to get supposed "free" music.

    Email is perhaps, however, one of the "killer apps" that has suffered the most during its time online. Games have their botters/hackers, pr0n has its misleading popups, and music has its Britneys, but by far SPAM has become one of the larger unfixed problems so far (patched, perhaps, but not fixed)
  • Um... Outlook XP? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MSFanBoi (695480) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:17PM (#8464057) Journal
    As someone else mentioned, Microsoft's current mail client is not Outlook XP, it's currently Outlook 2003.

    There are also several innaccuracies in his review of the product.

    1.) Outlook does indeed support emoticons. Use Word as your default text editor in Outlook.

    2.)You CAN forward attachments, both in line and otherwise...

    3.) Outlook can do key binding... it's under Options, Customize.

    4.) I've been creating and managing mail lists in Outlook since Outlook 98...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:18PM (#8464065)
    The ability to filter incoming mail based on the existence (or lack of) of the sender's e-mail address in my Contact database. This applies to both Outlook and Evo.

    All belly aching aside, I'm planning on employing a white list of valid e-mailers some time this year. For me at least, the promise of 'anybody' communicating via e-mail is dead.

  • by squashed (664265) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:19PM (#8464082)
    The review does not discuss external editor support. In fact, most of the clients supported don't have it.

    Sylpheed, judged "not next generation enough" by the reviewer, enables me to compose in a custom konsole/xterm/rxvt in Vim, or Gvim -- a capability that makes it the only usuable GUI client IMHO.

  • by Organized Konfusion (700770) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:20PM (#8464112) Journal
    The Opera M2 client is what I use every day for newsgroups, mailing lists, pop3 mail, imap mail.

    I know it inside out... the review makes two mistakes in the matrix of features.

    Firstly Opera does have both audio and visual mail notification.

    Secondly Opera Mail does have the ability to assign keyboard shortcuts of your choice.

    Thirdly it does support emoicons.

    If the reviewer gets so much wrong about Opera then there is no telling how many other mistakes he has made.
    • by viware (680138) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:40PM (#8464405)
      You are correct.
      Further, I am using the Linux version and there is another mistake, as it does allow importing mail from both generic mbox files and netscape 6/7 mail.

      I didn't read the rest of this review, as those errors killed it for me. How can I trust anything else in the article?

      Also, why the hell are so many people supporting Outlook in here? Hasn't it been shown time and again that using either Outlook or IE is like internet suicide?!
  • by Noksagt (69097) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:23PM (#8464147) Homepage
    Mozilla's support for IMAP is OK, but to not see Mulberry on this list is a big shame! It is the best GUI IMAP client currently available. Outlook's IMAP is HORRIBLE & the Kmail & Opera aren't quite there yet either.

    For what it is worth, I actually use PINE (which is an even better IMAP client than mulberry). It is a shame not to see some very good text-based clients such as pine and mutt in this comparison as well.
    • Outlook and IMAP (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gregvr (518483)
      I'm very surprised that the review of Outlook's IMAP capabilities as "reasonable".

      The fact that "deleting" does not shield the user from the IMAP concept of marking for deletion. I am unable to move many of my users to an IMAP-based mail implementation because Outlook doesn't correctly use the metaphor!

      (Thunderbird, on the other hand, sets up a virtual "trash" folder, which is really just posts that have been marked for deletion-- that's the way it should work!)

  • by autechre (121980) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:23PM (#8464157) Homepage
    If you edit a lot of files, it's worth it to learn how to use vi or emacs. Likewise, if you get a lot of email, it's worth it to learn how to use a powerful and effective email client. There's no reason a program should be viewed as limited just because it doesn't require a mouse.

    Text-based MUAs such as Mutt are still (IMO) more effective at dealing with large numbers of messages. They do have a learning curve, but you can cut through the masses much more efficiently. External programs are called for HTML, images, encryption, etc. in the Unix tradition (and even Microsoft uses an external HTML viewer). For those of you who edit a lot of text too, Mutt even calls an external editor for composing messages.

    No, they're not for everyone, or perhaps even most people. However, my father is an auto mechanic working as a shop supervisor for UMBC. He doesn't like PCs very much, but he asked me to "set up PINE" (meaning an SSH client) on a new machine that the campus IT staff had set up for him with Netscape 7's email client. He's on some high-volume lists, and it's just too slow to use a GUI client.

    For the record, I do prefer Mozilla to w3m, because I find it to be faster for most tasks (even for freshmeat work, where I have to edit a lot of text in Mozilla's editor versus the ability to use Vim in w3m). I also use GAIM, and used Pan back when I downloaded large quantities of fansubs. But email is basically dealing with a lot of text which sometimes has other stuff, and for that, I find text-based to be the way to go.

  • Inclusion Criteria (Score:4, Interesting)

    by richg74 (650636) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:23PM (#8464159) Homepage
    Note that Outlook has been included for completeness, both because of its popularity and for use as a reference. I did not include Eudora, even though the latest version does include unique features ... as it is both closed source and not available for any UNIX platforms.

    And Outlook is open source and available for UNIX platforms? Yes, I know that Outlook / OE are popular, but it is kind of a shame that Eudora was omitted, given that the review was to cover the Windows environment. Unlike Outlook, it is possible to configure Eudora to avoid some of the security mis-features of Windows. (For example, you can disable Microsoft's HTML rendering engine.) The reviewer missed an opportunity to provide a little education. (BTW, I am sure that there are other good mail clients; I mention Eudora because I'm familiar with it.)

  • What about Sylpheed? (Score:4, Informative)

    by zuikaku (740617) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:27PM (#8464219)
    I use Sylpheed and love it. In particular I love the fact that it can thread email messages (though other clients like Mozilla can also). The only thing I hate about it is the address book.

    There is a definite lack of predefined fields in the address book - no place to store phone numbers or addresses, for example. It does have a feature that lets you add ad-hoc fields (user attributes) to the contact's record, but there isn't a way to make all the contacts have the same add-on fields without defining them for each individual contact. It is also capable of using vCards, but it only seems to get the name and email address out of them, ignoring all the other info.

    If it wasn't for the poor address book, I'd be using it on my Windows box as well as my Linux system.

    • by Sarin (112173)
      I use Sylpheed-claws as well and I must say: it's the stuff.
      I used evolution for a while, but it has too many things I don't use (scheduler etc) and it doesn't have enough mail options in my view and a bit slow when you have many messages in a folder.
      Then I tried kmail, which is very nice, but due to a bug which seemed to only occur on my ppc based system, it was unable to open my mailbox. I wanted to try something different.

      So I tried sylpheed-claws (I think it's something like the developement version of
    • by Accipiter (8228) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:17PM (#8464945)
      I was looking for someone to mention Sylpheed [good-day.net], and would have done so myself if nobody did.

      When you don't need all of the bullshit features of the big and ridiculously bloated mail clients out there, and you want something to do just e-mail, Sylpheed simply cannot be beat. It is bar-none the absolute best mail client I have ever used. Period.

      Even if I *did* need the features offered by other mail applications (calendar, journal, etc.) I'd use those separately and still keep Sylpheed as my mail client. It's that good.
  • by phoxix (161744) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:31PM (#8464277)
    I don't know about you guys, but last time I checked not all email clients supported all the AUTH protocols out there.

    I know that Kmail does a pretty good job of supporting most of them (PLAIN, LOGIN, GASSPI, KRB5, etc)

    Sunny Dubey
  • by LibrePensador (668335) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:32PM (#8464304) Journal
    "Mail import: Evolution can only import from UNIX mbox files and some older versions of Netscape. This makes migration from Windows clients such as Outlook Express problematic to say the least. The easiest solution might in fact be using KMail to migrate the mail to mbox format and then import it into Evolution."

    For me the easiest route to getting people out of outlook express and into any open source email client is to open an IMAP email account for them at fastmail.fm or runbox. Then I setup the account under outlook and move all the email to that account. Since IMAP is server-based, they can switch to Linux and all their email is just there.

    Then, they can do one of two things. If they are moving permanently to Linux, move all of their emails to the local mbox from the IMAP one and set up their pop service with whoemver they have as their email provider. Or if they are double-booting, continue with the IMAP setup, which allows them to email from both sides of their computing world and makes the transition to full-time Linux user easier.

  • by polyp2000 (444682) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:35PM (#8464338) Homepage Journal
    I've posted this before, but for me, particularly as i am applying for jobs sending CV's off every five minutes, etc, this shows that it is often the simple things in life that really make a difference. I recently upgraded to KDE 3.2 , and recieved a pop-up dialog that actually made me smile :))

    Kmail Dialog [blackapology.com]

    (its KDE3.2 with Aqua Icons, Baghira and clever configuration btw)

    nick ....
  • The Bat! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by whizzzo (308797) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:35PM (#8464339)
    I've tried most of the graphical Windows clients and nothing beats The Bat for me. The filters are the real killer, especially filtering on groups into set folders with different notifications for each.

    Thunderbird is almost there and I'm guessing sometime in the next year it'll be good enough for me to move to it.
  • by NineNine (235196) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:37PM (#8464369)
    This person has obviously never used Outlook in a corporate environment. At several jobs, I lived in Outlook. All of the features: tasks, calendars, scheduling, even journaling are *EXTREMELY* useful!

    That being said, Outlook is NOT a bare bones mail client. If he wanted to compare the MS mail client, that would be Outlook Express.

    Also, why didn't he review any good closed source clients? This seems to be a silly OSS vs. MS thing. If it was a real review, he would have at LEAST needed to include Eudora and Pegasus, both of which have been around for ages (much longer than any of the ones he reviewed, in fact).
  • by Chuck Bucket (142633) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:37PM (#8464373) Homepage Journal
    as for 'next generation' mail clients, I continue to think web based clients should be considered. why continue to spread the burden of email from server -> client, when a web based client only views mail on the server, and doesn't have to transmit/store it.

    with clients such as Squirrelmail and Horde/IMP, it seems that this would be the path more in line with the current thinking. I use Squirrelmail, and it does (almost) everything I want. What it doesn't do can be added via modules, or via coding of your own modules (which I'm working on now).

    P
  • by claes (25551) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:43PM (#8464439)
    With all respect, I doubt any of these email clients belong to the next generation, they are rather of the current generation. The next generation includes Chandler [osafoundation.org] from the OSA Foundation.
  • by Dixie_Flatline (5077) <vincent...jan...goh@@@gmail...com> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:49PM (#8464525) Homepage
    1) Opera DOES have a non-audio mail notification. I have sound turned off, and when mail comes in, I get a little box in the bottom left hand corner of the screen that says how many messages have arrived. I'm still using Opera 7.23.

    2) Outlook XPs version of 'threading' is kind of crappy, in my opinion.

    3) Why do all the open source email clients look exactly like Outlook? I've never particularily liked that view of email. Can't anyone think of anything better?

    4) I use mutt, Mail.app (OSX) and Opera as my main mail clients. Mutt is still the most feature-rich mail client that I've ever used, inability to display HTML and images inline notwithstanding (and most of the time, I like it better that way.) Mail.app under OSX is quite nice too, though I don't like the way that it won't check IMAP servers automatically when it checks your main Inbox. I always have to syncronize my folders. Also, it should display the number of new messages that you have in total in all of your folders (excluding the spam folder) if you want it to.

    5) I haven't used Outlook 2003 yet, but Outlook XP is excessively annoying. It doesn't do anything the standard way, as near as I can tell. Threading, quoting, replying - it's all terrible. I hate the fact that text email isn't default.
  • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:59PM (#8464673) Homepage
    Let's see how the old generation compares:

    New mail notification: Yes.
    Encryption: Yes
    Follow-ups: Probably not. I have ever used the build-in calendar.
    Forward attached/Inline: Yes
    Write HTML mail: No
    Multiple accounts: Yes
    Customizable keybindings: Yes, extremely :-)
    Full index search: No, requires an add-on (nnir)
    Advanced searching: Yes
    IMAP search: Don't know, I don't use IMAP.
    Search folders: Yes
    Spam filter: No build in spam filter. Good support for external spam filters, and good general filtering ability.
    Handle mailing lists: Yes, if I understand it correctly.
    Do not download mail rules: Don't know.
    Labels for e-mail: No, not if they are talking about RMAIL style labels.
    Create filter from message: No
    Emoticons: Yes
    LDAP: No
    Message threading: Yes
    Mail storage format: mbox, babyl, mh, usenet, and more...
  • What I want is ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Etyenne (4915) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:01PM (#8464704)
    ... the ability to use vi as my mail editor. This is why I stuck with Mutt. I would love to use a GUI to naviguate my mail, but I spend much more time composing mail so that is what I decided to optimize. I have been told that you can coax Kmail into using the Kvim Kpart for mail composing (this K- naming convention is getting ridiculous ...), but never got around to try it. Well, I guess I could use both a GUI for navigating my mail and Mutt for composition, but that would get cumbersome ...

    I also wish somebody would embbed vim in Web browser. Editing in those damn HTML textarea is a fscking pain !
  • by chrysalis (50680) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:10PM (#8464824) Homepage
    Sorry, but I really don't think that HTML bloated email is next gen.

    It pisses me off to waste time understanding how people are quoting emails in order to find what they actually wrote. I especially like people who quote everything and then insert replies with a supposed different color. Very convenient when I answer with mutt.

    It pisses me off to fight with Mozilla Thunderbird in order to remove decorative bloat with pictures added to every mail sent by my boss.

    It pisses me off to removely download a 10 Mb large email through a 128Kb link just to see that it's a BMP screenshot send through outlook instead of writing text.

    It pisses me off to receive mail with no subject. And then people reply to it and the subject becomes "Re: Tr: Tr: Re: Re: Tr:".

    It pisses me off to receive mail that was actually a "reply to" a message that was 2 years old and that has nothing to do with the previous thread.

    It pisses me off to receive mails whose content is in the subject with an empty body.

    It pisses me off to receive fully quoted emails, including attachments (even when it's BMP screenshots) just when the real text added by the sender is "ok".

    The next generation email is probably when people will respect the netiquette again.

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:12PM (#8464857) Homepage Journal
    I think the KDE 3.2 version of KMail is exceptionally good, with a couple of not-so-minor issues.

    First, you can't sort email from an IMAP mailbox into another folder. Yes, really. POP sorting works well, but if you use IMAP, then you have to manually move your mail or use server-side sorting.

    Second, KDE needs a real LDAP backend. Evolution's LDAP client is fine - you can add, edit, and delete entries as your permissions allow. KAddressBook will only let you search for entries. I maintain a small LAN and I would love for all users to be able to sync their Palms with an OpenLDAP addressbook so that we don't have to push changes to each individual user.

    If KMail can get these straightened out, I'd almost consider switching from Gnus. Almost.

  • by Mr. Protocol (73424) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @02:40PM (#8466025)
    I deal with inboxes with 5,000-7,000 messages - not immense by today's standards (still boggled by the guy whose wife has 66,000 pending inbox messages) but large enough.

    George Santayana keeps invading my consciousness. Most of today's mail readers are blindly taking the road that I abandoned 25 years ago. I don't want to read my mail using a database system. I want my mail to be a full-fledged member of UNIX society, not locked up inside a single application.

    At RAND, we had a homebrew mail system that worked about like today's readers: mail was kept in a file, with a sidebar index file for quickly locating individual messages. It fell out of sync regularly, but on those dog-slow machines, rebuilding the index file was a coffee-break operation.

    Norm Shapiro should be credited with the insight that UNIX already provided the cleanest solution to mail storage: messages are files, folders are directories. He and Bruce Borden hammered things out over about six months of conversations, then Bruce wrote the first version of the MH system over a weekend.

    MH is ancient. There is no doubt about this. The original MH is as dead as T. Rex; people use NMH now. It's almost all text-only. It does have a MIME wart on the side, but just barely. If you want to use mice, scroll wheels, and other "modern" goodies you need to use a front end like EXMH.

    BUT: 99.95% of all the legit email I get is text-only. "showproc" can deal with MIME mail that just asks for a different font, and EXMH does understand basic HTML. You can create MIME attachments if you need to.

    And it's the skip-loader of email systems. It doesn't care if there are 8,000 messages in a folder. It just works. And it's fast.

    On the Mac I use Mail.app. It does work (mostly, except when Apple is having one of its periodic days where WebDAV doesn't work, and they're in denial [nothing wrong here, move along please]). It has nice filtering features. It has threading.

    It also feels like a toy. I get the feeling that if I pointed it at an 8,000-message inbox, it'd fold like a cheap suit. Certainly it'd be tough to deal with that many messages through that interface.

    For the big time mail flows, I'm sticking with MH. Thanks again, Norm and Bruce.

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