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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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  • by Coderstop (701079) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:10AM (#8463946)
    RTFA! They review Outlook.
  • by EasyTarget (43516) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:11AM (#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.

  • What about Mail.app? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:12AM (#8463977)
    What about Apple's Mail.app?
  • by gingerTabs (532664) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:12AM (#8463980) Homepage
    The author gives his justification for not including Outlook 2003 in the FAQ at the end of the aarticle.

    The main justification being that:

    Outlook 2002 is fully featured enough to compete, and
    Most users with windows will be using outlook 2002 so it is a useful reference.

    Get down of that high horse buddy and relax a little
  • Re:okay (Score:3, Informative)

    by Gunfighter (1944) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:13AM (#8463997) Homepage
    If this is for "Next Generation", there's no reason to include Outlook Express since Microsoft is stopping development on it [slashdot.org].

  • Incomplete review (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:15AM (#8464025)
    There is no review of Pegasus or Eudora
  • by Mr_Silver (213637) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:16AM (#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.

  • Um... Outlook XP? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MSFanBoi (695480) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:17AM (#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...
  • Re:okay (Score:3, Informative)

    by AntiOrganic (650691) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:17AM (#8464061) Homepage
    Microsoft has already stated that they've stopped updating their Outlook Express software. It wouldn't make sense to classify it as "next-generation" when it's not going to have one.
  • RE: RTFA time. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Wingchild (212447) <brian@wingchild.net> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:19AM (#8464094) Homepage
    FYI, Outlook is reviewed in the article, you just have to read the article to find this out. Stop going for front page first post karma whoring, start reading the articles, and perhaps you can contribute something of value.

    For example:

    As part of the stat breakdown in the boxed chart in the review (did you read the article? Please read the article..), Outlook is flagged as not having full index searching.

    To wit, `full index searching` has a superscript and is described thusly:

    2. Full index search refers to all messages, including body text, being indexed and searchable without reading everything from storage.


    This is true but only half accurate -- in an Exchange environment it is completely possible to enable full text indexing of everything on the Exchange server. It just isn't usable on your home system as a standalone internet email client.

    Even if you could use full text indexing at home, in a POP3/IMAP environment ... why would you? The idea of having such an index is to reduce the burden of searches by having an index where you can get faster results -- keep the servers from dying if 3,000 people all opt to search for "Re:" throughout the whole server. At home, what's the benefit? To create a full text index you're going to create a second searchable database on your PC. Your email storage files (psts or whatnot) are *already* a database that exists for this purpose. You'd have to trade storage space to shave an extra 0.3ms off your search times. It doesn't make good sense.

    Assuming you do IMAP and keep most of your data on the server the argument becomes, `I don't want to have to read/download everything to find a single message`. The counter argument is simply, `Where do you think you're gonna keep your full text index? On your ISP's system?`

    Anyway, full text index searching isn't something I see as viable for a home platform -- and if you're talking about in a business or enterprise setting, Outlook does support it - through Exchange Server.
  • by MSFanBoi (695480) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:19AM (#8464096) Journal
    Are you daft? Exchange 5.5, 2000 and 2003 support IMAP and POP3. Funny how my linux box running KMail connects just fine to my Exchange 2003 server at the office... I must be doing something strange!
  • by Organized Konfusion (700770) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:20AM (#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.
  • Re:outlook 2k3 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zayin (91850) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:22AM (#8464140)
    From the FAQ in the article:

    Q: Why didn't you use the newest version of Microsoft Outlook? This doesn't seem like a fair comparison.

    A: The only reason Outlook was even included was to serve as a reference with what is commonly available for the majority of users (which still run Windows unfortunately) today.

    Using the latest Office 2003 would not have done most of them any good, as upgrading can cost hundreds of dollars (or more!), and might not be an option for some time. After reading the review they can, however, immediately decide it is time to try out one of the alternatives, several of which are multi platform.

    Also, I only had Office XP at hand when writing the review, which only helps to better illustrates my point I think.

  • by Noksagt (69097) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:23AM (#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.
  • Re:Gnus/Emacs (Score:4, Informative)

    by FePe (720693) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:23AM (#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:Next killer app? (Score:3, Informative)

    by afd8856 (700296) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:24AM (#8464168) Homepage
    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 ferratus (244145) * on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:25AM (#8464185) Homepage
    Well, for one thing, Outlook runs only on Windows and many of us here do not run this OS. If you are on Windows, then feel free to use Outlook, even though personally I can't see why anyone would want to run it unless he has to connect to an Exchange server.

    While it's true that Outlook is becoming more secure, having the possibility to script a mail client is not the best of ideas if you ask me. I prefer to stay clear of script-enabled email client since I don't ever need that feature. (I know, it's disabled by default now in Outlook)

    Also, outlook isn't free. Which is irrelevant if your boss pays for your software but kinda sucks at home. Unless you copy it of course...
  • by unmadindu (524636) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:27AM (#8464209) Homepage
    Actually, Evolution is in its 1.5x (unstable) series. You can check out the latest news from the evolution front here [ximian.com]. There is also a roadmap at here [gnome.org]. I have been using the unstable branch (from CVS) for quite sometime now, and it is quite stable for me. It is now integrated by default to Spamassasin - so it does spam filtering quite nicely.

    The roadmap is also available at webcal://www.gnome.org/projects/evolution/roadmap. ics [webcal].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:27AM (#8464211)
    Which sounds very similar to virtual folders to me.

    And Outlook 2003 *does* support virtual folders, calling them "search folders". Whatever his motivation for picking a version, he should have pointed this out rather than just a "does not support".
  • What about Sylpheed? (Score:4, Informative)

    by zuikaku (740617) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:27AM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:28AM (#8464225)
    I was wondering about that too. I can tell you personally that Apple's mail program that comes with 10.3 handles a large amount of messages in one mailbox very well. All the virus alerts I get from our mail scanner tally up to 12000+ messages in one mailbox file and Apple's mail can open the mailbox in less than a few seconds and it searchs the messages just as fast.
  • by Wingchild (212447) <brian@wingchild.net> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:28AM (#8464238) Homepage
    heh, I went back to reading and found more stuff that wasn't kosher. Read on if you care about accuracy. :)

    Composing messages: Reply, reply to all and inline forward are supported, but attached forward seem to be missing as well as forward as-is.


    While looking at your Inbox,
    Tools | Options | first tab is Preferences | E-mail Options.

    Area called `On Replies and Forwards`. Dropdown list called `When forwarding a message`. Options are:

    • Attach original message
    • Include original message (inline)
    • Include and indent original message
    • Prefix each line of original message, and it lets you pick the prefix if you want.


    For the message composing Microsoft Word is used and all its features, such as spell checking, can thus be used. Most of the features, especially related to fonts and graphics, are naturally most useful when writing HTML mail.


    Strike out `is used` and write in `can be used` -- I routinely disable Word as my email editor because I don't want everything Word can to do happen to my email (such as substituting graphical smileys for the universal :) and similar).

    The fonts and formatting all work splendidly in Rich Text mode, which is 200% less suck-tastic than HTML mail.

    Blind carbon copy (BCC) does not seem to be supported at all. By clicking the "Options" button you can set a number of options for the message, however, including signing or encrypting. text.


    While composing an email -
    View | BCC Field

    Damn, I know that's hard to find.

    Unfortunately for the reviewer, I find Outlook remarkably easy to use, and always have. The reviewer's inability to find these simple, basic pre-installed options in Outlook calls into question the thoroughness of the review of any product listed. I'm just catching these because I happen to use Outlook fairly often.

  • Re:hmmm (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:30AM (#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.
  • Bcc Field (Score:2, Informative)

    by Fuyu (107589) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:30AM (#8464264)
    Under the review for Outlook, the author says, "Blind carbon copy (BCC) does not seem to be supported at all." However, Outlook does
    support Bcc. Just like in Evolution, if you go to View->Bcc Field, it will show the Bcc field below the Cc field. If you do not have the Bcc Field present (to conserve screen real estate), when you create a new e-mail, if you click to "To..." button, a "Select Names" window pops up and allows you to enter e-mail addresses in the To, Cc, and Bcc fields.
  • by LibrePensador (668335) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:32AM (#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.

  • Re:Next killer app? (Score:5, Informative)

    by cbreaker (561297) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:33AM (#8464306) Journal
    It's not an elegant alternative to E-Mail in any event, even if the IM server will "queue" the messages for you.

    The main point is that IM is not even close to a viable alternative to E-Mail and it was somewhat off the wall for him to suggest so.
  • Re:Gnus/Emacs (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dionysus (12737) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:33AM (#8464316) Homepage
    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.
  • Re:Outlook (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bobman1235 (191138) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:34AM (#8464322) Homepage
    I'm not a microsoft support but I think it is a little remiss not to include the next generation of Outlook in your review. It seems to be the "most popular" client everywhere I've ever worked.

    SIGH. About six comments are moderated 3 or better with this exact same sentiment. So not only did the posters not read the article, neither did the moderators. While you can argue that his logic is flawed or that he could have included Outlook EXPRESS, he specifically states :


    The only reason Outlook was even included was to serve as a reference with what is commonly available for the majority of users (which still run Windows unfortunately) today.

    Using the latest Office 2003 would not have done most of them any good, as upgrading can cost hundreds of dollars (or more!), and might not be an option for some time. After reading the review they can, however, immediately decide it is time to try out one of the alternatives, several of which are multi platform.

    Also, I only had Office XP at hand when writing the review, which only helps to better illustrates my point I think.


    ALSO note that the author seems to be focusing on Linux mail clients (or at least AVAILABLE for Linux), which Outlook is NOT (AFAIK...).
  • The chart in the article shoes mozilla not having visual notifcations of new mail.

    I am using thunderbird 0.5 and if you goto

    tools/options

    and look for show an alert, make sure checked.

    ta-da
  • Re:outlook 2k3 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Otter (3800) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:36AM (#8464349) Journal
    Since you brought it up....

    I use Microsoft Entourage to handle a collection of two IMAP accounts and one POP account. It has a few flaws (randomly stops subscribing to IMAP folders, requires you to download entire messages, including attachments, the address completion seems to include forged spam headers but not half the real senders in my inbox) but on the whole I'm pleased with it. And it's on OS X so there are no worm propblems.

    The Linux readers just don't cut it. KMail, which I've used happily with POP accounts, updates IMAP accounts apparently whenever it feels like it. I'll hit the mail check button an 20 minutes later something might happen. Evolution works relatively well for one IMAP account but won't handle the other at all. Neither feels as smooth as Entourage, neither is as feature complete, and surprisingly neither offers transfer progress methods nearly as complete as Entourage's. (Evolution is especially useless for the latter.)

    I've barely used Outlook, but Microsoft's Mac unit blows the doors off the Unix competition.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:36AM (#8464352)
    The review claims that BCC is not supported in Outlook. Not true; the field is just not shown by default. You can turn it on under the View menu when composing a message.

    The feature list says that Outlook does not support search folders. In Outlook 2003 they are supported. (The review is not technically wrong here, as Outlook 2002 was reviewed. But let's be fair and talk about the latest version of the product.)
  • Re:No import? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:38AM (#8464377)
    Evolution does support importing mail. They're using a development release that's apparently missing the feature for the moment.
  • by mr.capaneus (582891) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:38AM (#8464383)
    The point is that many people do not have access to it and the reviewer is a good example of that. The email clients got reviewed because they were accessible, both to the reviewer and (most of) us.
  • Re:okay (Score:2, Informative)

    by patsalov (710245) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:40AM (#8464397)
    Actually, IBM Research is working on Reinventing Email, or ReMail. http://www.research.ibm.com/remail/index.html It includes some pretty neat features, which other clients aught to adopt.
  • by viware (680138) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:40AM (#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 Cid Highwind (9258) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:45AM (#8464463) Homepage
    Ximian doesn't publish announcements for every beta release on their web site like most volunteer Open Source projects do. However, Evolution *is* under heavy development right now. The next major release (evo 2.0) is supposed to coincide with the release of Gnome 2.6, which should be out in a month or so. It will include a spam filter, better integration with gaim and the Gnome desktop, and a lot of little UI improvements. Unfortunately, it's losing the summary page, so no more reading RSS feeds in Evolution.

    If you're feeling adventurous, you can get the latest version from Gnome CVS. If you just want to know what they're working on, read this [ximian.com].
  • Mac OS X... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:46AM (#8464474)
    Mac OS X comes with Mail.app, haven't seen a better e-mail client yet and I've tried many...
  • Re:No import? (Score:5, Informative)

    by prockcore (543967) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:47AM (#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
  • by Sarin (112173) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:48AM (#8464511) Homepage Journal
    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 sylpheed). Many options and mailboxes, it reminds me a bit of Eudora on the pc, which is good.
    It gets even better with bogofilter (after some configuring)! It blocks 99% of the spam. I wouldn't want to switch to another mail client now.

    Here's an article about configuring bogofilter for sylpheed-claws if you like [linuxdevcenter.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:51AM (#8464536)
    What's so 'next gen' about these clients?

    If you really want to try something cool and useful checkout Zoe: http://zoe.nu/
  • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:59AM (#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...
  • by daveewart (66895) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:00PM (#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 Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:12PM (#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.

  • No MAC Review... (Score:2, Informative)

    by skeezix-the-cat (726758) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:12PM (#8464860)
    Hey! What about OSX's email client? It rocks! And it does some pretty slick backflips as well.....drag a file to icon, it launches an email, file attached. Select some text, hit reply, up comes reply w/ ONLY that selected text quoted... Plus less of a chance of virus emails, to say the least.... I love my Powerbook... skeezix
  • by avishal (94227) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:20PM (#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.
  • Give me hooks! (Score:3, Informative)

    by AndroidCat (229562) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:22PM (#8464998) Homepage
    For new mail notification, I wish that mail programs would provide lots of hooks for external apps.

    I might want to an audio notification--but I might want to first check if (a) I'm sleeping, (b) I'm having a higher priority meeting/phone call, (c) vary the audio notification depending on the email, (d) flash the lights if I'm deaf YIC!, (e) page me, (f) ???

    Granted if the program is open source, I can do what I want, but that's frequently too much information. I just want documented hooks, not a whole parts list.

    Of course, this was a user review.

  • Spruce anyone? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:22PM (#8465010)
    What about Spruce? I've been using Spruce for years and it's very light weight and fast. It's not at all bloated like all the mailers reviewed in this article.
  • by rasjani (97395) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:26PM (#8465050) Homepage
    Personally, i've been running evolution from the day one as the first public beta ever surfaced. Currently i have 1.4 (i think, what ever comes off with apt-get for fedora) and i have bayesian filtering that is working really smoothly.

    Yes, it's not build in but a short script i have running as a filter (and a cronjob) and it works 100% accurately.

    The actual information on how to set this up can be found via google with "evolution bayesian filter" keywords and its the 3rd link. URL is: http://www.linuxbandwagon.com/evolution-bayesian/ [linuxbandwagon.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:27PM (#8465065)

    Shame the article does not cover web apps. See Oddpost www.oddpost.com [oddpost.com] and Convea www.convea.com [convea.com] for two of the best.

  • Re:hmmm (Score:3, Informative)

    by Popageorgio (723756) <popsnap@gmail.com> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:29PM (#8465085) Homepage
    Yeah, XP isn't exactly the "next generation" version of Outlook. I use Outlook 2003, and while I wish the spam blocker and sexy interface had come in earlier versions, the fact is that Microsoft has finally made a strong version of Outlook, and this version (which has been available for several months) is the correct version to compare to other e-mail readers.

    In any case, the test does give a fair shake to the older version.

    My college runs a Windows Exchange mail server, so I'm limited when I look for e-mail clients. Does anyone know how I can shoehorn my account into a reader that will let me compose in HTML? I have to jump hoops to pull HTML into Outlook 2003.

  • by Bleeblah (602029) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:33PM (#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.

  • Re:Next killer app? (Score:5, Informative)

    by IpalindromeI (515070) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:34PM (#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.
  • Unbiased? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Awptimus Prime (695459) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:36PM (#8465185)
    Using the latest Office 2003 would not have done most of them any good, as upgrading can cost hundreds of dollars (or more!), and might not be an option for some time.

    It is $109 here [microsoft.com]. That's not quite "hundreds of dollars".

    Can anyone be pro-Linux and not write such uninformed dribble? Lately, I have really started to notice why a lot of people are just anti-Linux for no good reason. Everything they hear about it comes from maroons like this author.

    Believe me, folks. Be responsible when posting to the web. If you act like a zealot, people will automatically and subconciously avoid things you tout on principle.
  • Evolution (Score:4, Informative)

    by B'Trey (111263) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:54PM (#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.
  • Error in "Features" (Score:3, Informative)

    by EvilStein (414640) <spam@@@pbp...net> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:00PM (#8465493) Homepage
    Mozilla does more than "Audio only" - it will also pop up a small systray window at you.

    It's annoying, and one of the first things that I turn off.

    Edit -> Preferences -> Mail & Newsgroups -> Notifications. It's right there.. even in Moz 1.5
  • by nberardi (199555) * on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:03PM (#8465533) Homepage
    This guy that wrote this article doesn't really have any clue. He said he is looking at the Next Generation of E-mail clients yet he is a version behind with Outlook. Also many of the things he said wasn't included in Outlook have been included in Outlook since Outlook 97. He probably didn't even look, but I don't know how you couldn't have seen them because they are right on the title bar or in the admin options.

    Forward attached/Inline :: Yes :: Tools > Options > E-mail Options > When Forwarding a Message > **
    Customizable keybindings :: Yes :: Right Click Toolbar > Commands > Keyboard Button
    Full index search :: Yes :: Mailboxes are automatically indexed, as searches are done
    IMAP search :: Yes :: It does have this I actually did it a few mins ago
    Search folders :: Yes :: It definitly searchs folders, but if he means a predefined pattern search Outlook 2003 does that too
    Handle mailing lists :: Yes :: Right click in XP and greater on a message and press create rule automatically
    Emoticons :: No :: Okay so he got 1 out of 6 not bad.

    All of these are based on my Outlook 2000 version so unless they removed features in a new version, which I doubt, this guy didn't put much work into this article.

    He has lost all credibility with me.
  • Re:Next killer app? (Score:3, Informative)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:06PM (#8465571) Homepage Journal
    "Good for you, but most people can't rely on IM for virtually all of their communications."

    Yeah, I gotta agree with you here. Hell, most people I know/work with don't even really know what IM is...but, they all have email. Not to mention that many companies block the IM ports as a security risk...

  • Re:Where's Mail.app (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:06PM (#8465575)
    viruses, not virii
  • Re: Just give me... (Score:5, Informative)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:18PM (#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...

  • How can he justify reviewing an unreleased version of Opera M2, but then review an older version of Outlook because most Windows users don't have it yet?

    The unreleased version of Opera M2 is free (with two small Google ads) while Outlook 2003 costs a few hundred dead prime ministers. I very much doubt that the budget of this review had several hundred dead prime ministers in it.;)
  • by Mr. Protocol (73424) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:28PM (#8465854)
    Nothing you do is going to be fast when your mail database is that big. But the most efficient mail program I know of is the (now ancient) MH mail system. You could probably get it to run under cygwin. The problem with all other mail systems is that they're database systems, and you've got a database several orders of magnitude larger than what they're designed to work with. MH just deals in files and directories, so you get whatever the OS can do, performance-wise.
  • by robsmama (416178) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:36PM (#8465956)
    Were you paying attention? View|BCC. That's not exactly four levels deep.
  • by edgezone (51898) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:37PM (#8465962) Homepage
    Amen.

    I think it's sad that Eudora gets short-shifted so much in reviews of email clients. There are 2 major things that keep me coming back to Eudora over anything else. First off, the auto-collapsing folders. I'm certain I'm not the only person here who has mail archives dating back more then 5 years. As such, I've built up quite a folder heirarchy, and when moving messages into their proper places, if things don't collapse, it's a LOT of scrolling (and I hate to sort mail via right click, send to, navigate through!) I love that I can grab a message, hover it over "lists" hover over "Yahoo!" and drop into my xosl folder, then 'lists' collapses back so I can get to my 'friends' heirarchy for the next message I need to sort without having to scroll up at all.

    Secondly, I really like the filtering, specifically the manual filters. There are certain lists I get (such as NTBUGTRAQ) where I want to leave it in my inbox, read it, then file it away. With Eudora, once I've read it, I just CTRL-J it, and it gets filtered where it needs to. These two big time savers are the main things I hope to see in some of the OSS packages, and if I ever got the time, I'd love to work on incorporating, but alas, too busy to go through the source tree on any of the big projects. (Manual filters w/ hotkeys may be in other clients, but the folder collapsing thing is my biggest reason for never sticking too long with any other program to figure out how to do it).
  • by abischof (255) * <alex@[ ]mcop.net ['spa' in gap]> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @02:03PM (#8466357) Homepage

    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.

    That would be bug 140800 [mozilla.org] ("switch for plain text/html in compose window"). You'll need to copy-n-paste the URL as Bugzilla doesn't accept referrers from Slashdot.

  • by doorbot.com (184378) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @02:29PM (#8466707) Journal
    Blatantly stolen from: http://www.securityfocus.com/archive/1/354844/2004 -02-22/2004-02-28/2 [securityfocus.com]

    In Outlook 2002 (aka Outlook XP, aka Outlook 10) and later, you can disable the automatic display of any kind of non-text content by forcing Outlook to render all email as plain text. This is a huge improvement over normal Outlook behavior; besides making Outlook much less dangerous, it spares you annoying markup of all kinds.


    Create the Registry key

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Opti on s\Mail\READASPLAIN

    as a DWORD and set it to 1.
  • by avera (314622) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @02:33PM (#8466756)
    I like Evolution. But it has proven unstable, at least when using the MS/exchange plug-in (which
    my employer has licensed). So we tried to get
    support...

    Ximian says, in effect, that you have to stop
    updating your system from your distro (RedHat,
    SuSE, etc.) and instead use their distribution
    of gnome and other libraries exclusively.

    What they actually say is that they only support
    Evolution if you also Ximian Desktop, or at
    least their home-brewed versions gnome, glib2, etc. available on their server (e.g., using
    red-carpet). The catch: This causes massive
    RPM version conflicts because their versions
    use different version number/names,
    and the auto-update tools provided by RedHat
    or SuSE don't work any longer.

    I understand their problem: They have to assume
    certain updates & features in external libraries
    and can't test with all possible combinations.
    So they say "get everything from us". Of course,
    if another application vendor did the same thing
    it would be impossible to use both applications!

    What do other app vendors do (e.g., in the Sun
    world)? They spell out which patches or updated
    library versions *from the OS vendor* must be
    installed to have a supported system. I wish
    Ximian did that for Evolution!
  • Re:hmmm (Score:2, Informative)

    by PainKilleR-CE (597083) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @02:41PM (#8466901)
    Doing a little text formatting with HTML adds a trvial amount to the size of the message. (At least it should, making some text bold doesn't require the ridiculous amount of HTML that some mail clients add to messages.)

    If it simply used HTML tags to format messages, rather than composing the entire message as if it were a website, and then didn't use the obscene html that Outlook uses, it probably wouldn't be a problem. As it stands, though, I regularly get email that runs around 23KB for a simple 2 lines, 1 link, a small intro, and signature. Saving the same message as an RTF file in WordPad results in a 1.6KB file if I preserve the headers (since it's mass-mailed to everyone in the office), plain text is 1.25KB. The only html required in the message is for the link, and most mail readers should be able to interpret a link for you from plain text.

    Once in a while, 23KB isn't a problem. Considering, though, that I don't clean out my business email very often (which saves my ass more often than not), it adds up over time. As an added bonus, though, if I save the same message out in Outlook's .msg format, it comes out to 183KB.

    A simple pair of anchor tags would suffice for a link, and bold and italic tags. Hell, let me use as much or as little html as I want, but we don't need an email message to be a full-on html page with markup that looks like it was generated by MS Word (which is probably the case anyway).
  • by geefunk (637003) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @03:34PM (#8467701)
    Evolution supports maildir (as well as MH). Just right-click the folder and change it's properties. It's nice that way, if you prefer to have mixed types of mailboxes...
  • by Noksagt (69097) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @03:56PM (#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
  • Re:Slashdotted (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @04:12PM (#8468314)
    Here's a text mirror

    --

    The Next Generation of mail clients
    (Note: This review first appeared in Linux Weekly News.
    If you want new unique and updated content every week, please do yourself a favor and subscribe!)

    Introduction

    E-mail is the "killer app" of the Internet; an enormous amount 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.

    The mail client is in principal a very simple application which allows the user to read and send mail, but all modern mail clients include a host of features to help better manage the ever-increasing number of messages we have to deal with. Graphical mail clients allows for easy sorting of messages into folders, easy searching on a number of criteria, address book management and automatic filtering based on custom-defined rules.

    The development of new features does not stop there, however, and the next generation of mail clients includes features such as virtual folders (also known as search folders), faster and more flexible searching, easier creation of filters and lots of small things to make common tasks quicker. This review is a comparison of the features available in the next generation of mail clients and their usability in dealing with large number of messages.

    Reviewed mail clients:
    (click on icon to jump directly to review)

    *

    Evolution 1.5.2 (unstable)

    *

    KMail 1.6 (part of KDE 3.2)

    *

    Opera 7.50 (preview 2)

    *

    Mozilla 1.6 / Thunderbird 0.5

    *

    Microsoft Outlook 2002 SP-1 (part of Microsoft Office XP)

    Except for Evolution (the latest stable version is recommended over the tested development version), all of these mail clients were quite stable and I did not encounter any problems which would preclude me from recommending them for daily use.

    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 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.

    Quick overview of supported features:
    Evolution KMail Opera Mozilla Outlook
    Mail import No Yes Windows only Windows only Windows only
    New mail notification Audio only Yes Audio only Audio only Yes
    Encryption Yes Yes No Yes Yes
    Follow-ups1 Yes No No No Yes
    Forward attached/Inline Yes Yes Yes Yes Only inline
    Write HTML mail Yes No No Yes Yes
    Multiple accounts Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Customizable keybindings No Yes No No No
    Full index search2 Yes Disabled Yes No No
    Advanced searching Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    IMAP search Yes No No Yes No
    Search folders Yes Yes Yes No No
    Spam filter Yes No4 Yes Yes Yes
    Handle mailing lists3 Yes Yes Yes No No
    Do not download mail rules Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Labels for e-mail Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Create filter from message Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Emoticons No No No Yes No
    LDAP Yes Yes No Yes Yes
    Message threading Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Mail storage format mbox mbox/Maildir mbox mbox Proprietary

    1. Follow-up search refers to being able to easily create entries in the calendar directly from an e-mail..
    2. Full index search refers to all messages, including body text, being indexed and searchable without reading everything from storage.
    3. Handle mail
  • by GooTi (605054) <crgutier.dcc@uchile@cl> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @05:02PM (#8469080) Homepage
    Is it because I love Linux that much? No, it's because I can no longer live without Mutt.

    You can run Mutt in Cygwin [cygwin.com], and it's already included in its distribution. Didja know?
  • by hkmwbz (531650) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @06:43PM (#8470197) Journal
    Did you even read the page before commenting on it? From the introduction:

    "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 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."

    From the very beginning he makes it clear that Outlook is just there for one reason - because it's the most popular/widely used client. At the same time he explains that Eudora is not included because it is closed-source and not available for any UNIX. The same goes for Outlook. It is Win32 only, and not available for UNIX.

    Again, he only included it as a reference. He included what most people are using, and then listed the e-mail clients that were actually the focus of the review/overview.

    He clearly states his intentions before the review begins. Did you even bother to read the review - even the introduction - before shouting about FUD or hypocrisy?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @07:49PM (#8470866)
    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?

    Whatever gave you that idea? Mozilla looks like Netscape (duh, where do you think mozilla came from?) and Netscape looked like that long before outlook ever existed. So if they all look the same, it's Netscape they are all (including outlook) emulating.
  • by uptownguy (215934) <UptownGuyEmail@gmail.com> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @08:14PM (#8471045)
    If someone charges $88 for their email program, it's not going to get reviewed as often as someone who gives away free copies. Simple as that.

    Actually, I'd be willing to bet dollars to donuts that in one year's time, the total number of reviews for Outlook 2003 will far outnumber the combined number of reviews for KDE, Ximian, Mozilla and whatever other poorly named e-mail toys the open source crowd is playing with. Face it -- when it comes to market share, MS is the player on the block and to simply ignore it shows an intellectual laziness that calls into question his whole review...
  • by LordSah (185088) * on Thursday March 04, 2004 @09:31PM (#8471588)
    I'd guess that if he asked Microsoft, they would've sent him a copy to review.

    He could've also used Microsoft's Trial CD [microsoft.com]. $8 shipping is all it takes.
  • Re:Evolution (Score:2, Informative)

    by NotZed (19455) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @10:30PM (#8472017)
    Hi guys,

    Note that he was testing 1.5, in 1.5 you can't change the format of internal folders. They are all stored as mbox. We changed a lot of the internal architecture, and they had to be all one format, or all another format. We chose mbox, although personally I put a vote in for maildir. There may be a way to change the format in the future, but currently there is not.

    You can still setup a new 'account' which points to any part of your filesystem and can have maildir/mh, or mbox files, and just access them directly.

    For message threading, i was out-voted again, and the subject isn't included in threading, which can lead to broken threads when people reply with some mailers. You can re-enable the fall-back to subject threading by setting the (undocumented) gconf key /apps/evolution/mail/thread_subject to true (its only used as a last merge-threads stage).

    File a bug report about the too many open files thing, although with the dynamic nature of a multithreaded application, it may be easier to up your open file count in your kernel. Doesn't 2.6 address this anyway?

    !Z
  • by solprovider (628033) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @10:38PM (#8472062) Homepage
    Lotus Notes is an application platform. The insurance agents would have have local copies ("replicas") of the application that includes business logic. The data is synched ("replicated") with the corporate servers whenever the PC is connected to the intranet. The application could easily mail notifications to the office workers who process the claims, but that does not require the mail client to be overloaded (or even using Notes for email.) Lotus Notes started as a secure application platform, then added email as another application with some special code to handle routing.

    MS needed something that could claim to compete with Lotus Notes for the rich thin-client marketspace. Where Lotus Notes added email as another application on a secure platform, MS overloaded their email platform with an application platform. This small difference in philosophy has allowed MSOutlook to become the Virus Distribution System we all know and hate. The insurance agents use MSOutlook to create messages using Forms, and the client could synch with the corporate servers. The MSOutlook Forms are very limited when compared to what is possible with Lotus Notes. MS "synchronization" is like overwriting a file; Lotus Notes Replication is very like merging patches in CVS: only the changed fields are updated, so there is no conflict if 2 people change different fields on the same record.

    MS's marketing machine has made the products seem to have similar capabilities, but the development effort is much greater and the applications have less functionality when using the MS platform.
    - Every Lotus Notes application starts as a database with integrated security. Every MSOutlook application starts as secure as internet email.
    - The business logic is updated every time Lotus Notes replicates. How do you update the MSOutlook clients?
    - The Lotus Notes address book requires a password from every program before granting access. How many viruses and other programs read the MSOutlook address book?
    - Lotus Notes asks for verification that you want to allow some code to read the file system. MSOutlook viruses email random files from your PC to your friends.

    The philosophy behind these systems is so different that it is difficult to remember that they are trying to solve similar issues.

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