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Gmail vs Pine 603

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the objectivity-so-rare dept.
Snarfed has an interesting review on Gmail vs Pine. From the article: "I've used Pine as my email client for, well, pretty much forever. I use it because it's fast, powerful, stable, and very keyboardable. (I hate the mouse.) However, since I work at Google, I'm constantly bombarded with people who ask me why I don't use Gmail. After hearing the nth person brag about how much it increased their productivity, I finally broke down and tried it. I didn't expect much, since I've never liked web-based email clients. However, I made myself use it as my only email client, for a month, to give it a fair shot."
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Gmail vs Pine

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  • I like gmail. (Score:5, Informative)

    by yagu (721525) * <> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:07PM (#15070705) Journal

    Here's why I use gmail (over PINE):

    • web based, can get to it from any browser anywhere
    • indexed by Google for me! I'd venture a guess that if you had a gigabyte of e-mail to search from pine, and you did searches all of the time, you'd not find PINE even capable of achieving the "within one magnitude" result you found.
    • search is implemented as in Google, i.e., you can enter keywords in any order, any case, etc., and Google pretty much knows what to do. (some may not realize but Google even has nuance in what is returned in what order based on the order keywords are entered -- while still managing to preserve meaningful and complete results)
    • when there are new and wonderful features (there sometimes are) they're their without having to install our update.
    • html/graphics and multimedia capabilities. While I haven't used PINE in a long time, last time I did, mime was almost an add-on, and a bit gnarly to use.
    • gmail is nicely folded into my browser interface experience. When I send e-mail from Windows, the e-mail is instantiated in a new tab that automatically disappears when the transaction is completed.
    • gmail auto-saves drafts for me - I've been saved by this a couple of times.
    • keyboard shortcuts (I know the author complains about the inconsistent overloading, but I've found them comfortable and decent especially for being implemented in a browser... maybe a "vi" background is handy after all!)
    • gmail keeps all of my data handy, indexed, and available for that future day someone wants to subpoena my records! (kidding)

    Also, this is a comparison of a completely integrated package (gmail) with a Mail User Agent (MUA). I think for my purposes I enjoy finally letting someone else manage all of the pieces for me. I still have my personal favorite MUA for transferring all of my gmail to local storage and archive (just in case something goes terribly wrong) but so far I think gmail is a great piece of work.

  • by everphilski (877346) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:08PM (#15070722) Journal
    pine + PortaPuTTY [] + a thumb drive

    It can be used anywhere by just plugging your thumb drive in with the security of SSH. And you get the benefit of no targeted advertizing (And no company aggregating your life's communications...)
  • by farker haiku (883529) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:10PM (#15070737) Journal
    the article [] appears to be slashdotted already.
  • The Nasty Tab Key (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:13PM (#15070782)
    I don't know how may e-mails I've sent that simply say:
    Hey (or Mr. X or Ms. X...)

    I have the habit of indenting paragraphs with the tab key, which in GMAIL places the cursor on SEND and after a bit of typing and the return key (especially when I'm not watching the screen)... There it goes with no body to the e-mail.
  • Re:I like gmail. (Score:4, Informative)

    by networkBoy (774728) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:18PM (#15070840) Homepage Journal
    In exchange you give Google access to your e-mail if at least for ads, and in addition to had over upon subpoena.
    Don't take it wrong, I use google for the same reasons you do.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:18PM (#15070846)
    Don't get me wrong of all the webmail clients I have used this is my favorite, but generally I miss Mutt.

    The beauty of gmail (at kleast from my perspective) is that with its POP access you can use your favourite e-mail client and then when you're out and about you still have your entire e-mail archive there, searchable, available in any web browser and it's still a joy to use.
  • by mattwarden (699984) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:51PM (#15071170) Homepage
    Um, he's talking about the Gmail web-based client. It is, amazingly enough, an application used to read and send email. Another cheer for the moderators for modding you up (to insightful, even!).
  • by distilledprodigy (946341) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:52PM (#15071180)
    Wrong. GMail is a webbased client. It's just that the connection between the client and the server is invisible to the end user.
  • Re:PGP? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jsprat23 (148634) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:58PM (#15071228)
    OK, can gmail do PGP?

    Not directly, but by using the GNOME Panel Applet included with Seahorse [] 0.9.0 you can perform all the usual encryption operations on the contents of the clipboard. Your private key will never leave your personal comuter.
  • Re:"Snarfed" (Score:3, Informative)

    by ewhac (5844) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @06:14PM (#15071365) Homepage Journal
    I suggest we all start using "snarfed" as a synonym for "slashdotted". [ ... ]

    "Snarf" already has a definition [].


  • Re:TFA (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @06:14PM (#15071367)
    * Filtering has a great UI, but it's horribly weak. It has maybe a third of the headers and options that I normally filter on. You can't OR or NOT filter conditions. The set of filter actions is anemic, even with labels. Want me to go on?

    You can use OR conditions:
    from:(foo OR bar)

    You can also use NOT conditions:

    I agree that the filter actions could be a bit more robust, but they rarely cause me much grief.
  • by DougDot (966387) <> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @06:16PM (#15071383) Homepage
    A warning about gmail: I like it, but it constantly finds itself blacklisted by a number of spam control services, such as []. As a result, I cannot use gmail to send to co-workers, because my company's IT dept. uses the above service. The gmail team either does not care that many organizations simply will not receive mail sent via gmail, or are unable to prevent gmail from being repeatedly blacklisted. Messages to the gmail support team about this issue appear to fall into a black hole. This is curious to me, since even hotmail was able to figure out how to keep from being constantly blacklisted.
  • by gujo-odori (473191) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @06:47PM (#15071581)
    I work for a well-known spam control service (not the one you mention; we don't blacklist gmail, don't know why anyone would).

    WRT your comment that they either don't care or can't prevent gmail from being repeatedly blacklisted, I can't comment on whether or not they care (don't have a gmail account, even) but regarding prevention, I'm not surprised. Nobody can prevent themselves from being bl[ao]cklisted by anyone else. We get some of our IPs blocklisted all the time, not because of customers spamming, but because of backscatter from bounces on forged From addresses. Usually, it's only blocklists that are regarded as unreliable or full-on rogues that list us; we almost never get on a legit one. In any case, we can't *prevent* people from listing us if they really want to, although recently we have taken actions such as not doing double-bounces, as a means of limiting opportunities for it to happen.

    It's a shame that the combination of spammers and bogus blocklist operators can force you to be non-RFC compliant in self-defense.
  • I don't get it... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @06:50PM (#15071602)
    I finally got sick of using someone else's domain and went and registered my own domain as my two initials and last name. My Web hosting provider offers always-on SSL/TLS protected Webmail access and/or I can POP/IMAP my mail. I prefer Webmail since I can be anywhere and don't have to configure my mail to leave it on the server.
    What I don't get is why more people don't do this. Money is not a real problem since I paid $44.00 for a 5-year registration and less than $50.00 for years worth of Web hosting that included email hosting. I get unlimited email accounts that can be up to 2GB a box. So, for less than a night on the town, I've hooked myself up for quite some time with a domain that is unique and can be used to market myself on resumes, etc.
    Give it a thought. Why use someone elses domain and put up with their rules and ads and restrictions. Get your own little corner of the WWW and be your own man.
  • Re:I like gmail. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Atzanteol (99067) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @07:26PM (#15071855) Homepage

    html/graphics and multimedia capabilities. While I haven't used PINE in a long time, last time I did, mime was almost an add-on, and a bit gnarly to use.

    You consider that a *feature*? Ugh. If mutt can't display it, then it's SPAM.

  • by NewNole2001 (717720) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @07:55PM (#15072066)

    Even [] Marissa Mayer Google's VP of Search Products and User Experience uses PINE for her business email:

    I use Gmail for my personal e-mail -- 15 to 20 e-mails a day -- but on my work e-mail I get as many as 700 to 800 a day, so I need something really fast.

    I use an e-mail application called Pine, a Linux-based utility I started using in college.

    Sorry about the crappiness of the website I linked to, but CNN doesn't know how to design for FF yet.

  • Re:I like gmail. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Otterley (29945) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:07PM (#15072439)
    Nor can you do it yourself if you've already received a subpoena for your email. Destroying or tampering with evidence subject to court-ordered discovery constitutes contempt and can subject the party to criminal sanctions, including fines and jail time.
  • by grayrest (468197) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:51PM (#15072927) Homepage
    snarfed found a bunch of greasemonkey scripts but he missed the important ones, which are at In particular, he'd probably be interested in: acros []

    and ck-become-a-gmail-master-161399.php []

    This post deals with my version of the macros script: il-macros.user.js []

    * Filtering has a great UI, but it's horribly weak.

    * There's no way to bounce an email. This should be pretty trivial to add.

    * If no email is selected, the Y key should archive the email under the cursor. This should be common sense.
    This isn't part of the macros script, but it wouldn't be that hard to add. I don't usually archive one mail at a time, so this doesn't really bother me.

    * You can't automatically create a filter based on an email. Why not?
    Agreed. Even better, I'd appreciate mailing list support so that I could get rid of most of my tags.

    * You can search, but you can't select messages based on headers, subject, or body text. Worse, if you have more messages than fit on the screen, you can't select any messages that aren't on the screen. If you ever get flooded with email, or with spam that escapes the spam filters, god help you.

    Again, search is your friend. If you have my version of the macros script, 'mat' on the results repeatedly.

    * Thank god there are keyboard shortcuts...but there aren't nearly enough! I don't mind using the mouse for one-time stuff, but if i have to use it often during my normal email routine, that's a deal breaker. Keyboard shortcuts for go to label, go to sent mail/drafts, and select all/none/unread would be necessary if I was ever to go back to Gmail.

    go to label: g+label
    go to sent: g+sent
    go to drafts: g+drafts
    select: m + (a all, n none, u unread, s starred, t unstarred)
    apply label: l+label

    * Marking messages as read is impossible with the keyboard


    additionally, mark as unread


    * Selecting a message doesn't automatically move the cursor to the next message. This is just plain silly.
    Again, not there, but simple to add to the script. I don't usually mark one message at a time...

    * The Y key is horribly inconsistent. If you're in the Inbox, it archives. If you're in a label, it removes the label. If you're in spam or trash, it moves to the Inbox! This is a bad case of modal input.

    'e' always removes from inbox.

    * Gmail might be smart about (not) displaying quoted text, but it can't handle composing with quoted text to save its life.

    Agreed but I don't find it difficult to manually remove quoted text.
  • by mpotratz (730437) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:54PM (#15072942)
    The author says there is no "or" or "not" filter in gmail. There is at least an "or" in the gmail filter, I'm currently using it. It is the double bar "||" like in some programming languages for example:

    " || ||"

  • Re:I like gmail. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Khaed (544779) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:07PM (#15073005)
    Yes. It's called ex post facto law. They can't pass a law against something in 2007 and arrest you if they have evidence you're doing it in 2006.
  • Personal Preference (Score:2, Informative)

    by Sentri (910293) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:38PM (#15073150) Homepage
    Some people prefer A, some people prefer B. trying to convince people using rational arguments to change something they like or have grown deeply accustomed too usually results in them digging their heels in and sticking to their preferred thing.

    On another level what is going on here is the CLI versus GUI debate on another level, a very interesting essay on which can be found here []

    I recommend giving it a read.

    Remember, different is not necessarily bad, its just not the 'good' you are used to. Learn to tell the difference.
  • by GigsVT (208848) * on Thursday April 06, 2006 @08:32AM (#15074983) Journal
    I've even got (very slow) SSH access via encapsulated packet radio (I'm a ham radio person, callsign is AA7AS) from my car and boat if I'm anywhere the hams have packet stuff running.

    You know that's illegal right? Encryption is not to be used on ham radio.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2006 @08:41AM (#15075030)
    Except that Pine licensing is a booby trap. Take a look at [] and []. And notice this from the FAQ:

            'In particular, the earliest Pine licenses included the words: "Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software... is hereby granted," but some people tried to pervert the meaning of that sentence to define "this software" to include derivative works of "this software". The intent has always been that you can re-distribute the UW distribution, but if you modify it, you have created a derivative work and must ask permission to redistribute it.'

    This is, of course, unaccpetable nonsense. The original wording was quite clear, and the university has decided to try and redefine their terms after the fact. I believe the particualr case that upset them was when SSL capability was provided in some distributions, with code not from UWash because they refused to publish their code due to US export encryption regulation concerns. Mark Crispin, the core author of WU-imapd and Pine, went ballistic, and accused the publishers of code theft and copyright violation. (It obviously wasn't code theft, the SSL code was completely different from Wash U's code.)

    This licensing problem has led to Pine being dropped from Debian and RedHat and numerous other Linux distrose.

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw