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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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  • by TheComputerMutt.ca (907022) * <jeremybanks@jeremybanks.ca> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:40PM (#15070435) Homepage Journal
    It can be used anywhere, without needing to install anything. I like some IMAP clients, but this is why I chose Gmail over them.
    • What about WEBpine? That sorta kills that argument.

      (What it doesn't kill is that pine still sucks, gmail for life!)
    • by everphilski (877346) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:08PM (#15070722) Journal
      pine + PortaPuTTY [socialistsushi.com] + 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...)
      • On a smartphone, I have SSH. I use Mutt, which automagically scales to my screen and gives me access to 10GB of email, which I can jump around _much_ faster than over the Web, whereas any kind of WebMail on a smartphone is still !@$#%ing AWFUL. Then, when I sit down at a coffeehouse, I also do the thumbdrive routine and have the same interface.
      • I like pine, but that "+ Thumb Drive" is huge caveat. "works anywhere" is not the same as "works anywhere that has a USB port and where I happen to be carrying my drive".

      • Not true in the least. Many of my friends work in companies where USB ports are disabled. Some have rules that don't allow executables to run from removable devices.

        I wouldn't care to have a visitor to my house run an executable from one of my house computers, but I'd be happy to let them use a web browser. I would be hesitant to ask someone to run an EXE from my own thumb drive; seems rude, but I use a browser on others computers often.

        I work in a place where SSH ports are blocked. What if you're visit
    • I always access my pine from one computer. If you can check your email, you can ssh somewhere to run pine. That way I have all my email in one place - that's still under my control.
      • So I can ssh from behind the best buy proxy to check my mail now? Awesome! In all seriousness...I still have to forward my gmail to my best buy account to get any mail from work.
  • GooglePages (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nos. (179609)
    Perhaps google pages would have been a better hosting choice for a story that appears on slashdot. I can't even load the page.
  • ...GoogleFight! [googlefight.com]

    GMail Email Client: 5,100,000 results
    Pine Email Client: 2,080,000 results

    Sorry dude. The unwashed masses have spoken. Time to upgrade!
  • I like gmail. (Score:5, Informative)

    by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:07PM (#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.

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

      by networkBoy (774728) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:18PM (#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.
      -nB
    • Re:I like gmail. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lazlo (15906) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:28PM (#15070943) Homepage
      I like gmail too, but one thing that really bugs me is that, in my experience, search is fairly anemic too. I'm pretty well certain regexes can't be used, and I don't find that too surprising. But even worse, I don't think that wildcards can be used either, and even worse than that, it seems that substrings can't be used either. As an example, I needed to find a message that I had recieved from citibank. Or maybe it was citifinancial. Perhaps citimortgage. But definitely one of the citigroup companies. So I searched for "citi". There were no results. I eventually found the message by having firefox do a text search on each page of headers for the string "citi". Fortunately, that was in the subject of the message.

      Maybe there's something I don't know about searching gmail, but at the least, it certainly doesn't seem intuitively obvious to me.
      • Re:I like gmail. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Alaska Jack (679307) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @06:33PM (#15071910) Journal
        Another big flaw -- gMail doesn't search the contents of attachments. When you think about it, this is a pretty serious consideration if you're thinking about using gMail heavily as your main client.

            - AJ
        • Re:I like gmail. (Score:3, Interesting)

          by lazlo (15906)
          That is bad. I could almost forgive that one, if the raw ascii strings didn't show up in the binary format. But Google has the "show as HTML" link for many binary formats, so they obviously have the capability to figure out what the raw text is... They're just not using it.

          I guess that's why they call it "beta".

          Wonder how much of an impact it would make if we (all of slashdot) submitted feature requests for all of these things via google's feedback mechanism.
    • Is both a pro and a con, but...
      • Integration with other (actual and future) google services

      ... is a BIG factor. You already have there web search, gtalk, maps, rss, etc, and probably could have much more (i.e. is a calendar on closed beta already). And is just not there as side decoration, i.e. you can manage your past chat conversations as mail messages. Pine could be a great mail client, but gmail can be for you far more than just that.

    • by Noksagt (69097) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:59PM (#15071233) Homepage
      I like pine. It is a great IMAP client. Crummy license, but we can't have everything. I used to use it & I don't think you give it a fair shake.
      * web based, can get to it from any browser anywhere
      SSHing in and using pine locally has fairly high availability. If you happen to be at UW & use the web-based version of Pine, then you obviously have it all. If you are at places you can't ssh, there are java applets which can SSH & you can put one up on your own web server.
      * 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.
      Pine searches are pretty speedy for a desktop client. They won't grok attachments, of course. But, if you have local mail, you can just use google desktop search (or spotlight or beagle or grep or find or locate or....)
      * 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)
      It is fairly trivial to setup compound searching using either the email client itself or some other general desktop search tool.
      * when there are new and wonderful features (there sometimes are) they're their without having to install our update.
      And what if you don't like those new and wonderful features. Or what if a coder not at google has a great idea for a new and wonderful feature? He won't be able to add it to Google. He might be able to add it to Pine (though would only be able to distribute it as a patch--but we already covered the lame license).
      * 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.
      MIME works fine. Filtering out MIME types works fine. Viewing HTML email as plain text is often useful to extract any information from it. It is easy to send HTML to lynx/(e)links/w3m/etc. Equally easy to open attachments in another program.
      * 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.
      I happen to use a window manager that lets me tab any programs together. That being said, I don't see why this is a significant advantage. If you want to check your email, you must always have a tab open to gmail. What if you don't want to have your web browser on? What if you're visiting persnickety java/flash/pdf sites that crash your browser due to some odd firefox extension that has a memory leak?
      * gmail auto-saves drafts for me - I've been saved by this a couple of times.
      Postponed messages in pine are persistent too.
      * 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!)
      It is nice that gmail has shortcuts. This is NOT an advantage it has over Pine, though. In Pine, EVERYTHING is a keyboard shortcut.
      * gmail keeps all of my data handy, indexed, and available for that future day someone wants to subpoena my records! (kidding)
      And they give you plenty of ads based on the content of your email! Oh boy!

      I have a gmail account. I think it is the best web-based email out there. I don't think it can yet replace desktop email & won't trust it to until I can more easily transfer all mail, addresses, and settings from and to any other email provider.
    • Re:I like gmail. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Atzanteol (99067) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @06:26PM (#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.

  • Journal Posting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:08PM (#15070714) Homepage Journal
    I like it :)

    Apart from the obviously silly "An anonymous reader writes " at the start of it.
    First time I've seen Journals posted, is it a slow news day, or just trying out another new feature?
    • journal posting + no anonymous + no foes/no friends fos == vastly improved signal to noise ratio.

      This is the direction the front page should go. Hell, if taco implements this then maybe, just maybe they can regain the userbase which digg has stolen from them.
      • Ok, something I don't like about all this "digg vs slashdot" war thingy is that whilst digg readership has been increasing to match slashdots (both have increased actually), there has been no reduction in slashdot readers.
        People have been using OTHER time to read digg and not abandoning slash.
        There is no reason whatsoever for digg to replace slash, they do different jobs and if anything, digg has the fark crowd more than the slash folks.

        http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details? &compare_sites=d [alexa.com]
        • People have been using OTHER time to read digg and not abandoning slash.

          Actually, I've been using my OTHER time to, you know, work. It doesn't hurt that I'm too lazy to bookmark Digg.

    • Honestly, I wouldn't say Digg has stolen the userbase -- it's just made a nice copy of it -- and it seems to be grabbing a crowd of people that aren't so enthused with the Digg community, but just the interesting information they have. Honestly, Slashdot needs to post more things at a faster rate -- and I'm sure the users will focus on what they'd like to ..
    • It's been a feature in the Journals for a while, although this is the first time I've seen one posted.

      It's actually a good idea, although you're faced with a choice between including an Obligatory Stupid Question at the end of your JE and looking like an idiot to the journal crowd or leaving it out and mostly killing your chances of story acceptance.

      I guess in this case, mentioning Google was enough to make up for not closing with "Between Pine and GMail, is Microsoft doomed?"

  • by liliafan (454080) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:08PM (#15070715) Homepage
    First I would like to say it is nice to see an employee of a company looking at positive 'and' negative aspects of a product their employeer makes.

    Secondly I used to use pine, for several years in fact, until I got turned onto mutt by a friend, it is IMHO way more powerful, and, configurable than pine.

    Thirdly after recommendations from http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=181673&cid=150 25454' [slashdot.org]./'s I am experimenting with gmail, and, have been having about the same experience, mostly I am impressed, but I am left with a feeling that it just isn't mature enough yet as a mail client. Don't get me wrong of all the webmail clients I have used this is my favorite, but generally I miss Mutt.
  • by RLiegh (247921) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:08PM (#15070723) Homepage Journal
    pine isn't even Free Software [gnu.org] for pater's sake!

    You cannot modify pine and distribute it; you have to make a patch of your changes, and distribute that along with a copy of the source code [washington.edu].

    Mutt is superior (as is yahoo mail -except when it comes to pop3 access which is becoming less and less relevent every day)!
    • While what you say about Mutt vs. Pine is true, it's not relevant. It's not like Gmail is Open Source either. Yes, you can use an Open Source web browser to access it, but you can use an Open Source ssh/telnet/whatever client to access Pine.

      Your response is more of an anti-Pine troll than a commentary on the article.
      • by RLiegh (247921) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:04PM (#15071281) Homepage Journal
        >Your response is more of an anti-Pine troll than a commentary on the article.

        what do yahoo, gmail, mutt and pine all have in common? They are all email solutions, and my comment was addressing the topic of locally-installed and web-based email clients.

        Neither yahoo nor gmail are open source, but neither are yahoo nor gmail applications which install locally on your machine either. However, both pine and mutt are locally-installable applications, and that is why I made the comparison between them (as opposed to between pine and gmail, which is about like comparing pumpkins to gym socks IMO). For a Free system (such as Debian GNU/Linux) installing pine isn't even an option unless you add the non-free branch; this is for the reason which I already pointed out.

        Therefore, for people who are running a Free Computer, and who wish to use a CLI mail client, mutt is a more viable choice than is pine.

        Finally, I'm certainly not above trolling, but my comments in this article have been both sincere representations of my personal opinion and have been stated appropriately. Your accusation of trolling is as inaccurate as it is inflammatory.
  • So, the guy compares a web-based email client to a text-only standalong email client? That makes no sense, unless of course you suppose that a Google employee *might* be plugging a Google product with a pretense article...
    • From an orange producer who says he prefers apples.

      Cynicism is all very well, but make sure there is something to be cynical about first.
      • From an orange producer who says he prefers apples. Cynicism is all very well, but make sure there is something to be cynical about first.

        There's a part you didn't understand in my post : comparing an old, outdated, text email client to a new shiny web-based one is complete nonsense. Therefore, the guy can prefer pine all he wants, nobody will care about his preferences anyway because nobody wants to run pine, but he still managed to rattle off a list of Gmail features. You'll also notice that his "bad" an
  • by farker haiku (883529) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:10PM (#15070737) Journal
    the article [mirrordot.org] appears to be slashdotted already.
  • by multiOSfreak (551711) <culturejam@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:10PM (#15070738) Homepage Journal
    There's no need to just use either pine or the Gmail web interface. You could use pine for quick checks to see if there is new mail on your Gmail account (and for periodic backups), and then use the Gmail web interface to organize your mail or to check mail when you're on the road.

    Why restrict yourself to just one or the other?
  • The Nasty Tab Key (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    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.
  • by caluml (551744) <slashdot@spamgoe ... g ['she' in gap]> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:14PM (#15070790) Homepage
    'I've used the Royal Mail as my main communications method for, well, pretty much forever. I use it because it's fast, powerful, good value, and very reliable. (I hate UPS.) However, since I work at Google, I'm constantly bombarded with people who ask me why I don't use the Internet. 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 clicking. However, I made myself use it as my only communication method, for a month, to give it a fair shot.'"

    What is this? Some guy tries something that everyone has been using for years now? Hey - guess what I found out the other day - cars! I used to walk everywhere..... Hey! I found out about phones last week! They're great - I don't have to travel 50 miles to speak to ....

  • Next week... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nizo (81281) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:14PM (#15070793) Homepage Journal
    Why LaTex is better than OpenOffice. Does anyone else find this article kind of odd? While I can see my mom using gmail, I don't think I could convince her to use pine. Granted pine might be more powerful, and the additional features he listed are probably worth adding, but pine is sorta.... vt100-ish.
  • elm! (Score:5, Funny)

    by eln (21727) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:14PM (#15070798) Homepage
    Back in the dark ages before webmail, only newbies and English majors used pine. Everyone else either used mail or elm. I personally used elm, and still prefer it if I ever need to use a command-line mail utility, which isn't all that often these days.

    The things I hated about Pine were that it unnecessarily reversed colors on the screen to look more "graphical," and its default editor was that horror known as Pico. I much preferred elm and vi.
    • The things I hated about Pine were that it unnecessarily reversed colors on the screen to look more "graphical," and its default editor was that horror known as Pico. I much preferred elm and vi.

      My first year of college everyone was given a shell account set up with elm and vi. 99% of students could not figure it out on their own. The general engineering course where they taught the basics of vi and elm was a second year course. Needless to say, for that purpose the combination of elm and vi absolutely


    • The things I hated about Pine were that it unnecessarily reversed colors on the screen to look more "graphical," and its default editor was that horror known as Pico. I much preferred elm and vi.

      yeah, that just might be the least intuitive combination of programs the world has ever seen.

    • Bravo!! Bravo for Elm and vi. To this day I use this combination when connecting to our servers from home. Of course, it does prevent all those 'Click on this link to see a sexy virus wreck your machine' style games from working properly. Elm is also very good at showing you html as text, so it is easy to spot the Pishers. I love the combination of elm and vi -- it is a fast, powerful and elegant. I am pleased to say that we do not even have Pine or that horror Pico installed on any of our Sun boxes.
    • Re:elm! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rk (6314) *

      I have four editors I like for different tasks:

      pico (well, nano really) for editing text files. I do not see what so many of my fellow geeks have against this program. It does a wonderful job in this niche.

      vi for quick editing, light to medium-duty programming, and sysadmin tasks. It's fast, easy-to-use once you get over the learning curve, and it's installed everywhere.

      emacs or jEdit for heavy-duty software construction. When I am in heads down major software development mode, nothing else will d

  • TFA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by casualsax3 (875131) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:14PM (#15070803)
    The Good

    * It's somewhat faster than your average IMAP server. (Of course, this is both a success of Gmail and a failing of most IMAP servers.)

    * Gmail is smart about hiding quoted text and emails i've seen. This rocks. Somehow it even knows the 1% of cases where I actually do want to see the quoted text. I have no idea how.

    * The UI for threading, or >>conversations in Gmail lingo, rocks even harder. The killer feature is that the bodies of all messages in the thread on a single screen. Combined with hiding quoted text, this is very powerful.

    * Mail is indexed. My average search takes under a second in Gmail, but around 10 seconds in Pine.

    * >>Tags, aka labels or virtual folders, are all the rage these days. GMail's implementation of them is slick, and eminently usable. Pine's >>keywords offer most of the same functionality, but compared to Gmail, they're a little clunky.

    * There are keyboard shortcuts! Wonder of wonders, it's a webapp that has keyboard shortcuts. Even more amazing, I can actually do most of my normal email tasks with the keyboard shortcuts only. If I couldn't, I never would have given Gmail a second glance.

    * I love the Y key, a single keystroke for archiving email. Archiving in pine takes two keystrokes at best, and four if I last saved to a different folder than my "archive" folder.

    * The address book is great, mostly because I never have to use it. Gmail automatically remembers everyone I've sent email to or received email from, and auto-completes when I start type their name or email address. I wish Pine did this!

    The Bad

    * 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?

    * 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.

    * You can't automatically create a filter based on an email. Why not?

    * 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.

    * 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.

    The Ugly

    * Marking messages as read is impossible with the keyboard, and takes three clicks with the mouse: Select ___, More Actions, Mark As Read. I could just leave them unread, but then the labels display is useless for showing which mailing lists have new mail.

    * Selecting a message doesn't automatically move the cursor to the next message. This is just plain silly.

    * 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.

    * Gmail might be smart about (not) displaying quoted text, but it can't handle composing with quoted text to save its life. There are a ton of problems with this, but among others, it needs a way to >>remove trailing quotes when sending.

  • Loser (Score:5, Funny)

    by stinerman (812158) <nathan,stine&gmail,com> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:15PM (#15070816) Homepage
    Heh ... you're using Pine? Real nerds just telnet to port 110.

    </sarcasm>
  • Lucky guy (Score:3, Funny)

    by canoramix (517964) <canoramix@gmail . c om> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:18PM (#15070847)
    If you work for Microsoft and you use Pine to access your Hotmail account you've already meet SteveB for a nice one-on-one :-)
  • trust and control (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drDugan (219551) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:19PM (#15070849) Homepage
    I use mutt and I run my own mail server on hardware I own. It's not that hard. I have given gmail a fair shot, and for a time, was using it to archive my mail. It's a great product but I will not use it.

    WHY?

    Because I don't trust the corporate motivation and the corporate mentality that lurks behind Google, or the people who implement their policies.

    Google a company and its officers are legally obligated to increase shareholder value, not protect my privacy, or stand for what is right or fair. When the governement comes knocking with an illegal search, they will roll over. Those emails I sent to my friends bitching about some politician... may not be so private. Google's policies give them the right to change the rules in the future, and they have all my communication. Given the trajectory of world events - who knows where things will go.

    The other problem is one of people. People can be weak, especially one who need money. When then market is really hot for some other person to buy or sell information, some person will be tempted to take my mail from the Google datacenter, burn a DVD and mail it off to Madison. I wouldn't even know.

    Before you say that "I have nothing to hide" - consider printing every email and text message you write and posting them on your office/cubicle or (home) front door. Think about a world where there was a public repository of everyone's phone calls and anyone could go back and listen. Would you feel like you could really express yourself? Everybody has private stuff - lots of it. If you still disagree, mail me your ssn, name, and birthdate.

    Communication is too important to blindly trust that someone else will be responsible and look out for your interests.

    • That's great if you can have your own static IP and have your machines and connection up 24/7. I know I can't...
    • mea culpa for all the typos. I'm rushing around this afternoon.
    • by k2enemy (555744)
      Google a company and its officers are legally obligated to increase shareholder value, not protect my privacy, or stand for what is right or fair.

      I don't want to (and won't) get into an off-topic argument about corporations, but this simply isn't true.
      • by drDugan (219551)
        Instead of simply stating my view is false without support, please do enlighten us all with your views on corporations, and the legal pressures they face concerning profits vs. the quality of the services they offer.

        As for topical relevance in this discussion, the choices that Google makes and the motivations behind them are a central part of the choice to use Pine or Gmail.

  • I recently found out that the school I'm headed to for my PhD (Northwestern) no longer supports Pine. Even William & Mary, which is not a very tech-savvy school, had a unix server for me to SSH to to use Pine. Looks like I'll probably finally figure out Mail.app unless I want to be stuck with their webmail.

    I like Yahoo Mail much better than GMail, but either is preferable to most colleges' webmail pages...

  • I see everyone switching to gmail from their good working ISP mail or other providers.

    I can't see a point here. All I see (as advantage) is POP3 but you give Google right to harvest your personal mails for that. Is it OK for you? OK, next time don't jump up and down when poor shareware tries to check for updates over net as "Spy!!!"

    For example, when I gave up Spamcop mail, I checked around and there are marvellous and amazing sites just dedicated to mail. One could be http://fastmail.fm/ [fastmail.fm]

    As a "geek" you must
  • Works for Google? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dark_panda (177006) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:24PM (#15070897)
    If this guy does indeed work for Google, perhaps he could take a crack at fixing the problems he sees in the gmail source. As I understand it, everyone in Google gets access to all of their source code and can hack away at stuff even if they're not directly involved in the project. It would be pretty awesome if he could fix some of the problems (several of which I agree with) and present them as fixes to the people in Google that run gmail.

    J
  • by gihan_ripper (785510) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:30PM (#15070963) Homepage

    I'd like to RTFA, but snarfed has been snarfed by Slashdot!

    I haven't used Pine for a couple of years now, largely due to the advent of IMAP. My prefered mail client is Thunderbird, but it would be a hard choice between Pine and GMail. Now GMail has some obvious GUI advantages (point and click, drag and drop, images, etc.), but I find its threading to be erratic and searches to be less-than-spot-on. The main advantage of Pine is speed for short emails. This evaporates rapidly if you have to write anything substantial.

    I'd argue that the author is probably making the wrong comparison. For most users, the choice is between Thunderbird / Outlook and GMail / Hotmail, especially if IMAP is an option.

    Thunderbird is flexible about threading, but it lacks the indexed search of GMail. However, as most users are presumably familiar with text searches (a la grep or even the Window Find tool), Thunderbird search is perfect for my needs.

    I enjoy the ability to use multiple accounts and the many useful extensions such as Engmail (for OpenPGP support), my own choice of dictionaries, and RSS support.

    There are a few annoyances with Thunderbird, such as less-than-optimal support for multiple accounts, but workarounds are available. I've written about some of the problems and solutions on my blog [blogspot.com].

  • PGP? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gadzinka (256729) <rrw@hell.pl> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:34PM (#15071008) Journal
    OK, can gmail do PGP?

    If it does, is my key safe from subpoena from US government, however long it would take, including bought SCOTUS verdict, that Google has to hand it? I mean, when I use local MUA, my key never leaves my laptop. In case of gmail, unless Google implements RSA, AES etc in Javascript, my secret key would have to reside on Google servers...

    Robert

    PS No, I'm not long-haired, bearded, smelly privacy advocate; my company works with national telecom and data retention laws as well as our contract require us to use PGP whenever we pass personal information of their consumers. There are lots of sane (as in non-nerdy) and legitimate reasons to use crypto.
  • Gmail does have it's advantages and if it offered IMAP support rather than POP then I would use it.

    Of course i'd access it through Pine, not a web browser.
  • a lot of his problems are with GMail's implementation of keyboard shortcuts (but mind you, not all of them, but about 1/3 of the bad/ugly)

    so really some problems are simply with the client not meeting his niche of needing the keyboard for every little thing.

    Pretty neat article, though, although I have never heard of Pine.
  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot.keirstead@org> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:37PM (#15071038) Homepage
    Having switched from IMAP to only GMail about 8 months ago, my only gripe is the inability to 'Mark As Read' in filters - this is my #1 pet peeve with GMail and it seems like it would be *tirivial* to do - why haven't they done it?

    Oh - another thing that would be nice would be to be able to set a maximum number of messages allowed in a Label and after that to erase the oldest ones. I know, I am asking to make labels more like folders, but when you are on as many mailing lists as I am, that you know are archived anyway, you just don't want to keep copies of all that crap around in your mailbox. It just makes my POP download of messages (for archival) that much more difficult.

  • VM, Baby... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Blrfl (46596)
    VM [wonderworks.com].
  • 1) Can't sort inbox by sender, size, subject, etc. I mean, I know labels and searching are all the rage these days but why can't I take advantage of basic information that every email message has had for decades?

    Actually, that's pretty much it. Call me when they implement that.

    Bonus: OK, here's #2: I use Yahoo's webmail. Looking at my inbox, I want to read, say, 5 random messages out of the 10 new ones. So, I middle-click on them to open each one in new background tabs. They are all loaded by the time I sta
  • Am I the only person cursed to not be able to use Gmail? I'd really like to keep it as a non-work email account, but all I ever see is "Loading...". Mozilla or Opera, doesn't matter- it occurs on every PC I try. It's not based on stuff in the Inbox- it occurs with no messages at all in the Inbox. Oddly, IE works perfectly, but I simply can't use something without tabs or mouse gestures anymore.

    Googling the problem doesn't help much. It turns out all I need to do is clear my internet cache. Well, gee

  • by fm6 (162816)
    Mail is indexed. My average search takes under a second in Gmail, but around 10 seconds in Pine. Ironically enough, Google also provides a tool that can index any mail client's files — Google Desktop. Out of the box, it only supports the biggies (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.), but it'd be easy to write a plugin for Pine.
  • by dR.fuZZo (187666) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:40PM (#15071541)
    I often find it strange when folks post articles online about the company they work for. Unless you're anonymous, an executive, or in the PR dept, is your company going to want you sending out reviews of their products?

    (I don't know who this guy is, and the site is Slashdotted.)
  • by sycomonkey (666153) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:48PM (#15071592) Homepage
    This isn't 1976, you're not sitting at a dumb terminal hooked up to a mainframe. It's '06, we have graphical user interfaces, in fact we're probably only a few years away from functional 3D GUI's, and you don't like mice.

    WTF.
  • by Sloppy (14984) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:49PM (#15071597) Homepage Journal
    Any time I hear about people moving capabilities away from their 99% idle multi-gigaHertz machine to a central server so they can run a dumb client on that idle machine instead, I think, "Whaaa??" It's, um, an interesting economic decision.

    But for email, the "whaaa??" turns into "Are you insane??" Even before the government got caught spying on citizens without warrants, giving them (or anyone else) a one-stop-shopping point for all their intercepts, was an unnecessary risk. Now it's just stupid, and not for "paranoid cypherpunks" but even for any average Joe who has opened a newspaper in the last few years. WTF are you people thinking? Start encrypting, and make them break into your home if they want to read your email. Give them a chance to get caught.

    We should be moving away from these old-fashioned centralized servers, taking power for ourselves. C'mon, run smart a client that actually knows what it's working with (emails) rather than pretending everything is a web page, and let that 386SX be 97% idle instead of 99%.

  • Apples vs. Oranges (Score:3, Insightful)

    by espo812 (261758) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @08:45PM (#15072615)
    Stay tuned for the article on apples versus oranges. While many like the thick orange skin, record numbers are switching to the soft red skin of an apple.

    Seriously, GMail and Pine do totally different things. What's the point?

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