Summary

A software developer, in particular at SUSE, needs a reliable and robust mail client.

While many SUSE developers prefer text based mail clients like mutt or pine, it's about time to arrive in the 21st century and get a GUI based mail client.

Requirements:

  • IMAP support

  • Robust

  • GUI (real GUI, no Web stuff)

  • Reasonable mail thread handling

  • Reasonable mailing list handling

  • Address book

  • Can handle attachments well

  • No spell checking or option to disable it (who wants this in the first place?!)

Bonus:

  • Can handle Google contacts

  • Google calendar integration

  • GroupWise calendar integration

Rejected Candidates

Mutt

not graphical

Pine

not graphical

KMail/Kontact (KDE)

Pro

  • Google contacts provider available (works very well)

  • Google calendar integration (works very well)

Con

  • Relies on Akonadi (a MySQL-based mail back-end)

  • Fragile

  • Over-complex

  • Needed akonadiconsole numerous times to fix broken mail environment

  • Got even more instable with the advent of Plasma 5

  • Not very well maintained (?)

Mozilla Thunderbird

Pro

  • Google contacts integration (via add-on)

  • Google calendar integration (via Lightning add-on)

Con

  • Old and poorly maintained

  • Not officially maintained by Mozilla.org any more (?)

  • Loses connection to SUSE IMAP server all the time:

    • No notification about new mails :-((
    • Need to click on each mail folder to get notification about new mails there :-((
    • Need to restart every few hours
  • UI nightmare:

    • Button order for immediate mail actions changes between one mail and the next ("Delete" (!!))
    • Over-complex settings
    • Certain settings hidden in about:config page (which is hard to get to)

Tested

Trojita

Screen shot

Home page: http://trojita.flaska.net/

Screen shot page: http://trojita.flaska.net/screenshots.html

  • Qt-based

  • Git version: 0.7 (this is the version that was tested); Version in OBS: 0.5

  • Still under development

  • Somewhat promising, but still missing quite some features:

    • No simple way to delete a mail (move to trash) and go to the next one.
    • Uncommon approach to deleting: No trash folder, but marking mails as "deleted" in the original folder; later use "expunge" to actually delete them. This is probably what the IMAP protocol does internally, but usually that level of detail is not exposed to the user.
    • No way to select any fonts. The default font for mail content is a constant width (good!) bold (bad!) font.
    • Keeps its own address book in ~/.abook/ ; no way (yet?) to import address books, no integration with Google contacts (yet?).
  • +1 for having a simple tab to switch between HTML and plain text display.

Overall impression: Promising, but still needs some work.

Candidates to Evaluate

Evolution (GNOME)

Screenshot

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_(software)

  • Gtk-based

Claws Mail (Ex-Sylpheed)

Screenshot

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claws_Mail

Comments

  • mvetter
    about 1 year ago by mvetter | Reply

    I settled on claws-mail, it's the best I could find. GTK-based.

  • keichwa
    about 1 year ago by keichwa | Reply

    Gnus on Emacs. Google integration is probably tricky. You probably will have to export the Google data (addresses) and import it into BBDB.

    • shundhammer
      about 1 year ago by shundhammer | Reply

      One of the requirements was GUI. Emacs does have some menus, but it's a far cry from what I'd call "GUI". ;-)

      Also, Gnus is probably the most complicated approach to mail; it was originally meant as a news reader, and IMHO that shows everywhere.

      But thanks anyway for your input!

  • dsterba
    about 1 year ago by dsterba | Reply

    I've tried Trojita. Full switch from mutt was not possible at this time because:

    • the deletion issues as you mentioned
    • working with threads is not implemented: delete whole thread, mark thread as read/unread, move thread to another folder
    • pipe message to a command (usecase: apply patches from the mail client)
    • advanced filtering (like limit in mutt)
    • shortcut mapping to custom commands or filter rules

    If this sounds like I want mutt in GUI, that's right. I've tried claws in the past but there were other issues, I don't remember.