Linux e-mail clients rant
June 2nd 2008
I am really disappointed at the MUA offer I am finding for by Debian box. I have tried KMail, Thunderbird, Evolution and Claws Mail, and all of them fail at some point. All four errors are different, and all of them almost total showstoppers.
The GUI is nice, has all features I want, everything OK... It's just that browsing the remote folders is hopelessly slow. I can brush my teeth in the time it takes to delete a message, and I don't want to go into what I can do in the time it takes to move a message from one folder to another one.
Apparently this could be fixed in KMail2, which will come with KDE4. The problem is that I want it fixed now.
This one is also very good in general. Actually, its problem is not due to itself. Its probably due to some bad interaction with X.org or something: everything works fine, but starting up and subsequent rendering/deleting of the window itself is really slow. If I minimize and maximize it back, it takes ages to reappear. I have this problem with TB and Firefox (actually Icedove and Iceweasel in Debian), and with no other program.
Again, almost everything is fine. Almost. The single problem is that if the "To" and/or "From" fields in the message list contain non-ASCII characters, they appear garbled. Nowhere else does this happen. Even other fields, such as "Subject" can contain accents or ñ with no problem, as can the text body.
This would be a cosmetic issue I could live with, but there are two problems I can not tolerate: I do not want these errors to appear in the messages I send when replying to garbled messages, and more importantly, I have sometimes had recipient lists containing non-ASCII characters mangled. I don't want to click "Reply all" and end up sending the message to only 3 of the 10 recipients.
This problem will supposedly be fixed in version 2.23.
Again and again, almost everthing is right. Now messages can contain non-ASCII chars anywhere, browsing folders is fast, manipulating/drawing/erasing the program window is fast... BUT, replying to a message, regardless of the settings one chooses, does not include the original message quoted. This seems a minor error. It isn't.
The thing that bugs me most is that I can not understand how these problems happen with free software packages. If you take KMail, Evolution and Claws, each one has a single error that the other two have already fixed... Couldn't they just copy each other? That is precisely the whole point of free software.
Couldn't KMail browse/scan/manipulate the IMAP folders with the efficient method Evolution and/or Claws use?
Couldn't Evolution display the message fields with the error-free method KMail and Claws use?
Couldn't Claws quote the original message as anyone else in the Universe does?
If only the three errors where not spread among the three MUAs, there would be one that I could use!Tags: Debian, e-mail, en, Firefox, gmail, kmail, linux, software, thunderbird