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#1 2013-04-19 00:16:23

markfilipak
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Registered: 2013-03-11
Posts: 46

Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

I'm writing this here (the Xfce forum) under the assumption that it's the Xfce folks who packaged Thunderbird with Mint.

I need an email client that does not use mbox. Any email storage system that uses file-per-message methods would be fine, but not Thunderbird (its maildir is not supported and doesn't make proper maildir file names).

I tried Claws but there were too many bugs.

I installed Evolution and fiddled with configuration but couldn't discover what type of mail system it uses, so I removed it.

I installed Kmail and fiddled with configuration but couldn't discover what type of mail system it uses. Also, when I tried to get help, it wouldn't get help but instead complained that some kde package was missing.

Thanks for any help you care to give.
Mark.

Last edited by markfilipak (2013-04-19 00:17:06)


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#2 2013-04-19 02:06:34

ozjd
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From: Hawkesbury NSW Australia
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Posts: 220
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Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

The packages included in a distro are a decision for that distro so you need to suggest it to Mint. E.g. Fedora includes Claws in the Xfce spin not Thunderbird.

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#3 2013-04-19 02:14:42

markfilipak
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Registered: 2013-03-11
Posts: 46

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

Thanks. Is there some way to know such things other than 'street knowledge'?


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#4 2013-04-19 02:30:39

ozjd
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From: Hawkesbury NSW Australia
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Posts: 220
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Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

Hard question to answer. I guess it is something you just pick up by hanging around forums like this and your distro's equivalent. There may be something in the documentation but I can't give you a link.

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#5 2013-04-19 03:17:18

markfilipak
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Registered: 2013-03-11
Posts: 46

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

Well, how's this for a suggestion: A Linux Genealogy. I'm sure you've seen those evolution charts showing what versions of Linux descended from what. They don't go nearly far enough. To ordinary users, Linux isn't the kernel, it's the desktop.

I'm beginning to get the following Big Picture: Like Microsoft produces the Windows API, Linux has a Gnome API and KDE API and ...what? What are the various Linux desktops? Guess I'll go to Wikipedia and find out... (I'll be right back)

Well, I'm back and I learned a little (like L.Torvalds is upset too). Answer me this: Is there as much difference between the KDE and Gnome graphical APIs as there is between KDE and MS-Windows? Does anyone care about interoperability between the various Linux distros? And is all this good for Linux or bad for Linux?

And, where can I go to discuss such computer architecture subjects?

Edit: Is there an Xfce distro? What differentiates Linux Mint + Xfce from Linux Mint + Cinnamon or Linux Mint Debian Edition? I mean from a graphical API standpoint because that's what effects what email client is best in which distro, isn't it?

Last edited by markfilipak (2013-04-19 03:26:30)


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#6 2013-04-19 04:02:50

ozjd
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From: Hawkesbury NSW Australia
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Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

The genealogy sounds interesting but I don't know where it would start. I think it has been attempted but not sure.

Difference in apis, most if not all linux DE's (and window managers) follow the same basic standards so that applications will run on all DE's etc.
The usual answer is that the number of distros is the result of free choice amongst users and developers. In a world where we are under pressure to accept 'one size fits all' I value that choice and wouldn't change it.

There are generic Linux forums where discussions like this happen, a search will bring up a few. Such discussions in a distro or de forum would bring an unbalanced response.

See https://forum.xfce.org/viewtopic.php?id=7795 for a discussion on Xfce distros.

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#7 2013-04-19 04:04:54

markfilipak
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Registered: 2013-03-11
Posts: 46

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

Thanks for the wisdom, but what's a DE?

PS: https://forum.xfce.org/viewtopic.php?id=7795 - nice! Thanks!

PPS: Ah! I'll bet a DE is a desktop enviroment. Don't they all have different APIs, and if so how can desktop applications interoperate? I thought some needed the gnome library while others needed the KDE library, etc. Unless I'm out to lunch, the library IS the graphical API. Comment?

Last edited by markfilipak (2013-04-19 04:15:37)


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#8 2013-04-19 04:41:55

ozjd
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From: Hawkesbury NSW Australia
Registered: 2012-02-05
Posts: 220
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Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

Yes DE is Desktop Environment.
Getting into technical details about apis and libraries is beyond my knowledge. I'm not a programmer. But an api or library doesn't need to be graphical.

See http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/ too.

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#9 2013-04-19 10:14:45

gnome_refugee
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Registered: 2010-01-15
Posts: 164

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

markfilipak wrote:

I need an email client that does not use mbox.

Sylpheed is good. (And has nothing to do with the DE, of course.) I've been using it for years and find it stable, simple, flexible and trouble-free. Emails are stored in the MH format, not mbox.

This article explains how to archive emails as text from Sylpheed. The choose-file-to-add-the-message-to script is launched from an icon on my Xfce panel.

Edit: fixed the URL

Last edited by gnome_refugee (2013-04-19 23:27:49)

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#10 2013-04-20 16:44:14

stqn
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Registered: 2010-10-11
Posts: 168

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

I’ve been using Claws-mail for more than one year and don’t remember any bug. Its configuration system is a bit weird sometimes though… (It’s actually a fork of Sylpheed. I tried Sylpheed first but then switched to Claws-mail.)

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#11 2013-04-20 17:20:45

markfilipak
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Registered: 2013-03-11
Posts: 46

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

The problem I had with Claws, stqn, was that I couldn't get existing mail into it. I have almost 50 accounts and... I'd almost say that Claws wanted to merge all 50 Inboxes into one Inbox in a single MH ( - would I then need to create a myriad of filters to sort my mail? I think so. Ugh! - ), but I can't actually say that because I couldn't get Claws to behave long enough to figure out it's quirks. ....it's difficult to express the problems I had because Claws seemed so alien compared to Thunderbird. The problem was compounded by the users on the Claws forum. They couldn't understand my problems (or I couldn't figure out the Claws architecture well enough to express my problems in terms they could understand), so I was rather viciously attacked as a troll. I was driven off, so, with no real prospect for obtaining help, I had to abandon Claws. I think I wanted a 1-to-1 relationship between MHs and accounts but couldn't achieve that. In the end, I couldn't even figure out what Claws considered an 'account'. When I queried the Claws forum, I was attacked for wanting to complain instead of actually wanting help. Even the Claws developers got into the game. A couple of people emailed off-list to inform me that the Claws developers are quite hostile to all suggestions of new features when, actually, I was simply trying to figure things out, not request new features - so it was a big failure on my part and a bad experience.


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#12 2013-04-20 20:17:09

stqn
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Registered: 2010-10-11
Posts: 168

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

Well, I do have two separate mail accounts, each one with its own MH directory, but I haven’t tried importing stuff.

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#13 2013-04-20 20:48:00

markfilipak
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Registered: 2013-03-11
Posts: 46

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

Is an MH analogous to an 'account'? That's the kind of language I was using, but the Claws devs said 'no'. Then they used the word 'account' themselves but they claimed that they were not referring to an MH. I thought they were therefore using 'account' to mean the service that a mail server supplies that requires a user-name and password. 'No' they said, that's not what they mean by 'account', but they never said what they did mean by the word 'account'. It was all very frustrating.

Oh, well, enough about Claws... like I said, my confusion poisoned the waters.

Last edited by markfilipak (2013-04-20 20:49:17)


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#14 2013-04-21 02:44:56

MountainDewManiac
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From: USA police-state welfare-state
Registered: 2013-03-24
Posts: 352

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

markfilipak wrote:

Is there some way to know such things other than 'street knowledge'?

There's a LOT of free linux documentation. Some general ones might be helpful to you. Here's five:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-downloadable-books-to-teach-yourself-linux/
markfilipak wrote:

I have almost 50 accounts

There's probably a perfectly sensible reason why you do, but it sounds kind of creepy - do you pretend to be almost 50 different people, lol? big_smile

markfilipak wrote:

I need an email client that does not use mbox. Any email storage system that uses file-per-message methods would be fine

Maildir's Wikipedia page states that both Mutt and Kmail use it (maildir). It lists a few other email clients as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maildir#Mail_readers

EDIT: Additionally, this Wikipedia web page might be helpful, specifically the column in the "Database, folders and customization" chart that is labeled 'Message file format."

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

Hope this helps,
MDM

Last edited by MountainDewManiac (2013-04-21 02:52:30)

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#15 2013-04-21 03:10:05

markfilipak
Member
Registered: 2013-03-11
Posts: 46

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

Hey MDM! How you doing? Still hitting the yellow stuff, eh? Just remember: "Watch out where the huskies go..."

MountainDewManiac wrote:
markfilipak wrote:

I have almost 50 accounts

There's probably a perfectly sensible reason why you do, but it sounds kind of creepy - do you pretend to be almost 50 different people, lol? big_smile

I'm markfilipak.aerotek@gmail.com, markfilipak.amazon@gmail.com, markfilipak.anthem@gmail.com, etc. Why?
...Suppose you go to 'foo.com'. There's something you really want from foo.com, but you have to register and leave an email address. What do you do? If you're like me you go to Google Mail and get a new account: markfilipak.foo@gmail.com (of course, username 'markfilipak.foo' is available). Then you go back to foo.com and give markfilipak.foo@gmail.com as your email address. If later markfilipak.foo starts getting spammed, you know exactly who sold your email address. You go to Google and pull the plug on markfilipak.foo. Otherwise, you have a private email address dedicated to the foo.com web site. In your email client you create a new account for markfilipak.foo@gmail.com. You go to Gmail and configure it as a POP server and - Voila! - you have a 1:1 mapping of your Gmail account to your email client and all your mail comes in presorted. Cute, eh?

MountainDewManiac wrote:
markfilipak wrote:

I need an email client that does not use mbox. Any email storage system that uses file-per-message methods would be fine

Maildir's Wikipedia page states that both Mutt and Kmail use it (maildir). It lists a few other email clients as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maildir#Mail_readers

EDIT: Additionally, this Wikipedia web page might be helpful, specifically the column in the "Database, folders and customization" chart that is labeled 'Message file format."

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

Been there, done that... Actually, all the GUI clients except Sylpheed and Claws use mbox by default. Evolution can access a maildir store, but it doesn't use maildir for it's own email. Kmail is currently unclear to me.

MountainDewManiac wrote:

Hope this helps,
MDM

Aw, you're a champ. No help, but a champ nonetheless.

Ciao - Mark.


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#16 2013-04-22 11:46:24

v1adimir
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From: Belgrade
Registered: 2012-07-04
Posts: 4

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

markfilipak wrote:

Edit: Is there an Xfce distro? What differentiates Linux Mint + Xfce from Linux Mint + Cinnamon or Linux Mint Debian Edition? I mean from a graphical API standpoint because that's what effects what email client is best in which distro, isn't it?

No, there should be virtually no impact on the GUI - no matter the distro. For example, currently Xfce is using GTK+-2 graphical (user interface) libraries, so if the software is built for it - Xfce will render it.

Like ozjd here already linked, there are *many* Xfce distros, like Xubuntu. For beginners and ease of use, I'm loving Xubuntu and consider it the *best* GNU distribution (besides Arch && CrunchBang).

PS.
Thunderbird *can* be made to do what you need, just might take a little effort sometimes & it doesn't need any APIs; for regular use, not really..:)


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#17 2013-04-22 19:21:11

markfilipak
Member
Registered: 2013-03-11
Posts: 46

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

Thanks for helping, v1adimir. This question of APIs is a little off-topic, so I'd like to wrap this up quickly.

v1adimir wrote:
markfilipak wrote:

Edit: Is there an Xfce distro? What differentiates Linux Mint + Xfce from Linux Mint + Cinnamon or Linux Mint Debian Edition? I mean from a graphical API standpoint because that's what effects what email client is best in which distro, isn't it?

No, there should be virtually no impact on the GUI - no matter the distro. For example, currently Xfce is using GTK+-2 graphical (user interface) libraries, so if the software is built for it - Xfce will render it.

GUI is not what I was referring to. API is what I was referring to. Doing some searching & thinking, I think the key word is dependencies. You cite GTK+. http://www.xfce.org/about/releasemodel also cites GLib.

A Specific Experience:
After I installed Kmail, clicking its 'Help' menu item provoked an error: 'khelpcenter' missing. I had to manually install khelpcenter. That presumably wouldn't have happened if I'd installed the KDE desktop instead of Xfce.

I'm more interested in architecture than in user experiences. Do you know of a web resource that tracks dependencies rather than user interfaces?

v1adimir wrote:

PS.
Thunderbird *can* be made to do what you need, just might take a little effort sometimes & it doesn't need any APIs; for regular use, not really..:)

I'd love to 'hear' your experiences. My experiences were bad: copying messages from an mbox account to a maildir account resulted in soup... actually, a different soup each time (which is even worse). I'll PM.


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#18 2013-04-22 23:00:23

ozjd
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From: Hawkesbury NSW Australia
Registered: 2012-02-05
Posts: 220
Website

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

markfilipak wrote:

After I installed Kmail, clicking its 'Help' menu item provoked an error: 'khelpcenter' missing. I had to manually install khelpcenter. That presumably wouldn't have happened if I'd installed the KDE desktop instead of Xfce.

Help files are a special case, as are KDE apps. Many distros don't include help files with packages as they can be quite large. Many people don't look at them after they have been using a package for a while. KDE apps are closely linked to the desktop, that's why they call it KDE SC for software compilation. When you install KDE packages without KDE you usually just get the base KDE system files which can be quite a bit anyway.

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#19 2013-04-22 23:23:24

markfilipak
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Registered: 2013-03-11
Posts: 46

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

Thanks for the info, ozid. My complaint with Linux is that when I click help, very often I'm simply taken to the introduction or the index page of an on-line user manual... no context sensitive help. When I point that out to Linux fans and say that this is why most people can't use Linux, they get mad at me!

And what are you supposed to do if you can't get to the Net... like if that's what needs to be fixed?

Now I hear that there really is help, but it's not often packaged with applications. I for one, don't care whether application-A without help is 1.5 MB while application-A with help is 3.5 MB. Give me the help.

Last edited by markfilipak (2013-04-22 23:24:42)


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#20 2013-04-22 23:52:56

ozjd
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From: Hawkesbury NSW Australia
Registered: 2012-02-05
Posts: 220
Website

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

I don't disagree with you on that. Poor documentation is one the weaknesses of Linux generally. Some is better than others but most are lacking in content and often out of date. Mind you it isn't just Linux, I can remember using some Windows software where the help screen basicly told you to RTFM.

I can also understand the reluctance of distros to include it as standard.

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#21 2013-04-23 00:07:47

markfilipak
Member
Registered: 2013-03-11
Posts: 46

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

Oh, man. This comes as real revelation to me.

ozjd wrote:

I can also understand the reluctance of distros to include it as standard.

Why? I was beginning to think that most Linux developers actually preferred Linux to remain... mmm... obscure (at least, not successful on home desktops). Is the issue really megabytes?

How does one find this missing documentation (and by that I assume you don't mean 'man' files). Are there standard places where this stuff is stashed (hidden). Hahahahahaha...

Ciao - Mark.


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#22 2013-04-23 00:42:22

gnome_refugee
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Registered: 2010-01-15
Posts: 164

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

If you really get annoyed that some piece of software documentation is missing, write it yourself and contribute it to that software project.

The Linux world is not composed of companies like Microsoft or Apple with salaried or contracted programmers. It's made up of thousands of little project communities, sometimes 1-member communities. These communities write the software, test it, put it out in the real world to get feedback and bug reports, fix the software, etc.

In the vast majority of cases, all this work is unpaid and spare-time. Nearly every project I'm aware of (KDE, Xfce, apps) has a website with an invitation to 'Get involved', and that often means writing the documentation. Writing a help file is often much *harder* than writing code, and not only because not everyone knows how to write well. For that reason, help files for particular apps are often non-existent, or blank pages on the website for the app. They are quite often written, when they exist, by non-developers, as a kind of 'thank you' to the developers.

Please consider saying 'thank you' in this way, when you get to know a particular piece of Linux software. Alternatively, please consider posting your successful solutions to problems on the relevant forums, like this one for Xfce.

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#23 2013-04-23 01:15:19

markfilipak
Member
Registered: 2013-03-11
Posts: 46

Re: Email client needed but, please, not Thunderbird...

gnome_refugee wrote:

If you really get annoyed that some piece of software documentation is missing, write it yourself and contribute it to that software project.

I know this makes sense to you, but think about it. There's too many amateurs writing Linux documentation now. What tends to happen is that someone writes a bit about one particular thing they've learned. Then, assuming they have access to documentation sources, rather than delete some other volunteer's work, they simply add their own to supplement what's already there. That's how Linux documentation grows and grows and becomes such a task to read. What's needed is terse, concise documentation, not 'talk-around-the-subject' documentation. What's needed is experienced project managers who know how to edit the documentation others write.

gnome_refugee wrote:

...They are quite often written, when they exist, by non-developers, as a kind of 'thank you' to the developers.

To put it frankly, I don't know enough right now to write documentation, and when I do know enough I will probably have moved on. My inner project manager won't allow me to get involved with a losing project. I have to ask myself whether it makes sense for me to write a bunch of documentation when the person who approves or rejects it is a code writer having dubious literary talents or, as is often the case, is the very same person who wrote the existing documentation ...which is typically lousy!

I think this discussion has strayed far enough from the original post that we can let it die. Let's do that, okay?


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