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Why Desktop Email Still Trumps Webmail

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the get-ye-behind-me-web-two-point-oh dept.

Software 340

p3net writes "Shortly before the release of Thunderbird 2.0 RC1, Wired held an interesting interview with Scott MacGregor, the lead developer of Thunderbird. He presents some views as to why desktop email clients still triumph, even in this much-dominated web age. 'Some users want to have their data local for privacy and control. Furthermore, you can integrate data from different applications on the desktop in ways that you can't do with web-based solutions, unless you stick to web solutions from a single provider. For example, you can use your Outlook address book with Thunderbird. We'd like to continue to expand the kinds of data you can share between Thunderbird and other apps (both web and desktop applications).'"

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Outlook Competitor (finally) (4, Informative)

avronius (689343) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678249)

It looks like Lightning is already available for download for Thunderbird 2...

I haven't tried it yet - I've been using Sunbird - but the additional features that lightning provides will help Thunderbird on the road to becoming a more complete Microsoft Outlook competitor. If only we could convince someone to write the Exchange competitor on an open database...

From the Sunbird / Lightning page http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/lightning / [mozilla.org]

Which is right for me?

You may prefer Mozilla Sunbird if...
you prefer your calendar to be separate from your email client
you don't currently use Mozilla Thunderbird for your email
you don't like adding add-ons [such as extensions or themes] to your applications

You may prefer Lightning if...
you send or receive meeting invitations via email
you already use Mozilla Thunderbird for email
you customize your applications with add-ons [such as extensions or themes]
You can follow the Mozilla Calendar Weblog here >> http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/calendar/ [mozillazine.org]

Re:Outlook Competitor (finally) (2, Interesting)

skiflyer (716312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678809)

I've been running Lightning on both 1.5 and 2.0 for a few months now, and then using BirdieSynch to synch it with my WindowsMobile device.

It rocks. At this point the only reason I prefer my Outlook calendar setup comes down to integration with other apps and over the air synch with my mobile.

Specifically
1) Outlook has a button to "Create a new page in onenote" which opens up a new page, and puts all the meeting info in, then links the two so I can go back and forth... great feature for me.
2) Over the synch just rocks... I want it for my webdav lightning calendar, and I want it now... if anyone has any ideas how it can be accomplished I'd love to hear them.

I don't want an Exchange competitor (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679051)

What a sucky design that would be.

A client which integrates a directory, calendaring, todo, email and nntp with SyncML using open and standardised protocols sure. But we can do all that already with existing server systems.

 

Sorry, not even close (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679215)

I was forced to give up using Thunderbird at work, because some people I started working with elsewhere in the organisation relied on Exchange+Outlook calendaring facilities. In other words, I ought to be a prime target for Lightning. I'm also a geek who understands more than a pretty UI about what's involved with actually doing this.

What do I see at the top of the lightning page?

  • Open source
  • Open standards
  • Cross-platform
  • Extensible

Do you know how many of those I care about at work? Exactly none. And neither does pretty much anyone else in the target market for this product.

What I do care about is how well it integrates with Exchange Server, and whether its notifications for meetings and such are compatible with the business standard Exchange+Outlook combination. However, the word "Exchange" does not appear anywhere on the product home page; nor does "Outlook".

In other words, either their web page is terrible, or this isn't even close to making Thunderbird into a serious Outlook competitor. Given that the current version of Lightning is 0.3.1 (as in, starting with "0.") I'm going to go with the not-even-close version, and so it just about everyone else.

I'm afraid TFA was much the same: yet more of the popular "many eyes make secure software myth" (seriously, are we still peddling that nonsense?) and more cries about the greatness of Thunderbird due to its extensibility (does anyone reading this actually use Thunderbird with any extensions, never mind the natural way they are routinely used by Firefox users?).

Sorry to be so negative. I'm grateful to those who spend their time writing Thunderbird and giving it away to others, I really am. But it's starting to suffer from the two major diseases of the OSS world: a mistaken belief that users care more about philosophy than functionality, and a mistaken belief that OSS is somehow immune to the normal problems with software development just because some of its popular applications haven't (yet) been compromised as badly as the mainstream commercial players. I like the product, but until its marketing stops talking crap, I'm going to criticise the marketing.

6 Of One... (2, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678281)

Generally speaking, desktop based applications will have more features and better integration, but web based applications have the advantage of being portable, not to mention they're (generally) easier to upgrade for multiple users.

Re:6 Of One... (2, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678349)

Yeah, it was always kind of obvious to me. With a desktop client, you don't have to load a web browers, go the page, and click on inbox. It doesn't have to reload a bunch of stuff to bring up an email. Deleting is easier. Attaching is easier.

Re:6 Of One... (2, Insightful)

MrBugSentry (963105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678573)

You also don't have to trust your ASP with your data.
Or if you do host your data with somebody else, you can use public key encryption and not trust them with the access to your data, keeping your private key on your system.

Re:6 Of One... (4, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679057)

True. But those of us who are extremely mobile and on the run all the time can sacrifice ease of attachments and deleting for webmail. I forward all of my email to my Gmail account. It's a fantastic interface (makes me productive), it's quick (I've never seen it slugish), it's portable, and it's encrypted for when I'm on unsecure connections (https://mail.google.com). Did I mention it's free?

Just as the time came when everyone went from centralized servers to desktops, the time is coming where everything will move back to centralized servers.

Re:6 Of One... (1)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679361)

Yes, exactly. In fact, very few people in the world really get excited about Web 2.0 apps. But, being on the web, these people are a very vocal minority. They blog about it, and stuff. So as an observer, if you're easily fooled, you might walk away with the impression that Web 2.0 apps are huge. "much-dominated web age" as the summary puts it.

Google Maps and some other things are great, and everything, but it only goes so far. The web platform is a piece of crap platform to develop desktop applications on. It wasn't even designed to be a platform, and it still isn't. You can do it, and people will use your stuff, but it's never going to "trump" the desktop for desktop-oriented tasks.

Re:6 Of One... (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679385)

It doesn't have to reload a bunch of stuff to bring up an email. Deleting is easier. Attaching is easier.
Ever tried Yahoo's new email client? Try it, it's as good as any desktop app I've ever used. This Ajax stuff has come a long way in the last few years. My only gripe is that if you have 2000 messages in your inbox it becomes excruciatingly slow.

Re:6 Of One... (3, Insightful)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678447)

An additional balance is all about data security.

On the one hand Google do better backups than I do and I'd be amazed if I ever lost data from my Gmail account

On the other hand do I want sensitive data stored on someone else's server?

You decide...

Re:6 Of One... (4, Insightful)

Assassin bug (835070) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678741)

On the other hand do I want sensitive data stored on someone else's server?

Two other important questions related to the one above...
Do you own your own email server? If the answer is no, do you have your client options set such that email messages are deleted from the email server once they are grabbed by your client?
I don't think that data are any more secure on non-web clients unless the user is actually aware of what makes their data more or less secure.

Re:6 Of One... (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678765)

An additional balance is all about data security.

On the one hand Google do better backups than I do and I'd be amazed if I ever lost data from my Gmail account

On the other hand do I want sensitive data stored on someone else's server?


True, in the short term.

In the long term, though, all those servers cost a lot of money to operate. Google isn't just going to keep everyone's email around forever if they're not making money from it in some way. The security of your data, therefore, depends on the continued success of their business model and their company generally.

In terms of things like fires, floods, bad media, and PEBKAC problems, I trust that my data will probably be more safe on Google's servers than just stored on my hard drive and no where else. However, I don't trust that Google is just going to continue to offer GMail as a free service, forever. Lots of free services have become pay-to-use over time. If someone made a better webmail service than Google, and they started losing advertising eyeballs, it might start to get hard for them to pay the bills for all that storage. They might decide to give everyone 30 days notice, and either start paying for a subscription service, or lose the archives.

Now, the way Google is doing these days, it doesn't seem like much of a risk. I mean, they've got more money than God -- why can't they just keep everyone's email archived forever? But a lot of seemingly invincible companies have crashed and burned; Wall Street can be pretty fickle, and Google made themselves its bitch when they went public. If they ever started hemorrhaging cash, you can bet that their investors would demand that all those TB of email get the axe if it saved a few dollars on the electric bill.

I think there's a place for both desktop and web-based/online email. Ultimately, in a combination of the two: keep your email both saved on the server, so you can access it anywhere, and on your desktop, so you can back it up and integrate it with other applications. GMail doesn't do a terrible job of this (I use Gmail combined with Apple Mail and it works reasonably well) but there are still improvements that could be made, in order to make the online and offline experiences more seamless.

Re:6 Of One... (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678769)

On the other hand do I want sensitive data stored on someone else's server?

The privacy angle is bogus. If you are using somebody else's mx, then they can archive all your mail anyway, even if you are using a desktop application. If you are using your own mx, then there's nothing stopping you installing a webmail application on your own server.

Encryption (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679171)

On the other hand do I want sensitive data stored on someone else's server?
You don't have to trust them. But then, I'd put money on it that you send all your emails plain text.

 

Re:Encryption (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679345)

Exactly. If you're sending around "sensitive data" unencrypted, you're crazy. PGP and GnuPG have various plugins and GUIs that make it very easy; Enigmail is particularly good.

Re:6 Of One... (1)

massysett (910130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679311)

On the other hand do I want sensitive data stored on someone else's server?

Of course not. You'd better stop using email then. Email is like a postcard. It can be read or archived by anybody at any step in its journey.

If something is somewhat sensitive, you'd better encrypt it. If it's very sensitive, it doesn't belong in email at all. Email is NOT PRIVATE.

Re:6 Of One... (2, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678513)

Generally speaking, desktop based applications will have more features and better integration, but web based applications have the advantage of being portable

Well, but so are laptops, palmtops, and etc; so are server accounts where you leave the mail on the server and can download it into multiple clients, so that you can get your mail at work, but that still leaves it retrievable at home, both on real (that is, non-web) clients.

I'm not comfortable, frankly, with Google or whomever handling my mail. I know my backup strategies, I know my mail (since about 1985, including all my old Compuserve mail) is all intact, and I like being able to search it, prod it, use it as reference material. I can get at my mail, in my laptop, during those times I cannot get on the net - that's worth something too.

I don't think web mail (or any web application, for that matter) is a very good solution for users who make more than cursory use of email or any other data. I understand the urge to create web based applications, but that doesn't mean its actually a good thing. :-)

Re:6 Of One... (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678977)

Isn't someone usually handling your mail anyhow? I mean, unless you're sending all your mail encrypted (in which case who cares is Google handles it?) or all of your mail is on your own server on your own network and it never leaves your own network, it seems to me you have to consider your e-mail to be "in the wild".

Really, even if you're keeping your e-mail on your personal server, if you're conversing with people who use Gmail, Google has that e-mail anyway.

Re:6 Of One... (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679015)

Well, but so are laptops, palmtops, and etc;
Agreed, but not always as portable. I can go into any Internet cafe in the world and load up my webmail page (my own web and mail servers), as long as they allow https. I can do it from work, where they block gmail, hotmail, etc. as well as POP3, IMAP, SMTP, etc.

so are server accounts where you leave the mail on the server and can download it into multiple clients, so that you can get your mail at work, but that still leaves it retrievable at home, both on real (that is, non-web) clients.
Generally, that's IMAP, which is what I use (well, IMAPS). At home or my lab computer at work, I use thunderbird. However, I also have webmail running so that in other locations, or where firewalls are blocking the various email ports, I can still read and send email.

Re:6 Of One... (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679099)

Can I index my web mail with X1? I thought not.

Sorry... (4, Interesting)

tenchiken (22661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678307)

I was a huge advocate for these types of programs... Then Gmail came out. I rationalized sticking with them in that I didn't want Google reading my email. Then I started using Zimbra. It doesn't make sense to have thick clients anymore, when the web apps can do everything that the desktop apps can, and there is a solid open source program for hosting it yourself.

The Zimbra guys even have connectors for Evolution and Exchange if you want to stick with thick desktop apps, but if there is one thing Gmail has proven is that users are willing to give up functionality for remote accessibility, and with Zimbra, they don't even have to do that.

Yes, Gmail (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678421)

There are things in Gmail I've never seen anywhere else. For example, if there is an address in an email you receive, Gmail automatically creates a link to map the address with googlemaps. That's the kind of kickass idea that something like Outlook would never have.

Re:Yes, Gmail (3, Informative)

tenchiken (22661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678751)

Actually, Zimbra has that as well. As well as salesforce.com integration, and integrated mashups via Zimlets.

Re:Yes, Gmail (4, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679151)

and integrated mashups via Zimlets.
Yes, but can you leverage vested synergies via Frumious Bandersnatching?

Re:Yes, Gmail (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678899)

I agree that's pretty neat (also, being able to open an attached spreadsheet in Google Docs and work on it without installing anything is pretty slick, too). However, there's no reason why you couldn't have that in a desktop/client-side email client.

There was a time, not that long ago, when automatic highlighting of URLs in plaintext email, and automatically routing those links to your web browser, was a pretty slick feature. Now, it's considered standard. I can't think of a major desktop email program that doesn't do it, and what's more, people assume that the feature exists when they're writing email. (When you send someone a URL you assume that they'll be able to click it, even though you're probably not writing an actual "HREF=" HTML link.) Okay, maybe Eudora doesn't do it. But wake me up when Eudora does Unicode and I'll take it seriously again.

I could definitely see automatic postal-address-to-webmap functionality in a future version of Apple Mail (they already do it in Apple's Address Book), plus in a desktop app you could also link that address to other stuff on your machine: cross reference it to your address book, but also to documents that contain that address and other items. (Yeah, you can do that online, too, but it's a question of where you have more data. For the immediate future it'll probably be on your desktop machine.)

There's nothing really special about an online application versus a desktop one in implementing features like that, it's just that online applications, being newer, have recently been much more aggressive about implementing new features because they're trying to grow their marketshare.

Re:Yes, Gmail (1)

tenchiken (22661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678937)


I agree that's pretty neat (also, being able to open an attached spreadsheet in Google Docs and work on it without installing anything is pretty slick, too). However, there's no reason why you couldn't have that in a desktop/client-side email client.


It's just harder. With a web based system, it's always going to be easier to do mashups.

Re:Yes, Gmail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18679261)

Converting an address to a address + link to web-based mapper is no harder to do on a desktop client than on a web client. The desktop clients can already send URLs to the browser, the hard part is recognizing the address and composing the URL.

Re:Sorry... (5, Insightful)

penix1 (722987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678481)

"It doesn't make sense to have thick clients anymore, when the web apps can do everything that the desktop apps can..."

Until you don't have an Internet connection. I can type up 30 emails and queue them in the outbox until I do get connected if it is local.

Re:Sorry... (2, Informative)

tenchiken (22661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678795)

Not true. The Zimbra guys released Zimbra deskop, which allows for a full offline mode for Zimbra. That isolates you from network latency issues, lets you view and edit, send and edit email, calendar entries and contacts, and queue it in a outbox. It's also open source.

Re:Sorry... (1)

Palshife (60519) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679107)

That sounds like a Zimbra-specific thick client. Why would I want the extra layer? Why use Zimbra and not any other IMAP capable groupware?

Re:Sorry... (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679141)

I think that the original point was that there is no possibility of off-line work in a purely web-based system. Open-source aside, is there any real difference between Zimbra desktop and Outlook, Thunderbird any other client-based MUA?

Re:Sorry... (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678501)

With our company using Zimbra I no longer use a client side mail app for either personal or business email.

Re:Sorry... (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679139)

Can I index Gmail with X1? Nope.

I just RDP in to my home computer when I'm away from home. Remote access problem solved. Added benefit is that if I'm at work, they can't see my personal email.

what about the disadvantages (1)

ptr2004 (695756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678321)

You can integrate tightly with desktop emails. But most web based solution do pretty good virus scan and pretty good junk filtering.

Not really that significant. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679007)

You can integrate tightly with desktop emails. But most web based solution do pretty good virus scan and pretty good junk filtering.

No reason you can't do that on the server, and then insert headers that are recognized and processed by the desktop client. It's just a matter of standardizing the headers.

Many ISPs run all incoming email through a spam filter and rank it; it's pretty trivial to insert a rule (if you have a MUA that supports processing incoming mail according to rules) to put all the ISP-flagged messages into a Spam box, or raise its "spamminess" when analyzing it locally.

Similarly, a lot of antivirus stuff gets applied at the server level these days, and while personally I find it annoying that my mailserver would ever strip off a file for any reason, when it does, it's functionally equivalent to most webmail systems. AFAIK, most Webmail systems actually integrate with MTAs that do the virus and spam-scanning themselves; the "webmail" interfaces (at least last time I looked into them) pretty much just replicate a typical MUA. You just don't see a distinction so it seems more integrated.

Re:what about the disadvantages (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679197)

X-YahooFilteredBulk. I bounce any message with this header set. I can't say I've ever needed a virus scanner with a combination of logging in as a limited user or one of Netscape 4/Mozilla Suite/Thunderbird over the years.

Desktop applications (4, Insightful)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678335)

Didn't we already see this [slashdot.org] ?

More to the point: desktop applications are inherently preferable to the individual user. The argument can be made that a corporate environment, in which more than twenty people may need to use a program with limited seats in a license, or in which more than five people need to work collaboratively on the same data set, a client-server type may be more appropriate. Webapps are a client-server type of application in which the client is the web browser and the server is the application running within the web server. Viewing it as such may help to expose the odd nature of allowing so many middle layers to persist.

Desktop apps are important not only for security but also for efficiency and to prevent the gratuitous overconsumption of network resources.

I will not use Thunderbird yet (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678523)

Thunderbird won't be replacing Outlook for me until they figure out that not everybody wants the reply to show up underneath the original message. I've tried to switch twice because IMAP support sucks in Outlook, but I can't stand paging down through 5 screens to get the most recent comment on an email that has gone back and forth. Hey guys, how about a configuration option?

Re:I will not use Thunderbird yet (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678711)

I don't get it - are your referring to your inbox view? If so you can put newer messages on top easily enough.

If you're referring to the message body itself, then that's a function of the client of the person who replied, not the person receiving the reply.

Re:I will not use Thunderbird yet (4, Informative)

dorix (414150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678713)

You mean this one?

Tools -> Account Settings -> [your account] -> Composition & Addressing
Check "Automatically quote the original message when replying"
And select "Then, start my reply above the quote"

Granted, that's not the default, and not everybody will bother to change it, but there is indeed a configuration option. Even if it were the default, some people would probably change it back to what it is now anyways. If you're participating in a long email thread, you can always trim out old quotes yourself every three or four replies so it doesn't get out of hand.

I guess I'm in the minority (0, Redundant)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678393)

I like gmail and use it almost exclusivly now.

Re:I guess I'm in the minority (1)

fyrie (604735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678459)

I do too, but I have to admit that I'm very worried about how catastrophic it would be if my gmail account were accidentally deleted or compromised.

Re:I guess I'm in the minority (1)

Xymor (943922) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678695)

Well, the service has been running for a couple years by now, how many bug reports have we seen in this lifetime?
How many compared to Outlook security holes?
In fact, I'm sure that with the gains in compression, google is more than capable of keep redundancies and backups of our data, right?

Oh crap, now you got me worried.
I'm gonna look for or ask google people for an offline backup utility in their services request google group.

Re:I guess I'm in the minority (1)

finity (535067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679423)

Accidentally compromised, sure. But I think there's a greater chance of it getting accidentally deleted (or otherwise fragged) when it's stored on my PC. Of course, then it's my fault, but still... I loves me mah GMail.

Desktop based email? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678437)

Hah, you crazy kids with your aa-fonts and images. Terminal based MUAs still dominate my world - and I'm not interested in changing.

Re:Desktop based email? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678691)

They suck less.

large mailboxes (1)

jaredmauch (633928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679181)

I've not found a single client that handles large mailboxes well. This is either lots of attachments, or lots of smaller (ever remember these?) text messages. Add in poorly performing imap and other servers, and reading /var/mail becomes a lot easier.

I've gone and split my mailbox somewhat to have some attachments sent to a imap mailbox to get them on my actual desktop, leaving a copy in my regular mailbox that I can access via mutt. For better or worse, i get 1500-4k messages a day. None of these other clients i've found let me manage this in a reasonable way. So split mailbox it is. Having my thunderbird or mail.app fetch those word and ppt files we get limits the need to scp/sftp quite so much.

I need a better (graphical) mail client. Disk space (message caching) is not an issue. Getting good interactive performance of the mailbox is. If that means keeping a 1g mailbox in ram for speed, i'll buy the ram. I personally need something better. Then again, i may be one of those 99.9% users. Mutt seems to work well enough for me. If I ran it on my desktop, the attachments would work better i'm sure, but there seems to be no perfect solution, or something usable for me.

But Webmail is catching up (3, Informative)

Phoenix (2762) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678443)

But on the other hand Webmail is catching up when you consider some of the features of G-Mail.

Gmail has the distinct advantage of being both web accessible while at the same time also accessible via any pop3 e-mail client.

Sort of a "cake and eat it too" scenario.

I currently use Thunderbird to keep track of the 4 accounts that my wife and I use. I also have the ability to access my mail online should I not have my laptop with me. I also have the ability to use GMail as an offsite backup of my mail should I ever have a total OS crash and need to reinstall. The large amount of storage on the gmail servers plus the ability to re-download anything stored on the gmail servers means that I can restore my local copy of my emails.

If more webmail sites used gmail's strategy, webmail would likely catch up to pop3 and possibly surpass it

Re:But Webmail is catching up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678659)

Sort of a "cake and eat it too" scenario.

Not until it supports IMAP. Why are you holding POP3 up as the gold standard?

Re:But Webmail is catching up (1)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678867)

I have two problems with Gmail right now:

1. There is no elegant offline viewing of email. When "on the go" I don't have access to an internet connection half the time so I can't read my gmail. (I don't want the overhead of the entire Google Desktop and that is a hack anyway). Plus, Gmail has been unavailable to me 3 times already this week (Error: please try back later).

2. While Google's triple redundant approach to backups sounds pretty good, what if they accidentally delete my mailbox? Stuff happens. A good solution to #1 would address this as a recent local copy would almost always exist somewhere for disaster recovery.

OK there is a 3rd but it's kinda minor. The Gmail threading mechanism is cool, but it makes printing a single email a pain in the buttocks. Usually I end up with 20 pages going to the printer when all I needed was the first two.

Re:But Webmail is catching up (1)

Otto (17870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679077)

1. There is no elegant offline viewing of email. When "on the go" I don't have access to an internet connection half the time so I can't read my gmail. (I don't want the overhead of the entire Google Desktop and that is a hack anyway). Plus, Gmail has been unavailable to me 3 times already this week (Error: please try back later).
I've never seen Gmail unavailable, except when Google actually went down due to DNS issues between me and them.

However, with GMail mobile running on my cell phone (Java app for mobiles, browse to http://gmail.com/app [gmail.com] ), I'm never without access to quick and easy email.

The backup issue is a potential problem. But you can fire up a POP client and download all your messages locally if you want, so where's the fire there?

The short of it is that since I've started using GMail, I've not needed an email client on my own machine. It's too convenient to have it in the browser instead of having to have extra software. And frankly, gmail's functionality beats hell out of any client I've ever used.

The Gmail threading mechanism is cool, but it makes printing a single email a pain in the buttocks.
Huh? Pick the email you want to print, click the right upper corner down down menu on that email, select print. It opens that email in a new window and calls the print function of your browser. Done. One email, printed.

Re:But Webmail is catching up (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678885)

From uploading mobile photos to my galleries to having my wife submit lengthy Excel spreadsheets to find out the County from a City and State, I use e-mail and procmail along with various scripts to do a ton of shit before it's forwarded to the local INBOX and eventually on to GMail for permanent storage.

Until the day that GMail lets me use procmail to do what I want with my e-mail before it hits my INBOX, I will continue to use "desktop e-mail" (If you can consider pine desktop e-mail).

I still use Pine (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678471)

I *hate* webmail. There have been lots of times where replies get hung and then lost, with no draft saved, because of my internet connection. Not to mention the slowness and clunky interfaces. So I'm sticking with good old reliable Pine.

Re:I still use Pine (2, Insightful)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678857)

"Funny"? How about insightful!? Lol.

I run several independent qmail/vpopmail mail clusters, with a couple of different webmail packages, IMAP access from anywhere, and Eudora, Thunderbird, and MSOE at various times, and user IMAP from another Exchange server for our corporate parent.

And I *still* prefer to shell in and use pine for my "personal" account on campus rather than the other solutions they provide. It's convenient, easy, has never lost me an email, works under low bandwidth conditions, and after 10 years is just as fast as any of the other clients for me. On the off-chance I actually do need to view something with images in it, I simply (B)ounce it to my work account.

Can't beat simplicity.

Re:I still use Pine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18679061)

Why is the parent modded funny? I've never lost an email in over 10 years of daily Pine usage, it auto resumes the interrupted message. And as for clunky interface, terminal based email isn't great if you deal with loads of non-text attachments*, otherwise it really is much faster than anything else even allowing for typical network lag in remote use.

* sending binary attachments through a text transport is... unfettered genius :p

Drag and Drop (5, Interesting)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678483)

One of the main things I don't like about web mail is I've not seen one that lets me just drag a file or picture right into the message pane. If I want to email 8 pictures to someone, I normally have to click "add file," locate it, then do that 8 times (and many make me upload them one at a time as well, so that takes even longer). Another thing is the ability to get all 5 of my email accounts at once, instead of having to log into 5 different web pages.

Re:Drag and Drop (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678739)

Try opening a command line and typing "pkzip c:\mydocu~1\pictures\pictures.zip c:\mydocu~1\pictures\*.*"
I hear you can make many files into one, so long as you keep the files names limited to 8 charecters plus extension!
-
Sarcasm, the fine art of saying what you feel, while disguising it from idiots....

Re:Drag and Drop (1)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679283)

I hate zipping pictures. I like people to be able to see them right in the message :p I do zip other files though, mostly out of habit due to my experience a reaaaaly long time ago trying to send a Macintosh file (resource fork was lost).

Cameras, guns, and 3- Mail. Similar arguments (4, Insightful)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678489)

The discussion about local e-mail clients vs. web clients is similar to discussions about digital cameras and pistols.

When talking about cameras to buy, some folks advocate SLR, expandable, large cameras that have huge optical zoom, attachment points, and a huge slew of features. Other folks will say "I'll take an Elph" (or some other small format, quality camera that's the size of a pack of cigarettes. The most common argument the big camera people will use is something to the effect of 'yes, but you're sacrificing 20% image quality' (or something along those lines. A common response? "Sure, but I'm about X times more likely to actually HAVE the camera on me when something interesting happens. A big camera that takes slightly better pictures that's at home is less useful to me than this."

Concealed pistol arguments have both sides too. "I prefer the 9MM Glock" or "Nothing less than a .45 will do the job, it has _stopping power_." There will usually be folks on the other side who say "Those are nice, but I prefer a .22 Pistol. It's small enough that I'm much more likely to actually have it on me if something happens in public. A heavy, bulky gun that's sitting on the dresser is much less useful to me when I'm in danger than a small .22 that I can carry every day."

E-Mail clients seem to be heading in the same direction. T-Bird has some great features and rationales for using. It does stuff that can only really be done from a fixed location (private mail, etc), and yes, it can integrate with desktop apps. But... I rarely use those extra features. I've switched to webmail knowing that I'm trading off some features, but the payoff of being able to actually GET to it wherever I am has paid off many more times than not having integration into MS Word or something.

Different audiences, different needs, but both sides have their reasons.

Re:Cameras, guns, and 3- Mail. Similar arguments (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678721)

I have a camera on my cell, a digital SLR plus I have web, imaps and local (SSH) access to mail.

Unfortunately I'm stuck with the one gigantic penis.

They say you can't have everything in life, but I'm really not complaining and neither is my girl.

Re:Cameras, guns, and 3- Mail. Similar arguments (1)

Fez (468752) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678817)

I like to take the "best of both worlds" approach. At home I use Thunderbird with IMAP. I also have a webmail client for the same account. The same mail is accessbile in both locations, including all folders, sent items, trash, etc. I can also make local copies or use folders offline if needed while using Thunderbird. The only thing that I can't do is sync the address book (which would be very useful!)

I much prefer to use Thunderbird for most of my mail usage, but webmail isn't that far off. I use RoundCube webmail [roundcube.net] (disclaimer: I help out on the project, so I may be biased) it has drag-n-drop message management, a nice look, and is generally useful. It's still quite beta but it's not so buggy it keeps people from using it on a daily basis.

I'd say IMAP+Thunderbird+Webmail is ideal for me, but it may not be an option for some people.

Re:Cameras, guns, and 3- Mail. Similar arguments (1)

Wog (58146) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679327)

Folks who go to the trouble of carrying a gun every day should at least go to a little more trouble to carry an adequate gun. Even the .380 Kel-tec P3AT can fit in a jeans pocket without bulging.

Re:Cameras, guns, and 3- Mail. Similar arguments (1)

smaddox (928261) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679409)

If you really need to stop someone (like someone trying to kill you), the size of the bullet really doesn't matter. just shoot them in the head.

However for most common purposes (if someone is trying to mug you), putting one in the foot/leg with a .22 should be a enough for you to get away.

Where's the car analogy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18679397)

Gun and camera analogies on slashdot? Come on. Only a good car analogy will do. Mini Cooper versus Mack truck. There ya go.

Give it time (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678503)

Soon webmail will be as integrated with the desktop as Internet Explorer is with Windows. When that happens, we will create a hack to rip it out, just like IE

Interoperability (4, Funny)

JoeWalsh (32530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678509)

For example, you can use your Outlook address book with Thunderbird.

And Outlook also works with just about any mass mailing worm, virus, or trojan out there!

I'd like to see you try that with a web client!

Nope, I'm stickin' with Outlook.

Working offline (5, Interesting)

captainjaroslav (893479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678519)

That's the main reason I like using Apple's mail.app. I can write emails when I'm somewhere where I don't have an Internet connection and then send them later when I do. Also, if you're somewhere with a slow connection, it only affects the sending and receiving, whereas, in my experience, a slow connection affects all of the navigating through messages and almost everything else you might do with Web mail.

Graphically, I also think most clients are nicer to look at. That may not be that important to most people, but it is to me.

That said, I like that I have the option of using Web mail when I'm near someone else's computer. (Ideally, I think I'd use IMAP so that my folders, etc. from my client would match the ones I see when I log on using the Web. I've actually been looking for a provider that offers IMAP where I could also transfer my domains so I'd still have everything in one place. I'm also looking for a price that would be competitive with GoDaddy, who currently handles my email and domains.)

Re:Working offline (1)

mikey_boy (125590) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678735)

http://www.kdawebservices.com/ [kdawebservices.com] - I use them for a bunch of domains, imap and the like. I dunno about price competition though, I am too lazy to worry about it once I find a price I am happy to pay.

Re:Working offline -FASTMAIL (1)

donstenk72 (593985) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678959)

You might want to have a look at fastmail.fm. Excellent imap provider and they also do webdav. Just point the mail bit of your domain (cname, dns something like that, check the faq) and you're done.

Gmail/domain apps does the job for one user, if you share a company mailbox with others IMAP is the way to go.

For some things it is worth paying.

Re:Working offline (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679273)

I'm a fan of DreamHost.

Unlimited domains, Unlimited E-mails, $8/month. Plus I have a TON of space.

Enough that I'm using it as a backup for all pictures. I have an rsync that syncs all of my documents to their server once a day.

For $8/month it's great. I have all my e-mail hosted there. My catchall gets forwarded to google then bounced back to my main account. So google does my spam filtering for me.

I'm a desktop fan (2, Funny)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678579)

You guys would be really impressed with the insightful comment that I made about this in my desktop version of /.

I would tell you about it, but I would just be repeating myself.

+5 Insightful
-5 Lonely bastard

Outlook replacements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678605)

The problem with Outlook replacement solutions is that they all tend to use similar licensing model as Microsoft, even their pricing is close. Unless your Chief.x.x really hates Microsoft for some reason, nobody will want to deviate from the "corporate industry standard", "the safe bet" especially if it's not seemlessly integrated with Blackberry.

web "solutions"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678607)

e-mail isn't a problem, it's a protocol. It doesn't need solutions, it needs implementations. What's next, frozen waffle solutions for my toaster?

Re:web "solutions"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678881)

Irregardless, you clearly need to leverage the best-in-class waffle solution for your toaster paradigm with the right people in the right place at the right time.

Needs to Top Outlook (1)

allscan (1030606) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678617)

While Thunderbird may be more feature laden and easier to modify than Outlook. There's only one problem, Exchange Servers. Unless your friendly Exchange admin has enabled POP or IMAP forget about getting your email on these programs without Outlook. Until MS opens up on their MAPI protocol it will be nearly impossible to connect with these clients. As we all know, enterprise adoption is the key to success.

Article Text (For archive) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678627)

Mozilla: Why Desktop E-Mail Crucifies the Browser
Scott Gilbertson Email 04.09.07 | 2:00 AM

In an era when applications are moving into the web browser, the maker of the world's most popular open-source e-mail client wants you to stay on the desktop.

Later this month, Mozilla will release Thunderbird 2, the latest version of its cross-platform e-mail application. The current version, 1.5, has almost 50 million users worldwide and has been translated into 35 languages. Built on the same technology as Mozilla's Firefox browser, it is loved by many for its advanced filtering features and junk-mail-battling tools, an integrated RSS news reader and the ability to customize with tons of add-ons.

But with popular web-based e-mail services from Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, which just announced that it will offer unlimited storage, the need for a desktop e-mail client seems to be fading.

So we asked Scott MacGregor, Thunderbird's lead engineer, why anyone needs Thunderbird these days, and he had a pretty good answer. He also talked about Mozilla's open-source development model and told us what new features to expect when Thunderbird 2 becomes available.

Wired News: With seemingly every aspect of our data moving toward online apps and away from the traditional desktop model, why is Mozilla still interested in a desktop e-mail client?

Scott MacGregor: We believe the Thunderbird experience is better for moderate to heavy e-mail use. It's much easier to process incoming mail -- anyone who's had to use web mail on vacation to deal with dozens of e-mails can testify to how tedious it can be.

WN: What advantages does Thunderbird offer that a web-based app like Gmail doesn't?

MacGregor: Some users want to have their data local for privacy and control. Furthermore, you can integrate data from different applications on the desktop in ways that you can't do with web-based solutions, unless you stick to web solutions from a single provider. For example, you can use your Outlook address book with Thunderbird. We'd like to continue to expand the kinds of data you can share between Thunderbird and other apps (both web and desktop applications).

WN: Speaking of which, Thunderbird 2 has some new integrated web-mail functionality. How does that work?

MacGregor: A lot of users want to check their web-mail accounts using a desktop client, but they don't know all the information necessary to connect. For instance, with Gmail you need to know the server names in addition to your login information. We wanted to make the process easier for users, so we've provided Gmail integration using just an e-mail address. All the user has to do is enter their e-mail address and password and Thunderbird will figure out the server details for them.

For the Mac version, we've provided the same one-step integration with .Mac. We plan to add more web-mail services and even ISP providers in future releases. In the meantime, it's possible for developers to write extensions for other popular web e-mail providers.

WN: Mozilla touts the "open-source security" model as one of Thunderbird's strengths. Why is open-source security better than a proprietary solution?

MacGregor: One of the great things about open source is that you have the entire community, thousands of users, looking to find flaws and vulnerabilities in Thunderbird. And when they do, we have what I call the security SWAT team -- people who are always watching for reports of vulnerabilities and helping to patch them. The open-source model allows us to find problems faster, correct them faster and get updates out to users.

WN: What are some of the key features in the new version of Thunderbird?

MacGregor: People still get too much e-mail to easily sort, so we've focused on ways to better manage your inbox. The new mail alerts feature makes it easy to see new mail without having to stop what you're doing and change applications. (Editor's note: This feature is only available in Windows and Linux versions of Thunderbird.)

We've built a number of security features into Thunderbird, like phishing protection. When you view a message, Thunderbird analyzes all the URLs in it to see if they might be trying to trick the user. Thunderbird displays a warning at the top of the message when it thinks something malicious is going on. If the user clicks the links anyway, Thunderbird then pops up a warning dialog. If you're using Firefox as your browser, you really have two lines of defense since Firefox also has built in phishing protection.

We've also added full support for Windows Vista.

We're excited about the creative extensions our community is going to be able to develop with Thunderbird 2. We've really seen an explosive growth of people and companies building add-ons for Thunderbird, so we've tried to make it easier for those developers by improving the add-on framework.

WN: Have many developers updated their add-ons at this point or should the average user wait a little while?

MacGregor: It will take a while for Thunderbird 2.0 to propagate out. Most of the add-on developers wait until RC1 (the first release candidate, when the application has been fully beta tested), when they know the code won't be changing much and then they update their add-ons.

WN: Mac users have been clamoring for support for the Address Book app in OS X. Is that part of the Thunderbird road map?

MacGregor: We're very close to having integration support for Address Book and that will be part of the next release.

WN: What are Thunderbird's plans for the future?

MacGregor: We'll start collecting feedback from users once the new version is released and then we'll sit down as a community and figure out what we're going to do.

We get most of our feature suggestions from user feedback. The popularity of tagging on popular websites like Flickr led people to overwhelmingly want to apply that to e-mail. So tagging support is one of the key new features.

webmail is convenient, but... (1, Interesting)

jrentona (989920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678667)

Would you use a phone service if you knew all of your phone calls could exist on an internet connected computer indefinitely for some geek hacker to browse through and maybe post on YouTube?

Even worse, email (which takes up considerably less space and can be compressed to single digit percentages) is prime for third parties to resell to marketing and collection companies. They can mine the data to figure out what books you've ordered from amazon and barnes and noble. Determine which political internet sites or newsgroups you subscribe to. Analyze your buying habits. Mine for personal information to resell to identity thieves for a profit. It may make you feel good to trust that you abide by the law and have nothing to hide; but not everyone does the same. Seemingly innocuous information can be used for evil purposes like identity theft or political descrimination.

Databases, like every technology devised by man, can be utilized for good or ill. Your right to privacy is a valuable part of your ability to persue happiness undeterred. Don't let big corporations or the government take that away without a fight.

jrentona
Beverly, MA

Re:webmail is convenient, but... [databases] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18679401)

This is my primary objection too. However, I've recently come to the realization that most of the people I email on a regular basis use gmail, so google's already archiving at least 1/2 of my correspondence even though I don't even use their web mail service! :(

Maybe I should just give in and use gmail.

search... (3, Insightful)

pointbeing (701902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678703)

I host my own personal mail and use horde exclusively - at work I use Outlook because I need considerably more horsepower than a web client is able to give me.

Today I had to pull page counts from ten HP 0299c digital senders and the scanners IP addresses were spread out through ten different work orders - using an outlook plugin called Lookout (this company was eaten by Microsoft but you can still find the plugin if you look around) I was able to search a bit less than 4gb of email archive in two different .psts for the string 'digital sender' in a bit more than half a second. 709 hits that I can browse because the word order number is in the subject line.

You'd play hell doing that with a webmail client.

Re:search... (1)

pointbeing (701902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678731)

Sorry, that's HP 9200c - that's what I get for not proofing before I post ;-)

Re:search... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18679095)

Congratulations, you found a single remote task that you had to do once which required the installation of a plug-in by a defunct third-party company that allowed you to search for a string (which you can also do with GMail) five seconds faster than you would with a webapp.

Re:search... (1)

pointbeing (701902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679243)

Congratulations, you found a single remote task that you had to do once which required the installation of a plug-in by a defunct third-party company that allowed you to search for a string (which you can also do with GMail) five seconds faster than you would with a webapp.

I search my email archive several times a day - I just provided one example.

As everyone compares desktop app to Gmail (1)

saikou (211301) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678783)

Add to the list one thing: sorting. No matter how Google would like to claim that Search is better than Sort, it isn't. If you don't know exactly what you're looking for, you're doomed. Was the email from John/James/Juhn ? How do you search for something so vague?
While desktop client allows you to easily re-order inbox, and then filter out with flexible searches.
Plus the regular advantages of offline storage, better security, integration with other applications (though new Google agents allow integration where sending email from an app results in a web browser window being opened)
For all I know the desktop email app should be compared with Yahoo Mail Beta. But being online is still slower. And, in some cases, extremely expensive (for example when you only have access to cellphone-based internet connection with no unlimited tethering -- I was in this situation while being in Europe, prepaid plan charged per KB and easy Gmail session on a laptop can cost about 15 Euros)

Re:As everyone compares desktop app to Gmail (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679285)

Add to the list one thing: sorting. No matter how Google would like to claim that Search is better than Sort, it isn't. If you don't know exactly what you're looking for, you're doomed. Was the email from John/James/Juhn ? How do you search for something so vague?

Umm... If you don't know what you are looking for, sorting won't work either unless you can read really fast while scrolling. If you are talking about scrolling, then yes, desktop apps beat webmail hands down.

But sorting your emails any differently won't help you find something you don't know what it was in the first place.

But if you have an idea, you could just search in the from field for J*@*.com or something. You could do that in Groupwise at least... Outlook not so well in prior versions (I haven't tried 2007 yet), but do I love Outlook search folders.

I'd love to disagree (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678855)

I dunno, I just see desktop apps are an over complication for me, thus Desktop Email has never Trump Webmail for me... Webmail is just more portable for me, I only need portable firefox and no portable thunderbird...

Desktop Email Webmail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678895)

Cuz people are morons.. their attitudes will change in time. Sure I love security and all that as much as the next guy, but also having my stuff online allows me to access my data from anywhere, it's pretty much guaranteed to be backed up, and I can get to it on my laptop, cell phone, my friend's computers.. etc etc etc.. No more days of "oh crap I left that email at home!" and then connecting remotely if you're lucky.. My cell is my lifeline.

Well each to their own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18678981)

My (admittedly small) company recently carried out a survey of which mail client our users preferred from Outlook, Thunderbird and Gmail. Gmail won almost universally. I also use it happily at home to manage the 8 or so email accounts I have personally to access.

Yeah but what do they LACK (2, Interesting)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#18678991)

Really. all the major mail clients piss me off in different ways.

Thunderbird - where is my ability to point Thunderbird at two or three address books simultaneously? Still way behind the times when it comes to cross-account integration. You can only add ONE remote address book, and it HAS to be LDAP. No remote VCARD address book support. Just starting to get on board with multiple remote calenders.

Also - why the hell is there not a white-list for SSL certs? I KNOW my mail server has an untrusted self-signed cert. Frankly I don't give a fuck -it's my server I trust it, all I care is that it's encrypted. So Why do you have to pop up an annoying SSL cert dialog every freaking time I start up? Every other mail client on the planet allows me to accep tthis dialog once and NOT PROMPT ME AGAIN.

Outlook 2007 - WHY THE HELL DO YOU NOT HAVE PROPER THREADING YET. It's been 6+ years since this feature was available in all the open source clients. You'd think a billion dollar company could pull it off.

However, much better than thunderbird now when it comes to multiple accounts and calenders and address books. Supports a crapload of formats for both. Still not as good as KMail in this area, but a close second.

KMail - Stop crashing on me already. Also get HTML composer support in order, this is 2007 now you're like 4 years behind the times. As well, why can't I work in one folder while another account loading? There is no need to put this stupid wait screen up over the whole message area. However - nice work on the multitiude of calender and address book formats. If only exchange calenders worked properly.

I am starting to think I need to fork my own client off to get the functionality I need.

Re:Yeah but what do they LACK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18679163)

Also - why the hell is there not a white-list for SSL certs? I KNOW my mail server has an untrusted self-signed cert.
When the SSL certificate warning comes up, can't you select "accept this certificate" rather than "accept this certificate for this session"?

Re:Yeah but what do they LACK (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679191)

KMail
I am using KDE 3.5.6, Kontact 1.2.4, kmail 1.9.6, kaddressbook 3.5.6

Stop crashing on me already.
Kmail does not crash with me.

Also get HTML composer support in order, this is 2007 now you're like 4 years behind the times.
Eh? I can use HTML formatting features just fine in kmail? Try Options -> Formatting (HTML)

As well, why can't I work in one folder while another account loading?
Because things like filters for some obscure reason have to finish before you can perform a action. This is a known issue but I have no idea when they're planning to fix it and how.

There is no need to put this stupid wait screen up over the whole message area.
I don't have that.

However - nice work on the multitiude of calender and address book formats.
Calender stuff is handled by KOrganizer actually.

If only exchange calenders worked properly.
Not played with those in kmail yet.

Re:Yeah but what do they LACK (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679395)

I am using KDE 3.5.6, Kontact 1.2.4, kmail 1.9.6, kaddressbook 3.5.6

Same.

Kmail does not crash with me.

You're obviously not excersizing it with multiple IMAP accounts like me.

Eh? I can use HTML formatting features just fine in kmail? Try Options -> Formatting (HTML)

Try to reply to an HTML email with the formatting intact. WHOOPS! Try to create an HTML formatted signature. WHOOPS! Try to paste an image from your clipboard into the email. WHOOPS!

All these things have been in progress @ bugs.kde.org for years now. The team just has different priorities, they don't care about HTML email. Which is fine, but I still have a right to complain about it too.

I don't have that.

I guarentee you you do. When you first start KMail, click on your IMAP inbox. The whole right hand pane is obscred now with a "Loading" message, and it stays that way until the inbox is done. If you decide to change your mind and click on a local folder, or a faster folder on a different server, tough cookies - YOU ARE SCREWED UNTIL IT IS DONE.

Calender stuff is handled by K Organizer actually.

Not when you run Kontact, it is all part of the same PIM experience. And KMail has to integrate properly with K Organizer in order to handle calendering properly (which it doesn't do so well at right now). Once again - compared to Outlook, it is very far behind in this area, even when it comes to pretty simple things like adding events to outlook calenders,a nd managing presence. Since all the code to do this stuff is now GPL code in Evolution there is really no reason KMail can't make this work properly.

Oh and while I am on the topic - the one I forgot - Evolution. Gets most of the functionality OK, but the threading sucks, and its a huge bloated hog. Also every operation takes twice as long as it does in KMail or Thunderbird.

Thunderbird addressbooks (1)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679407)

You can only add ONE remote address book,
You can add multiple LDAP servers. Unfortunately, I believe you can only use one at a time (you can associate a different one with each of your accounts, though & there are extensions which make switching between accounts easier).

and it HAS to be LDAP. No remote VCARD address book support.
The sync kolab extension will sync the local addressbook with vcards in an IMAP directory. Most email clients don't have remote VCARD support of any kind. It would be nice if there were a standard way to dump an addressbook onto IMAP. (Al)Pine's method differs from Thunderbird's, so you can't share them. IMSP would have eased this, but no one adopted it.

Integration (1)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679125)

For example, you can use your Outlook address book with Thunderbird.

Intellisync for Yahoo lets you synchronize your Yahoo webmail address book with Outlook and your PDA. Works great for me. Also syncs calendar, todo, and notepad.

Faster... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18679133)

It's just faster. A piece of software running locally will always be faster (unless you're running Windows on a 386). When I tag mail as junk, I don't have to wait for my page to reload. It may be only 1 second on Yahoo on average, but it just does it right away in my mail client. Same thing when I switch from inbox to outbox. The only problem I get is that I'm not able to check my e-mail outside with my POP3 only account. Thankfully, all my other accounts also support a web interface to fall back on.

Why I Won't Use Thunderbird (2, Interesting)

Blahbooboo3 (874492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679207)

Big risk at being modded down, but I have to say it...

I have tried MANY times to use Thunderbird. Every time it fails for some weird quirk or another. The profile mechanism just doesn't work properly. It never stores the profile where i want without a whole bunch of fussing with a special start of Thunderbird (thunderbird -profile or something). Then, when I migrate my email into Thunderbird, it just cant handle huge volumes RELIABLY each time I have tried. Sometimes it imports, but invariably it fails afterwards in terms of speed or just disappearing the inbox -- which leads to the oh so helpful fix people point to about restoring the profiles.

So I am glad he has his opinions on email. But with all the issues with Thunderbird I think he should try to make that application must easier to manage (note, I didn't say "use") and less time on interviews IMHO. Oh, and please don't reply with "Oh, I have a 10k message inbox and it works fine for me." I know, many of you have no problems but if you google thunderbird you will see my own experience is not rare.

From the DUH department (-1, Troll)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679271)

I don't need to read a stupid ass article telling me something I already know. You have to be a complete moron to think web email trumps desktop email and yeah, I know....... there are loads of morons out there.

I've been using Yahoo Mail for 7 years now... (1)

The Media Mechanic (1084283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679331)

Yahoo Mail has served as my email provider for about 7 years now... I see no reason to switch back to a desktop client anytime soon.

Why settle for one or the other... (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679387)

...when you can have both [citadel.org] ?

One-sided interview (1)

punkr0x (945364) | more than 7 years ago | (#18679391)

It's nice how they have no counterpoints about the advantages webmail holds. Oh well, I guess they can only book one email-related interview a month.
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