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Need recommendations for a new email ap...
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krx
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Jan 19, 2009, 12:09 AM
 
I have used Eudora for email since email was first invented. It is of course no longer updated by Qualcomm and has not been supported by my University for over a year. They now support Thunderbird. But I didn't like the Thunderbird interface so I shifted over to Entourage 2004 - and I hate it.

Now I'm looking for a better email program. I'm open to anything - if it can do what I need it do.

I keep a LOT of email and use it to keep track of various personal, family, professional and business matters. I have my mail organized into about 20 main folders and another 200 or so subfolders. I need an excellent search feature so that I can find old email messages quickly and easily. Eudora was great for this. I also loved the mailbox pulldown menu on Eudora. It let me see in one window all my primary folders and expanded to show me all the subfolders by simply hovering over the primary folder. I find the Entourage folder menu to be quite primitive by comparison (not pulldown, always open taking up space, have to click folders to see subfolders,etc). And the "rules" feature is total crap compared to how elegantly Eudora worked. It automatically sorted my incoming (and outgoing) mail and opened in a new window the folder to which incoming mail was directed. If I "enable" the "rules" on Entourage it sends my mail to the subfolder without alerting me in any way. How am I supposed to know I have new mail in that folder? If I don't enable the rules then I have to go in and manually enable them every so often, select all the unsorted mail in my inbox (or outbox), and hit the "apply rules" feature - which still doesn't seem to work all that well. For some reason half my email still doesn't get sorted into it's respective folders.

So... I'd like an ap with a pulldown folders feature like Eudora has, an excellent search tool, and filters that work to sort my mail automatically without leaving me guessing where my new mail may be.

Any input GREATLY appreciated!
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 02:43 AM
 
Um...how about Mail.app?

There's still an always open mailbox list on the left, but it would do everything else you're talking about.

Steve
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Jan 19, 2009, 03:38 AM
 
Mail.app won't directly alert you to new mail in respective folders other than the inbox (if you use rules to sort it), BUT it will show a little number icon next to each mailbox to let you know how many unread e-mails there are in each 'box.
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 03:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Mail.app won't directly alert you to new mail in respective folders other than the inbox (if you use rules to sort it), BUT it will show a little number icon next to each mailbox to let you know how many unread e-mails there are in each 'box.
Mail does beep whenever I receive a message, in any sorted folder.

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Jan 19, 2009, 04:04 AM
 
You can set a preference for the Dock to show all new email from all folders.
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Jan 19, 2009, 06:05 AM
 
Oooh neat!

It didn't used to be able to do that, and I just never bothered checking again...
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 06:11 AM
 
okay, wtf just happened?
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 06:47 AM
 
Echo, echo. (I've deleted the duplicate posts.) Ditto for suggesting Mail.
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Jan 19, 2009, 09:43 AM
 
Wow, many around here used to hate Mail. . .

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 10:09 AM
 
Not sure why, it has always been a solid mail client ever since rules have been introduced.
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JKT
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Jan 19, 2009, 10:21 AM
 
It is decent enough but it isn't without its issues though - e.g. a tendency to duplicate drafts; smart mailboxes that aren't smart (mine never update until I view them, which completely defeats their purpose for me); no easy way to view mails by a time-based context like in Outlook; alerts don't always sound and the Universal Access preference to flash the screen is ignored completely; etc.

However, searching is very fast and works; Time Machine is supported (though, admittedly, I have found it to be quite flaky to use in practice); filtering works well; integration with iCal and Address Book is good to OK; etc.
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 11:05 AM
 
Mail is really your only other serious alternative if you've already ruled out Thunderbird and Entourage. You mentioned Entourage 2004 though. I've found Entourage 2008 to be better than 2004, but the feature set hasn't really changed. You could download the Office 2008 trial version to check it out, but if you've used 2004 and have major objections, 2008 won't change your mind.

I use Thunderbird. Initially I had some issues that kept me away from it, but I found a theme I like (Silvermel) and a useful extension called 'Change quote and reply format'.
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 12:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacNNUK View Post
Mail does beep whenever I receive a message, in any sorted folder.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Mail.app won't directly alert you to new mail in respective folders other than the inbox (if you use rules to sort it), BUT it will show a little number icon next to each mailbox to let you know how many unread e-mails there are in each 'box.
Dockstar, FTW.

Customizable alerts for individual folders, incl. sounds.



-t
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 12:43 PM
 
Oh, and for some serious email processing, may I recommend:

Mail Act-On:
-> using programable hotkeys to process emails

Mail Tags:
-> projects, tags, powerful iCal support, RSS support etc...

-t
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 12:48 PM
 
Mail.app has some great free plugins to alert you when new mail arrives:

The Unread
Mail Unread Menu
GrowlMail

Personally, I use The Unread in combination with GrowlMail. The Unread puts the number of unread emails from my Inbox in the menu bar (you can customize it to look in subfolders if you wish), and GrowlMail will popup an alert on screen, displaying who the message is from as well as the subject. And as mentioned already, Mail.app does have an audible alert upon receiving new email, but it's not something you can customize from the applications settings.
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Jan 19, 2009, 04:37 PM
 
I think I'm probably in the minority here, but after switching from .Mac/MobileMe to Gmail, I've stopped using a desktop mail client and just use the web interface for everything.

I will say though, however, that Mail.app+Dockstar+Mailtags=happiness for me when I used it.
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Jan 19, 2009, 04:53 PM
 
The problem with Mail that I can see applying to the original poster's condition is that it sucks complete ass when it comes to processing large mailboxes, it just slows to a crawl and brings your entire machine down with it. Then again, I don't have a recommendation if he/she doesn't like Thunderbird (which is comparatively much better at dealing with large mailboxes).
     
JKT
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Jan 19, 2009, 04:57 PM
 
Perhaps you ought to tell us what you consider to be a large mailbox so that the OP has a better idea of whether this will affect them or not. My largest is nearly 2000 messages (which isn't massive) and there are no performance problems with that many.
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 05:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by JKT View Post
Perhaps you ought to tell us what you consider to be a large mailbox so that the OP has a better idea of whether this will affect them or not. My largest is nearly 2000 messages (which isn't massive) and there are no performance problems with that many.
I don't know exactly at what point the performance hit becomes noticeable, but our shared mailboxes at work that I used to access with Mail contained hundreds of thousands of messages. When you look at the little activity thing it would constantly say "scanning for unread message counts". I don't know why given that it is limited to only looking for new messages in the Inbox by default that it has to work this hard to do this.

The iPhone is the same bad performer. If you monitor the logs of a mail server when it performs its check it insists on thrashing through every folder. I can't put my finger on precisely what the problems with these clients are since I haven't really tested this thoroughly, but it does seem to relate to its whole system of new message notification, which is odd because as of Leopard it finally supports IMAP IDLE.

Oh well, just my ramblings...
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 05:10 PM
 
Also, if you need multiple identity support Mail is not going to cut it.

I generally say Mail: great interface, really badly behaved IMAP client with weak feature set, Thunderbird: not so great interface, but great IMAP client with plenty of advanced features.
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 05:17 PM
 
I have heard good things about PowerMail.
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 07:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I don't know exactly at what point the performance hit becomes noticeable, but our shared mailboxes at work that I used to access with Mail contained hundreds of thousands of messages.
That's just ridiculous.

Hundreds of thousands ?

Just archive the old sh!t, and you won't have problems.
Show me ONE client that just swiftly handles hundreds of thousands of emails.

-t
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 08:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
That's just ridiculous.

Hundreds of thousands ?

Just archive the old sh!t, and you won't have problems.
Show me ONE client that just swiftly handles hundreds of thousands of emails.

-t
Thunderbird does, why shouldn't all clients? I'm not talking about hundreds of thousands of messages in a single folder, I'm talking about spread out across several folders.

For starters, in just about every IMAP client I know of except for Mail you can manage folder subscriptions so that you can do exactly what you're recommending and create a new folder, dump old messages into it, and then unsubscribe from it. This is what we've done, but because OS X Mail doesn't understand folder subscriptions without strange hacks it still goes through this entire folder collection periodically.
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 08:05 PM
 
Things missing/broken in OS X Mail:

- folder subscriptions
- the ability to control what folders are checked for new messages (helpful for working with sieve/procmail rules rules)
- multiple identity support
- proper handling of notification of new mail (this is apparent in both Cyrus and Courier IMAP)
     
krx  (op)
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Jan 19, 2009, 11:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Mail.app won't directly alert you to new mail in respective folders other than the inbox (if you use rules to sort it), BUT it will show a little number icon next to each mailbox to let you know how many unread e-mails there are in each 'box.
That's true for Entourage as well. But when I imported my mail it listed everything as unread ... and a month later and I still haven't gone through all the folders to "mark as read". If I had done this it would be easier to use "rules" to sort mail and see where it is - but I still would have to scroll thru the list of folders - and I would have to leave all my main folders open so I could see all my subfolders because Entourage doesn't put a number (for unread messages) next to the main folder, only the subfolder. And my list of folders is 200 long. I find this unbelievably cumbersome compared to Eudora's pulldown menu (and how folders opened automatically when new mail was received, so you couldn't miss anything ... you just work through your open folders till there aren't anymore).

Also, the window for folders next to (or above) the window for messages just doesn't work for me. If you have all your folders open, and you have some subfolders within subfolders, then the folder window needs to be a certain width in order to see the numbers for new mail, and sometimes just to see exactly which folder it is. This cuts way too far into the message window. The only other option is to constantly change the width of the folder window so I can check the folders one minute and read a message the next. Total and complete PITA!
( Last edited by krx; Jan 20, 2009 at 06:57 PM. )
     
krx  (op)
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Jan 20, 2009, 12:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
Mail is really your only other serious alternative if you've already ruled out Thunderbird and Entourage. You mentioned Entourage 2004 though. I've found Entourage 2008 to be better than 2004, but the feature set hasn't really changed. You could download the Office 2008 trial version to check it out, but if you've used 2004 and have major objections, 2008 won't change your mind.

I use Thunderbird. Initially I had some issues that kept me away from it, but I found a theme I like (Silvermel) and a useful extension called 'Change quote and reply format'.
I haven't so much ruled them out - well maybe I've ruled out Entourage. Thunderbird I didn't give much of a chance. But if it handles folders and filters the way Entourage does I'd have a hard time with it.

Don't know anything about "themes" with TB. Do different themes come w/different functionality?
     
krx  (op)
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Jan 20, 2009, 12:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Dockstar, FTW.

Customizable alerts for individual folders, incl. sounds.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Oh, and for some serious email processing, may I recommend:

Mail Act-On:
-> using programable hotkeys to process emails

Mail Tags:
-> projects, tags, powerful iCal support, RSS support etc...

-t
Thank you! These look like great adjuncts to the mail option. Does anyone else have experience with any of these? Are they worth the cost?
     
krx  (op)
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Jan 20, 2009, 12:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by IronPen View Post
Mail.app has some great free plugins to alert you when new mail arrives:

The Unread
Mail Unread Menu
GrowlMail

Personally, I use The Unread in combination with GrowlMail. The Unread puts the number of unread emails from my Inbox in the menu bar (you can customize it to look in subfolders if you wish), and GrowlMail will popup an alert on screen, displaying who the message is from as well as the subject. And as mentioned already, Mail.app does have an audible alert upon receiving new email, but it's not something you can customize from the applications settings.
I don't think the audible message is sufficient for new email. I need it to be visually represented in some way, so I can see it. Not always in a position to respond to every "ding" or "dong" that says a new email has arrived. Need to be able to pull up my email when I can and see immediately what Is new.

Sounds like one or more of these tools would work for this. Which one is best?
     
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Jan 20, 2009, 01:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by krx View Post
Thank you! These look like great adjuncts to the mail option. Does anyone else have experience with any of these? Are they worth the cost?
I'm using DockStar, it's worth the money IMO.
Act-On is free, and really makes quick sorting emails much faster.

-t
     
krx  (op)
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Jan 20, 2009, 01:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I don't know exactly at what point the performance hit becomes noticeable, but our shared mailboxes at work that I used to access with Mail contained hundreds of thousands of messages. When you look at the little activity thing it would constantly say "scanning for unread message counts". I don't know why given that it is limited to only looking for new messages in the Inbox by default that it has to work this hard to do this.

The iPhone is the same bad performer. If you monitor the logs of a mail server when it performs its check it insists on thrashing through every folder. I can't put my finger on precisely what the problems with these clients are since I haven't really tested this thoroughly, but it does seem to relate to its whole system of new message notification, which is odd because as of Leopard it finally supports IMAP IDLE.

Oh well, just my ramblings...
I may have about 20,000 messages total ... and I can (and should) probably cut that in half with some pruning... But I did notice that it seemed to be taking an extraordinarily long time to download these messages when I tried to import them via mail.

Another point to consider tho is that I just got an iPhone and would like to sync it with my email. I'm guessing Apple's mail app is going to be best for this...
     
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Jan 20, 2009, 04:42 AM
 
http://www.hawkwings.net/

It hasn't been updated since July of last year, but that blog has a lot of hints and tips regarding Mail and its add-ons, as well as some coverage of Thunderbird. It also lists all the extensions to Mail though it is possibly out of date now:

http://www.hawkwings.net/plugins.htm

Btw, the API for these plug-ins is not officially supported by Apple (iirc) so they could revoke it at any time in the future, though they haven't done so for a number of years now.

The first synch with Mail is probably taking a long time because you are also caching the content of each mail locally as well as leaving it on the server (assuming you are using IMAP). That includes any attachments. If you don't want to do that, then check the preferences for your account and choose not to created the local copy.

Strictly speaking, it shouldn't matter what client you use in conjunction with your iPhone as it is the protocol (POP, IMAP, etc) that is important. Due to the lack of message status synching in POP, it is going to be awful in any client if you are also using it with an iPhone, so use IMAP if you can.
( Last edited by JKT; Jan 20, 2009 at 04:57 AM. )
     
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Jan 20, 2009, 08:36 AM
 
Eudora went open source and looks pretty good - anyone use it?

http://www.eudora.com/email/features/mac/index.html

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Jan 20, 2009, 11:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Eudora went open source and looks pretty good - anyone use it?

http://www.eudora.com/email/features/mac/index.html
I don't believe that it is in good shape yet -- and it's taking forever.
     
JTh
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Jan 20, 2009, 09:43 PM
 
This is just an option, please please please don't flame me if you don't like it: Why not think about how you're handling mail? I get a headache just thinking about what you must do for maintenance, debugging rules, and so on. Sounds very Windows-like

Personally, I use Mail connected with Gmail IMAP - to start, is Gmail an option? I don't have any rules setup for my personal email - I don't get that much email and I am pretty quick to delete stuff when it's done. But what I like is mail.app also integrates pretty nicely with Spotlight, so when I need to go looking for something, I just use Spotlight. Likewise, you can use the search feature in mail, and even save the search. I've found that I can find what I need far more quickly than opening/browsing folders.

At work, I'm required to use XP and Outlook, but I still take the same approach - rely less on rules and more on smart searching. I do have rules setup, but I really don't use them.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.
     
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Jan 21, 2009, 02:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Eudora went open source and looks pretty good - anyone use it?
Originally Posted by Le Flaneur View Post
I don't believe that it is in good shape yet -- and it's taking forever.
I've been using Mozilla's Eudora 8.0.0b5 offering for a few days now.

It's based on a marriage of Thunderbird and Penelope, and some of Eudora's look/feel/features.
[not anywhere near as AppleScriptable as QUALCOMM's original, but most users won't mind that.]
According to the Penelope page, Steve Dorner and several other QUALCOMM people are on board.

It's not flawless, but i definitely like it so far.
-HI-
     
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Jan 24, 2009, 09:11 AM
 
I used PowerMail from the arrival of OS X (and the demise of Claris Emailer) but switched to Mail since starting to use IMAP and Exchange (in the 10.4 era).

PowerMail is strong if you use POP/SMTP and have a backup strategy that can tolerate the monolithic compressed mail database. I didn't find it usable with IMAP and is not a good match with TimeMachine.

Mail is much better with IMAP or Exchange and seems to get on with TimeMachine. I find working with Exchange as the mail box approaches 2GB gets slow so have started moving older emails local (e.g. keep about 6-12 months on the server and the rest local).

I have found issues when connecting to Exchange via an unreliable connection (e.g. a using 3G card from a high speed train). However, the iPhone seems to happy doing this (and removes most of the need to do it). NOTE the iPhone is of course trying to synch a much smaller database (the last 200 messages) while my Mail/Exchange inbox is currently around 8000 messages.
     
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Jan 24, 2009, 05:20 PM
 
Mulberry is still around. Couldn't stand using it much myself, so no idea if it offers much of what you're looking for.
     
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Jan 24, 2009, 08:16 PM
 
Oh, I just want to say: Time Machine and Apple Mail is just awesome.

My mom just screwed up one IMAP folder, but Time Machine had it all covered.

-t
     
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Jan 24, 2009, 10:27 PM
 
turtle: I guess TM logs and reverses remote IMAP commands somehow?
     
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Jan 24, 2009, 10:58 PM
 
It backs up the messages from Mail.app's cache, so if you inadvertently deleted all the messages in the IMAP folder or something, they'd still be in the backup.

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Jan 24, 2009, 11:03 PM
 
Yeah, but what happens the next time you sync with the server? Will it upload what you have in your cache?
     
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Jan 24, 2009, 11:09 PM
 
I'd assume so, although I haven't tried it.

edit: okay, I just gave it a try. What it does is recover the messages to an offline folder called "Recovered Messages", from where you are free to drag them back over to the IMAP mailbox if you wish.
( Last edited by CharlesS; Jan 24, 2009 at 11:18 PM. )

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Jan 25, 2009, 12:03 AM
 
^^ Exactly.

-t
     
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Jan 25, 2009, 09:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Things missing/broken in OS X Mail:

- folder subscriptions
- the ability to control what folders are checked for new messages (helpful for working with sieve/procmail rules rules)
- multiple identity support
- proper handling of notification of new mail (this is apparent in both Cyrus and Courier IMAP)
- permanent reply-to
10.7.1 on Mac Pro 8x2.8
     
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Jan 25, 2009, 09:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by 64stang06 View Post
I think I'm probably in the minority here, but after switching from .Mac/MobileMe to Gmail, I've stopped using a desktop mail client and just use the web interface for everything.

I will say though, however, that Mail.app+Dockstar+Mailtags=happiness for me when I used it.
Could this have anything to do with the fact that Gmail has poopy IMAP for Mail.app
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Jan 25, 2009, 11:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ted L. Nancy View Post
Could this have anything to do with the fact that Gmail has poopy IMAP for Mail.app
Not at all.
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Jan 25, 2009, 11:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ted L. Nancy View Post
Could this have anything to do with the fact that Gmail has poopy IMAP for Mail.app
Gmail doesn't have anything to do with it. Mail.app just has sub-par IMAP interaction. Thunderbird is much better with IMAP.
     
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Jan 30, 2009, 11:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
Gmail doesn't have anything to do with it. Mail.app just has sub-par IMAP interaction. Thunderbird is much better with IMAP.
GMail's IMAP implementation is totally nonstandard and generally sucks. There is really a lot it has to do with things -- it's totally nonstandard.
     
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Jan 30, 2009, 11:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by CatOne View Post
GMail's IMAP implementation is totally nonstandard and generally sucks. There is really a lot it has to do with things -- it's totally nonstandard.
Perhaps its labeling/tag setup is non-standard, but plug it into a competent IMAP client and it handles perfectly. Never any issues with Outlook 2003 or Thunderbird -- just Mail.
     
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Jan 31, 2009, 01:04 AM
 
Mail's IMAP handling is indeed quite shoddy, and I can prove this. Whether this is the problem here I don't know, but on a more general level Cold Warrior is correct.
     
 
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