Re: Broken mail readers (was Re: Properly wiping a hard drive ?)

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On Sunday, October 10, 2010 08:26:26 Hiisi wrote:
> 2010/10/10 James McKenzie <[email protected]>:
> >  On 10/9/10 7:38 PM, JD wrote:
> >>    On 10/09/2010 07:24 PM, James McKenzie wrote:
> >> I know yahoo does not allow that on free accounts;
> >> i.e. they do not provide pop or imap server for your
> >> free account.
> >> But google does. So, why not get a free google account
> >> and use thunderbird for reading and sending email?
> > 
> > I have been considering getting a GMail account for some time now.  Does
> > their web client provide for proper threading of messages?
> GMail is fabulous! It sorts all messages in chains that's very
> convenient for lists like this one.

NO WAY !!! I beg to differ!

It's far from fabulous, and hardly convenient for threaded lists. A thread is 
essentially a tree structure (multi-dimensional), and when forced into a chain 
structure (one-dimensional) it becomes darn awful! The only thing that is 
worse than that is no threading at all...

I use gmail account and the KMail client to hide gmail interface from sight. 
KMail produces real tree-like threads and works as expected, is feature-
complete and I am used to it.

But when I access my mail from elsewhere, I use gmail's web interface, and I 
get pissed every single time I have to use it. I went through all possible 
settings over and over to see if there is a way to thread messages inside a 
"conversation" (ie. subthreads inside a thread), but no, the best it can do is 
sort messages chronologically inside a thread, with no reasonable order on who 
is replying to what. And it has the tendency to auto-hide quotes from previous 
messages, which requires an extra click to expand for every message, and 
couples dreadfully with bad sorting --- not only the messages inside the 
thread are not sorted sanely, but in addition the context of each message is 
non-obvious since previous quotes are hidden...

It is pretty obvious that gmail web interface was designed by a complete 
amateur who never used any real e-mail client in any nontrivial way (eg. for 
mailing lists). Filtering and other functionality is also pretty limited.

The good things about gmail are:

* it is free of charge,
* it has a large storage capacity (cca. 7GB per user),
* it is hardly blacklisted anywhere,
* it allows you to use a client of your choice.

This last thing removes the pain of an insane web interface and lack of proper 
filtering, so one can actually be quite happy with a gmail account, provided 
that one uses non-web-interface to communicate with it. That's how I use it.

> I have a bunch of filters in my
> account that sorts messages from different lists, label them, and
> place into different folders.

How do you create a filter like this:

"if the message is already filtered to be put into folder A, don't move it to 
folder B; otherwise move it to folder B"

pretty please? Conditional filtering in gmail is a complete disaster, and I 
have seen no "stop checking other rules if this rule matches" switch, which is 
essential for any nontrivial filtering.

My advice is you better download messages from gmail to your local mail client 
and use that client to filter them properly.

Bottomline, gmail is great if you are not communicating with it via its own 
web-interface. Otherwise, it's a disaster.

HTH, :-)

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