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Re: Email client programs

"Vaughan, Curtis" <Curtis@npc-usa.com> writes:

> I am wondering what other Debian Users recommend for an email client
> program.

Ooooh, I like a flamewar.

> First, let me state the needs of our company.  We are currently very MS
> based at present.  The goal has been set to slowly move over to Linux.
> Debian has been chosen, as it is the most stable that I am aware of.  Of
> course, I don't know a hell of a lot yet.
> First, I will have to settle many issues before moving any clients over,
> although I actually have 1 client on a Linux box and I too try to use Linux
> most of the time.  
> People here are, of course, used to Outlook.  And I have to say that I find
> that it works very well.  I don't think we have ever had any problems with
> it.  We have Exchange server problems, but no client problems.   Therefore,
> clients will be expecting the same quality - no problems.

Assuming you do slay that horrible beast that is Exchange server and use
a standards compliant servers, you *will* have problems with your
Outlook clients.  For example, bugs like http://bugs.debian.org/108719
are an Outlook problem.  Outlook sucks.  It's buggy and crashes
constantly if it can't use an Exchange server.  It's another attempt by
MS to force you to exclusively use their products since their software
won't work with other products.

Nice of them, isn't it?

> I have tried out a number of email client programs, but am not satisfied by
> any one of them.  I have tried out, KMail, Evolution, Netscape and Mozilla,
> oh and the email client program with StarOffice.  Each one has something
> good about it, but none of them are as good as Outlook.

*Cough* *wretch* *gag* *vomit*

> One of the big problems might be the fact that I don't know how to
> configure them, of course.

Partially, but the ones you've listed aren't exactly top of their class.

> One of the big problems is that people will need to read and send mail in
> English and Russian.  I'm trying to recall, but I don't think I could get
> StarOffice and KMail to permit Russian.  Actually I could write in Russian
> in KMail provided I opened a letter that was already in Russian and composed
> my letter in that letter.  Understand?
> Evolution and Mozilla basically crash all the time on me.  Is there really
> any difference between Mozilla and Netscape?  

Mozilla is a rewrite of the Netscape mail client, I believe.  It's still
awfully buggy, AFAIK.

> I liked the fact however that I was able to convert all of my Outlook
> folders to Mozilla.  This will be of critical importance as well.

I believe Mozilla uses the standard mbox format for storage, which every
single mail client in Unix should support.  If it works in Mozilla, it
will work for all the others.

> Finally, I couldn't figure out how to get any of the programs to encrypt
> passwords for logging in to our Exchange server - perhaps this is impossible
> consider different technologies?  

I don't know and don't care about Exchange, but any mail-fetching
program (like fetchmail) or a half-way decent IMAP client will support
SSL encryption.  If Exchange doesn't support SSL, it's because it's a
worthless piece of shit.

> Eventually, however, I would like to shut the Exchange server down,
> but that's not in the planning yet.

Better sooner than later.

> So, I'm what other programs people use and find to be very good.  I haven't
> tried Pine, but I don't think I could get our users to go over to a non-GUI
> program.

Why is that?  Because they've bought into the marketing pitch that
pretty graphics == better software?  That's bullshit.  There's no good
reason any user couldn't become more proficient with a text-mode client.

Pine and mutt are both nice text-mode clients with IMAP support, though
Pine can't be packaged for Debian because of its brain-damaged license.

Sylpheed is supposed to be a nice GUI mailer, though I haven't tried it.
Evolution is supposedly out of beta, though I wouldn't be surprised if
it crashed a lot, as you mentioned.  KMail has weak IMAP support.
Mozilla Mail is still too buggy, as is Balsa.  Netscape 4.anything

So, you have plenty of choices, but no clear winner.  Unfortunately, the
very best mailers (mutt, gnus) take time to learn and aren't known to be
"newbie friendly".

A safe choice may be KMail, since a lot of development effort is going
into it, and it's improved a lot lately.

I can't say anything for Russian support in any of these, however.

Brian Nelson <nelson@bignachos.com>

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