Email mistakes

John Gruber: “The elephant in the middle of the room, of course, is Apple Mail.”

For a while now I have regretted switching to Apple Mail. But this is not unusual, because I have regretted switching to every single email client I have tried since the Eudora days. Let’s face it — Eudora’s ugly, but it was a rock-solid app.

The first big mistake was moving to CyberDog. There was a lot to like about that app, and I was a big fan of OpenDoc, but even today I have a bunch of mail stuck in its proprietary formats. I need to boot into Mac OS 8 and extract that stuff one of these days.

Then I moved to Mailsmith. Unfortunately I lost mail due to corrupted databases. I have no idea how to get that stuff out. Even so, the 2.0 release sounds nice, and I’d be willing to give Mailsmith a another try. I’m stupid that way.

Back to Apple Mail. If you are ever confused enough to think it’s a great app, try this: delete a single email message in a folder containing 2-3 thousand emails. On my TiBook, the OS locks for a good 5+ seconds.

The saving grace of Apple Mail is that it is easy (presumably) to get out of it — they use standard unix mbox files for everything. Thank you Apple.

Now I’m at WWDC, and Steve Jobs just demoed the new Apple Mail. Pretty nice stuff, but no mention of performance. I’ll wait to dump Apple Mail until trying Panther, which I’ll install on an external drive sometime this week. Or maybe I’ll just get a G5 desktop and not worry about performance anymore.

It’s going to be a fun week.