Mailsmith and the problem with feature packed email clients

apps: The only thing more important than power is their reliability, nothing worse than losing an hour of work setting up filters to have them wipe themselves days later… #fail

Mailsmith in action

Mailsmith in Love

Mailsmith is the most powerful/awesome mail client for mac geeks thus far, bam. Mailsmith originally owned/developed by Bare Bones Software (makers of BBEdit). With a jam packed feature list:

  • Powerful filtering system to organise and process email
  • Save hours by using filters to process mail and automate routine chores. Filter using unlimited terms and actions, optional PCRE Grep pattern matching, and script actions.
  • Advanced search functionality
  • Search stored mail by sender, date, label, contents, status, headers, or any combination of attributes using an unlimited number of search terms.
    Use Perl-compatible regular expressions to search in any text fields.

  • Built-in “Report to SpamCop” command, makes reporting offending messages to spammers’ ISPs easy
    Support for server-side spam filtering, with an option to honour the canonical spam-classification headers used by SpamAssassin, BogoFilter, and other server-side anti-spam tools

  • Text-only email
  • Avoid Web bugs and other security risks inherent in the direct display of HTML messages.
  • For the occasional, unavoidable HTML message, Mailsmith will generate a text-only preview, and single click viewing in your web browser.
    h3. Integrated support for PGP 8
    Built-in access to PGP encryption/decryption. Automatic message signing and signature validation. No plug-ins or scripting required.

  • Pervasive AppleScript support
  • Modify and extend Mailsmith’s features through its deep Object Model support, record-ability, and attach-ability.
  • Full growl notification support
  • Sadly Bare Bones Software had no idea how to make money off this beautiful piece of software, so they released it as freeware. Having been in development being a bit dated (first release in mid 1998) it looks a bit clunky and it only supports pop (has no support for imap accounts). Dispite this it is just too damn powerful not to use. No school like the old school. I was in love.

    The Break Up

    After weeks of usage, setting up accounts, signatures, writing apple scripts, and filters, to make my email experience just as I wanted. Sadly my new found love of power came crashing down, quite literally. The other day, Mailsmith shockingly crashed, crash reporter, was no real help (big shock there), regardless of whatever caused this mess, as soon as I restarted my favourite mail client, I was shocked to find, all my hard earned scripts, filters, notification setup and even account connection settings gone. Just vanished. So naturally I threw a bit of a tantrum and in my rage went to the dark side of mac app’s. Pretty, low tech, in no way customisable and not especially powerful.

    Thats right, I purchased Sparrow $9. After running the beta for a good part of two months, I knew what to expect. It’s boring, stable, but predictable. In the end I was so happy with the power of Mailsmith, but when it crashes and you lose a weeks worth of tinker time, there is nothing else to say…

    except for this…

    Stickshift Software, LLC (new owners of Mailsmith) GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER AND GET THAT SHIT STABLE. Or at least make it open source and let someone else fix it (Like me). That at the end of the day at least make sure that the software is stable before adding all the bells and whistles. Now an inferior mail client is installed on my system.

    Mailsmith icon

    Would you like to know more about MailSmith Features?

    Or perhaps try it out for yourself?

    (May the force be with you)