Gruber on Mailsmith and Mail

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
June 23rd, 2003 • 4:49 pm

John Gruber’s latest rant on Apple’s own Mail application and its users (including yours truly) is uncomfortably biased (by John HAVING worked for Bare Bones Software for a while, presumably).

I tried Mailsmith. My database of tens of thousands of emails in Eudora immediately ballooned from 50 MB to something like 250 MB. I realize that Mailsmith uses a proprietary indexing system that causes this, but still… It scared me.

Then I realized that Mailsmith had no support for Mac OS X’s Address Book, and relied on its own proprietary and utterly limited address book tool.

Then I experienced so much sluggishness on my middle-of-the-road Power Mac G4/450 that I simply had to switch to something else.

I described the whole experience here.

Until last week, Mailsmith was still stuck at version 1.5 and still suffering from all the flaws mentioned above (along with many other ones). I have no problems with paying for my email software if I find it worth it, but until last week Mailsmith was not worth my money. Maybe it is now — but switching email programs again is a daunting prospect, and not a decision to be taken lightly, especially when you use email on a systematic basis for several essential aspects of your daily computing activities.

I have many problems with Mail. But I had even more problems with Mailsmith during the short period when I tried to use it, and even with the help of Bare Bones’ tech support staff, the problems could not be solved in a satisfactory fashion.

I hope that Mailsmith 2.0 solves all these problems without adding new ones. I hope to be able to give it a run again soon. But Mac users can hardly be blamed for sticking with Mail when the popular Eudora is falling farther and farther behind, and Microsoft’s products are best left, well, untouched, while Mailsmith itself suffered, until last week, from very serious flaws.

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