January 20, 2017

Connecting with GNOME Mail Clients - page 4

An Overview of GNOME Mail Clients

  • June 19, 2000
  • By Michael Hall

Project Homepage: http://www.wxwindows.org/Mahogany/

Mahogany is a cross-platform mail client being developed under the Mahogany Artistic License. Mahogany sports a remarkable set of features, including a built-in Python scripting component. In addition to Linux, Mahogany is being developed for SunOS, Solaris, FreeBSD and the MS Windows family.

Mahogany provides support for POP3, IMAP, NNTP, and PalmOS-based devices. We found it fairly easy to configure it to deal with multiple accounts. It also works with existing mbox and MH format mail files.

We were very pleased to note that Mahogany supports an external editor. Those migrating from the Windows world may not mind the notepad most Windows mail clients use for a text editor, but we've developed a preference for favorite text editors over the years, so it was a pleasure to be able to invoke vi or emacs-server to edit messages.

Mahogany also has solid address book support, including an auto-gathering mode, not unlike Emacs Big Brother Database (bbdb). In addition, Mahogany is also able to use existing bbdb files, which is a very nice surprise. Coupled with a decent lookup tool, multiple address books, and the auto-gathering mode, Mahogany is outstanding. Mahogany's filter support is also excellent, allowing for and/or filters to be set up.

Mahogany sports a wide array of other features, including in-line MIME viewing, support for invoking a browser to handle URLs, dialup connection management, and support for receiving faxes.

Mahogany has a very good setup feature that helps new users configure the client quickly and easily, but it also allows the setup wizard to be toggled off, allowing advanced users to handle things their own way.

There are a few warts with Mahogany. There are some acknowledged stability issues with the latest release. In addition, there isn't any support for PGP/GPG, though that's currently under development. Finally, file attachments weren't the simplest thing to figure out. Integration with GNOME's file manager is still on the TODO list, and we're not sure how that will dovetail with the upcoming Nautilus project, which will supplant GMC on the GNOME desktop.

We were a little surprised at Mahogany. It isn't a client that turns up in a lot of discussions about common mailers, but it provides a wonderful amount of functionality and outstanding features despite its low profile. More experienced users will enjoy the configurability and rich featureset, and new users will have a mail client that functions well at the basic level and provides plenty of room to grow. In addition, the documentation is outstanding (and searchable).

Mahogany is an outstanding program, and well worth checking out by just about anyone interested in a GUI mail client under any environment, let alone GNOME.

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