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Connecting with GNOME Mail Clients - page 6

An Overview of GNOME Mail Clients

  • June 19, 2000
  • By Michael Hall

Project Page: http://www.cscmail.net

Finally, we looked at CSC Mail, which is based on Perl and GTK. CSC Mail supports POP3 and mbox mail and provides an interesting entry into the GNOME mail-client field.

The most noticeable element of CSC Mail arrives upon installation. A Perl script is provided that obtains and builds any necessary Perl modules you may require, and also grabs RPMs or tarballs of the core distribution. The project recently changed web addresses, so a small modification of the installer script is required, but it's to a variable that's clearly marked at the top of the installer file.

CSCMail offers the basic array of mail client functionality, plus a few other tools that make it a client well worth considering, including solid URL support, the ability to read HTML mail (for those of us who haven't broken their correspondents of the habit), and multiple signature support for multiple mail accounts.

It includes a basic address book (that includes a slot for public keys), and an option allows for the addresses of those you reply to to be entered in the book. In today's spam-filled 'net that's a mercy compared to indiscriminate auto-gathering arrangements. It also allows for autocompletion of addresses when composing a new message.

The filtering system is unique among those we covered for this in that it allows the user to score based on their rules. This is a useful feature for those involved in mailing lists with heavy traffic and more than their share of disruptive types. CSCMail also has configurable colorizing of nested replies. Anyone who's struggled to sort out an extended mail exchange making heavy use of ">'s" will appreciate this feature.

Finally, CSCMail allows for easy import of existing mail files.

CSCMail has the feel of a piece of software written by someone using his or her head. The features included are excellent, and they're implemented well. CSCMail is reflective of a "better living through engineering" mentality that seems a little strange compared to the feature blunderbuss big commercial mail programs level at the user, where the goal is piling stuff on. Because of this sense of thoughtful design and useful feature inclusion, CSCMail was a pleasure to use. We'd recommend it to anyone, but especially users who participate in a lot of busy mailing lists.


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