April 18, 2019

Balsa 1.0: Mail in the GNOME Environment - page 3

An Update

  • December 11, 2000
  • By Michael Hall
Though Balsa is stable and ready for use as a general purpose mail client, there are still a few features in the wings. The most important is likely to be robust filtering.

It looks as if the Balsa filter feature, for instance, will provide a flexible set of tools for GUI configuration. Filtering can be compiled in with a configure switch, but the current filter configuration tool appears to be a non-functioning mock-up in the 1.0 release.

When it's done, Balsa filtering will allow for not only simple matches, but more complex regular expressions. A variety of actions will be allowed as well, including running specific programs, playing sounds, dumping messages into the trash, copying/moving messages to specific folders, or printing them directly. Filters will also be configurable to react to incoming, or outgoing mail, or being run on demand.

In the meantime, Balsa plays very nicely with existing mail filter setups the user may have already implemented. I used it for a week simply pointing it at the directory where procmail sorts all my messages into mbox files and had no complaints at all. Procmail and Balsa work well together, especially if Balsa is set to automatically update each mail box on launch and at a set interval.

Balsa's a good, basic GUI client. It's biggest strengths are its ease of use and how well it integrates with GNOME on the whole. The lack of native filtering is a shortcoming it's impossible to ignore, but it looks like the infrastructure is in place to handle this task. Meanwhile, the program's very stable and very usable. If you're looking for a basic GNOME mailer, Balsa's for you.

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