I’ve been using Gmail for a while and I’ve always been somewhat disappointed in the way it works with an email client. It wasn’t until recently that I tried to use IMAP for the second time that it really started to piss me off. Believe me, you’ll spend more time pulling your hair out than actually using Gmail with IMAP. POP3 isn’t terribly bad with Gmail, but come on, POP is old. IMAP is becoming the new “in”. Also it was becoming inconvenient for me since I access my mail from multiple computer. So I would end up with some mail on this computer, other mail on that computer, and it was never on the computer I was using when I needed to go back to that particular email.
If you want to use Gmail+IMAP with Evolution, you might as well forget it. You can sort of get IMAP to work with Thunderbird by fooling around with where certain folders are mapped to on the server. But that still doesn’t work 100%. (I’m looking at you Trash folder )
The reason why this is so problematic comes down to one thing: Labels. That’s one thing I never liked from the beginning. I rather prefer folders. Labels really only make sense if you use the web interface. If you happen to use a mail client, they are 101% useless. Not only are they useless, but they also completely ruin protocols like IMAP. For example, when you try to delete a mail in Gmail over IMAP it doesn’t delete it, it just strips the “Trash” label from it and it ends up back in with all your other mail. That doesn’t fly with me. When I say “delete” I mean I want it erased, removed from the server, not moved back to my inbox! To put it simply, Gmail ruined their IMAP implementation. Gmail+IMAP has now been labeled (oh the irony!!) FAIL in my book.
So I went looking for another email provider that offered IMAP and I found one called GMX. I’ve been very impressed with it so far. The first thing I tried was Evolution+IMAP with it, and guess what, it actually worked like IMAP is supposed to work. No stupid labels. I was also extremely impressed with the web interface. Now I’m one that usually hates web apps and the like with a passion, but I really really liked GMX’s web interface. And that’s saying a lot.