Gmail: Not that Awesome with a Mail Client

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.

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8 thoughts on “Gmail: Not that Awesome with a Mail Client”

  1. I also hate Gmails’ labels since the beginning. And now I’m also finding Gmail imap very buggy. There are hidden limits, like label length. If you rename maps that contain submaps to a length that is longer than Gmails’ hidden limit, it can leave your Gmail account in an invalid state for Imap clients.

    GMX has a level depth limit of 3, or something like that. So GMX isn’t an option for me. AOL imap also isn’t an option, it cannot fetch external mail.

  2. Wow i must be the only one whose happy with IMAP with Gmail in Evolution. I don’t even look in ‘All Mail’ i just check the inbox and move important emails into a new folder. I also use GMX and am impressed, it’s certainly better to use IMAP than deal with their slightly bloated web interface though.
    Also do you know you can access GMX’s online storage in nautilus? 😀

    Integrating as Network Drive via Linux Nautilus:

    1. In the Nautilus search field enter the address davs://storage-file-eu.gmx.com/ (or davs://storage-file-us.gmx.com if you reside in the USA).

    2. The following dialog box prompts you to enter your GMX E-Mail Address and Password. Click OK.

    3. Your File Storage opens in your Nautilus browser 🙂

    Found that here: http://forum.gmx.com/forum/posts/list/939.page;jsessionid=87C98C1E32D8749B955E6601D80E8627#3391

  3. This post would seem to recieve a large ammount of visitors. How do you get traffic to it? It provides a pleasant unique spin on things. I guess having some thing authentic or substantial to speak about will be the most important factor.

  4. As a 5 years user of gmx, I can say there are two big drawbacks with their configuration. The king of drawbacks that make me want to move to gmail (thus the search that brings me here):
    – their folder tree is limited to a depht of 3 directories. This means you can make a folder named Work/Client001/Project001 but not Work/Client001/Project001/Contract. It’s too much for them

    – They set their email sending limits ridiculously low. No more than 10 addresses to an email. If you’re the kind of guy who likes adding two systematic bcc, you’d better get an email replicator plugin. And anyway, no more than 20 emails sent per hour. TWENTY?!? Try popping off your morning inbox and answering them in less than 20 emails (7 if you double-bcc each of them).

    Still, I know no better alternatives, except gmail, that you just stopped me want to try.

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