Ever since Thunderbird corrupted my email store, I have been looking for something else.
I never trusted its "compression" feature and, once upon a time, I decided to compress my email store after having made a backup. However, silly me didn't check whether the result was entirely up to correct procedure, (how could you?) and once I thought everything was okay, I threw away the old backup I had of the Mozilla Thunderbird store. Since it was, well, a lot larger. My email was about 1GB but after compression it was only 500MB.
Now compression is not something like Winzip. It just means Thunderbird keeps all emails you delete and doesn't throw them away until you compress.
Probably simply to be more efficient in its storage solution, because actually removing the deleted emails would require reorganising the data store, an expensive operation.
I believe in English it is called "compacting".
But Mozilla's compacting algorithm is corrupt and flawed and broken, and as it turns out, it will happily throw away months of perfectly fine email in the process. Which it did for me.
Since checking the integrity of your email store is rather hard (I guess you'd have to compare the total number of emails to begin with) I never did that, and the deleted emails were also several months in the past.
At the same time, they don't care at all. At Mozilla. Lots of people are having these sort of problems if you check out their forums. They don't care. It's all the user's fault (as it ever is in open source). So they aren't going to improve or change it either, or take responsibility or accountability for what they've done. I'd sue them if I could.
I'd sue them mostly to get that smug "we are so great" expression off their faces.
Since my Mozilla was synced with the remote IMAP store, Thunderbird instantly deleted those email from the remote IMAP as well, all without any form of warning. I found out only weeks later. By that time my email host had thrown away its emercency backup (or replaced it with a newer one). So no luck there either.
I even had a separate -directly-from-IMAP- backup on my system. As it stands backup up your IMAP directly is very hard and there is only one tool that can do it: IMAPSize. And IMAPSize stores your email that it has retrieved in something like MailDir format, which means thousands upon thousands of small individual files. Apparently I had refreshed that backup as well and I don't like this non-archive-type storage format either, or in any case, which is probably the prime reason I was so careless with all of this. If it had been a normal archive-type file, I would probably have copied it somewhere. But now they were thousands of files so I needed to RAR it first. It gave me a bad taste so I was more keen on throwing my old backups away. The end result of course, is that to this date my email has never been retrieved. At least not in full. There was also no Volume Shadow Copy available that I could extract from.
So the email, important email as well, was lost.
To this day, yes.
The irony is that I had never considered backing up my email before (except for occassional backups of my AppData) (but that was mostly in preparation for reinstalls) and nothing ever has gone wrong either. I also never used the Compress feature (Compact) for that reason because I never trusted it. And when I did start making backups, I ****ed up completely and lost email for the first time in my life. All thanks to a multitude of circumstances of which heightened security (I had removed the system restore points from my main drive and moved my email into a secured store) and the wish to not keep backups around longer than I needed to (for space reasons as well) was a big part. Just as you can lose all your data because you lose some encryption key.... so too can you lose all your data if you become more strict about keeping redundant copies around, so encryption is a risk, in this case the problem was not encryption. So perhaps a slight sense of paranoia was at cause for this, but my fears proved to be well founded later regardless.
In any case, there are no good backup programs that maintain a store or backup of IMAP. Only IMAPSize for Windows and on Linux there is offlineIMAP but it also stores in MailDir format. IMAPSize is a fine program but I just don't want thousands of files littering my filesystem, making Explorer slow and all that. That's no way to make a BACKUP.
I even had one undeleted system restore point but Windows couldn't use it anymore I guess, there was no way to install it. And the software that can read system restore points all needs regular installed ones.
Now all of this means that for one, I don't trust my data with Mozilla anymore. They have proven to be untrustworthy. Using Thunderbird is a liability. When I was on their forums there were people that had clients (I mean, business clients) who used Mozilla and their program kept wiping emails out. The support personnel didn't really care.
I am looking for something that will work and that will not destroy my email. I am willing to pay money for it. I have the following requirements:
- the ability to define roles or identities and to tie patterns to them, such as a certain "To:" address. At the very least it should use a predefined identity if the "To:" address matches that identity.
- ideally, apart from that, the ability to change the from address. Ideally, on the go.
- email is stored in a form of mbox format, or "one big file per folder" or something identical or similar to it.
- the ability to read and write HTML and to switch between HTML and plain text.
- rewrapping text ability esp. for plain text mode.
- reply to list feature
That's about it. Filters are a plus but currently I can setup filters on my server.
Another important facet is:
- the ability to select emails without opening them (ie. email opens in other window/tab
- notifications for new email that don't keep showing the same email over and over the way Thunderbird does.
I have already looked into (slightly):
Windows 10 Mail --- barely has any features or configurability
Pegasus --- I never used it in the past, although it existed before TB
IncrediMail --- seems only focussed on emoticons and the like
Opera Mail --- excellent client but misses important features and not under development
Alpine --- I use it on my shell host. It has most features but no real HTML and opening links is tough.
Thus far TB just has been the best client even if it is ugly in Linux. There are other clients like DreamMail (Chinese) or Mulberry, The Bat, I don't know. It seems impossible to try them all. Most of them feature the same basic interface. Some of them are hideous. Some of them don't support IMAP.
I can't see the forest for the trees. I'm now trying "Mailbird". It is very Windows-10 like which means it is rather ugly but still functional. It quickly fails. It is not possible to select (or even delete) an email without reading it. It is also not possible to tie (?) specific IMAP folders to specific "special" folders. Ie. my Sent is historically called "sent-mail" in Alpine. My webmail is more fully featured than this. And that is no Gmail or Hotmail.....
You can barely customize the look and now I have two Trashes, two Concepts, 3 Sent mails, and only the "recognized" sent-mail will show the RECIPIENT instead of the SENDER (which is me) in its overview.
So yeah, finding a mail client is much of a pain :(.