Has anyone else had issues with Tiger’s Mail.app? I preferred the version that came with Panther! After using it for a while, and doing a fresh install about two days ago (granted, I copied all of the old files, but still… the whole system feels spunkier so one would assume that Mail would speed up a bit as well), it’s dragging like there’s no tomorrow. I get more mail than the average person… I get over 13000 emails in a month and that doubles because I have every email copied into an archive folder (so if I need to find something a few months down the road, I can).

I think the big problem here is Tiger’s Mail uses individual files for emails which is absolutely retarded. What was wrong with the mbox format? Absolutely nothing. Server-side, I prefer using Maildir to store email… it’s much more efficient and safer, but for a client, I’ve been using mbox since forever. This slowness is almost making me want to switch back to mutt for crying out loud!

Unlike many people, I have some very strict requirements when it comes to email and that’s only because I use it all the time and because I get so bloody much of it. The absolute first thing it needs is GPG support because I sign every single piece of email I send out. That rules out a whole lot of Mac-based email clients. For two, I need a good way of sorting messages and while Mail.app is passable, it’s not at all what I would like (regexp anyone?)… but I make do. For three, I’m really loving SpamSieve… I think that is the best dang piece of spam-killing software around. I absolutely love it. My email client should ideally make use of it. Finally, because I use DayLite for contact management, any mail client I use should be able to use AddressBook as a… well… address book.

Which leaves me in a quandry. Only Mail.app does all of these things (with the exception of regexp-based rules… boolean rules are ok I suppose). I’d really like to give Thunderbird a go, but it doesn’t support SpamSieve, and I really don’t feel like re-training the spam handler it comes with. It’s got the other bases covered, except I don’t think it supports AB.

I used to use mutt, and I’m very much tempted to go back to it. The only thing I’ll lose is SpamSieve, which will be sorely missed, but I suppose I could use SpamAssassin in it’s place. I did have mutt capable of using AddressBook in the past, I can probably do so again (although I’ve since misplaced my ~/.mutt config files… grrr…).

All the other Mac email clients pretty much suck. I wouldn’t mind MailSmith, but the bone heads at BareBones insist that you should use PGP and provide no support for GPG… I guess if they figure someone’s gonna spend 3x more than what it reasonable for an email client, they’ll buy PGP to boot. I’m aware that there is a free version which would be sufficient, but the last time I tried to convert my GPG key to a PGP key (just for kicks) I came up with a whole lot of nothing.

What I don’t get is what Mail.app sucks so bad now. Maybe using Smart Mailboxes isn’t so smart… or maybe it’s Spotlight slowing things down. I’m guessing it’s my high number of emails and each one being an individual file. I don’t get it. This new version seems like a major regression and this is probably the only thing I dislike about Tiger.

I can’t be the only person using a Mac who deals with high volume of email. What do other folks use that have a large number of mails they need to deal with? I don’t mind paying for a solution that works… in fact, if it does everything I need, I’d gladly fork the money over. Heck, if Mailsmith did everything I needed, I’d pay for a license despite how ridiculous the price is!

I suppose I’ll try a few things like disabling Smart Mailboxes in Mail.app and see if that makes a difference, but I really shouldn’t have to disable one of the funky new features in an app in order to make it perform as well as the old version, should I? For the record, Panther’s Mail.app with it’s mbox files performed admirably; I never had a complaint.

Oh, and before someone thinks that this is a processor or RAM issue, I’m running this on a dual 1.8GHz G5 with 2.5GB of RAM… the processor or RAM is definitely not the problem.

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