I have a few comments on eM Client as an IMAP email client, and some hopes for the future. Since it was announced that Mozilla would withdraw, or at least tone down its involvement, from the Thunderbird project, I have been looking for an email client that could possibly take its place. Right now there are only two clients that support a feature set comparable to Thunderbird and those two clients are em Client and Microsoft Outlook. There are many other IMAP clients but none that even come close to these two and Thunderbird. One thing that is extremely well done in eM Client is Google integration such as simply acquiring all Google Calendars accessible to a given account instead of having to set them up individually, not to mention Gmail Contacts. I really want to go with eM Client here but there are some serious show stoppers that right now make this transition too painful, impossible even, and these are them:
There are no time-out settings for the servers in the account settings. This is a problem when using the computer from somewhere off the LAN, e.g. in a hotel room or at a conference. If the connection is less than optimum the error dialogue pops up or message bodies fail to synchronise. The dialogues themselves are annoying since you have to perform an action to dismiss them. The program cannot be set to just show errors in the status line and/or silently log them. The problem with empty bodies is probably also a glitch, as the error reported is that eM Client is offline, whereas the Offline menu item in the Files menu is unchecked. Checking the option and unchecking it downloads the missing body.
Another error, or type of error, that really should have a silent logging option, are the likes of Google API errors. If the maximum number of Task synchronisations have been met, the error dialogue pops up with an error. This is not a problem that can be resolved by the user. How the maximum was met in the first place is baffling in itself, but then again, it is Google API. Stranger things have happened.
Often folders are not synchronised on off-site connections. Navigating to another folder and then back does nothing the help the synchronisation. The only way to force an update is to restart the program.
I really don’t think that having an option of setting tolerance levels for servers in terms of time-outs and number of retries is odious. It is not an overly complex concept compared to many other program options and could help a lot. Even being able to set them externally in registry or in a file would solve many problems. After all, flaky connections are not exactly uncommon when travelling, and Outlook and Thunderbird both handle these situations flawlessly.
Well, that was the show stopper. Now the wishes. I miss being able to set keyboard shortcuts myself. Or at the very least have a few more than are there already, such as marking an entire folder read or switching between panels. Okay, tab switches panels, but only because they are indexed UI elements. It does take some serious tabbing to go from the folder list to the contacts list. Another thing I seriously miss is a live search such as it has become standard in many “list-based” programs (see Ctrl-Shift-F in Thunderbird for an example of contextual search) - filtering the current folder live when keying in text in a search box.
I have no haste in making this transition since Thunderbird will live on. I fear, however, that it will slowly degrade making a switch inevitable. Once it does, I hope to be able to switch to eM Client.
Thank you for your time… back to you…