Talking Mail.app: Brent Simmons
Simmons_BrentBrent Simmons is an Architect of Client Products at NewsGator Technologies where he works on NetNewsWire , an RSS aggregator for Mac OS X.
HW: How long have you been using Mail.app? What other clients have you used (and why did you stop)?
BS: I currently use Entourage mostly, because it works much better than Mail.app with our Exchange system.
I’ve used Mail.app in the past, though — along with Eudora, Mailsmith, pine, and mutt.
Actually, I do use Mail.app exclusively with my .Mac email address. And of course I use it as a developer (figuring out how to make it so you can send email from NetNewsWire via Mail.app).
HW: What plugins and extensions do you use to make your email experience better?
BS: Were I using Mail.app more regularly, I’d probably use that one that nukes the weird toolbar icons. [Mail Stamps].
HW: What’s your favourite thing about Mail.app?
BS: The unified Inbox. I have multiple accounts, but they all go into the same Inbox. I haven’t figured out how to have a single Inbox in Entourage.
HW: What’s your pet hate about Mail.app?
BS: The big one is that filing email is a giant pain. I want to be able to file email easily and quickly via the keyboard — as is possible in Mailsmith, Entourage, pine, and mutt. With Mail.app you have to use the mouse. Ugh!
Even if Mail.app worked well enough with Exchange, and I could switch off Entourage, that’s the thing that would stop me from switching to Mail.app. I need to file email, and I need to *not* use the mouse. Period.
There are other pet hates, of course. The text editor is weak. I’d love it if I could edit using an external editor (as in pine and mutt) or if a really great text editor was part of the app (as in Mailsmith). (Even Entourage’s text editor is better than Mail.app’s — it at least has abbreviations, which is a feature I use all the time.)
Another one is that weird vertical-bar-quotation thing. When I’m writing a reply, that bar sometimes gets stuck in odd locations and I can’t figure out how to delete. What’s wrong with >, like every other email app?
Another one is that you can’t navigate the mailboxes list with the keyboard. That’s just so weird.
HW: If you could tell the Apple Mail development team one thing, what would it be?
BS: They shouldn’t pay attention to my pet hates — I’m obviously not representative of the average user. Plus it’s cool that they leave opportunities open for other developers (Microsoft, Bare Bones Software, etc.).
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Brent has recently posted a teaser about the upcoming features we will enjoy in NetNewsWire 2.1.
You can read other interviews with developers and Mac identities talking about their Mail.app experiences by following this tag cloud link.
Tags: Apple Mail, Brent Simmons, dislikes, likes, mail.app, NetNewsWire, newsgator, talking mail.app
* Talking Mail.app: Scott Morrison
* Talking Mail.app: Rui Carmo
* Talking Mail.app: Rob Griffiths
* Talking Mail.app: Pierre Igot
* Talking Mail.app: Peter Maurer
This entry was posted on Monday, March 6th, 2006 at 12:15 am and is filed under Apple Mail. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
3 Responses to “Talking Mail.app: Brent Simmons”
Aaron Davies says:
6 March 2006, 1:10 pm at 1:10 pm
You can navigate the folder list with the keyboard, at least in Tiger. Oddly enough, you can only focus on it with the keyboard, which is why it’s so hard to find out—while you have a folder (any folder) open, hit tab (or shift-tab) repeatedly until the folder name changes from the light blue of “selected but unfocused” to the dark blue of “selected andfocused”. (Adjust as necessary depending on your color scheme.) You will then be able to control the folder list as you might expect—up and down will navigate it, right and left will open subfolder, etc. Hope this helps!
Sherman Wilcox says:
6 March 2006, 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm
I file messages with the keyboard with Mail Act-On. Absolutely must-have add on for Mail.
Dan Warne says:
6 March 2006, 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm
Brett said: “Plus it cool that they leave opportunities open for other developers (Microsoft, Bare Bones Software, etc.).”
What a developer-centric point of view. I can kinda see the merit of the argument from a competitive sense, but from an end-user sense, it reads like: “it’s great that they left features out so that other people could develop them and then charge for them.”