Talking Mail.app: Michael Tsai
spamsieve100pxMichael Tsai is an indie Mac developer whose products include DropDMG and SpamSieve .
He’s also the publisher of ATPM , a Mac e-zine that’s now in its 12th year.
His main Mac is a Dual 2 GHz G5 with 2.5 GB of RAM and two 20″ Dell 2005FPWs. He says, “I will eventually switch to the 20″ iMac Core Duo that I’m using for testing, but there are some development tools that I haven’t gotten switched over to Intel yet, and I’ll probably wait until DiskWarrior can handle the new partition format.”
HW: How long have you been using Apple Mail? What other clients have you used (and why did you stop)?
MT: I used Emailer 1 and 2 for several years and really liked it, however, database corruption problems prompted me to switch to Outlook Express 4 for a time. Then Mailsmith came out, and I’ve been using it as my main client pretty much ever since. I subscribe to a ton of mailing lists, and I’ve long used a separate client to handle the mailing list mail. For a while that was Eudora, but around the Jaguar timeframe I switched to Apple Mail because, unlike Eudora, it doesn’t store the message data in mangled form.
HW: What plugins and extensions do you use to make your email experience better?
MT: SpamSieve, of course. And I use an AppleScript that lets me reply to Apple Mail messages from within Mailsmith.
HW: What do you like about Apple Mail?
MT: The interface is pretty clean, although I don’t like the new toolbar buttons. I like that it’s well threaded and that you can open multiple viewer windows. I like that the rules are stored in a property list file, as this makes it much easier for me to troubleshoot SpamSieve setup problems–plus, it makes me feel like I could “export” the rules, if I needed to. My favorite detail is the way, when you add a condition to a rule, it fills in the text box based on the appropriate property of the currently selected message.
HW: What do you dislike about Apple Mail?
MT: I don’t like the message editor, especially the way it handles quote bars and encourages top-posting. The rules conditions and actions have some odd limitations compared to other clients. In Tiger, it got a lot slower, content searching now requires Spotlight, and the script menu was removed. The AppleScript interface is somewhat unreliable, and it changes in incompatible ways from version to version. Clicking on the mailbox list doesn’t give it keyboard focus. Whenever Mail has trouble connecting to the mail server, it displays a generic modal dialog asking for my account password, even though the password isn’t the problem.
HW: If you could tell the Apple Mail development team one thing, what would it be?
MT: Please add a real plug-in API that tools like SpamSieve can use to modify the interface and filtering.
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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, dislikes, likes, mail.app, Michael Tsai, SpamSieve, 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 Thursday, March 9th, 2006 at 12:23 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.
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