The way we're reading mails is wrong ! Let's go fix it

Since I started to work in a company, I keep receiving more and more emails days after days… And I know I’m not the only one.

I tried Thunderbird, I kept it a long while, it does the job :

  • Receiving mail
  • Reading them
  • Display them in thread
  • Replay to them

Except one big flaws, It doesn’t suit my work environment. I have another window.

Under gnome, e17 and almost every desktop I’ve been using, I created another workspace to separate mail from my text editor or web browser : I had to adapt my working environment to my mail software.

This is unacceptable, mails are simple, software that manage email must adapt to me, not rule over me !

So I tried Mutt, much better, but still, if I want to let it go in a corner in order to continue downloading mail when I’m working, I have to let an entire window, in another workspace and adapt myself the way Mutt works.

But wait, there are a lot of mail management software, mail fetcher or mail indexer out there, let’s give a try to those.

I configured fecthmail, to download my entire mailbox, then, with notmuch, I indexed them all, wonderful, I finally got a command line tools for getting/retrieving and writing responses with the editor of my choice !

BUT, that’s not fully suitable in my case…

I tagged my mails, I sorted them… LOCALLY, and that is not possible. It’s important for me to have the exact same information on my phone too.

And then, I realized that all I wanted, all the great features I miss, was in fact already implemented in the IMAP protocol…

Why the hell Thunderbird does not display my mails tags properly ? Why is there no software to have a mailbox state or search via IMAP SEARCH command ?

I look up for that on internet and find nothing. Is my request totally dump ? Am I crazy ?

In front of that huge problem of mine, I think I’m the only one complaining, but still, I have a problem with mail management software. So, I decided to make my own, a piece of software solving my problems… and perhaps solve someone else problems.

Imap-CLI aims to provide a command line interface, a python API and a REST API to consult and manage IMAP accounts:

  • Get IMAP account status (New mails, mail counting… etc…)
  • Get list of mails in INBOX (or any other directory)
  • Search amongst mails by tag, header, or full text search
  • Read mail
  • Flag mail (Read, Unread, Delete… etc…)
  • Reply, Forward, Bounce mails

Hope this proof of concept will help people as it already help me :)