Email, with a side of yellow

by Francois Joseph de Kermadec

A long time ago, I toyed around with a relatively unknown application, GyazMail, after seeing it mentioned on the one and only DrunkenBlog. It was nice but somehow, at the time, felt too close to Mail to warrant staying in my Dock. How wrong I was. Fast-forward a few years and I have part of my clients hooked on the yellow stamp.


2006-11-06 14:37:36
The state of email clients of the Mac is a major embarassment. There are no compelling options, and maybe 2 adequate ones (Mail, Entourage). It is strange that we have so many decent browser options, and so few for email. Kiwi Mail seemed like it was on the verge of something good, but it too seems to have stalled. Now, if you think Gyaz is an option, then there are all sorts of choices, but I think its a pretty shoddy client. There is absolutely no excuse for lack of IMAP in 2006 -- this is akin to a browser not handling CSS.
2006-11-06 15:31:15
Don't like IMAP; never have. Hate Love GyazMail. Want a few more features for it (smart folders/spotlight, encryption, a more full featured scripting system or better AppleScript library).

I've retried and found it unstable and crap-tastic. I've tried Thunderbird and hate the fact I can't use AddressBook fully, and the UI is only partly usable, and the performance has a lot to be desired, IMO.

I would really love GyazMail to get a bit more "modern," and I wish there were more really good mail client contenders.

2006-11-06 17:58:08
I _want_ to love GyazMail, but its lack of Imap support and poor searching really hurt. For basic home use, is good - it provides the things GyazMail lacks. For business, I'd love to switch to GyazMail, but Entourage's search and calendar integration are needed. In fact, with Mailtags and mail act on almost have me switching to it for general business use. GyazMail used to be updated fairly often, but you are right - it seems to have totally stopped now. Still, it IS a good app, very stable and fast...
Andrew Green
2006-11-07 01:52:28
I love GyazMail too -- in particular: its use of Finder-style colour labels for messages, its excellent integration with SpamSieve, the option to forward a message as a .eml attachment (sorely missed in and message rules that control when the Dock badge gets updated or bounces.
2006-11-07 04:46:02

Some extremely interesting features indeed, and among the little touches that make me want to hug it!


2006-11-07 04:54:57

We've used Mail for business for a long time here in Paris but have been bitten one too many times by Database corruption of some sort - even if Mail no longer uses a "database" per se. Searching is one of the reasons many we use Mailsmith now but I have found GyazMail's search capabilities are more than sufficient for most users. Fast indeed!


2006-11-07 04:56:12

I agree about IMAP, although it is not so much the idea of it that I dislike than the improper implementation of the protocol in many clients. Although I would not call Mail craptastic personally, I would echo your general feelings here.


2006-11-07 04:57:02

To each his own, as they say. As far as browsers not supporting CSS - and I say this as someone who makes his living doing CSS stuff - I sometimes wish it were the case. Too much time is lost on false "design" instead of creating and formatting content with structural tags. Without going to this extreme, of course, I often feel the large share of "old" mail clients is the last factor that keeps a bit of sanity in this already very confusing world.


2006-11-07 07:03:51
There's been a new release of the open-source client GNUMail recently - the first for a very long time. It's also got a colourful new icon set and looks quite up to the minute.

Unlike Gyazmail, GNUMail does do IMAP. And unlike Mail it doesn't require a hack for it to use PGP. Actually, it has a handful of other features you won't find in Mail and is more configurable, but it's not as mature and slick and finished as Mail. You can see the evidence of that in small ways: for example, there is a persistent scrollbar down the side of the mailbox drawer. Part of the trouble would seem to be that the application is primarily developed for Openstep (where Objective C also reigns, of course), and the developer doesn't even currently own a Mac.

The mail framework GNUMail uses, Pantomime, is used by quite a few other applications - for example, Kodak uses it. One gets the feeling that GNUMail could be a real contender, but suspects it will likely never really take off. One big advantage of open source software, according to the likes of Eric Raymond, is that since the code is published, they'll be a lot of eyes looking at it, and many people will want to submit patches. In practice, I suspect this doesn't happen a lot with smaller projects, and few people actually contribute so that it ends up being mostly one guy doing it in his spare time. With Apple's Mail there's a full-time paid team. A similar effect is probably at play with Gyazmail, although its source is closed, since it's just Goichi Hirakawa writing it by himself: if he's busy on something else I guess there won't be updates.

Alex Diablon
2006-11-07 22:37:24

It's good to see you back. It's been a long time since you've posted. Good timing also, since the only email client I've used on the Mac is Eudora and it seems that I must now find a replacement program. I'll take a look at GyazMail. Thanks!

2006-11-08 00:52:15

Thanks for the kind words, they are, as always, very much appreciated!

The past few months have indeed been extremely busy on this side of the Big Pool of Water but I'd never forget O'Reilly!

Let me know how the search goes!


2006-11-13 22:12:58
Since you gave such raving review of Mailsmith I decided to try it out myself. Not wanting to migrate to Thunderbird after the Eudora sell-out I was looking for a new email client.
I really like to feel and the features, love the plain text. However I do have a small problem which I emailed the BareBones people about as well but maybe someone out here can help me.

I can't seem to get Mailsmith to fetch my mail at I tried all that they suggested but still doesn't work. Used different SSL ports, no SSL port at all etc. No luck.
Is there anyone out here who successfully was able to fetch his gmail?

2006-11-13 22:44:45

I am honored you are trying Mailsmith based on my modest comments and happy you so far like the application! Hmm, I would think the good people at Bare Bones should be able to guide you but maybe we can find a solution together... I confess not being a GMail user myself but the following points are worth checking:

- Are your host names correct? (I know, silly but...)
- Did you enter the right user name? (with or without @)
- On what port are you attempting to do the POP dance?
- Could it be that APOP is turned on?

That usually does the trick... If you could share the error message Mailsmith sends back when it fails to connect, maybe we would be able to investigate further.


2006-11-14 22:56:05
Hi FJ,

Thanks a million for replying, if I weren't desperate I wouldn't have bothered you ;-)
Yes I've tried the folks at BareBones but they're as baffled as I am and we have come to an impasse.

To answer your question about user and host names yes they are correct.
I've tried the 110 SSL port and the 995 SSL port as Google suggest, both no luck.
Tried with APOP off an on, no difference at all.

Error message is: "An error occurred while receiving mail from "".
The POP server refused the login attempt. The account may be in use by another client (Application error code 22206)."

"An error occurred while receiving mail from "". Mac OS error code -25299"
This looked like a keychain problem so I deleted all references to gmail from my keychain and that's when the 22206 error occurred again.

It's inconvenient, gmail is not my default mail account but still I'm able to check it with Eudora and would like to do the same with Mailsmith.

Thanks for thinking with me and any pointers that you might have. ;-)

2006-11-16 01:53:22

Thank you for your kind words. That is indeed a strange error. To the best of my research, 22206 would seem to indicate the server reports you are already logged in and cannot log in twice. Are you using Google Notifier or another email client at the same time? Could you be logged into GMail through some other mean? At this point I'd suggest getting in touch with the GMail folks - who are often a lot more responsive than one might think - and ask whether they notice anything strange with your log.

Keep me posted!