Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Oct 2017 10:42 UTC
Internet & Networking

Email is such a pain in the butt. We've been doing everything in our power to fight the influence it has on our lives, to minimize the spam, the marketing, the burden. That burden leads lots of folks to fruitlessly hunt for the perfect email client like I hunt for the perfect word processor. Others have followed the path of least resistance: Either Gmail or Outlook. But there was a time when we didn't feel this way, when getting email was actually exciting. The email client Eudora, named for Eudora Welty, was designed to capture this excitement - the idea that mailboxes were no longer tethered to physical space. But even as the die-hards held on, it couldn't. Tonight's Tedium ponders the demise of Eudora, and whether we lost something great.

I don't have a lot of experience with Eudora personally, but I know it had quite the enthusiastic and fervent fanbase back then.

Order by: Score:
elm
by antik on Thu 5th Oct 2017 10:57 UTC
antik
Member since:
2006-05-19

Never used Eudora- elm FTW! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elm_(email_client)

Reply Score: 1

History repeats itself
by darknexus on Thu 5th Oct 2017 11:43 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

I used Eudora. It was a nice email client in its day until bloat began to catch up around version 4.0. The odd thing is we've simply transferred this search from the traditional PC to our mobile devices, where email clients and not web interfaces are still very much alive. As with the PC, many use the default client provided with the operating system, and many others go in search of something better. Computing history repeats itself as all history seems to do, just much more rapidly. Here's hoping it doesn't repeat all the way, with crappy web interfaces being the norm and email clients all going the way of over-complicated Outlook before they finally die.

Reply Score: 3

RE: History repeats itself
by Lennie on Thu 5th Oct 2017 11:53 UTC in reply to "History repeats itself"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I actually see many people use more task oriented software these days instead of email.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: History repeats itself
by darknexus on Thu 5th Oct 2017 12:38 UTC in reply to "RE: History repeats itself"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Which is nice in theory, until you need ten different packages because all the people you work with are on different project management platforms. The one advantage of email, and why it's still holding on despite all its problems, is that it's interoperable and all one needs is an email address to communicate with anyone else's email address.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: History repeats itself
by Lennie on Thu 5th Oct 2017 14:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: History repeats itself"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I know and understand, but I also understand it from the other side.

Take something like Slack / Mattermost, everything in one place for that one project and easy to create sub-projects. Combine that with plugins/IRC-like bots, etc.

So I understand both arguments.

Whatever happened and happens, I think it's clear email has lost a share of the communication people do these days.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: History repeats itself
by darknexus on Thu 5th Oct 2017 14:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: History repeats itself"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

And if all these apps could intercommunicate, email would probably fade into nonexistence. The problem is, and what I was getting at, is that many of us are approaching the point where we don't want yet another account, yet another app, just to communicate with one other person or work on one more project. Yet another password that's going to change every 30/60/90 days and that we have to remember--I have, quite honestly, lost count of how many accounts I have to use because that one person insists on using their preferred app or service. It's why I still prefer email: not because it's better (it's definitely not) but because I don't have to jump through hoops or remember which person is using which service to get a message to them.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: History repeats itself
by tidux on Thu 5th Oct 2017 15:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: History repeats itself"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

That's what Matrix is for. It's federated, like email, so you only need one login, and it can do bridges to a bunch of stuff like IRC, Slack, XMPP, and Gitter. The downside is that the default Python server implementation is an absolute CPU/RAM/DB hog and the leaner Go and Rust implementations aren't ready yet, so most people just stick to the public matrix.org server for now.

Reply Score: 3

RE: History repeats itself
by WorknMan on Thu 5th Oct 2017 17:24 UTC in reply to "History repeats itself"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

It was a nice email client in its day until bloat began to catch up around version 4.0.


Plus, I remember the increasing use of HTML messages made it necessary to use a client that had a browser renderer behind it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: History repeats itself
by darknexus on Thu 5th Oct 2017 18:11 UTC in reply to "RE: History repeats itself"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Plus, I remember the increasing use of HTML messages made it necessary to use a client that had a browser renderer behind it.

If I remember right, Eudora 4 was when they began to use Microsoft's HTML rendering behind the scenes. As I recall, it was rather buggy, but it's hard to tell which were Eudora's bugs and which were Microsoft's when I look back on it now.

Reply Score: 4

I miss it
by Drunkula on Thu 5th Oct 2017 12:31 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

It's been a long time since I used it. But I always enjoyed it. Just reading the name Eudora brought a small smile to my face this morning...

Reply Score: 7

Less sucky to recover / import from
by stoupprypeck on Thu 5th Oct 2017 13:15 UTC
stoupprypeck
Member since:
2017-10-05

Back in the day Thunderbird and Outlook were horrible to recover from - or even migrate back to after a fresh install of Windows.

Eudora was at least tolerable. I was able to salvage files and individual emails with a much higher success rate.

Ah well.

Reply Score: 2

nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

What? Recovering or migrating Thunderbird was just a matter of copying a single folder. I am pretty sure (well, it was ages ago) I moved my Mozilla Suite (yeah, it was before Thunderbird) even from Windows to Linux.

Reply Score: 3

No tears lost.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 5th Oct 2017 13:48 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Eudora wasn't great or even good. It was easier to use for many people than what existed before it.

I stuck to Pine. Which was better in many ways.

Reply Score: 4

RE: No tears lost.
by KLU9 on Thu 5th Oct 2017 18:40 UTC in reply to "No tears lost."
KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon dictates that the day I see a new webcomic featuring PINE is the same day I come across a eulogy for Eudora with a comment about PINE.

https://www.incredibledoom.com/issue01

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: No tears lost.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 5th Oct 2017 21:53 UTC in reply to "RE: No tears lost."
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Ok, cool/cook. How about Magic on VAX? Anyone? That was terrible. Eudora was much better compared to that.

Reply Score: 3

Pegasus was always better
by phoenix on Thu 5th Oct 2017 15:39 UTC
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

Eudora was ok, at least in the earlier versions. Things got really slow and bloated, though, around the time that Thunderbird was really light and easy-to-use. Migrated my mom from Eudora Light to Thunderbird and she hasn't really missed anything.

For me, Pegasus was always the better e-mail client. One of the few fat clients that I actually looked forward to using, especially with it's great IMAP support.

Then I discovered KMail and KOrganizer. Those were great programs to use.

Problem was that there were no great cross-platform e-mail clients available (Thunderbird was close but didn't always play nicely with IMAP and SIEVE). At that point, I moved to webmail and haven't looked back. 1 client (the browser), 1 message store (the server), nothing to install, available everywhere.

Reply Score: 6

The death of the mail client
by laffer1 on Thu 5th Oct 2017 15:55 UTC
laffer1
Member since:
2007-11-09

No one under 35 even uses real mail clients anymore except on their phones. I love email clients, but in fairness they're getting worse. Apple mail is twice as slow and causes indexing crashes on spam in the current Mac OS. Thunderbird is barely alive and still can't do things that netscape 4 could. Outlook can't show email in a unified mailbox and it can't do calendaring worth a crap.

Webmail is terrible. Squirrelmail is on life support, roundcube works but still feels 5 years old. Then there is the gmail crowd. It's horrible to manage filters. It also requires giving up control to google.

As for storage, everyone should be using imap folders at this point. How else can you access mail on the road?

Reply Score: 5

RE: The death of the mail client
by darknexus on Thu 5th Oct 2017 16:16 UTC in reply to "The death of the mail client"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Not quite true. You're over my age by three years ;) . And unfortunately, many people do use an email client particularly in work settings, that horrible thing called... Outlook. And unfortunately, you have to use the client because Outlook's web interface (assuming your Exchange admin runs an OWA)is so god awful that I wouldn't inflict it on my worst enemy.
Disclaimer: I'm an Exchange admin and, if you think Outlook is bad, try fixing Exchange on the server side. If I had my way we'd move to a standard IMAP setup, but that is a choice I can't make... yet.

Reply Score: 5

laffer1 Member since:
2007-11-09

Sorry you have to manage exchange, I can't imagine how terrible that is.

Desktop outlook is also garbage. It's flooding the windows event log on my work laptop every second with crap. It can't do scheduling properly. It doesn't see that there is new mail available.

For my personal email, I have been running sendmail + dovecot for years with a lot of success. I wouldn't recommend sendmail for new setups because it's practically dead at this point.

Reply Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Sorry you have to manage exchange, I can't imagine how terrible that is.

I couldn't have imagined it before I started doing it. And to think I used to curse Sendmail. Cosmic justice, I guess. If only I were still managing Sendmail. I'll tell you one good thing about it though, after managing Exchange, I actually look forward to having to work in the Juniper VSRX instead. ;)

Desktop outlook is also garbage.

No argument from me. It's been garbage for years and keeps getting worse. It's bad enough that I just use my iPhone or iPad to manage my email, calendar, and everything else at this point and I'm far from alone in doing so at the office.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The death of the mail client
by tylerdurden on Thu 5th Oct 2017 19:28 UTC in reply to "The death of the mail client"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Plenty of people under 35 work at offices, where Outlook is the defacto e-mail client and schedule.

Reply Score: 3

laffer1 Member since:
2007-11-09

At my office, web outlook is recommended because the desktop client is so bad. At my last job, we used gmail and were banned from using a desktop client. It didn't matter anyway because the only one that works other than apple mail is outlook with gmail. You can't use thunderbird with ORG gmail because it can't handle the weird single sign on setup.

Reply Score: 3

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Your office must have single digit number of people.

Desktop outlook is the defacto communication tool on corporate land. You'd be surprised how much economic activity depends on that shitty piece of software.

Reply Score: 3

RE: The death of the mail client
by Jimw338 on Sun 8th Oct 2017 16:58 UTC in reply to "The death of the mail client"
Jimw338 Member since:
2017-10-08

“For Generation Z, Email Has Become a Rite of Passage”
(Comments are behind the WSJ paywall - I’m going to assume that posting the text here is “stretched fair use” - like the “stretched horizon” of a black hole..:”)

https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-generation-z-email-has-become-a-rit...

Also, see https://postgradproblems.com/this-wall-street-journal-article-about-...

“For Generation Z, Email Has Become a Rite of Passage”
By Christopher Mims

Your personal hierarchy of life-altering firsts likely includes your first kiss, your first time behind the wheel or the first time you left home. For members of Generation Z, now in their teens or early 20s, another rite of passage has taken on outsize importance: sending your first email.

“I’m more of an adult now that I send email,” says Sumanth Neerumalla, a junior at the University of Maryland. He says becoming a person who sends emails felt like a bigger rite of passage than registering to vote.

You might think a generation as tech-savvy as this one, which can hardly remember a time before smartphones, Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram, would have embraced email in its infancy.

But progress has inverted the order in which Generation Z encounters many technologies, relative to their older peers. Many used tablets before laptops, streaming before downloads and chat before email. For them, email is as about as much fun as applying to college or creating a résumé.

“The way I first perceived email was, it was something my parents did for work,” says Zach Kahn, a 21-year-old senior at George Washington University.

I heard variants of this sentiment from 15 young adults, ages 16 to 21: Email is for communicating with old people, the digital equivalent of putting on a shirt and tie.

“I would never even think of emailing my friends, they would just react super weird,” says Tanya E. Van Gastel, a 21-year-old senior at University of Antwerp, in Belgium. “They would be like ‘Why don’t you text me?’ ”

Those of us who went to college before Facebook might remember heartfelt emails to friends. That is an alien concept to most of Generation Z.

Or, as 16-year-old Ben Pasternak, developer of the hit iOS game Impossible Rush, wrote me when I asked if he emails to friends, “No, no teen does that ha-ha.”

Generation Z has moved through multiple communication tools—from texting, AOL instant messenger and MSN messenger to Facebook Messenger and a crush of communication apps. All are chat-based: instantaneous, short and informal. That is the antithesis of the business email.

“I have eight different means of communication,” says Ms. Van Gastel, whose phone audibly chirped in the background throughout our interview. “I have a personalized ringtone for every different messaging app so I can guess who is texting me,” she adds.

Some of the young people I interviewed have had email accounts since they were 11, but use them almost exclusively to receive school assignments or to sign up for things online. Overwhelmingly, they treated email as a read-only medium, until they had to use it to communicate with adults.

As they move into their first internships and jobs, some are discovering that mastering the arcane art of a good email—Mr. Neerumalla calls it “long-form texting”—can be a competitive advantage. Email, after all, is still a way to reach out to nearly anyone, with a chance at a response.

Xavier Di Petta credits email with some of his success as a precocious entrepreneur.

In 2009, when he was 12 years old, Mr. Di Petta found email addresses for YouTube staffers in a lawsuit document and contacted them directly about a new program that allowed him to make money from his videos. Mr. Di Petta was admitted to the program, and says the visibility led in part to a $2 million investment in his social-media startup, All Day Media, in 2014.

Email, however, isn’t always smooth sailing for members of Generation Z weaned on texting.

Interviewees recall mistakes that are forgivable in texts but not emails, such as drafts they had failed to review before sending, misspelled names and dispatching multiple short emails rather than one thoughtful missive. Like email users of all ages, they have run afoul of the dreaded “reply all” land mine.

Mr. Kahn, the George Washington senior, says he mistakenly included his high-school guidance counselor in a reply intended only for his parents. “I had said something to the effect of ‘f*** no’ to a ‘safety school’ that my guidance counselor had suggested I apply to, and she replied with something like ‘message received.’ ”

One University of Southern California-Yahoo study of 16 billion emails exchanged among two million users of Yahoo mail found that teens were the fastest to respond to emails and sent the shortest messages. They appeared to be “using email as text messages,” says Kristina Lerman, a co-author of the study and a USC professor.

Generation Z’s willingness to adopt email may reflect hard lessons learned by their underemployed, debt-burdened older peers, says Jason Dorsey, co-founder of Generational Kinetics, a survey firm that focuses on young people.

“Millennials wanted the rules bent to them, and Generation Z is saying, ‘I’ll take whatever job you have, tell me what you need to me to do and I’ll follow the rules to be successful,’ ” Mr. Dorsey says.

Email’s grip on the workplace means it isn’t dying out, at least not yet, he notes. That might need to wait until Generation Z is in charge. Then, we’ll find out if email’s advantages—an open standard that allows people using different services to communicate, as opposed to siloed messaging apps—will outweigh its disadvantages, such as spam. It is entirely possible email will survive because we still need a place to communicate slowly and thoughtfully, rather than in short bursts.

Or maybe not. Generation Z’s younger peers—dubbed “Generation Alpha” by some—are even more evolved in their use of communication technologies, says Gilad Abarbanel, a 20-year-old junior at Rutgers University who runs a summer camp and youth movement.

“When I talk to people in their freshman year of high school,” says Mr. Abarbanel, “they say ‘Facebook is for old people.’ ”

Reply Score: 2

Eudora's sense of humor
by Ford Prefect on Thu 5th Oct 2017 17:56 UTC
Ford Prefect
Member since:
2006-01-16

http://fopref.meinungsverstaerker.de/div/helo.gif

Some explanation: Eudora's programmers decided to present the server error in the "I said, he said" style to the user. The programmers of this particular mailserver decided for a funny variant of the error message for the client. The originating problem is that, per protocol, a HELO statement should be sent first to the server. Eudora seems to have omitted that statement.

Edited 2017-10-05 18:06 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Fond memories
by cmost on Thu 5th Oct 2017 21:12 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

I used Eudora e-mail exclusively back in the early nineties when I was in university and ran Windows NT. It had great tools and was probably the most advanced e-mail client of its time.

Reply Score: 3

Just at the right time
by gld59 on Fri 6th Oct 2017 04:13 UTC
gld59
Member since:
2012-11-09

I loved Eudora back in the 90s. It was cross-platform, portable (migration to a new computer or re-installation), mailboxes were human-readable if necessary, and having mail split into mailboxes made catastrophic loss of mail much less likely. It was getting pretty creaky by the end, especially with HTML mail, but at least Qualcomm did the decent thing and developed a Thunderbird-based version (Eudora OSE) to ease migration to that program.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Just at the right time
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 7th Oct 2017 01:54 UTC in reply to "Just at the right time"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I loved Eudora back in the 90s. It was cross-platform, portable (migration to a new computer or re-installation), mailboxes were human-readable if necessary, and having mail split into mailboxes made catastrophic loss of mail much less likely.


Agreed - while I mainly preferred it for the UI, I can't remember many of the details any more, but I do remember how easy Eudora made moving data back and forth. When traveling (back in the days before ubiquitous public Wifi & IMAP support), it was very nice to just take the Eudora inbox on my laptop, call it something like "Inbox TEMP," copy that into the Eudora folders on my desktop - and then copy everything into the inbox there, quickly merging in all of the EMail I'd received while away.

It was getting pretty creaky by the end, especially with HTML mail, but at least Qualcomm did the decent thing and developed a Thunderbird-based version (Eudora OSE) to ease migration to that program.


IMO, calling Penelope "Thunderbird-based" is an understatement - from what I recall, it was little more than a re-skin of Thunderbird (sadly).

Reply Score: 3