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Apple Mail for Leopard: Any Better?

Did you do this, Arno?


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Apple Mail used to be a nifty little app. For those switching from Windows, whether or not they used the abysmal Outlook, it represented a pleasant and welcome relief. No more danger of getting hacked simply because things dropped into the inbox. And it used format flowed so you didn't get those horrid webmail and Outlook constructs. And it did a lot of cool things. Like when you deleted a message the text didn't just disappear - it faded away.

And that was undeniably cool. And the program was functional and well thought out. It's based on NeXT's Mail.app sometimes referred to as 'NeXTmail' but it had the advantage of new window and view constructs not available in the NeXT years.

The new Cocoa 'drawer' was used advantageously: this view popped in and out as needed with a list of the folders, inboxes, and so forth. The most important thing was that you could scoot it out of the way if you needed to - if you needed to conserve screen real estate.

The rendering engine was faithfully based on NeXT's powerful NSTextView workhorse and it worked well. Indents were well done, using different colours and always faithful to the font chosen.

Mail used to be a good app. But that was then and now is a different story. Way different.

The story actually started with Mail for Panther when Apple began showing that recurring propensity for taking an admirably simplistic and elegant design and systematically making it more complex - unnecessarily more complex - and thereby ruining it. Toolbar icons started to look funky and the preferences panel started getting really screwed up.

The original preferences panel was a course in correct UI design - especially the accounts pane. Double click an account and a sheet with tabs popped out. Make the changes you want and click either 'OK' or 'Cancel'. Couldn't be easier. Or better.

But now with Panther there's a pinhead amongst the wizards and he's got some new ideas. He's going to give the preferences panel a makeover and move from the design previously used to something like Netscape's old preferences for Navigator 4.0 - except in true Apple fashion he won't have Apply, OK, or Cancel buttons.

Brilliant. This means that to actually effect any changes you have to select a new account or attempt to dismiss the panel entirely. It also plays complete havoc with the underlying code and turns it into spaghetti mush.

But that was Panther and that was bad enough. And then came Tiger.

Tiger takes 'meaningless change' to an entirely new level: the drawer is gone and replaced with a panel that's always going to be on the left and cannot be retracted - it can only be resized. As an alternative that really sucks for obvious reasons. You're wasting screen real estate and most importantly you're limiting the choices left to the user - you're crapping all over the user-friendly lie.

The toolbar buttons: they were already showing signs of deterioration but now things go off the deep end. And reams have been written about how ugly Apple Mail for Tiger is but that's not important: what is important is that yet again the options available to the user are being tramped on.

Now Mail has these 'jelly baby' icons which are often two or more glyphs in the same image. This stinks for a number of reasons. First and foremost for the user it means one cannot chose an individual function - one has to take the entire group or leave it be. And that's not user friendly.

But equally important is what this fetish does to the underlying code: Cocoa has a built in toolbar engine but Apple Mail can't use this any longer. All of the stuff you normally see a toolbar do has to be hard coded into this app.

Hey it gets even worse: the Cocoa toolbar engine doesn't need images for the different button states - just give it one and it will programmatically create the rest.

Not so with this Mail monstrosity: all images for all states must be included. The genius behind this idea does not extend to accomplishing the same things as Cocoa's original - that would be too much work.

This in turn implies a lot more disk I/O as these images have to be flipped in and out of memory all the time. [Caching will of course help but startup time deteriorates by an order of magnitude.]

The number of images for this stupid idea teeters between the prohibitive and the ridiculous. Count 'em.

$ ls -l /Applications/Mail.app/Contents/Resources/*.tif?
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    2134 Aug 20  2006 AccountPreferences.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1282 May 28 09:44 Action.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1006 May 28 09:44 ActionOrNewMBoxHidden.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    1284 Aug 20  2006 Action_Pressed.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     492 May 28 09:44 Add.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     508 May 28 09:44 AddMailbox.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     496 May 28 09:44 AddMailbox_Pressed.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     476 May 28 09:44 Add_Pressed.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     654 Aug 20  2006 AvailableProxy.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     778 May 28 09:44 ButtonBorder.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     498 May 28 09:44 Card.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    3258 May 28 09:44 Caution.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     500 May 28 09:44 Compose_Action.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     688 Aug 20  2006 Compose_Action_Inactive.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     498 May 28 09:44 Compose_Action_Pressed.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1728 May 28 09:44 ComposingPreferences.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     342 May 28 09:44 DisclosureDownNormal.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     334 May 28 09:44 DisclosureDownPressed.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     382 May 28 09:44 DisclosureRightDown.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     334 May 28 09:44 DisclosureRightNormal.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     336 May 28 09:44 DisclosureRightPressed.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin   31848 May 28 09:44 DotMac.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     434 Aug 20  2006 DraftsMailbox.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1360 May 28 09:44 DraftsMailboxLarge.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     570 May 28 09:45 Encrypted.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     330 Aug 20  2006 Encrypted_Glyph.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     570 May 28 09:45 Encrypted_Pressed.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     602 May 28 09:45 Encryption_Off.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     582 May 28 09:45 Encryption_Off_Pressed.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     320 May 28 09:45 FlatLeftcap.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     310 May 28 09:45 FlatLeftcap_Pressed.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     304 May 28 09:45 FlatMiddlecap.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     296 May 28 09:45 FlatMiddlecap_Pressed.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     704 May 28 09:45 FlatRightcap.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     712 May 28 09:45 FlatRightcap_Graphite.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     722 May 28 09:45 FlatRightcap_Graphite_Pressed.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     554 May 28 09:45 FlatRightcap_Inactive.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     724 May 28 09:45 FlatRightcap_Pressed.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    2208 Aug 20  2006 FontsAndColorsPreferences.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     256 Aug 20  2006 Forward_Normal.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     394 Aug 20  2006 Forward_Pressed.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     386 Aug 20  2006 Forward_Rollover.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     272 Aug 20  2006 Forward_White_Normal.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     370 Aug 20  2006 Forward_White_Pressed.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     370 Aug 20  2006 Forward_White_Rollover.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1840 May 28 09:45 GeneralPreferences.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     756 Aug 20  2006 GenericAccount.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    2232 Aug 20  2006 GenericAccountLarge.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     924 May 28 09:45 HighPriority_Inactive.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1102 May 28 09:45 HighPriority_Popup.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1106 May 28 09:45 HighPriority_Popup_Graphite.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1108 May 28 09:45 HighPriority_Popup_Pressed_Graphite.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1128 May 28 09:45 HighPriority_Pressed.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     852 Aug 20  2006 InMailbox.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1840 May 28 09:45 InMailboxLarge.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    1202 Aug 20  2006 InvalidDataIcon.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     870 Aug 20  2006 LocalAccount.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    2182 May 28 09:46 LocalAccountLarge.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     850 May 28 09:46 LowPriority.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     694 May 28 09:46 LowPriority_Inactive.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     860 May 28 09:46 LowPriority_Popup_Graphite.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     858 May 28 09:46 LowPriority_Popup_Pressed_Graphite.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     878 May 28 09:46 LowPriority_Pressed.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     984 Aug 20  2006 MacAccount.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    2674 May 28 09:46 MacAccountLarge.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    2038 Aug 20  2006 MailSorter.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin  137568 May 28 09:46 Mail_Large.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     842 May 28 09:46 MailboxViewSpacer.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1110 May 28 09:47 NewPerson.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     880 Aug 20  2006 NormalMailbox.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    2430 Aug 20  2006 NormalMailboxLarge.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    1766 Aug 20  2006 NormalMailboxLarge_ContainerOnly.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     694 Aug 20  2006 NormalMailbox_ContainerOnly.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     990 May 28 09:47 NormalPriority.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     820 May 28 09:47 NormalPriority_Inactive.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     990 May 28 09:47 NormalPriority_Popup_Graphite.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     992 May 28 09:47 NormalPriority_Popup_Pressed_Graphite.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1010 May 28 09:47 NormalPriority_Pressed.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     334 May 28 09:47 OnlineStatusListHeader.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     586 Aug 20  2006 OptionChecked.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     422 May 28 09:47 OptionUnchecked.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     634 Aug 20  2006 OutMailbox.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    1596 Aug 20  2006 OutMailboxLarge.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     304 Aug 20  2006 PopDownArrow.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     476 Aug 20  2006 QuestionMark.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     274 May 28 09:48 QuotaBarBase.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     634 Aug 20  2006 RankCell.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     446 May 28 09:48 Remove.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     428 May 28 09:48 Remove_Pressed.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     314 Aug 20  2006 Reply_Normal.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     476 Aug 20  2006 Reply_Pressed.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     464 Aug 20  2006 Reply_Rollover.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     362 Aug 20  2006 Reply_White_Normal.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     458 Aug 20  2006 Reply_White_Pressed.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     458 Aug 20  2006 Reply_White_Rollover.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     398 May 28 09:49 SearchSliceViewBackground.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     260 May 28 09:49 SearchSliceViewSeperator.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     242 May 28 09:49 SearchTypeButton-PressedFill.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     484 May 28 09:49 SearchTypeButton-PressedL.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     474 May 28 09:49 SearchTypeButton-PressedR.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     242 May 28 09:49 SearchTypeButton-RolloverFill.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     420 May 28 09:49 SearchTypeButton-RolloverL.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     420 May 28 09:49 SearchTypeButton-RolloverR.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     242 May 28 09:49 SearchTypeButton-SelectedFill.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     480 May 28 09:49 SearchTypeButton-SelectedL.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     470 May 28 09:49 SearchTypeButton-SelectedR.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    1588 Aug 20  2006 Signature.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     860 May 28 09:49 Signature_Off.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     830 May 28 09:49 Signature_Off_Pressed.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     808 May 28 09:49 Signed.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     422 Aug 20  2006 Signed_Glyph.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     808 May 28 09:49 Signed_Pressed.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     466 May 28 09:49 SlideshowButton_Left.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     472 May 28 09:49 SlideshowButton_LeftPress.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     298 May 28 09:49 SlideshowButton_Middle.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     298 May 28 09:49 SlideshowButton_MiddlePress.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     618 May 28 09:49 SlideshowButton_Right.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     500 May 28 09:49 SlideshowButton_RightNoArrow.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     622 May 28 09:49 SlideshowButton_RightPress.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     506 May 28 09:49 SlideshowButton_RightPressNoArrow.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    2510 Aug 20  2006 SmartFolderLarge.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     898 Aug 20  2006 SmartFolderSmall.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     970 May 28 09:49 SplitterHandle.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     406 May 28 09:49 SpotlightBarBackground.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     764 Aug 20  2006 Synchronize.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    1062 Aug 20  2006 TB_AddToAddressBook.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     960 May 28 09:51 TB_AddressBook.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     654 Aug 20  2006 TB_Append.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     912 Aug 20  2006 TB_Attach.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     698 Aug 20  2006 TB_Bounce.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    1236 Aug 20  2006 TB_Colors.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     972 Aug 20  2006 TB_CustomizeToolbar.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    1092 Aug 20  2006 TB_Delete.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     984 Aug 20  2006 TB_Flag.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     728 Aug 20  2006 TB_FontBigger.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     614 Aug 20  2006 TB_FontSmaller.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     740 Aug 20  2006 TB_Fonts.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     738 Aug 20  2006 TB_Forward.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     982 Aug 20  2006 TB_Get_Mail.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    1238 Aug 20  2006 TB_IncludeAttachments.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1180 May 28 09:51 TB_Junk.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     970 May 28 09:51 TB_Mailboxes.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     502 Aug 20  2006 TB_MakePlain.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     726 Aug 20  2006 TB_MakeRich.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     818 Aug 20  2006 TB_New.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     778 Aug 20  2006 TB_Offline.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1606 May 28 09:51 TB_Online.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     868 May 28 09:51 TB_Print.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     946 Aug 20  2006 TB_Read.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     826 Aug 20  2006 TB_Redirect.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     840 Aug 20  2006 TB_Reply.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     966 Aug 20  2006 TB_Reply_All.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     868 Aug 20  2006 TB_SaveAsDraft.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     420 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_InnerLeft.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     380 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_InnerLeftInactive.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     432 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_InnerLeftPress.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     422 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_InnerLeftRoll.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     402 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_InnerRight.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     364 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_InnerRightInactive.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     418 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_InnerRightPress.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     408 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_InnerRightRoll.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     668 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_LeftCap.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     570 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_LeftCapInactive.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     674 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_LeftCapPress.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     670 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_LeftCapRoll.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     740 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_RightCap.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     624 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_RightCapInactive.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     750 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_RightCapPress.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     740 May 28 09:51 TB_Segment_RightCapRoll.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    1000 Aug 20  2006 TB_Send.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    1080 Aug 20  2006 TB_ShowHeaders.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     368 May 28 09:51 TB_Single_Middle.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     344 May 28 09:51 TB_Single_MiddleInactive.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     372 May 28 09:51 TB_Single_MiddlePress.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     368 May 28 09:51 TB_Single_MiddleRoll.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     964 Aug 20  2006 TB_Threads.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     610 Aug 20  2006 TB_Unread.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1462 May 28 09:51 TB_iChat.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1388 May 28 09:51 TB_iChat_Inactive.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1486 May 28 09:51 TB_iChat_Pressed.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     308 Aug 20  2006 ThreadListHeader.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     384 May 28 09:51 Thread_Collapsed.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     356 May 28 09:51 Thread_Collapsed_White.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     396 May 28 09:51 Thread_Expanded.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     364 May 28 09:51 Thread_Expanded_White.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     436 May 28 09:51 Thread_Rollover.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     390 May 28 09:51 Thread_Rollover_White.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     832 Aug 20  2006 ToBeDeliveredMailbox.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1788 May 28 09:52 ToBeDeliveredMailboxLarge.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     926 Aug 20  2006 TrashMailbox.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    2716 Aug 20  2006 TrashMailboxLarge.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1646 May 28 09:52 ViewerPreferences.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     198 Aug 20  2006 alphaPixel.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     410 Aug 20  2006 attachment.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     458 Aug 20  2006 attachmentSelected.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     432 Aug 20  2006 attachment_header.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     262 May 28 09:44 button_fill_dark.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     262 May 28 09:44 button_fill_light.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     264 May 28 09:44 button_separator_dark.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     316 May 28 09:44 button_separator_left_dark.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     320 May 28 09:44 button_separator_left_light.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     256 May 28 09:44 button_separator_light.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     310 May 28 09:44 button_separator_right_dark.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     306 May 28 09:44 button_separator_right_light.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    2128 Aug 20  2006 certificate.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     470 Aug 20  2006 connectionStatus.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     372 Aug 20  2006 connectionStatusLarge.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     584 Aug 20  2006 connectionStatusLarge_pressed.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     584 Aug 20  2006 connectionStatusLarge_rollover.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     408 Aug 20  2006 connectionStatusLarge_selected.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     470 Aug 20  2006 connectionStatus_pressed.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     470 Aug 20  2006 connectionStatus_rollover.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     436 Aug 20  2006 connectionStatus_selected.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    2110 Aug 20  2006 delete.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin    1734 Aug 20  2006 deliver.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1632 May 28 09:44 drag.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1150 May 28 09:44 dragBadge1-2.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1498 May 28 09:44 dragBadge3.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1598 May 28 09:44 dragBadge4.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1748 May 28 09:44 dragBadge5.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1878 May 28 09:45 encryption.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     464 May 28 09:45 find.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     680 Aug 20  2006 flagged.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     288 May 28 09:45 flagged_header.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1704 May 28 09:45 getNewMail.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     198 Aug 20  2006 grayLine.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1030 May 28 09:45 highPriority.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     362 Aug 20  2006 highPriority_menu.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     400 Aug 20  2006 highPriority_menu_selected.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     696 Aug 20  2006 junkMailFlag.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    2650 May 28 09:46 junkmail.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     466 May 28 09:46 left_button_cap_dark.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     450 May 28 09:46 left_button_cap_light.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    2562 May 28 09:46 loadImages.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     260 May 28 09:46 lowPriority_menu.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     266 May 28 09:46 lowPriority_menu_selected.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     290 May 28 09:46 mailboxSelectionBackground.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     254 Aug 20  2006 mailboxSelectionBackgroundFocus.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     348 May 28 09:46 mainSplitterBar.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     278 May 28 09:46 mainSplitterDimple.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     372 Aug 20  2006 menuIndicator.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    5634 May 28 09:47 newMailBadge1&2.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    6406 May 28 09:47 newMailBadge3.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    6608 May 28 09:47 newMailBadge4.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    6948 May 28 09:47 newMailBadge5.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     316 Aug 20  2006 normalPriority_menu.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     346 Aug 20  2006 normalPriority_menu_selected.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     490 Aug 20  2006 offlineAlert.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     368 Aug 20  2006 offlineAlertLarge.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     594 Aug 20  2006 offlineAlertLarge_clicked.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     582 Aug 20  2006 offlineAlertLarge_highlighted.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     416 Aug 20  2006 offlineAlertLarge_selected.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     494 Aug 20  2006 offlineAlert_clicked.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     496 Aug 20  2006 offlineAlert_highlighted.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     444 Aug 20  2006 offlineAlert_selected.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     400 Aug 20  2006 redirected.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     334 Aug 20  2006 redirectedSelected.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     638 Aug 20  2006 redlight.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     498 May 28 09:49 right_button_cap_dark.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     484 May 28 09:49 right_button_cap_light.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin    1794 May 28 09:49 saveAsDraft.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     672 Aug 20  2006 scriptMenu.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin   80788 May 28 09:49 senders.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     474 Aug 20  2006 separator.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     338 May 28 09:49 splitterShadowLeft.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     676 Aug 20  2006 status-available.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     546 Aug 20  2006 unread.tiff
-rw-r--r--   1 rixstep  admin     304 May 28 09:52 unread_header.tiff
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     admin     336 Aug 20  2006 unread_selected.tiff

[Don't forget to check out 'senders.tiff' - it's been in there from the beginning.]

Remnants: this is a classic, for up until Tiger the Mail rendering engine performed admirably. [After all, it was based not on Apple code but NeXT code. QED.] But with Tiger Mail there are suddenly remnants all over the screen.

This isn't the end: for years ago, when Tiger first came out, people reported a BAD BUG to Apple - namely that the geniuses rewriting this previously perfectly acceptable app reconnected the AppKit connection incorrectly. Services which work on NeXT text suddenly don't work - try manipulating text through your services and you'll find the dork who thought he was improving Mail (or looking for a pay rise) hooked up the program to the general pasteboard instead.

This is a stupid goof and would remain a stupid good but for one thing: the bug was reported years ago and Apple still haven't fixed it.

And the above is but the tip of a nasty iceberg - lots more user frustration, lots more crappy pinhead code. Disappearing mail folders, disappearing messages, garbled messages - the list is long. Check the web for more info.

More and more it's looking like Arno Goudrol redesigned this program, but whoever did it is an ass-hat. And yes, the outcries already are deafening - but is there still hope Apple will fix things for Leopard and make Apple Mail something useable again?

The Mail client on Tiger is a major regression.
 - Litux Blog

Apparently Mail.app didn't suck hard enough as it was so they had to spend all of their engineering dollars making it as annoying as possible instead of, you know, making it work well.
 - MacSlash

Did anyone else find it amusing that after scolding the copycats over in Redmond they feel the need to tout integrated todos and notes as features of a mail program? I'm not saying they shouldn't copy these features from the world's second worst mailer but it doesn't seem like a great idea to highlight the features you're swiping immediately after bashing others for swiping features from you.
 - MacSlash

What about opening your email client and seeing your email folders disappearing, one by one, at the same time you are forced to click at an 'OK' button in as many dialogs as folders you had on your accounts (more than 300 in my case) and without any chance to cancel the scary procedure because the dialogs are modal and don't allow you to focus the main window, not even to quit the application.

After those 300+ dialogs you don't find your mail anywhere because Apple Mail decided to use a different IMAP folder prefix and interpret every one of them with a new name, each one returning a 'not found' from the server. The only thing left are the messages still in the inbox and some gigabytes of mail to re-sync again.
 - Litux Blog

I might well switch back to Mail.app with Leopard. As long as they give me a way to turn the HTML crap off.
 - MacSlash

I cannot use Mail at work; I have to use Thunderbird because Mail seems to want to subscribe to every possible board on our system. Fix that, Apple. Nothing worse that starting up Mail so I can use spotlight to search and then waiting 1/2 hour for it to refresh to all the thousands of boards on our system.
 - TUAW

If switching locations enables me to switch over proxies how can it be possible that some of the clever Apple engineers didn't think that maybe I'd like to switch over SMTP servers too? It's not 1995 anymore; people don't happily relay messages from outside their network; and the average traveling user is fucked waiting for his messages to not go through to select another server for each message waiting to be sent.
 - Guido Bolognesi

See Also
Software Reviews: The Very Ugly

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