I’ve been using claws-mail to both read/compose emails and to read all the vast pile of RSS feeds I try and keep up with for quite a while now and it’s for the most part been fine. I never liked claws-mail use of mh folders instead of something more standard like Maildir, and it’s calendar integration is… not there, but it did a pretty good job.
Unfortunately, claws-mail uses a plugin called ‘fancy’ to render html (which sees heavy use when loading rss feeds). This plugin uses the old old webkit1 (webkitgtk package in Fedora). This package hasn’t been maintained upstream in quite a long while and the number of vulnerabilities in it has just grown and grown. Other distros have dropped it entirely, and Fedora is finally following suit very soon. This has caused the Fedora claws-mail maintainers to drop the fancy plugin to prevent dropping claws-mail entirely. However, without that plugin, RSS reading is… not very pretty.
So, after seeing Jiri Eischmann’s recent post ( https://eischmann.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/nextcloud-linux-desktop/ ) about using the nextcloud News app, I decided to give that a try. Installing was pretty easy, but note that it’s not in stable apps yet. Importing my feeds from claws-mail’s RSSyl was pretty easy, but the only want to put feeds in categories is drag and drop. Drag and drop when you have many many feeds is a real pain, I really wished for a ‘move to folder’ option. The Fedora “feedreader” app looks pretty nice and after a bit of tweaking handled things pretty well. The android OwnNews app also seems pretty nice and functional. I did notice some times when it seemed all three readers were not 100% in sync as to what was read or not, but things stayed pretty close. Being able to use my phone to browse feeds will be handy. I also took this time to cull a bunch of feeds that didn’t have any posts in the last few years or I didnt care about anymore or the like. Overall I think this will be a pretty reasonable replacement.
Next up was mail. I could have just stuck with claws-mail for just mail, but without the fancy plugin any html emails would not render really at all. So, I figured I would bite the bullet and look at evolution again. I switched over my work and gmail accounts first as they use imap and state is (mostly) remote anyhow. They setup pretty easily. Next I added a account that was all my old claws-mail folders in mh format. In the past when I tried this evolution crashed, but this time it seemed to handle it ok. I later disabled this account for now, as it caused fetching new emails to take a while and I only need it if I need to find an old email and can enable it then. Finally I switched over my main mail stream. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to import my old claws-mail filters, but this did give me a chance to cull emails that I get. As things came in saturday and sunday I added filter rules, unsubscribed, or otherwise made a note to stop whatever it was sending me email. There’s definitely some oddities I will have to get used to with evolution, but overall I think I can make it work. The biggest frustration is that the shortcut keys to do things don’t seem to work for me. (ie, . and , are supposed to go to the next or previous unread message, but they do not here. They don’t do anything). There doesn’t seem to be a way to quickly go to a particular folder. After a bit of use, I figured out the problem: The shortcuts are focus specific, and I don’t really see any indicator which pane I have focused. ;(
Right now I think the RSS change is likely to stick, not entirely sure on evolution, but if it doesn’t there’s a number of other clients to try out (thunderbird, mutt, or back to emacs 🙂