Lately I got a very broken GMail in my mail client Claws. I didn't check my mails for a few days and I got about 300 mails waiting for me. When I did the checkout it stopped at about 150 mails, then at around 250, reporting an error about timeout. Finally I got all the mails, but all the on-coming times I downloaded the mails it always restarted at 125 of 128 mails instead of 0 of 8 mails... The mail notification applets were also kind-of broken. And all of this was by using POP.
So I thought about un/rechecking that option, and actually I had the opportunity to switch that thing off and use IMAP instead. Which I did.
First impression ever, it's awesome. All the actions done in any IMAP client is synchronised in the web client, would it be moving a mail to a directory, create a directory, or mark a mail as unread. However, to be working perfectly with the web interface GMail, the client has to be tweaked.
When I started to use Claws as usual, I figured some problems, not that annoying, for instance that it creates its own Sent, Draft and Queued directories -- apparently I can't get rid of them. However more annoying, when composing a mail, as you compose, it saves a copy to Queued, and every time it saves a new copy the old one is archived in GMails "All messages". This means for long mails that you can have a thread of around 20 copies of your mail being more and more complete. I looked around in Claws, every little corner, but I didn't find anything. The only option left is to place the Sent, Draft and Queued messages in another directory. First I tried to put them in the predefined directories of GMail but it kept on putting them in the default place holders. Then I thought I had not really time to deal with these annoyances, I switched to another mail client. While writing this entry, I "debugged" and figured I can save the messages to a local directory, just like it works with the other mail client. In the end, I have a working and good mail client with Claws.
So today I retried Thunderbird, and with respect to IMAP, it does a real good job. It is possible to trash the mails permanently which means for GMail there is always a copy in "All messages". In fact I don't need yet another Trash directory in my mail client, as it is only a new and useless directory for the web client. More importantly, for Sent messages it can place it where I want and it works. And what I used in Claws to send messages with another email address -- creating an SMTP only account -- can be found in the "Identity Settings" of an account.
Which one to choose now? Claws has a status icon for the notification area, and Thunderbird -- even if possible -- will either come with a built-in one or provided by an extension perhaps with bugs. I will try one and the other I guess, and keep the one I finally prefer. It's IMAP now anyway, all what I do in one client is seen in the other clients ;-)
Update: Now this can sound surprising, Thunderbird is able to load a directory of 95000+ mails in a second (of course you have to wait to download them all the first time). Claws is lagging at this a lot, even with less like 40000+, it takes about a minute and more to display the mails.