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[Review] Trojita IMAP Email Client (P)review

 
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dannycamps
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PostPosted: Thursday, 26.Aug.2010 05:15    Post subject: [Review] Trojita IMAP Email Client (P)review   Reply with quote   

This is my first software review so please be kind.

---

Trojita: A promising New Maemo Email Client
Author: DJC

This is a review of a functional early test version of Trojita; an IMAP email client written in QT with a UI being optimized for the N900.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT THE VERSION OF TROJITA AVAILABLE IN EXTRAS-DEVEL. That is the original version simply packaged for Maemo with no changes. It does not work well (if at all).

In July of 2009, a QT-based email client was created called Trojita. The project is touted on the author's homepage (http://trojita.flaska.net/) with the following features:

* A pure Qt4 application with no additional dependencies
* Robust IMAP core implemented using Qt's Model-View framework
* Standards compliance is a design goal
* On-demand message list and body part loading
* Offline IMAP support
* Support for bandwidth-saving mode aimed at mobile users with expensive connection
* IMAP over SSH -- the server could be accessed via SSH
* Safe dealing with HTML mail (actually more robust than Thunderbird's)



Being designed in QT meant that it could be migrated to other QT-based platforms relatively easily.

Taking the code and running it directly on the N900 showed that some of the menus and options worked but overall the UI needed to be recoded for any real functionality.

Maemo community member Thomas Boutroue (TheBootroo) decided to improve the UI and application for proper use on the N900. He released a technology preview version on his FTP server that is functional and shows that with continued development, this could be a great email client for the N900 as it natively brings functionality for lower data usage (i.e. offline cache).

For anyone wanting to try this software, please note that the usual warnings apply about alpha/beta software. The .deb will not install properly with the Application Manager and must be installed via X-terminal (sudo gainroot / dpkg -i). Also note that the software does not appear to be optified and will consume ~4-7mb of rootfs space.

Upon installing the software, an icon is placed in the application menu. Clicking the icon launches Trojita which displays the account setup page.



From here you define your name, email, and IMAP account settings including your offline preferences.







You can also define SMTP settings as well.

Once you save the account settings and go online, your IMAP account is loaded and you are brought to the main mailbox.



One nice thing is that the application supports portrait mode as well.



Clicking a folder will expand that folder or enter it showing the message listing.



From here, you can read messages, mark as read/unread, and delete. HTML messages are fully supported (very nicely BTW).



You can also send messages as well.



Address book support (tied to contacts) is not implemented yet but I expect it will be implemented in the future.

Settings allow you to configure data access options (whether you have free data access or expensive). You can also configure rotation permissions.





---

I tried the initial version of Trojita on the N900 about a month ago and it didn't work at all outside of the account settings. It's amazing to see how far Thomas has taken it in a short time period.

Overall the program works pretty well so far. Everything works as expected and it looks polished even in its early state. I am hoping that someone will eventually add POP support to it as well so I can replace modest (with the exception of MfE work email).

As it's in an early dev state (for N900 at least) the CPU utilization is high. I also don't use IMAP retrieval options (like IMAP-idle) so I don't know how/if they are implemented. It is definitely faster than Modest but could still use some performance tweaks (but I am nitpicking).

For now, I am using it to read my IMAP (AOL) email which was a pain to do with Modest.

I would like to see POP support in addition to all functionality being activated (like the above mentioned contacts lookup).

Pros:
- polished UI
- faster than Modest
- Offline support

Cons:
- not optified
- non-standard install
- high CPU usage (also means high battery drain)

---

More information:
TMO topic discussing Trojita and GRR (Google Reader Client):
http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?p=786287#post786287

File download:
http://modern-os.projects.servhome.org/maemo.org/
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Thursday, 26.Aug.2010 06:26    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Great review, Daniel! Thank you very much for your work!

I hope you won't mind if I announce it on the home page so that more people can be notified about it....
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ceroberts75
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PostPosted: Thursday, 26.Aug.2010 07:11    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

great job. thank you.

i tried it before and there must have been a couple of updates!


looks much better.
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LordVan
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PostPosted: Thursday, 26.Aug.2010 10:47    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Nice review. the extras-devel version still isn'T really usable on my phone unfortunately.
Claws-mail is quite nice too you should try that for POP mail maybe (but it does not really have a hildon-ized UI so you have to use tiny scrollbars,.. )
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dannycamps
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PostPosted: Thursday, 26.Aug.2010 12:34    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

I hope you won't mind if I announce it on the home page so that more people can be notified about it....


Of course you can Smile

Quote:

Nice review. the extras-devel version still isn't really usable on my phone unfortunately.


Yeah the version currently in extras-devel is the original version simply packaged for the N900 (no code changes).

The version I reviewed is a fork of the code created by a different person who modified the UI significantly. It is not currently in the repos yet.

Quote:

Claws-mail is quite nice too you should try that for POP mail maybe (but it does not really have a hildon-ized UI so you have to use tiny scrollbars,.. )


I originally tried claws-mail for my IMAP mail but I'm not really crazy about the UI. It's too 'non-hildonized' for my liking.
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Yorky
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PostPosted: Thursday, 26.Aug.2010 22:40    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Thanks for the review Danny, much appreciated. I hope it gets POP support too.
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