Reading mail without distraction

So one thing I do a lot, every day, in the morning and in the evening, is reading mail. With friends, family, work, appointments and what else. But as far as I can think back, this is tedious. And it is a lot of work to get a mail client do what I want. A cuple of minutes to randomly flip settings until it stops showing errors. Then some more time to get rid of extra bars and columns and make it fit inside my screen without scrolling. And then to find out how to be notified of new mail. And those are the basics, I didn’t even think about searching mail yet. Or waiting for it to startup.

The gist of this is, I am now breaking free from this past and releasing a mail reader that works, that doesn’t even ask me about all these details and that magically works after I type my name, address, password and company name. That’s it. I am surprised myself. I expected having a huge set of settings was mandatory, but it turns out I don’t miss them a bit. Also no menubar and no statusbar. Fetching mail happens in the background, cached locally so I can use it without lags and even when I’m travelling and have no network. Secure IMAP only for the moment, I can’t even remember when I last used something else. Incidentally it also works fine with Gmail.

Support for Ayatana messaging indicator included. Developed on Archlinx 64bit. Underlying Xfce core. So I think this app is pretty portable. You need Gtk 2.18, GLib 2.26, WebKitGTK+ 1.1.18, unique, libnotify and libcanberra. The indicator can be disabled if the distribution doesn’t support it. For compiling Vala is needed, which on a related note is a very nice language.

I recommend the Elementary icon theme and GTK+ theme. A sensibly uptodate theme is expected, so if in doubt get Elementary as a fallback to your favourite icon theme.

I also recommend to get the [ addess book Dexter]. If it is installed, Postler will autocomplete addresses, use it for sender names in the message list and let you add contacts with one click from a message. It is optional however.

So [!sha1!a8c7fdff740c3d4e46b842d6b70fcea56b4b766a download Postler v0.1.0] (237 kB) now and have some fun reading mail, not setting it up.*

For Ubuntu and derivatives, there are two PPA’s available, ppa:postler-dev/ppa and ppa:postler-dev/devel for stable and daily builds respectively.

*Improvised download location due to a problem with the release manager.

10 thoughts on “Reading mail without distraction


    So I’ve been in Budapest (read: Boodapesht) to attend the Ubuntu Developer Summit for Oneric Ocelot. It was my first UDS and, having attended conferences such as GUADEC, FOSDEM, Linuxtag, FrOSCon or OpenRheinRuhr the experience was very different from wha

  2. Nathan Thomas


    This looks great, but I can’t get it to build on Fedora 14 x86_64:

    $ ./waf configure –disable-libindicate
    Checking for program gcc or cc : /usr/bin/gcc
    Checking for program cpp : /usr/bin/cpp
    Checking for program ar : /usr/bin/ar
    Checking for program ranlib : /usr/bin/ranlib
    Checking for gcc : ok
    Checking for program valac : /usr/bin/valac
    Checking for gobject-2.0 : yes
    Checking for gthread-2.0 : yes
    Checking for program version valac >= 0.1.6 : ok 0.10.3
    Checking for program msgfmt : /usr/bin/msgfmt
    Checking for program intltool-merge : /usr/bin/intltool-merge
    Checking for header locale.h : yes
    Checking for gio-2.0 >= 2.26.0 : yes
    Checking for unique-1.0 >= 0.9 : yes
    Checking for gtk+-2.0 >= 2.18.0 : yes
    Checking for webkit-1.0 >= 1.1.18 : yes
    Checking for libnotify >= : yes
    Checking for libcanberra >= : yes
    Building without libindicate.
    Checking for header sys/filio.h : not found
    Checking for function vasprintf : yes
    Checking for function socket : yes
    Checking for function inet_ntoa : yes
    Checking for function dlopen : yes
    Checking for function db_create : not found
    /home/nathan/Downloads/Programs/postler-0.1.0/wscript:105: error: the configuration failed (see ‘/home/nathan/Downloads/Programs/postler-0.1.0/_build_/config.log’)

    I’m using Vala 0.10.3.

    Best wishes

  3. arno

    Hi, this looks like a nice new project.

    I tried to build it but ./waf configure ; ./waf build failed with:

    ‘configure’ finished successfully (1.287s)
    Waf: Entering directory `/tmp/postler-0.1.0/_build_’
    [ 1/40] valac: postler/dexter.vala postler/elementary-entry.vala postler/postler-accounts.vala postler/postler-accountsetup.vala postler/postler-app.vala postler/postler-attachments.vala postler/postler-bureau.vala postler/postler-cellrenderertoggle.vala postler/postler-client.vala postler/postler-composer.vala postler/postler-content.vala postler/postler-flowbox.vala postler/postler-folders.vala postler/postler-messages.vala postler/postler-reader.vala postler/postler-recipiententry.vala postler/postler-scrolled.vala postler/postler-service.vala postler/postler-state.vala postler/postler-viewer.vala -> _build_/default/postler/dexter.c _build_/default/postler/elementary-entry.c _build_/default/postler/postler-accounts.c _build_/default/postler/postler-accountsetup.c _build_/default/postler/postler-app.c _build_/default/postler/postler-attachments.c _build_/default/postler/postler-bureau.c _build_/default/postler/postler-cellrenderertoggle.c _build_/default/postler/postler-client.c _build_/default/postler/postler-composer.c _build_/default/postler/postler-content.c _build_/default/postler/postler-flowbox.c _build_/default/postler/postler-folders.c _build_/default/postler/postler-messages.c _build_/default/postler/postler-reader.c _build_/default/postler/postler-recipiententry.c _build_/default/postler/postler-scrolled.c _build_/default/postler/postler-service.c _build_/default/postler/postler-state.c _build_/default/postler/postler-viewer.c
    ../postler/postler-accounts.vala:69.44-69.44: error: Value must be constant
    Waf: Leaving directory `/tmp/postler-0.1.0/_build_’
    Build failed: -> task failed (err #1):
    {task: valac_task dexter.vala,elementary-entry.vala,postler-accounts.vala,postler-accountsetup.vala,postler-app.vala,postler-attachments.vala,postler-bureau.vala,postler-cellrenderertoggle.vala,postler-client.vala,postler-composer.vala,postler-content.vala,postler-flowbox.vala,postler-folders.vala,postler-messages.vala,postler-reader.vala,postler-recipiententry.vala,postler-scrolled.vala,postler-service.vala,postler-state.vala,postler-viewer.vala -> dexter.c,elementary-entry.c,postler-accounts.c,postler-accountsetup.c,postler-app.c,postler-attachments.c,postler-bureau.c,postler-cellrenderertoggle.c,postler-client.c,postler-composer.c,postler-content.c,postler-flowbox.c,postler-folders.c,postler-messages.c,postler-reader.c,postler-recipiententry.c,postler-scrolled.c,postler-service.c,postler-state.c,postler-viewer.c}

    What could possibly go wrong ?

  4. abhijeet

    Hi Christian,

    Thanks for creating a nice and clean E-mail client.
    One problem i found that when E-mail contains images I have press “Load external images” when accessing the mail. It should store the preference for the respective email ids, so that it should not ask for the “loading of the image”.


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