Xubuntu’s default email client

I’ve recently been dragged into a sterile discussion about Xubuntu’s default email client, which is currently Thunderbird. Apparently, some people would prefer to have Claws Mail instead, as it’s more lightweight.

Feature-wise, Claws Mail has, in my opinion, nothing to envy to Thunderbird. However, from this discussion, which took place both on Xubuntu’s forum and mailing-list, it appears that Claws Mail has some major problems:

  • more crashers than Thunderbird (bugreports for Claws Mail, Thunderbird) in the 2.5.0-rc3 version. These are either fixed in later releases, or not pushed upstream.
  • no GUI for Thunderbird import

But more importantly,

  • Features that don’t exist in people’s mind (like « leave mail on server »)
  • Not working as expected (whichever the expectations)
  • Such a move would require to migrate 3 (three!) packages in the « Main » repository, and have a real maintainer instead of some person with zero knowledge of the package doing buggy uploads and not bothering to fix them when told.

So, it looks like Xubuntu will continue shipping Thunderbird as a default mail client, and by looking at the feedback this discussion brought, I’m happy with this choice. Trying to content people who don’t really want Claws Mail but a rewritten Thunderbird is a useless goal to pursue, whereas trying to content our user-base who do like Claws Mail’s « philosophy » is a much more enjoyable task.