October 11, 2007

SqurirelMail versus IMP

I've been using IMP, part of the Horde Project, for a long time now as my primary webmail interface. I recently upgraded my server to the latest version release, and in doing so decided to go off RPMs for my webmail, instead of manual install as I had been doing before. But I noticed SquirrelMail in the list and recalled that SquirrelMail is the webmail system that ships with Mac OS X Server so maybe it's worth giving it a try, even though the screen shots didn't look all that appealing.

I gave it a try, but in the end I've decided to stick with IMP. SquirrelMail is functional, but it does not have all the interface conveniences that I've gotten used to using IMP. It's core install is very bare-bones, and additional features and interface customization must be done through plug-ins. There are a lot of plug-ins and it's an open architecture, so SquirrelMail is much more customizable than IMP, especially if you want to do something particular. But I don't have interest in doing that when all I want is a webmail system that is efficient to use and makes it easy to visually identify things and navigate my mail.

A few examples of shortcomings in SquirrelMail, with the plug-in set I found: the inability to mark messages as unread from the message viewing page itself; failure to identify the Cyrus mailbox hierarchy; and not being able to choose to go back to the message list window instead of the next message when finished viewing a message. I also found the built-in CSS themes lacking the contrast that makes IMP and Horde easy to read out of the box.

Posted by josuah at October 11, 2007 5:08 AM UTC+00:00

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