Libremail is not Outlook
"Libremail is not Outlook". It is certainly a self-evident truth.
The series of mail programs that I developed is different from the
very known software of Micro$oft.
This sentence is also a wink with famous achronyme GNU's not UNIX.
Beyond the puns, there are many voluntary differences between these 2
categories of software.
- First of all, with libremail, each received mail or sent is memorized
in a distinct file.
It is a very important point which largely facilitates the writing of
scripts shells intended to sort automatically, and to classify by
category the mails received according to the shipper or from a tag in
the subject. Libremail comprises an application intended (in
combination with grep and other tools of the UNIX systems) to allow
this kind of sorting.
With a distinct file by message, one can also add a classification
according to the seniority of the files (recent or old mails).
In the same way, various data files used by Libremail (among which
the address book) are simple textual files perfectly displayable and
modifiable under a text editor.
- Libremail privileges the messages in text mode.
When information is transmitted, opinions etc... by the electronic
mail, the most important is in the contents of the expressed ideas.
One can certainly make the reading more pleasant of the texts long,
by cutting out them in paragraphs and jumping of the lines.
But that does not require therefore a page-setting elaborate,
worthy of a commercial mail.
When the documents forms is a part of information that one wants to
transmit (model of leaflet, of poster, model of newspaper), the
electronic mail allows in all way of doing it using to the joined
files. But for the majority of the messages, the ornaments on the
level of the bill of character or other artifices of this kind hardly
Many "commercial" software, of which Outlook give the possibility of
seizing the messages with page-setting with format HTML (of surcroit
of the bad HTML in which a whole series of pig iron and cast iron and
other graphic ornaments are sometimes defined at the beginning of
message without never being used thereafter!) In this case, the
message in HTML is often doubled by a version of the message in text
mode (except for much of publicities, which allows to recognise them).
Libremail displays only the part in text mode of these messages, and all
the mails which it permit to send are exclusively in text mode.
- Libremail includes a series of tools for filtering the messages
Libremail can first of all remove from server without even downloading
them the mails in pure HTML. The shippers of the messages thus
removed are informed by it by an automatic answer. In fact, as many
spameurs have cowardice to use false addresses of forwarding, the
user of the tool for filtering will be informed by it, which in the
final analysis, is a mean of indexing these undesirable shippers.
Libremail has a tool which permits to remove the message exceeding a
selected size. One can however define a list of shippers who will not
be touched by this filtering. When a message is thus removed, the
shipper and the recipient are informed by it by a mail of replacement.
Libremail can finally remove all the messages coming from an address
of undesirable shipper.
The list which defines the addresses to be filtered can contain:
- complete email addresses,
- the address of a supplier of particular access (all Emails "lodged"
by this supplier will be refused),
- addresses comprising of the fixed parts and the variable parts, which
is interesting in the case of spams in which from one message to
another, certain characters of the address change to mislead in the
more traditional filters.
Libremail can also remove the mails of which the subject, the recipient
field, or any other field of the heading of the mail contains
character strings refused by the recipient (useful to filter some
spams or of the mails containing a virus in enclosure).
Libremail also has a tool to refuse the mails sent in hidden copy.
It's possible however define a list of shippers who will not be
touched by this filtering. When a message is thus removed, the shipper
can be informed of it by a replacement mail.
- Libremail allows a partial downloading of the mails on server
Libremail has a downloading program which recovers mails while
starting with smallest and which periodically erasing server those
recovered. Thus, if the telephone link is cut after several minutes
of downloading, one will not be necessary to reload once again the
majority of the already recovered mails.
Libremail also has several tools to download only some mails
according to the contents of one of the fields of the heading
(shipper, subject, or other).
- Libremail does not take an initiative which endangers the operating
Outlook is known for its capacity to open enclose files without the
user decided it, whether it acts of inoffensive files or virus.
Remainder, the display of message in HTML presents already a risk
insofar as a file HTML can refer to images associated with the
text... whereas nothing guarantees that these files contain simple
For the enclose files, Libremail on the contrary functions in 2 stages:
- the attached files present in a message must initially be recovered and
are stored in a specific directory
- then, one can examine these files one by one with the adequate tool
Moreover, Libremail detects the attached files whose name including (at
least) 2 suffixes, or (evolution in 2004) only one extention other
than .exe , and who have the header of the executable
The files having simultaneously these two characteristics being often
viruses, Libremail announces this risk.
All this regardless of the fact that Libremail was written for the
operating system GNU/Linux which is not directly concerned with this
problem and is in all way less prone to the viral attacks than
- Libremail is not a monolithic fenestrated tool
This characteristic can appear as a disadvantage according to the
current fashion. Libremail remains in Unix philosophy: each tool
carries out a specific work.
Some of these tools can be integrated in shells to carry out a series
of automatic treatments, either at the request of the user, or
automatically at the moment of the connection (login) of this one.
Other tools function in page layout view and are mutually called,
which makes it possible to explore the various directories containing
of the mails, to read those, answering some, to write others, to
remove of them messages, etc... by using various keys of the keyboard
(in particular arrows), all this without being necessary to call in a
specific way each tool used.
Display intensified brightness or dark color make it possible to
locate the new mails, to locate the directories without messages
One is thus not well far from the user-friendliness of a software
fenestrated without the principal disadvantage of those : their
slowness sometimes surprising even with processors with more than
With Libremail, display is instantaneous even with Pentium 100.
- If Libremail does not suit you, modify it!
Contrary to Outlook, and to much of other software (including
unfortunately what one generally recovers in the paying GNU/Linux
distributions), the sources of Libremail are provided systematically.
Libremail consists in some 66 source files and 33 data files making
it possible to compile 29 applications and to carry out them with 8
languages available for the user interface (these numbers regularly
grow since the first version of Libremail and will be able to
The whole takes about 900 K bytes (without documentation in several
languages) and half of the volume of the sources makes up of
Without it being a small application, the source files of libremail
remain accessible for all those which maitrisent the language C Donc
correctly if a tool does not suit you, or if you find defects to him,
do not hesitate to make it evolve.