Evolution of a mailsystem: exposing Sieve in a user-friendly way

November 7, 2012

Switching to Dovecot as IMAP server I re-evaluate the possibility of exposing centralized, server-side mail server actions, such as sorting mails into folders, sending Vacation messages etc., to the user in a user-friendly, integrated way. There already was a plugin for the Squirrelmail web mail interface, called Axelsieve. Axelsieve actually exposes Sieve in a quite user-friendly way, but a Webmail interface is not what you use on a daily basis and having to log into the Webmail interface just to edit the strictly speaking Webmail-independent mail filters doesn’t come logical to me.

So the focus is rather on Thunderbird add-ons since Thunderbird is the E-Mail-Client I recommend to my clients. There seem to be two feasible plugins at first sight:

  • The Sieve add-on looks quite good on first sight — if, and only if, the intent is to edit Sieve scripts manually. It does allow for switching between a source code view and a graphical view. However the source code view is on by default and the graphical view does not seem to support the popular “vacation” action (yet).
  • There also seems to be the Out of Office add-on, which focusses on exposing the vacation action only, but in a more user-friendly manner than Sieve. However this add-on for some reason is not available in the official Mozilla add-on repository. I’ll have to ask why they don’t submitted it there yet.

Ideally, one would combine both plugins, offering the “Out of office” add-on for everyone and the “Sieve” add-on for advanced users, but I’ll have to check how well the two plugins can co-exist with each other, seeing that the “Out of office” add-on probably uses a defined Sieve script filename.

Posted in Software, Systems management by Pieter Hollants

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