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Author Topic: The Bat: Great program, terrible documentation and support  (Read 18041 times)
dantheman
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« Reply #75 on: March 05, 2011, 04:34:25 AM »

JavaJones,

What about the latest emails that were perhaps permanently lost by GMail?  ohmy
I've been backing up mine to another email account since the beginning but it's not the same thing as having them in my regular GMail account.
With Thunderbird (never liked the Bat, especially for lack of support) i suppose you can bring them all back (if your backup account allows free access, in my case Yahoo). Thus, it is still a handy option to upkeep.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #76 on: March 06, 2011, 01:20:23 AM »

I keep a local backup using one of the many Gmail backup options (all 3rd party admittedly). You can easily restore them with e.g. http://www.gmail-backup.com/ or through IMAP. I certainly wouldn't be doing all my email through Gmail if there were no proper backup/restore option. What is available currently works for me.

- Oshyan
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Darwin
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« Reply #77 on: March 08, 2011, 11:00:15 AM »

I totally understand where you're all coming from. What I love about Gmail is... it stopped me really caring about filtering, for the most part.

I find this to be true of Outlook 2010/Windows 7 Search as well. Flitering/applying rules to/organizing my e-mail is habit for me, though.
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Armando
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« Reply #78 on: March 08, 2011, 11:12:06 AM »

Same here. smiley
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« Reply #79 on: March 09, 2011, 01:43:55 AM »

Edit: I say this about The Bat as a purchaser and former user of it who successfully converted to Gmail and hasn't looked back. I thought I needed massive power and flexibility too. Turned out all I needed was to find the right system that worked for me, despite its many limitations (and yes there are things I miss in Gmail or that bug me, but less than The Bat by far; I find GMail at least a pleasure to use on a day-to-day basis). In a way I kind of found my own Apple-style app in Gmail, with a focus in fast, easy to use, intuitive, but with fewer compromises and more creativity (e.g. labels, labs).

I think that is a very precise description of my experience with switching to Thunderbird as well, and a point about what is "wrong" with The Bat.

In the beginning I was annoyed by all the stuff I didn't get, like the advanced filtering, and all the plugins I had to get to get it to do stuff that in my view should be included.

But after a few months I must admit what I do most is read my e-mail and search for old correspondences, and in that department Thunderbird (and GMail) are way ahead.
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Darwin
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« Reply #80 on: March 09, 2011, 08:22:38 AM »

Speaking for myself, I suspect that part of the reason many of us are no longer seduced by expensive, feature-rich e-mail clients (says he who uses Outlook!), is that e-mail seems to have SERIOUSLY declined in use over the past five or so years. The decline may well have started before then, but I don't receive or send anything near the volume of e-mail that I did in the past. This is a general trend, not just my experience, I *think*, non?
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timns
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« Reply #81 on: March 09, 2011, 09:43:47 AM »

Speaking for myself, I suspect that part of the reason many of us are no longer seduced by expensive, feature-rich e-mail clients (says he who uses Outlook!), is that e-mail seems to have SERIOUSLY declined in use over the past five or so years. The decline may well have started before then, but I don't receive or send anything near the volume of e-mail that I did in the past. This is a general trend, not just my experience, I *think*, non?

Non. In my case anyway. If anything I find that email is busier than ever. Then again, our company is getting busier, and I live away from most of my family and friends. Which is both  thumb down and  thumbs up depending on one's mood  cheesy
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Darwin
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« Reply #82 on: March 09, 2011, 11:26:20 AM »

Yeah, fair enough, timns. I'm out of the business/academic world now (underemployed since 2008) and should have specified "social" use of e-mail. The only people that seem to use it are those who are over 60 OR who started using it in the early 90's when it started to become mainstream. Kids use Facebook. I loathe Facebook... (we fear change).
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J-Mac
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« Reply #83 on: March 09, 2011, 11:26:27 AM »

Speaking for myself, I suspect that part of the reason many of us are no longer seduced by expensive, feature-rich e-mail clients (says he who uses Outlook!), is that e-mail seems to have SERIOUSLY declined in use over the past five or so years. The decline may well have started before then, but I don't receive or send anything near the volume of e-mail that I did in the past. This is a general trend, not just my experience, I *think*, non?

I still use email quite a bit and I DID purchase an "expensive, feature-rich e-mail client" fairly recently: Postbox. I purchased their "lifetime license" which was offered for a limited time shortly after its release from beta. And already I have dumped it! And they dumped me as well!

Postbox is nice in some ways but also lacking in too many ways. Especially after Thunderbird 3 was released and included virtually all of the "extras" that Postbox originally touted that supposedly separated it from Thunderbird. Only a select few of Thunderbird's extensions work in Postbox, and a few of those even have problems. The Postbox developers - who were actually the original Thunderbird developers - still carry with them the same disdain for extension authors that they did while at Thunderbird. They stress that they do NOT support extensions and that you use even the ones that they list on their site at your own risk. They pointedly do not let any of the extension developers know what changes they are making in Postbox until they are made. Then it's up to the ext. authors to catch up. With TB3 at about the same level feature-wise there isn't much difference at all between the two clients. Postbox developers bragged about their more advanced search features but then TB3 came out with the same search engine. (Both, BTW, fail quite often at simple text searches within the body of the messages.)

They changed their forum software to one which they control tightly. The developers rarely respond to any significant questions or suggestions in the forum, and woe to the users who post about issues there that they would rather not address. After I posted some concerns I felt were too important to gloss over they wrote and told me that it was apparent that I didn't like their software  issued me a refund of my purchase price and told me that I was welcome to continue using Postbox with my "lifetime license" intact.... but they removed my login access to there forum and removed most of my posts that they didn't want there. Email said:

"You can use Postbox in perpetuity, for free. We do ask, however, that you refrain from participating in our forums moving forward.  It's obviously not working out for you, and we cannot afford to spend much more time on the matter."


Cool - Never got kicked out of an entire software before!

Fortunately I only use my email client for my IMAP accounts. The one POP account from my ISP is auto-forwarded to an IMAP account so all my messages are contained in the two IMAP accts, which are both archived by MailStore.

Jim
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J-Mac
timns
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« Reply #84 on: March 09, 2011, 11:44:00 AM »

Yeah, fair enough, timns. I'm out of the business/academic world now (underemployed since 2008) and should have specified "social" use of e-mail. The only people that seem to use it are those who are over 60 OR who started using it in the early 90's when it started to become mainstream. Kids use Facebook. I loathe Facebook... (we fear change).

Ahhhh - in that aspect, I am certain you are right. And also loathe Facebook!
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JavaJones
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« Reply #85 on: March 09, 2011, 01:43:52 PM »

J-Mac, that story about Postbox "customer relations" is stunning! Wow. Sounds like good riddance though. Makes me not feel so bad about Google's lackadaisical attitude toward Gmail support. cheesy

- Oshyan
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Darwin
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« Reply #86 on: March 09, 2011, 02:12:09 PM »

Wow! That is quite a story, Jim! At least they gave you your money back... Despite the refund, this is not a good way to go about fostering warm, cuddly feelings toward your company and product! Quite "holier than thou" about it, from the snippet of their e-mail that you quoted. What I don't understand is the "no opposing view will be tolerated" attitude. I haven't read you posts on their forums (obviously) but if all you were doing was pointing out bugs and deficiencies it suggests that far from not liking their software you like it enough to want development and improvement to go forward. Sheesh!
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J-Mac
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« Reply #87 on: March 09, 2011, 03:56:27 PM »

Yeah, for example: on an existing thread a lot of posts had already been made requesting the same thing, a fairly common feature. If Postbox's junk filter automatically marks a message as "Junk" and sends it to the Junk folder, and the user recognizes it as a false positive and marks it as "Not Junk" it should go back to the Inbox automatically. In Postbox it didn't; it just stayed in the Junk folder and it was up to the user to manually move it back. The only Postbox comment was that it was the accepted way that junk mail is treated, as if that behavior is the industry standard. I posted and pointed out the many well-known and respected email clients that moved it back to the Inbox automatically, as opposed to Postbox's behavior. Postbox just reiterated their previous comment, so I pointed out that they were the founders of Thunderbird and that they designed Thunderbird to auto-move junk marked as Not-Junk back to the Inbox; I might have also wondered which other clients used the behavior they claimed was "standard". They didn't like that. But they had allowed the non-feature to stand as "normal" for so long I didn't just want to add another "me, too!" post. There were a few other poor "features" that I suggested fixes for that they apparently didn't want to fix. A problem may have been that after I would question something a number of others would join in, and the PB folks seemed to be accustomed to their users not questioning any design features.  Oh well.

Thanks!

Jim
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superboyac
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« Reply #88 on: March 10, 2011, 08:52:57 AM »

Seems to me that these email applications are not being very customer friendly because there just probably aren't that many customers.  Hardly anyone uses email clients anymore, other than Outlook.  So for me to ask for a lot of feature requests, it's probably a futile effort.  Their profits are probably not very high, so they just sustain the program minimally for existing users.  I'm sure if all the people using the webmail were also using clients, we would notice much better customer support.

But nobody uses email clients anymore.  Just look around.  People use Outlook, probably because they have to for work, but the very large majority of people are using the webmail: gmail, hotmail, yahoo.
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timns
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« Reply #89 on: March 10, 2011, 10:20:04 AM »

Seems to me that these email applications are not being very customer friendly because there just probably aren't that many customers.  Hardly anyone uses email clients anymore, other than Outlook.  So for me to ask for a lot of feature requests, it's probably a futile effort.  Their profits are probably not very high, so they just sustain the program minimally for existing users.  I'm sure if all the people using the webmail were also using clients, we would notice much better customer support.

But nobody uses email clients anymore.  Just look around.  People use Outlook, probably because they have to for work, but the very large majority of people are using the webmail: gmail, hotmail, yahoo.

I think that depends very, very heavily on who you're looking at. Anyone who uses email for, or at, their real work, is likely to still lean towards a standard desktop email application. Of course this is entirely subjective, but I do a great deal of remote assistance and I don't think I've seen a single desktop within a medium or large company that did not have Outlook or Lotus Notes installed.

But I actually agree with you to some extent - if you're a tiny email application provider, your market is dwindling. And in the same marketplace as Outlook and Thunderbird, there's not much pie left.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #90 on: March 10, 2011, 11:45:57 AM »

I used to use Pocomail and I loved it. Excellent client in its time - but that's the real problem: its time is no more! Pocomail basically stopped development after 2008. And while it will still work in Windows 7 it lacks any decent IMAP support and it was built with similar safeguards in it regarding HTML email as The Bat. At one time HTML email was considered a security threat by many. Nowadays, though bugs can still be transmitted via HTML email, almost any A-V software package will clean up any HTML security issues and the threats from attachments, well, they will always be there. But a lack of support for reading and/or sending HTML email today is a deal killer for most. Too much of our email consists of newsletters that are virtually all HTML.

So I sadly kissed Pocomail goodbye a couple years ago and have never found a replacement that was even close to being as useful.   Sad

Jim
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« Reply #91 on: March 10, 2011, 12:29:11 PM »

Yeah...I'm not sure if some of you are disagreeing with me or trying to get into a debate or something.  I'm not trying to debate here.  All I'm saying is this (and I think you guys are saying the same):
Most (and when I say most, I mean like 90% of the people around you) people use webmail for their personal use.  Gmail, hotmail, yahoo probably covers 90% of the world.  And they access it through the website.  Once again, I'm not talking to YOU...I mean MOST people.  So please don't counter me with your personal habits, because, well, anyone who is here is likely to be squarely in the computer geek category, and your computing habits are in the extreme minority.  I'm in the same boat.  I know I'm not the norm.
For these people (MOST people) the only email desktop "client" they deal with is probably their work email, which would be in Outlook, and possibly Thunderbird.  but those two probably cover a huge amount (90%) of users.  if you are not using Outlook and Thunderbird, you are probably not using email clients.  Now, some of these people may access work email from home through a client, so I still consider that your workplace FORCING them to use it.  Otherwise they would use the typical webmail.

So, any program not mentioned above (Eudora, Bat, Poco, pegasus, IMAP stuff, etc.) represents a tiny tiny piece of the whole pie, probably an insignificant amount.  With such a small market, it's hard to expect these companies to care that deeply about the complaints and stuff.  I'm in the same boat, just look at this thread.  I have been railing against the Bat.  But what are they going to do?  I'm probably like one user out of a few thousand.

Email clients are just about dead.  I guess I should be thankful that decent ones are even out there.  I sure hope I don't have to go webmail for everything in the future.
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« Reply #92 on: March 10, 2011, 02:54:29 PM »

What I don't understand is the "no opposing view will be tolerated" attitude.

I've been thrown out of one forum and had posts deleted from another, I think because I dared suggest features found in other softwares.  I'm concerned that Stalinist mind control is on the increase.

People might find it interesting to revisit
for an unusual e-mail client and a sophisticated strategy for dealing with e-mail.  IIRC, Allen said he thought TheBat! was not only the best and most highly-featured e-mail client in existence, but also the best there would ever be, because of the move to Web mail.
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superboyac
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« Reply #93 on: December 12, 2011, 08:33:48 PM »

(I'm about to let expletives fly, so don't read if that's not your bag)

I swear, this fucking program kills me sometimes.  I just wrote a long ass email to my band detailing out all sorts of things.  I created an address group (who the fuck knows what that actually means in the Bat) assuming it's for sending an email to multiple people.  I sent the email, supposedly it went through...but it's not saved in the sent items box or anywhere else!  Now I don't know if I sent it or what.  It's nowhere to be found.  Furthermore, from looking at the To field, I wasn't even sure if it was sending it out to the email addresses I specified.  This program is such a cluster fuck.  It's weird, because I do like the program a lot, but sometimes, I just can't take it.  You can't even copy/paste contacts around easily, it actually took me a while to figure that shit out.

So I'm sitting here, I have no idea if the email went out, if it didn't, I have to write the whole thing again.  Woe is me.  I love this fucking program the way I love that shitty, delicious, awful bacon-wrapped hot dog they sell on the street next to my work that doesn't even come with a fucking napkin half the time.  I shove that god-knows-what-is-in-that meat down my throat to add a layer of heart attack death around my blood tubes...and I love and hate every fucking minute of it.

OK i'm done.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 11:23:43 PM by superboyac » Logged

skwire
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« Reply #94 on: December 12, 2011, 08:47:24 PM »

C'mon, man, don't sugarcoat things.  Get it out.  Tell us how you really feel. tongue
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« Reply #95 on: December 12, 2011, 09:49:41 PM »

whenen a mail is sent you will find it in Sent subfolder. if it FAILS to send it will still be in Outbox.  I dont think there are exceptions to this.
you can also select an email account and hit ctrl+shift+A to bring up log which should show you any mail sent or received.
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superboyac
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« Reply #96 on: December 12, 2011, 11:23:29 PM »

whenen a mail is sent you will find it in Sent subfolder. if it FAILS to send it will still be in Outbox.  I dont think there are exceptions to this.
you can also select an email account and hit ctrl+shift+A to bring up log which should show you any mail sent or received.
Whoops!
I used the wrong account to send it.  Found it!
So embarrassing...
Sorry everyone, totally uncalled for.
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superboyac
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« Reply #97 on: December 12, 2011, 11:24:24 PM »

I need to watch my overreactions.  They never seem to be very accurate at all.
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superboyac
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« Reply #98 on: December 22, 2011, 02:13:35 PM »

I'm beginning to think the Bat folk will never improve their editor features.  This Microed thing drives me nuts.  It's the only editor option in the program that works well as far as the automatic formatting features (like the way quotes are displayed, etc.) but functionally for everything else it's a nightmare.  Word wrapping is horrendous, unintended tabs and line breaking nuisances.  And it's Microstar compatible?  Who cares?  Microstar isn't even around anymore, nobody gives two shits about Microstar.  But the other editor options like html just aren't very good as far as the formatting features.

Let me tell you, over the past several years, the developers have done very very little to improve the program.  It's not as bad as I make it seem; the program still works and everything.  But you would like to see it "catch up" just a little bit with the times.  And I'm sure they have their own economic troubles, etc.  But the program really hasn't made many changes over even 5 years, hardly anything.  Changes for the Bat that took them 3 years to do, I've seen coding snack developers on these forums do in a matter of hours or days.  That's how slow they are.
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« Reply #99 on: December 22, 2011, 09:42:10 PM »

I'm beginning to think the Bat folk will never improve their editor features....  

....Let me tell you, over the past several years, the developers have done very very little to improve the program.  It's not as bad as I make it seem; the program still works and everything.  But you would like to see it "catch up" just a little bit with the times.  And I'm sure they have their own economic troubles, etc.  But the program really hasn't made many changes over even 5 years, hardly anything.  Changes for the Bat that took them 3 years to do, I've seen coding snack developers on these forums do in a matter of hours or days.  That's how slow they are.

This sounds like me exactly when I was bitching loud about the same kind of slide I experienced with Pocomail! At one time it was way ahead of its time, with templates; their fantastic Quote Bar; skinnable with color options that made sense - you could use it to make filters more clear; and tight security left over from a time when A-V's ddidn'thelp much with infected email. However they just stopped all development and though they are still barely alive today, Pocomail still has no HTML support with forwarding or replies, virtually NO IMAP support (they still claim that IMAP will never catch on....    !!

Alas, I truly fear that the days of the email client are dead. Heck, email itself is barely surviving. I don’t think that any developer is going to pour much in the way of resources into an email client, so The Bat and Pocomail will go the way of Eudora.

Jim
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