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SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

Liam
Grafter
Posts: 2,083
Registered: 04-04-2007

SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

Following the Webmail Incident in May, we withdrew our @mail Webmail solution and implemented SquirrelMail as a temporary solution. We recently began the process of reviewing alternative Webmail applications and in our investigation into many of them we were led back to thoughts of “Squirrelmail can do this, Squirrelmail does that better” etc…
So, we’ve been scratching our heads. We know that SquirrelMail doesn’t exactly look fantastic, but it certainly is a great performing, powerful Webmail client. It does what it says on the tin and it’s fairly easy to use too (albeit with its little kinks). The ability to change the theme and display preferences make it bearable with regards to looks also. In fact, many customers have commented on how refreshing SquirrelMail is to use.
With that in mind, we’d like to see what you guys think – in general. Now, we know we can’t please everyone without offering every Webmail client under the sun – and that certainly isn’t possible. What we would like to do is provide a Webmail service that meets the needs of our customers, performs well, is scaleable, functional and, above all, is secure.
What we want to know then, is - should we consider keeping SquirrelMail going forwards? What would you guys need to make SquirrelMail work for you? What functionality is lacking? What ‘extras’ would you like? How could we improve it? Do you like SquirrelMail? Do you really dislike SquirrelMail, if so - why? Should we dismiss it entirely? Do we need to make it look nicer? Is a nice ‘skin’ all it needs?
Now, this is not a decision to stick with SquirrelMail. Nor is it a “U-turn” on what we’ve previously said. As I’ve said above, we’re looking at all the options available to us, and having used SquirrelMail for a couple of months we’ve seen it as a real strong contender amongst Webmail clients… and one that could provide us with a permanent solution going forward. We just want to get you guys involved and see what you think.
Comments please...
832 REPLIES
elmer
Dabbler
Posts: 20
Registered: 05-07-2007

Re: SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

Liam
SquirrelMail works fine for what it is. I have to say that the original SquirrelMail used on Metronet had a spell checker in it, which although a bit limited worked fine.
The problem  for the present version is that it does not cater for those of us using PAYH, which needs three level of login.
Server name or IP address
User ID or Login name
Password
I currently have to use mail2web which more than a pain to say the least. It is plauged with timeouts and just is pot luck if it will send mail at all.
At best I have to receive mail via mail2web, and send via Metonet webmail, so it would be nice if SquirrelMail could cater  for the three levels of login.
Elmer
alanb
Grafter
Posts: 459
Registered: 24-05-2007

Re: SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

I don't use webmail a lot, but I can say that Squirrel Mail does everything that I need. I'd be happy if it stayed.
Mind you, I cut my teeth on mainframe based mail systems in the late 1970's, so I can't get excited about the lack of toy-box graphics in Squirrel. It's interesting how little mail systems have changed in all that time and, how similar they all are, when you strip away the superficial stuff.
Not applicable

Re: SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

It is pretty basic  but as a casual user of the Internet I like the simplicity and speed of Squirrelmail and it is adequate for my needs.  The appearance, as you say, is adequate with a few tweaks in Display Options.  A spam/notspam button would be good.  Following the problem in May I now use Googlemail which is good but TBH I find it a bit fussy for my simple needs.
I feel that although appearance and function are obviously important, the prime consideration should be security.  If, in your opinion it is well up to this requirement then I would be happy to stick with it.
gary
Grafter
Posts: 108
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

Ok, I know I'm staff but I use webmail so I'd like to stick my ore in a little.
For me squirrelmail does what I need it to, however it does have some quirks that if ironed out would make it a brilliant mail client.
I understand we need to keep scalability in mind but if the following could be done without impeeding forthcoming upgrades and patches it would be great....
1. A nice skin, make it more asthetically pleasing.
2. Make it display images & html in emails. (If it already does this I ain't worked out how!)
3. It has this really random quirk (which IIRC is by design) whereby when you click "Check mail" it just refreshed the left pane when you'd expect it to take you back to your inbox with your new messages.
4. Frames are bad IMO (which it uses) and it would be good if we could do away with them but keep it scalable.
Anyway thats my 2p
Cheers,
Gary.
glloyd
Rising Star
Posts: 1,658
Thanks: 20
Fixes: 1
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

It does the job for me without any bells and whistles. Keep it simple I say and just add a spam/not spam option.
hellojed
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 24-06-2007

Re: SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

Personally I think Squirrel Mail is a refreshing change from the over-fancy, and in my view, over-slow mail clients used by other sites. 
Speaking as a woman, I think Squirrel Mail will probably be preferred mainly by by men as they're not so susceptible to the fancy fluffery, colour schemes and other clickable attractions of fancier sites that woman may be.
I think that Squirrel will also be preferred by long-time computer users and perhaps those of us over a certain age who remember the simplicity of plain text on older systems. 
If it works, if it's secure, if it's fast (big plus point for me) I'd keep it the way it is.
A spam button would be good though and I echo the need for graphics to be loaded without having to click extra buttons.
Dizzley
Grafter
Posts: 275
Registered: 17-04-2007

Re: SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

I'm pretty happy with SquirrelMail. The only thing I would like is an HTML mail display as I get a lot of HTML mail which is a pain to read - I get round it by downloading the message as a file and opening it.
Or am I missing a trick?
Pete
metman
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

When I visit my daughter I have to use dial-up, SM is very good in dial-up so what ever you do, spare a thought for us forced onto dial-up from time to time, and don't make it slower with fancy skins etc
joeatiyah
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: 25-07-2007

Re: SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

Just tried squirrel mail. It is rather basic, but at least you don't have to try and guess the mystic letters to send each email like the last webmail setup. I would guess it is also faster from a slow site (I use a lot of net cafes round the world).
I found it pretty confusing trying to view my spam folder - why would I have to register this? And why do you have to create folders and then register them? Not very user friendly.
Also to delete all emails you seem to have to view each page, select them and then delete. 'Toggle all' actually means 'toggle all on current page'.
Also it would have been nice to keep the address book from the last setup - or import addresses from an another address book.
Still, its not too bad and probably adequate for simple email access from net cafes, which is what I use webmail for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,264
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

Quote from: joeatiyah
Also it would have been nice to keep the address book from the last setup

There is/was a ticket path to do that in the Help Assistant - I think we've done 3-4 batches of them now...
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,264
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

On the subject of SquirrelMail, I actually quite like it (noone accuse me of bias-ness please :p) - it's been fully functional for me in terms of an email client since I was back in Uni, and when it was running on my own server, I'd customised it do what I wanted it to do including having a couple of plugins installed to make it do all I wanted it to do.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

Quote from: joeatiyah
Also to delete all emails you seem to have to view each page, select them and then delete. 'Toggle all' actually means 'toggle all on current page'.

Press the 'show all' button just to the left of 'toggle all', and you'll see a list of all your e-mails on one page - which then allows you to toggle them all in one go.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

Real geeks use: telnet imap.plus.net imap !
Actually, the Squirrelmail setup is fine for me - we use the same in the office for remote email access so I'm very used to it.
Barry
Liam
Grafter
Posts: 2,083
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: SquirrelMail : Do you dig it?

My personal view is that SquirrelMail is perfect for the job.  It's a very good performer and easy to use once you are familiar with it.
Ideally, all it needs in my view is a facelift and a few other modifications like Spellchecker, better support for HTML email etc...  As well as making some of the options more intuitive and user-friendly.
It would also be good to auto-subscribe to the Spam folder also, yes.  But we may be able to set that mail server-side rather than on Webmail itself.