To mark the end of 2016 I sent out an email to all those subscribing to be notified about news about MailMate (notice the “Keep Me Posted” text field available on this page). This is the first time I’ve done this even though it’s almost 2 years ago that the first people registered for these emails.

I created the emails using MailMate with the use of some still undocumented and incomplete features. I created a draft in MailMate with some template values and then used a bundle command to create a personalized email for each subscriber in my database. The personalized parts were the recipient address, the month/year of subscribing to the emails, and the optional comment/request registered with the address. The last part was only included if I had a reply/comment to that comment. Yes, some of those replies are coming with almost 2 years of a delay. There are probably better (and certainly faster) ways to create such emails, but it was an interesting learning experience.

You can see the raw message as I wrote it here and you can see a generated one here. It’s mainly a review of what is new in MailMate in 2016.

I also wrote a private “thank you” email to all of the MailMate patrons in a similar way. If you are a registered user then you can learn more about being a patron using the “MailMate ▸ Registration ▸ Become a MailMate Patron…” menu item.

It was interesting going through all the subscriber comments which were mostly feature requests. In particular, some things were requested more often than others. These could be divided into two groups:

  • Requests I really would like to implement/do, but I keep on postponing:
    • A “simpler” 1-level threading mode, e.g., grouping all emails belonging to the same thread, optionally based on the subject of the messages.
    • Message list with multiline entries (previewing message text).
    • Correspondence view (multiple emails in a single message view).
    • Documentation for the creation of custom bundles.
  • Requests I’m not going to implement:
    • A WYSIWYG HTML editor.
    • Local (“On My Mac”) mailboxes and/or POP3 support.
    • Native Exchange support.

Somewhere in between is variations of “make MailMate prettier”, but that’s subjective and I don’t intentionally make MailMate ugly. I do think it got a little prettier in 2016, but I admit that I’m usually more concerned about the look (and adherence to standards) of the emails that MailMate sends (something which seems to be a bit unorthodox among email client developers).

Finally, there are always requests for MailMate 2.0 and this was my standard answer: “Don’t put too much into version numbers. Version 1.9.6 is more than I originally expected 2.0 to be. Also, MailMate is iteratively updated. Bumping to 2.0 would just mean version 3.0 would be getting closer (which would be a paid upgrade).”

The release notes is always the best resource for figuring out exactly what has changed in MailMate.

Happy New Year!