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Chapter 6.  Electronic Mail Clients

Chapter 6.  Electronic Mail Clients

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Chapter23.







6.1.UsingKMail

KMailisaveryuser-friendly,feature-richmailerthatcomeswith

KDEandintegratesmailsmoothlywithotherutilities.For

example,ifanemailmessageyoureceivecontainsalinktoa

webpage,youcanclickthislinkinthemessage,andtheKDE

webbrowserKonquerorwillpopupanddisplaythewebpage.

Or,iftheemailcontainsanMP3fileasanattachment,youcan

clickittoplaythefilewithoneofKDE'sMP3players.Figure6-1

showsascreenshotofKMailatwork.



Figure6-1.KMailmailer



KMailhasalotoffeaturesandsettings,butwe'lljustcover

somethatgetyoustartedquicklyandleaveittoyoutoexplore

KMailfurther.AsyoucanseeinFigure6-1,theKMailwindowis

dividedbydefaultintothreeparts.Ontheleft,youseeatreeof

yourfolders(atfirststartup,youwillhaveonlythedefault

folders,ofcourse).Theupperpartoftherightsideshowsa

listingofmessagesinthecurrentlyselectedfolder,andthe

lowerpartoftherightsideshowsthecurrentlyselected

message.Youcanchangehowthespaceisdistributedbetween

thesepartsbydraggingtheseparatorlinesbetweenthem.The

latestKMailversionsevenhaveafourthpartthatletsyoudrill

furtherintothestructureofanindividualmessagebydisplaying

theMIMEpartsthemessageiscomposedof.However,this

displayisturnedoffbydefault,asmostpeopledonotneedit.

BeforeyoucanuseKMail,youhavetosetupsomeinformation

init.SelectConfigureKMailfromtheSettingsmenuandthen

opentheconfigurationgroupIdentitiesbyclickingitsicon.You

cancreateanumberofdifferentidentitieshere;forexample,

youmaywanttousedifferentreturnaddresseswhenemailing

asanemployeeofyourcompanyorasaprivateperson.Click

Addtocreateanewentity;asubsequentdialogletsyouchoose

betweenstartingfromscratch,usingthesettingsfromtheKDE

ControlCenter(usefulonlyifyouhaveconfiguredyouremail

settingsthere),andcopyingthevaluesfromanexistingidentity

(whichofcourseispossibleonlyifyoualreadyhaveoneand

onlymakessenseifyouintendtoeditthecopyafterwards).If

youaresettingupKMail,youwillwanttoselectcreatingan

entirelynewidentityhere.Givetheidentityaname,suchas

"Work"or"Home,"andclickOK.Forstarters,itissufficientto

fillintheNameandEmailAddressfieldsontheGeneraltab

(seeFigure6-2)oftheidentityeditor.

Next,gototheAccountsconfigurationgroup.Here,youneedto

createatleastoneaccountforoutgoingmailandonefor

incomingmail.

Let'sstartwiththeoutgoingmail,whichyouwillfindonthe



SendingtaboftheConfiguredialogbox(seeFigure6-3.)Click

theAddbutton.Youwillbeaskedwhetheryouwanttouse

SMTPortalktoaSendmailinstallationdirectly.Inalmostall

cases,ifyouhaveanMTAinstalledlocally,youwillwantto

selectSMTP.Then,ontheGeneraltaboftheSMTPtransport

configuration,givethetransportaname(whichyoucanchoose

arbitrarilybecauseitexistsonlyforyoutorecognizethe

settingslaterandwillnotbeusedinanynetwork

communication).Inanycase,youneedtoenterthehostname

oftheport.Theportisalmostalways25;thehostnameshould

begiventoyoubyyourprovider.IfyouhavealocalMTA

installedandwanttouseit,simplyenterlocalhost.Ifyourmail

serverrequiresauthentication(checkwithyourproviderifyou

areunsure),checktheappropriatecheckboxandfillinthelogin

nameandpassword.Thisislesscommonthanyouwouldthink,

however;mostISPsprotectthemselvesagainstbeingusedas

spamrelayseitherbyonlyacceptingoutgoingmailfromIP

addressesthattheyhaveprovidedthemselves,orbyasking

youtofetchyouremail(whichalwaysrequiresalogin)first,

andthensendingoutgoingemailwithinacertainamountof

time.

Thisshouldbeenoughtoletyousendoutgoingemail,butwe

recommendthatyoutakeafewadditionalstepstomakethisas

secureaspossible.KMailmakesthiseasyforyouby

autodetectingthesecuritysettingsoftheSMTPserveryouare

using.GototheSecuritytabandclickthebuttonlabeled

"Checkwhattheserversupports."KMailwillcheckthe

connectiontotheserverandusethesettingswiththehighest

supportedsecurityandencryption.Alas,manyprovidersrun

theirmailserverswithoutanyencryptionatall.



Figure6-2.KMailidentityconfiguration



Nowlet'scontinuebyconfiguringthereceivingend.Closeall

subdialogsuntilyouarebackattheNetworkconfiguration

group,andselecttheReceivingtab.Hereyoucansetupa

numberofaccountstobequeried.Thiscanbeusefulifyou

havemorethanoneproviderthatstoresemailforyou.Clickthe

Addbuttonandselectthetypeofmailserver.Ifyourunyour

ownMTAlocally,youneedtoselectLocalMailbox.Usually,you

canthenacceptthedefaultsonthenextpage(butchangethe

nametosomethingmoreappropriatethan"Default").

Ifyouretrieveyourmessagesdirectlyfromyourprovider's

server,youneedtoselecteitherPOP3orIMAP,dependingon



whatyourprovidersupports.Inthedialogthatappearsagain

enteranameofyourownchoice,thenspecifyyourloginname,

yourpassword,thenameofthehostthatstoresyouremail,

andtheport(usually110forPOP3and143forIMAP).Allthis

informationshouldbegiventoyoubyyourproviderorsystem

administrator.Youcanleaveallotheroptionsastheyarefor

now,andexperimentlaterwiththem.



Figure6-3.KMailidentityforoutgoingmail



Asanaside,recentKMailversionshaveafeatureforretrieving

yourmessagesthatmakeitstandapartfrommanyotheremail

clients.Traditionally,theIMAPprotocolrequiredanonline

connectiontotheIMAPserverthatisstoringyourmessages

becausenomessagesarestoredlocally.KMail,however,also

sportsamodecalleddisconnectedIMAPthatcachesyour

messageslocallysothatyoucanbothusethebenefitsofIMAP,

suchashavingthesameviewonyourmailboxfromdifferent

computers(e.g.,yourworkstationandyourlaptop),andstill

workofflinewhentheneedarises.Intelligentsynchronization

mechanismsmakesurethatallcomputersalwayshavethe

sameviewofyourmailbox(ofcourse,onlyafteryouhave

performedsynchronizations).

ClosealldialogswiththeOKbutton.Youshouldnowbeready

toretrieveyouremail.Todoso,selectFile CheckMailfrom

themenu.Thiswillretrieveallmessagesfromallincoming

mailboxesthatyouhavespecified.Ifitdoesnotworkoryou

getanyerrormessages,checkallthevaluesyouenteredonthe

variousconfigurationpagesagainandcomparethemtothe

informationgiventoyoubyyourproviderorsystem

administrator.Themosttypicalerrorisatypointhehostname,

username,orpassword.

IfyouareusingdisconnectedIMAP,theCheckMailmenuitem

doesalotmorethancheckingtheservermailboxfornew

messages:itensuresthattheserverandyourlocalmailboxare

inthesamestate,whichmayincludedeletingmessagesfrom

theserver,changingflags,andsoforth.

Tosendamessage,pressCtrl-NorselectMessage New

Message.Acomposerwindowopenswhereyoucantypeinthe

recipient'saddress,thesubject,andtheactualmessagebody.

Anintelligentautocompletionwillcomeupwithsuggestionsas

youtype;thesesuggestionsarepulledbothfromyouraddress

book(ifyoukeepone)andfrommailsyouhavesentand

receivedrecently.



Ifyouhaveconfiguredmorethanoneidentity,youcanalso

selecttheonetobeusedforthismessage.Whenyouaredone

composingyourmessage,pressCtrl-N.Dependingonhowyou

haveconfiguredyouroutgoingmailtransport,themessagewill

eitherbeputintotheoutputfolderandwaitthereforfurther

handling(thisisthedefault)orbetransmitteddirectly.Ifyou

wanttooverrideyoursettingforaparticularemail,justselect

Message QueueorMessage SendNowfromthemenubar

ofthecomposerwindow.

Messagesputintotheoutputfolderarebydefaultnotsent

automatically.(Youcan,however,configureKMailtoalways

sendmessagesintheoutboxwhenitchecksforincoming

messages.)Tosendallmessagesinyouroutbox,selectFile

SendQueuedfromthemenubarofthemainKMailmenu.We

havemadeitahabitnevertosendanymessageautomatically

andalwaysreviewouroutboxbeforesendingthemessages

therein,whichsavesalotofembarrassmentthatcouldresult

fromsendingemailtothewrongpeople.Reviewingcomplaint

mailsthatyouhavewritteninangerafteryourangerhas

cooleddownmayalsokeepyouafewmorefriendsand

businesscontacts.

Ifyouhaveproblemssendingyourmessages,checkthe

settingsyouhavemadefortypos.Asmentionedearlier,to

preventtherelayingofunsolicitedcommercialemail(so-called

spam)viatheirservers,someprovidersrequirethatyoucheck

yourmailboxontheserver(providingyourusernameand

passwordasyougo)inordertoidentifyyourselfbeforeyoucan

sendanyemailviathatserver.Afteryouhavecheckedyour

incomingemail,youhaveacertainperiodoftime(often15

minutes)tosendyouroutgoingemail.

YoushouldnowknowenoughabouthowtouseKMailinorder

tocontinueexploringthemaileronyourown.Oneofthefirst

thingsyoumaywanttodo(especiallyifyouhavealarge

numberofmessagestohandleeveryday)istocreatefoldersby

selectingFolder NewFolderandthensetupfiltersby



selectingSettings ConfigureFilters.Thisletsyouredirect

messageswithcertaincharacteristics(e.g.,certainsendersor

subjects)topredefinedfolders.Forexample,youmaywantto

gateallmessagesfromamailinglisttoafolderdedicatedto

thatpurpose.Ifallyouwanttodoisfilemessagessenttoa

certainmailinglist,recipient,orwithacertainsubject,youcan

alsoright-clickonthatmessageheaderandselectCreateFilter

fromthecontextmenuthatpopsup;asubmenuletsyouselect

whattofilteron.Afterselectingthis,thefilterconfiguration

dialogwillpopupwiththecriteriaalreadyfilledincorrectly;all

youhavetodoistospecifywhatshouldhappentothat

message,suchasmovingittoafolderordeletingitrightaway.

IfyoufindyouarenotonlyusingKMailregularlybutalsothe

addressbookandcalendaringcomponentsthatcomewiththe

KDEdesktop,KAddressbookandKOrganizer,andifyouwould

likethoseapplicationstobeintegratedintoacommonmain

window,youshouldtakealookatKontact.Itisawrapper

applicationthat"swallows"theindividualapplication

componentsusingtheKPartstechnologyandpresentsthem

withacommoninterface,asshowninFigure6-4.



Figure6-4.TheKontactoverviewwindow



Alltheindividualcomponentsthatareavailableappearonthe

buttonbarontheleftsideofthewindow,whereyoucanclick

onthemtobringtherespectivecomponenttothefront.In

mostoftheKontactapplications,thesebuttonsalsoactas

targetsfordrag-and-dropoperations,whichmeansyoucan,for

example,draganemailmessageontotheTodoviewbuttonto

createanewtaskbasedonthatemail.Experimentwith

draggingthingsontothedifferentbuttonsandseewhat

happens.

ItshouldbenotedthatthecomponentsavailableinsideKontact

areexactlythesameapplicationsthatareavailablestandalone,

suchasKMailorKAddressbook.Thismeansthatyoucanstart

oneofthemindividually,wheneveryoudonotwanttostart

Kontactforsomereason,andkeepworkingwiththesamedata

andsettings.AllofthefunctionalityavailableinKontactisalso

availablewiththestandaloneapplications.SinceKontactuses

KParts,itcanbeextendedwithothercomponents,notjustthe



onesthatareshippedwithit;severalthird-partycomponents

alreadyexist,suchasanewsfeedreadercomponent.Tofind

outwhichcomponentsarecurrentlyinstalledandavailable,use

SelectComponentsfromtheSettingsmenu.

OneofthemostprominentintegrativefeaturesofKontactisthe

summaryview.ClicktheSummarybuttononthesidebarto

activateit.Thepagethatappearsisfilledwithinformationfrom

eachoftheapplicationcomponents.Themailpartshowsa

configurablesummaryoffolderswithunreadmail.Clickingone

ofthelistedfolderswilltakeyoudirectlyintothatfolderinthe

mailpart.Similarly,thecalendaringcomponentshowsany

upcomingevents,birthdaysofpeopleinyouraddressbook,and

currentlyopentasks.Toconfigurethesummaryviewindetail,

selectConfigureSummaryViewfromtheSettingsmenu.The

individualareasofthesummaryviewcanberearrangedby

draggingthembytheheaderareainrecentversionsofKontact.







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Chapter 6.  Electronic Mail Clients

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