KnowBrainer Speech Recognition
Decrease font size
Increase font size
Topic Title: Possible decent email client
Topic Summary: Trying to find a better email client found one that doesn't suck so much… yet
Created On: 04/12/2022 06:47 PM
Status: Post and Reply
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
 Possible decent email client   - esjesjesj - 04/12/2022 06:47 PM  
 Possible decent email client   - Alan Cantor - 04/12/2022 07:09 PM  
 Possible decent email client   - Lunis Orcutt - 04/12/2022 08:02 PM  
 Possible decent email client   - esjesjesj - 04/12/2022 10:00 PM  
 Possible decent email client   - Matt_Chambers - 04/13/2022 08:26 AM  
 Possible decent email client   - dilligence - 04/13/2022 09:39 PM  
 Possible decent email client   - Ag - 04/13/2022 10:25 PM  
 Possible decent email client   - Ag - 04/16/2022 12:08 PM  
 Possible decent email client   - Ag - 04/16/2022 12:18 PM  
 Possible decent email client   - Ag - 05/04/2022 07:00 PM  
 Possible decent email client   - esjesjesj - 05/16/2022 05:57 PM  
 Possible decent email client   - Ag - 05/22/2022 11:34 AM  
 Possible decent email client   - esjesjesj - 05/24/2022 09:28 AM  
 Possible decent email client   - Ag - 05/27/2022 11:33 PM  
Keyword
 04/12/2022 06:47 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
esjesjesj
Senior Member

Posts: 154
Joined: 03/14/2014

I'm playing with eM Client, an email client that feels better than most other email clients I've used today. It does a lot of things right in terms of connecting with Google and random IMAP email servers. I just started playing with it and so far it feels pretty responsive.

What I love so far is that I can dictate anywhere in the client and it so far hasn't triggered random commands. I'm not sure because I don't have any hotkeys active or if it's smart enough to tell if it's coming from a keyboard or somewhere else? Another plus side is that even though I can't do direct dictation, it does bring up dictation box without fighting me.

It just feels like an easier email client work with so far. Now, if experience holds, in about 6 to 7 days I will discover something this totally fatal but hey what the heck maybe I'll get lucky.

 04/12/2022 07:09 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Alan Cantor
Top-Tier Member

Posts: 4348
Joined: 12/08/2007

The inability to dictate directly into the application would compel me to look for something better.

For all of its downsides -- and there are too many to mention -- Outlook is the best option for me on days when I need hands-free or nearly hands-free access.
 04/12/2022 08:02 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Lunis Orcutt
Top-Tier Member

Posts: 39966
Joined: 10/01/2006

Alan,

There are plenty of problems with Outlook but in our opinion, if you don't have Select & Say, you don't have a Dragon friendly environment. This is the primary reason why we only use Outlook.

-------------------------

Change "No" to "Know" w/KnowBrainer 2020
Trial Downloads
Dragon/Sales@KnowBrainer.com 
(615) 884-4558 ex 1

 04/12/2022 10:00 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
esjesjesj
Senior Member

Posts: 154
Joined: 03/14/2014

I have multiple email accounts on zimbra, office 365, gmail platforms. Outlook managed to totally screw up my Gmail and zimbra accounts by moving email from one account to another. I don't know what the problem was but I lost a lot of email that day. Second problem is that synchronization between Outlook and Google was running around one email message every 10 seconds. I left the thing running for days and it never caught up.

Clients of mine who insist on using Outlook with Gmail are always complaining about it. Besides the very slow synchronization that starts running at random, The calendar is screwed up and makes messages that should be busy free instead completely transparent. Outlook can't turn off seeing calendars subscribe to under Google. All in all it's just such a cluster fark I refuse to spend your time on it. I told my clients that if they want support on Outlook, and I will hire an expensive consultant to make sure they know exactly what that tool choice was costing the company.

There is no amount compatibility Outlook could have with NaturallySpeaking that would make it worth my while to try again. The same goes for Microsoft Word and Excel. I would rather dictate into dictation box or Dragon pad and paste it into Google docs than struggle with anything from Microsoft.

 04/13/2022 08:26 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Matt_Chambers
Top-Tier Member

Posts: 582
Joined: 08/09/2018

I've used eM Client and think it is a good email program, but the lack of full text control with Dragon keeps me from using it. Because I needed MS Word to work with a client, I bought Office 2019, which comes with Outlook. Outlook does have full text control, although it occasionally causes problems with Dragon. Just the other day, when I closed Outlook, Dragon crashed. Overall, though, Outlook is the best solution for me.

As we have discussed previously on this forum, there don't seem to be any other email clients that are compatible with Dragon, sadly. Anybody want to create one? :-)
 04/13/2022 09:39 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
dilligence
Top-Tier Member

Posts: 1542
Joined: 08/16/2010

Although eM Client looks better than Thunderbird. It in fact, is less speech friendly. Well, when it comes to controlling the menus anyway. It doesn't make much of a difference when it comes to dictating.

 

Matt's comment "As we have discussed previously on this forum, there don't seem to be any other email clients that are compatible with Dragon, sadly. Anybody want to create one? :-)"

 

Very legit question. I asked Tom (SP 7 PRO programmer) to come up with a (simple) speech friendly email client about a year ago. He actually got quite far with this, but ran into a few hurdles. I will ask him to revive the project. Who knows, if it's possible, we'll do it!

 

 

Update 04-21-2022

 

Tom just sent me a video about his progress on this project. I'm quite impressed! I'd say there's a good chance we'll have a fully speech friendly Email client in the next SP PRO edition :-).



-------------------------

https://speechproductivity.eu


Turbocharge your Dragon® productivity with 40 Power Addons



 04/13/2022 10:25 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Ag
Top-Tier Member

Posts: 815
Joined: 07/08/2019

Originally posted by: esjesjesj ... eM Client, an email client that feels better than most other email clients I've used

 

I am also engaging in one of my occasional searches for  a better email  setup.    I only learned about eMclient  week or so ago,  and I'm trying to determine if it's worth the hassle of installing an evaluation copy.   ... Oh heck,  since I just learned that eMclient > 8.3 tags  or proper interface to Gmail labels,  I just  installed the evaluation copy  of eMclient ...

 

My biggest complaints with Outlook and Thunderbird are:

 

No unified inbox  in Outlook.  Thunderbird wins there. I see that eMclient supports unified inbox. Q: does  eMclient also support unified  Drafts/Sent/Trash/... /Trash  the way Thunderbird does?   I cannot tell from their screenshots.  ... Now that I've installed the evaluation copy, I can see that eMclient only supports unified inbox, and does not unify the other things.

 

Treatment of Gmail labels - the IMAP folder kluge.   Outlook scores worst here,  and Thunderbird only a little bit better (because of the gmailbuttons add-on). I suspect that  all or most  IMAP clients are similarly handicapped,  although I would love to find a client that supports adding the X-GM-LABELS headers  as well as  full logic and/or/not queries using any header. Q:  does eMclient just support the IMAP folder kluge for Gmail labels,  or does it have anything better like Gmail buttons or even X-GM-LABELS? ...  So I googled a bit more and found https://forum.emclient.com/t/categories-in-em-client/73942 ... It looks like eMclient tags may correspond to Gmail labels, since EMclient 8.3.   folders or just an alternate UI  for tags/labels. This  will be enough for me to try eMclient.    hallelujah!  ...  it may be enough for me to buy eMclient.

 

Other IMAP state:   although both Outlook has flags and categories, and Thunderbird has stars and tags, none of these are properly supported  when running with a Gmail server,  except for a plain Jane flag.   AFAICT the only orthogonal  message properties supported by the intersection Outlook&Gmail or  Thunderbird & Gmail are read/unread and flagged/unflagged.   I think this is again probably a limitation of  the Gmail IMAP interface, but  I can hope: Q: does  eMclient  on top of Gmail support  any additional orthogonal message properties other than read/unread and flagged/unflagged? ...  AFAICT no, eMclient only supports  ordinary flag which corresponds to Gmail ordinary star - yellow star - and not any of the colored stars or other marks the Gmail supports.   nevertheless, proper orthogonal support for tags/labels  Is a big win.    now if only I can dictate/label paths to  eMclient.

 

Petty -  I use Move/Copy Message to Folder a lot.    I would really like the folder picker  to have the option of accepting a folder path that I could  utter directly, or have a  speech command insert.  Both Outlook and Thunderbird have a picture that has no text box input.  while it can be navigated  a folder name at a time,  I have found it fragile and error-prone.  Enough so that I've written my own VBA code doing stuff like  myNameSpace.Folders("xxx@gmail.com").Folders("Defer").Folders("Someday"), and, yes, parsing string older paths.  nevertheless it would be nice to have a better folder picker -  I have been meaning to post about this for a while.  Q: what does eMclient's move/copy to folder picker look like?   can it accept a folder path  direct from speech, or do you have to pause at each level?   I guess does it look more like  the Windows Explorer filesystem browser than it does the Outlook  folder picker? ... EMclient's copy/move  folder supports a text search box to filter folders. However, it has even worse navigation by folder name than Outlook does :-(  The  alternative tag interface at least supports  Gmail's /- separated label hierarchy, but OMG  it is slow,  at least with my legacy of many many Gmail labels... :-(   ... Frown, So far I have not been able to dictate  folders/labels/tags like Defer/Soon or Defer/Later to  eMclient,  something that I can do  in Outlook albeit not very reliably

 

 

What I love so far is that I can dictate anywhere in the client and it so far hasn't triggered random commands. I'm not sure because I don't have any hotkeys active or if it's smart enough to tell if it's coming from a keyboard or somewhere else?

 

The main reason that I have found dictating anywhere in any application triggering random commands has been when the application has hotkeys or  keyboard shortcuts that use ordinary unmodified printable keys. E.g.  Thunderbird using "A" for archive - not ctl-A, not alt-A, just plain old letter A.

 

Thunderbird is just horrible  in this regard,  as are many  emacs modes.    I have not had too much trouble with Outlook  ---   have you?

 

(Ah, yes:  the biggest  problem I have with dictating anywhere in the Outlook Windows is that {space}  scrolls down the current message and onto the next at end.)

 

Anyway, eMclient seems to have a pretty basic  set of keyboard shortcuts, no printable unmodified keyboard shortcuts by default. :-)


I am not that happy with eMclient's keyboard accelerators.   they have the classic problem where the same letter is used more than once in the same menu, e.g. {alt}{s} => settings, {alt}{s}{s} => messages.   tolerable if there's some guarantee that it won't change, but usually this approach breaks,  e.g. you might have to press {s} three times to  get to messages   depending on dynamic menu items,  or in some future version.


So far  it seems to me that eMclient  is not completely friendly or amenable to being keyboard driven, and hence may be hard to automate completely in speech commands.  Some things like highlighting text (background color) appear hard to obtain from the keyboard in eMclient.

 

I am not yet 100% sold,  and I fear, like the OP,  that this will just be another email client that I try for a few days and run into lots of problems.   But it's the first PC client I found that supports Gmail labels properly.

 

---


Later: eMclient has very limited search logic.  Apparently it cannot do a query such as "search for messages that are Unread or Flagged or in folder:Defer1 or in folder:Defer2 

Can always do that in Gmail.  Except Gmail doesn't really support saved search folders, except by saving URL.

 

 



-------------------------

DPG15.6 (also DPI 15.3) + KB, Sennheiser MB Pro 1 UC ML, BTD 800 dongle, Windows 10 Pro, MS Surface Book 3, Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU @ 1.3/1.5GHz (4 cores, 8 logical, GPU=NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 with Max-Q Design.



 04/16/2022 12:08 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Ag
Top-Tier Member

Posts: 815
Joined: 07/08/2019

So far, after three days "evaluating" eMclient I am about to start trying to use it as my primary email email client.

Note that I place skeptical quotes around "evaluating", since so far most of the time I have spent "evaluating" eMclient has been trying to cope unsuccessfully with the 6-10-15s stalls eMclient gives me when I try to apply Gmail labels/eMclient tags to messages. Proper support for Gmail labels is probably the biggest reason why I'm willing to consider eMclient, and they are not quite there yet for me. More below.

Apart from this, my remarks about eMclient in my previous post still apply:

PRO: supports Gmail labels properly, as well as through the IMAP folders kluge. CON: Performance problems doing this.

CON: limited search. no Boolean's AND/OR/NOT.

CON: limited ability to do things like save search folder logic.

PRO: only partway unified inbox. CON: EMclient does not fully unify the Inbox the way Thunderbird does, and it doesn't even try to unify Sent, Drafts, and other standard folders. But eMclient's halfway unified inbox is better than Outlook doesn't have it all. // I was originally going to say that unified inbox was not a big thing for me, but then I realized that I had neglected my iCloud email for the week or two that I'd been using Outlook more intensively. I guess I'm used having a unified inbox. It is best if the inboxes are completely unified, i.e. if there is a single inbox folder that contains mail from more than one server. But the halfway unified where inbox has subfolders by server with message counts is better than nothing.

CON: does not display counts of both unread and total messages in a folder/label/tag the way Thunderbird does.

 

CON: EMclient is not fully speech-aware the way Outlook is. On the other hand, I have been using Thunderbird and  Microsoft OneNote for years with Dragon speech recognition, so I'm used to it.  I think I'm willing to give up Select-and-Say in order to get Gmail labels properly supported.  I suppose that I will see about that.

Etc.

--

but I will try to live with these problems to get Gmail labels support. My main worry is the stalls on applying tags. next item



-------------------------

DPG15.6 (also DPI 15.3) + KB, Sennheiser MB Pro 1 UC ML, BTD 800 dongle, Windows 10 Pro, MS Surface Book 3, Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU @ 1.3/1.5GHz (4 cores, 8 logical, GPU=NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 with Max-Q Design.



 04/16/2022 12:18 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Ag
Top-Tier Member

Posts: 815
Joined: 07/08/2019

My main concern about eMclient is that it exhibits painful stalls when I try to apply Gmail labels/eMclient tags using the menus ...>Tags>More>... --- i.e. stalls building the list of Gmail labels.

I hope it's OK if I describe the problem -- not because it has anything to do with speech recognition, Dragon, or KnowBrainer, but because people on this forum often have experience with debugging this sort of performance problem, and I would really really appreciate it if anybody has further suggestions.

After I described this issue on the eMclient user forums, https://forum.emclient.com/t/emclient-tags-menu-item-very-slow-with-300-tags/80791,

A helpful user replied that this problem had supposedly been fixed in a version earlier this year, that he was seeing <1s delays with approximately the same number of labels as I have, and he suggested that I do the usual disabling of services and startup programs. Which is of course the standard recommendation for so many problems on Windows and other operating systems.  but unfortunately the suggestions have not worked, although they have provided a clue:

I can summarize the results of those experiments as follows:

  • * FAST with safe boot
  • * FAST with safe boot & networking
  • * SLOW with normal boot, all services disabled that msconfig allowed to be disabled, no startup items
  • * SLOW with normal boot, all non-Microsoft services disabled, no startup items

 

i.e. there is something in the difference between SafeBoot&Networking and Normal boot with no services or startup that may account for the eMclient label/tag slowness.

relevant: in safe boot many of my laptop (Surface Book 3) many features do not function: e.g. no camera, no USB dock, no external monitors, … but eMclient should not be dependent on physical I/O devices.

 

Like I said, I am posting this not because it's a speech recognition problem, but because many people on this forum have experience debugging is sort of issue (given how many times they made this sort of suggestion to me with respect to Dragon performance problems).

 

Any further suggestions I would appreciate.

 

Especially if you have advice on how to explore the difference between SafeBoot and NormalBoot - Services - Startup. i.e. if you know of places to go looking for stuff that msconfig does not know how to manage. I found a few such places already, e.g. Nvidia, but to go much further I'll probably just have to diff the set of running tasks and active device drivers. heck, if you know how to get the set of running tasks and active device drivers into a text file, I'd appreciate that.

 

I am going to try to live with this eMclient performance problem, but I greatly fear that it will be so annoying that I will give up after wasting a week or two on it.   



-------------------------

DPG15.6 (also DPI 15.3) + KB, Sennheiser MB Pro 1 UC ML, BTD 800 dongle, Windows 10 Pro, MS Surface Book 3, Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU @ 1.3/1.5GHz (4 cores, 8 logical, GPU=NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 with Max-Q Design.



 05/04/2022 07:00 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Ag
Top-Tier Member

Posts: 815
Joined: 07/08/2019

Ongoing reporting:

I am interested enough in eMclient that I've actually purchased it.

I have purchased eMclient not because it is particularly good for speech control, but because eMclient has better support for Gmail labels than most email programs. IMHO eMclient beats Gmail itself because eMclient knows how to sort messages, and IMHO sorting with grouping is rather like ad hoc tagging, and/or replaces umpteen separate search commands. unlike Outlook and Thunderbird, and most other IMAP based email programs, eMclient can do better than the usual crappy mapping of Gmail labels to IMAP folders. EMclient can display all of the Gmail labels/tags that a message possesses. There's a Thunderbird plug-in that does the same, but that is really just an afterthought and not properly editable.

Unfortunately, I continue to suffer the 6 to 15 second stall whenever I try to apply Gmail tags in eMclient. In fact, one of the biggest reasons for me to purchase eMclient was to get "VIP support", supposedly giving them logs so they can diagnose the problems. Cross my fingers, hope for the best.

In the meantime, I am applying tags by copying/moving messages to folders/labels/tags. but at least the tags appear on the message after being copied or moved to folders. Unfortunately there can be considerable delay.

Unfortunately^2, I am running into quite a few problems with eMclient where the recommendation is "remove your account then add back", and occasionally "uninstall then reinstall eMclient". and/or "repair your account". unfortunately^3, there is considerable work involved in customizing favorites etc., and backing up and then restoring the configuration often restores the problem that had you uninstall/remove/...

---

as I say above, my motivation for purchasing eMclient is mainly to get the Gmail labels support. It is NOT" because eMclient is friendly to speech control, in fact quite the opposite.

EMclient has some of the least complete keyboard control of any app that I have recently encountered. There are many things that you just cannot do by keyboard shortcuts, which are therefore harder to automate In speech commands.

Worse, the dialog boxes and pickers that eMclient uses for folders and tags are ... awkward for automation? e.g. I might want to have a command that removes one tag and then adds another. I will typically want these tags, Gmail labels, to be specified by paths, e.g. retention/keep and retention/deletable, or retention/keep-but-deletable. I want my script to be able to specify such a tag/label/folder path, and then press enter. unfortunately, the pickers are extremely history sensitive. And do not reliably respond to keyboard directions like {home} and {end} to go to known good positions and lists. therefore, I have not yet been able to safely select such a tag/label/folder path and then just apply it -- I nearly always need to get user confirmation, and quite often need to navigate using the mouse to select an item. Which rather defeats the purpose if I want to have one command manipulate to or more tags without user intervention.

--

so I cannot be 100% happy about eMclient. it's just the best application I have so far found to interface to Gmail labels and still get sorting, but it really is not friendly for automation.

===

yeah, unfortunately I have given up for the moment on using emacs/Gnus for Gmail. Long-term probably, once the oauth situation has settled down for open source applications and Gmail.

-------------------------

DPG15.6 (also DPI 15.3) + KB, Sennheiser MB Pro 1 UC ML, BTD 800 dongle, Windows 10 Pro, MS Surface Book 3, Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU @ 1.3/1.5GHz (4 cores, 8 logical, GPU=NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 with Max-Q Design.

 05/16/2022 05:57 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
esjesjesj
Senior Member

Posts: 154
Joined: 03/14/2014

There are many things that you just cannot do by keyboard shortcuts, which are therefore harder to automate In speech commands. Worse, the dialog boxes and pickers that eMclient uses for folders and tags are ... awkward for automation? e.g. I

I asssume you saw the shortcuts at menu >> settings >>general >> shortcuts. I assume that they will let you add new commands to the shortcuts if you ask.

 05/22/2022 11:34 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Ag
Top-Tier Member

Posts: 815
Joined: 07/08/2019

Originally posted by: esjesjesj
There are many things that you just cannot do by keyboard shortcuts, which are therefore harder to automate In speech commands. Worse, the dialog boxes and pickers that eMclient uses for folders and tags are ... awkward for automation? e.g. I

 

I asssume you saw the shortcuts at menu >> settings >>general >> shortcuts. I assume that they will let you add new commands to the shortcuts if you ask.

 

 

Of course I looked at this.  It is very limited. I have paid for eMclient Pro support,  and so far the answer has mostly been "you can't do that", and also "it is unreasonable to support accessibility well"



-------------------------

DPG15.6 (also DPI 15.3) + KB, Sennheiser MB Pro 1 UC ML, BTD 800 dongle, Windows 10 Pro, MS Surface Book 3, Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU @ 1.3/1.5GHz (4 cores, 8 logical, GPU=NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 with Max-Q Design.



 05/24/2022 09:28 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
esjesjesj
Senior Member

Posts: 154
Joined: 03/14/2014

Originally posted by: Ag 

 

Of course I looked at tghis.  It is very limited. I have paid for eMclient Pro support,  and so far the answer has mostly been "you can't do that", and also "it is unreasonable to support accessibility well"

 

typical response. I shold be accustomed to it by now but it still pisses me off

 05/27/2022 11:33 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Ag
Top-Tier Member

Posts: 815
Joined: 07/08/2019

Originally posted by: dilligence Although eM Client looks better than Thunderbird. It in fact, is less speech friendly. Well, when it comes to controlling the menus anyway.


Unfortunately I completely agree with you. eMclient is quite deficient with respect to controlling the menus via keyboard shortcuts.

eMclient is forcing me to use "control context aware" speech commands. I.e. to look carefully at the control that is currently selected or focused or under the mouse, in order to determine what to do. For example, in order to switch between the message list and scroll the message body - hint, no fixed number of tabs is always sufficient.

Actually, this might be a good thing. When I can properly identify the controls, it leads to commands that are more robust than keyboard shortcut commands. Also, it is often faster to have AutoHotKey read the list of controls and then select a specific control via ControlFocus than it is to iterate through the controls and menus usimg Send/SendKey etc. There is less need for arbitrary delays to allow things to settle down.

Downside: Just more code. And mainly, send(key) strings are a lot more compact than looking at the focus control, tickling it, and then waiting until a new control has the focus.

Actually, I started off trying to write such control context aware code right away when I started getting serious about writing speech commands. But I quickly found that it was somewhat painful compared to SendKeys.

I have been meaning to start a separate thread to collect advice about such control context aware code.




-------------------------

DPG15.6 (also DPI 15.3) + KB, Sennheiser MB Pro 1 UC ML, BTD 800 dongle, Windows 10 Pro, MS Surface Book 3, Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU @ 1.3/1.5GHz (4 cores, 8 logical, GPU=NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 with Max-Q Design.

KnowBrainer Speech Recognition » Dragon Speech Recognition » Possible decent email client

Statistics
32324 users are registered to the KnowBrainer Speech Recognition forum.
There are currently 2 users logged in.
The most users ever online was 12124 on 09/09/2020 at 04:59 AM.
There are currently 457 guests browsing this forum, which makes a total of 459 users using this forum.

FuseTalk Standard Edition v4.0 - © 1999-2022 FuseTalk™ Inc. All rights reserved.