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April 22, 2008

Clawing into RSS and Email

by Matthew

claws rss

Discovering the RSS plug-in for Claws one of those "I should have had a V8" moments. How I missed this excellent plug-in "the world may never know." I'm bewildered and confused by the whole event. Now that I have found it, I should blog about it, right? That is what a blogger does after all.

Its no secret among Internet Tablet owners and users the world over the built-in email client, for lack of a better word, sucks! Even "sucks" might be too kind, regardless there is no love from this fan for such lack luster applications. For a device meant to be the be all Internet device from Nokia, someone fell asleep at the wheel on this one. Thankfully the Internet Tablet is based on Linix. For all the commercial shortcomings of open source software, it can't be knocked for the the community coming to the rescue witha real email client; Claws is just such a application. Claws is available for many Linux flavors and to the delight of this user it was also ported to Maemo. Claws isn't perfect, what program is? Claws does what I need it to and does it well. Supporting multiple email accounts, without dumping them into a single inbox as the built-in client. Thanks again to the efforts of such Linux Community developers Claws doesn't stop there.

Among some of the options is the ability to read HTML email. Try as I might and much as I try to avoid it, HTML email just won't go away. If you've ever tried using a S60 device or Internet Tablet, I know you feel my pain. Over the years I've become adapt at reading the text embedding among the lines and chaacters of XML or HTML. This plugin does the job nicely and eases my distaste for HTML email.

The truly great plugin and the source of the afore mentioned "V8 moment" is the RSS plugin. As functional as an decent desktop based RSS, this plugin more than accomplishes the job. If you hang around or speak to Internet Tablet users long the subject of RSS or GReader (Google Reader) eventually comes up. For all of GReader's strengths it is lacking on this front for Internet Devies. Its not solely Google's fault, Nokia didn't make the browser robust enough the handle the heavy coding the site demands. GReader does work, although slowly. May have said it works once you let it load. I must be too impatient and instead find myself just barely skimming most of the feeds if I don't give up and mark them read and move on.

RSSyL, Claws RSS plugin saves me this torment and allows me to enjoy my feeds anywhere I choose.It wa simple enough process to exporrt my feeds from GReader. The file saves with a .xml extension. Rename it to .opml to import it into Claws. Each feed is seperated by its own folder. If like me, many of my feeds are grouped into general catagories. I recomment loading the previouslymentioned HTML plugin, it makes reading RSS (essecntially mini-web pages) much easier.

RSSyL could use some ability to easily manage your Feeds, cluding rearranging feeds into categories, integration into Claws menu structure. To use most of the plugins features requires a right click (tap and hold) with the stylus. As with much software in the opensource world documentaion is somewhat lacking. Don't be afaid to play around a bit to get your RSS your way.

The other plugin I like although less enthusiastic about is the Trayicon. Trayicon does as implied, mounts Claws to the system tray at the top right. Close, minimize or both to tray is a handy plugin for those that rarely close Claws.

if you have any tips for Claws or another plugin that makes Claws a killer application for you, let's hear it. Leave a comment. Enough comments and there may be something in it for a lucky reader. Id especially like to hear from a hearer who managed to enable Claws as the defacto email client. My serach refults thus far have been rather fruitless.


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I got my n810 last week and I feel bad saying that I haven't really played with my s60 devices lately. I'm very pleased with it so far except for what you've mentioned. That built in client really sucks. I've tried Modest but couldn't get it to work with the exact same settings. I'll give Claws a try.

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