Under The Microscope

More Follow-up To Mail, The OS And Frameworks

It seems the Derik DeLong over at MacUser ran with my off-the-cuff comment about MailKit before I even got to post Restarting Innovation. Derik, at 5:23 AM, you should be asleep, not blogging.

Ultimately, I don’t care specifically about “MailKit”. What I think is important is the idea of Apple providing more backend engines, upon which front-ends can be built. MailKit is a great example of that, but a FinderKit (for replacing the Finder), a MediaKit (for audio), and so on, could also be quite useful.

On Restarting Innovation

Michael Tsai has an in-depth response posted on his blog. To be honest, even I’m not sure frameworks are the solution. It does seem that there are problem spaces like mail and the web, however, where the core problem can be addressed once. Currently, we get multiple developers spending months re-inventing the wheel, or no developers working on the problem at all.

On Competing With Mail

Matt Ronge has been working on MailCore, the heart of Kiwi. The idea here is similar to the MailKit concept I mentioned. It’s coming from a third party, however, which means it lacks Apple’s resources, and it also doesn’t seem to do POP. Nonetheless, it’s certainly an interesting start. Matt has some comments on email.¬†

As far as a commercial email client goes, I don’t believe selling one to be impossible, though I do think it’s a tough road. However, believing a market exists for a “Mail Pro” isn’t the same as such a market actually existing.

Competing with free and bundled Mail is only part of the problem. Perhaps more importantly, there’s a history of failed/no-longer-active third-party commercial mail clients. Taking a look at the current landscape, I have to ask one question: If there’s no viable commercial email client now, what’s going to change in the future to make it possible?

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