Update 2: Final Day
At the time of writing there remains 19 hours of this crowd funding campaign. Since the primary goal was reached (see below), almost $15,000 have been contributed ensuring another 3 months of development. Extraordinary!
Only one question remains: Can $40,000 be reached before the deadline?
Update 3: Within a few hours the answer was yes, but don't let that stop you. $42K would be a nice number.
Update: Stretch Goals
On November 16th the primary goal of this campaign was fulfilled. This means that I am guaranteed to be working on MailMate until July 1st 2014. It might be longer if daily sales improve compared to 2013.
The stretch goals of this campaign are simple. For every $5000 funded I am guaranteed to be working on MailMate for at least an additional month. You can also inquire about funding the development of specific features or bundles.
A practical note: Since the goal has been reached, it does not matter if you support through the crowd funding site or the regular store.
Hi, my name is Benny Kjær Nielsen. I'm a PhD in computer science and for some years I have been working full time on an IMAP email client for Mac OS X. Version 1.0 was released early 2011 and it has been under active development since then. It is now at version 1.7.1 and you can download it right now if you like.
I want you to help me continue the development of MailMate. In particular, I want you to help me complete and release version 2.0 of MailMate. Email clients are notoriously hard to sell and the current sales of MailMate is not enough to fund future development. At the very least, I need funding for the first 6 months of 2014 which is the primary goal of this campaign. The secondary goal is to fund as many months as possible beyond those 6 months. Don't worry, I have plenty of ideas for MailMate to be working on it for many years and I would love to do so.
A Personal Project
Creating an email client is a huge project with 40 years of email standards legacy to deal with. It has been done many times before and it might be hard to understand why anyone would want to do it again. Nevertheless, here I am and that might require an explanation.
I'm an academic by heart and to me MailMate is a never ending research project filled with challenging problems. To you I hope MailMate is one hell of a powerful email client — an email client worth paying for. I don't ever expect MailMate to become a golden egg, but I have reached a point where MailMate has to put food on the table.
MailMate is a one-man business. I take care of development, support, homepage, marketing, sales, and now, crowd funding. It's as personal a business as it can be. Supporting MailMate is to support me and my family. If you want to then you can read a bit more about me and the background for this crowd funding campaign.
Note that this is a fixed funding campaign. If the goal is not reached then you are not going to pay anything, but to show my appreciation for your attempt to contribute then you'll still receive a (single) license key for version 1.x of MailMate for free.
Most of the perks are personal or site license keys for MailMate 2 (and 1.x) matching the regular price with two exceptions:
- The $25 perk is a license key which is only valid for version 1.x and you'll be required to upgrade to version 2.0 for another $25 when it is released.
- The $5000 perk includes me working for you for 20 hours on a specialized bundle of commands just for you or your company (more about bundles further below).
MailMate is an IMAP email client featuring extensive keyboard control, Markdown supported email composition, advanced search conditions and drill-down search links, equally advanced smart mailboxes, automatic signature handling, cryptographic encryption/signing (OpenPGP and S/MIME), tagging, multiple notification methods, alternative message viewer layouts including a widescreen layout, and much more.
It's only fair if I also tell you what MailMate cannot do: 1. MailMate does not support POP3 or locally archived messages (essentially the same thing). 2. MailMate does not support rich text editing (HTML) without the use of the plain text Markdown markup language.
Naturally, the features of MailMate 2.0 depend on the time available for its development. The release notes is a good reference for what is possible within a time frame of 6 months or more and in that context it might be better to think of 2.0 as 1.9 (it's just numbers). In other words, don't think of it as a complete rewrite of MailMate.
That said, some 2.0 features are guaranteed since they are already partly implemented as experimental features. You can enable them *right now* in the General preferences of the current version of MailMate. These features include rules and bundles. You probably already know what rules (filters) are, but bundles in MailMate is a new concept which I'll try to describe in more detail.
A bundle can be a set of commands, smart mailboxes, various settings, and anything else which forms a natural group of functionality, for example, anything related to a particular type of emails, a particular application, or some company/organization.
Example 1: Bundles for two applications, OmniFocus and Reminders, are currently included with MailMate. If you hit ⌃⇧A then you'll see the following displayed:
Select your desired action and the corresponding command creates a note based on the currently selected email. Alternatively, you can create a rule which creates an OmniFocus note automatically when a certain type of email arrives.
Example 2: MailMate also includes a very simple command for Lighthouse tickets (a third party support ticket system). When an email notification from Lighthouse is displayed then you can hit ⌃O to open its related web page in your preferred browser. The broader idea is that the same shortcut can be used to do the same for other types of emails (when bundles which recognize the messages have been created for them). This bundle could be extended to provide commands to quickly change the state of a support ticket.
Example 3: The last example is a proof-of-concept bundle (created for a user) to show that it is possible to make MailMate handle the administration of a *small* list of email subscribers. It includes three commands, “Add”, “Remove”, and “Distribute”. The first two commands can be used manually or with rules to handle incoming subscribe and unsubscribe emails. The “Distribute” command can be used to generate emails to everyone on the list based on a draft created in MailMate. (This bundle is not included with the current release of MailMate.)
These are just simple examples. The underlying system is extremely flexible and makes it easy for power users to add functionality to MailMate — functionality which can then easily be shared with other MailMate users.
Q and A
What happens after the funded period if the goal is reached?
Ideally, the regular daily sales of version 2.0 are enough to continue full time development. If not then I might create a new crowd funding campaign.
What happens if the goal is not reached?
This also depends on the daily regular sales. I'll continue to support existing users, but my primary occupation has to be something else than MailMate.