Sluggish Mail, Unsatisfying FTP

For awhile now, I’ve been using Apple’s own Mail app for all my electronic mail tasks. Overall, I’m happy with the features — but lately I’ve noticed an annoying sluggishness.

letterIt appears that the longer I keep the application open, the slower and more unresponsive it becomes. The problem is solved by quitting, then restarting. After a restart, it’s back to its peppy self. But aside from the annoyance of having to quit, it just seems like something must be wrong. I store a lot of mail in sub folders on my Mac. It’s a POP account, and not IMAP. So I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced the same performance?

I had been watching Jon Hicks’ comments regarding similar issues with Safari, which turned out to be a third-party plugin. No plugins involved here, but I’m guessing there’s a fix out there somewhere.

FTP on OS X

In other Apple application-related thoughts, I’ve been a long-time user of RBrowser for all of my FTP and SFTP needs. I love many features, but am continually frustrated with the performance and lackluster updates.

I’ve briefly given Transmit a spin and found it to be much snappier, but it (seemed to) lack the things I like about RBRowser the most:

  • OS X “column view” for navigating directories.
  • Double-click to open files in BBEdit.

So I’m asking you, the highly esteemed readership of SimpleBits, to prove me wrong: does Transmit make you smile — or are there better alternatives out there for FTP on a Mac?

73 Comments

  1. Cherie says:

    Transmit can be set up to open files in BBEdit. In the General pane of the Preferences panel just change the double-click action to “Edit in External Editor.” Underneath that is another pop-up menu for selecting said editor application.

  2. Jonathan Underwood says:

    Transmit does allow double clicking to open in BBEdit. it’s in the preferences under general.

  3. Cherie – Excellent, thanks. That’s one down :-) I figured there’d be a feature for that. I guess I’m most enjoying the column view of RBrowser, rather than the traditional dual-pane view that Transmit has.

  4. Mike P. says:

    Hey Dan,
    I haven’t used an Apple since my Classic II from way back, but I had some sluggishness from Thunderbird on Windows and found that a good defrag helped once in a while… Not sure if that helps.
    Later I discovered that switching to Opera (M2) took care of the problem completely ;-]

  5. Mike P – Interesting, I haven’t defragged in awhile — good thinking. I’ll give it a shot. Coincidentally, social sucide is a given for using the word “defragged” outside of geek circles :-)

  6. twhid says:

    Transmit NEEDS:
    column view AND sort by kind, then it’ll be almost perfect, it’s my FTP app of choice.

  7. Etienne says:

    As Cherie, I use Transmit for the same reasons

  8. Kenny F says:

    I use FETCH. It’s fast and does everything I need it to.
    There is one list window, and I just drag to there from any open Finder window.
    I just saw this on the TRANSMIT site:
    How do I view Their Stuff only?
    Easy! Just drag the little separator handle in the middle of the two stuffs all the way to the left. There you go — instant Their Stuff Only!

  9. Column view never feels right to me in FTP clients — the sluggishness ruins the experience.

  10. Jonathan Underwood says:

    and again I am beat to the punch.. I use Transmit the way Kenny F explains.

  11. Kenny F says:

    As for e-mail, I love ENTOURAGE. It’s so much better for me than Mail.app.
    I know it’s MS and all, but it does everything I need it to. I manage 7 e-mail accounts and have a complex set of folders, with a nice set of rules to organize every incoming and outgoing mail.
    I run 10.2.3 and have a gig of ram, and my Entourage DB runs at about 350mb. No problems at all.
    But the thing I like the most is the interface. I personally think it’s much better than Mail.app. Way more intuitive. (But then I came to it from Outlook Express [Mac], so the transition was painless and swift.)
    Since I Firefox as the main browser, I have been reading about Thunderbird; if it’s anything as good as Firefox I’d give it try.
    PS, Dan, thanks for your site, it’s a must read for me.

  12. Olivier says:

    Interarchy has improved a lot in version 7. It has colum view and open in BBEdit through a keyboard shortcut. Its GUI in consistent and it has a lot of nice features. I recommend giving it a look.

  13. Paul Maiorana says:

    Geez Dan. Sometimes I feel like we’re still working right next to each other: just this morning I got fed up with RBrowser and started searching out some alternatives. I’ve got the same 2 requirements as you, but can’t seem to find a product that aptly handles both.
    * Transmit is awesome, and I would switch over fulltime if they adopted column view.
    * FTPeel ain’t bad either. It’s uses a column view, but doesn’t have the double-click to edit feature I need.
    It’s frustrating that the 2 features I really care about in an FTP app are only available in a less-than-stellar package.

  14. Jeffrey Hardy says:

    I can’t praise Thunderbird enough; if you’ve never tried it, you really owe it to yourself to give it a look. As a plus, it also handles IMAP mail much better than any other mail client I’ve ever used.
    PS: I just finished your book — great stuff, Dan.

  15. Sam Ryan says:

    Transmit rules. Actually, it’s the only piece of shareware my family has paid for in five or six years. That’s how much we like it.
    Regarding “defragged”: I think it’s a cool word. But that’s from someone writing about FTP clients on a web site.

  16. Erik says:

    I’ve been using Fugu for my FTP/SFTP needs; it seems to work well, allows for your BBEdit needs, and is free (which makes up for its apparent lack of column-based navigation, in my view).

  17. Tom Armitage says:

    Cyberduck. Fetch was sluggish and tempramental; Cyberduck is swift, easy to configure, and (so far) does everything I need.
    Plus, I like the icon. Try it, it’s worth a shot.

  18. stuart says:

    Ive had sluggish-ness (that cant be a word, can it?) with thunderbird of late, andsimiliar to your problem, it seems to develop after its been running for a few hours.
    I blame it on my machine, but thats just becuase im too lazy to find out the real reason. Might be related to one of a number of third party plugins I Have..
    New version soon anyway, so maybe that will do the trick.

  19. I’ve been using Apple Mail since the first release of OS X, and have never found it to be slow. I get about a hundred messages a day (lots of mailing lists ;) ) and manage 8 accounts, all POP. No problems at all. Not sure what to do about your problems though.
    I use RBrowser Lite as well. I like it, but it is a bit slow. Maybe it’s time to check out the alternatives again.

  20. Bob says:

    Transmit rocks. And if you want somethign added, just write to the guys at Panic. They are super nice, and ALWAYS up for user feedback.
    Write to: transmit@panic.com

  21. Bob says:

    Also, I can’t say that I see the slowdown with Mail. But I do have to restart Mail to regain a connection to my mailboxes if I lose my cable modem. Clicking the ‘go online’ icon seems to have zero effect. It tries to reconnect, but just won’t do it.

  22. Mike P. says:

    Yikes, you’re right Dan, that reads kinda poorly if yer out of the, umm, loop… ;-]

  23. Kenny F says:

    I use a (Logitech) (Thumb) Trackball instead of a (Apple, one button) mouse.
    In FETCH, I rightclick (controlclick) on files in the FETCH window, and select open in BBEDIT. Changes made then are saved right to the server of course.
    BBEdit as FTP.
    I even set the FTP shortcuts right in BBEdit, so after creating or changing any BBEdit file on my machine, I just Command-Shift+S to save to the server directly via BBEdit’s FTP. A drop-down list of saved servers/paths is right there, and BBEdit logs right into the desired folder path on the server.
    So BBEdit as FTP is my new time saver. I don’t even have to launch Fetch.
    Note: I am also a NYS Licensed Massage Therapist, who specializes in corporate on-site stress management via seated stress break massages. As such, I am fairly well versed in ergonomics. So I use and recommend the Logitech TrackMan-Wheel pointing device. Standard mouse(s) engage all the arm muscles up to the shoulder blade; the thumb wheel design of this device requires only the movement of your thumb to move the cursor on the screen. Your arm and shoulder remain at rest. The only thing is that you have to get used to is making fine movements with your thumb, but this comes within a week or two of use. But trust me, (here’e the segue); useability of your computer equipment is just as inportant as your standards based web design efforts.

  24. Colin Barnes says:

    I’m giving another vote for Interachy, its a great piece of software, has a very familier GUI and even allows ftp ‘disks’ to be setup and used as mounted drives on your desktop, I find that very useful, it also has integration with BBedit. On the mail front, i’m using Thunderbird, its been brilliant and I find it both faster and more stable than mail.app.

  25. Tom says:

    I’ve always used Apple Mail since moving to OS X, never found it too sluggish, Pather mail noticable faster than Jaguar mail though. I maintain my ~/Library/Mail/ folder at around 1Gb.
    Have you tried checking you Activity Monitor/Process Viewer app, get to know what Mails stats are when running fast, then look again when you feel it’s being sluggish. It might be another app/plugin stealing loads of CPU/RAM.

  26. CMJ says:

    Being a cheapskate, I’ve gravitated toward free solutions. So besides RBrowserLite, I’ve been using LiFTP, which does the job but tends to be sluggish and requires a manual refresh on file lists. Not a glowing recommendation, I know, but it’s worth checking out at the very least.
    I’m glad to hear somebody has had a good experience with Fugu; I’ll have to give it another try. I think I had install problems with an early release and haven’t tried it since.

  27. Sean Sperte says:

    One commonly overlooked feature of OS X is it’s built-in server support. Try typing “ftp://yourserver.com” in a Safari browser window (or, alternatively, in the “Go:Connect to server…” dialog). It’s like mounting your FTP server directly in Finder. Pretty cool, says I.

  28. Transmit it right for me… I love the way you can set-up favourites that have both a server-side start directory AND a client-side start directory.
    And you can still drag-n-drop from Finder, so there’s your column view :)
    FTPeel looks OK too.

  29. nate says:

    i use fugu or cyberduck for sftp/ftp transfers when i want a GUI. otherwise, i just use scp or maybe rsync from the command line. at least it’s a little more secure that way.
    also, defragging in OS X 10.3.x is a non-issue thanks to HFS+ “hot file clustering.” please stop using norton utilities. in my experience, it causes more trouble than it’s worth. read here for more: fragmentation report
    i abandoned gyazmail as my mail client of choice after it seemed IMAP support would be far off in development. it’s a really nice alternative to mail.app if you only have POP accounts. but i switch from desktop to laptop and back again constantly and was tired of synchronizing all my POP accounts among the various macs. the only viable IMAP client right now seems to be the passable, though a bit sluggish at times mail.app. entourage isn’t an option for me, since i’d have to buy it. sorry, MS. the other IMAP clients just seemed too unstable to use for any length of time. and webmail is convenient and all, but GUI client access is so handy. i guess there’s always pine…

  30. ~bc says:

    Mail: Mail.app since v1. No slowness. I’m kinda dissappointed with the competition, really. Entourage is nice, but I don’t feel like locking all my info down w/ MS. Eurdora is great, but I can’t stand the interface. (Interface, or lack there of is my biggest complaint against BBEdit, as well). I’d check out MailSmith, but no IMAP support, are you kidding?
    S/FTP: Transmit all the way. Panic is still my fav software co. The founders answer your email, the apps are art-like and work the way your Mac software should work. I too actually pay for it. I’ve tried many S/FTP clients, and always come back to the only I thought was worth money… though keep an eye on FUGU since it’s OSS I believe.

  31. Hoby says:

    Most of the time I use NetFinder. It has the best feature set I’ve found and allows me to do nice things like move files from one remote directory to another. Good authors and good program in my opinion.
    When I encounter an FTP server that doesn’t like NetFinder (which I’ve noticed can happen with every ftp client on mac, win, and linux) I use Fetch or the command line ftp.
    Fugu is also great for SSH based connections.
    With Apple Mail I’ve had a love hate relationship. There are aspects of it that are better and worse than the other options out there..but for the lack of anything else that’s better in every way, I’ve stayed using it since 10.2. I’ve also sent many, many suggestions to Apple through their feedback forms. I consider it usable with plenty of room to improve.

  32. Brady says:

    For work, we have copies of Transmit and Fetch — but all of us lean towards Fetch, and I prefer it for home use as well. Snappy, quick, easy — integrates well with BBEdit, and doesn’t seem to drag.
    As for mail, well, I have the same problem — and I’m guessing it’s the fault of the indexing for it’s search features as you build and build more of a database. I find System Optimizer does a nice job of magically making the mail app faster, it may be cleaning out some of the cache or is this my placebo?

  33. Ako says:

    Well, for ftp, i would have to go along with the hordes of other people, and say that yes, transmit rules the mac ftp scene.. unless you feel like going thruogh the command line.. Can’t go wrong there (hah!)..

  34. Vanish says:

    What the heck, I’ll pause from reading your book to chime in a bit.
    Mail: I manage 13 accounts, a combo of POP3 and IMAP, with over 30 subfolders. My mail DB weighs in at nearly 1.5 GB. I experience no slowdowns and have mail running for days at a time. I also have not experienced the problems with Go Online after a service outage as stated above.
    S/FTP: If it’s been written, I’ve used it. For the past year or so, Transmit has been my client of choice, although it does operate a bit sluggishly on secure connections. Prior to that I loved RBrowser for the two reasons you mention, Dan. My biggest problems with it were hangs and a simply ugly interface. I abandoned Interarchy after version 5 was released with the new FTP Disk feature with active syncing that was so smart it decided to sync by removing the files on my HDD because they didn’t yet exist on the FTP site… Glad I actively make backups.
    FUGU is nice, but needs some serious polish. Cyberduck just plain feels.. odd. Fetch I never did care for. Single pane viewing is a hinderance to me. SFTP, if it still exists, was designed to handle one thing well: SFTP. (Who would have thunk it?) Unfortunately, that was perhaps it’s weakest feature. (Go figure) I honestly have not given FTPeel a fair run through yet and therefore cannot comment on it.

  35. David Guy says:

    I love Transmit. I use it everyday with BBEdit. I’ve used it since I ditched Fetch long ago. The guys at http://www.panic.com have produced an awesome piece of code here and I’ll bet they have some good upgrades in mind. Who knows they may give you your coveted column view. I’d highly recommend it.

  36. Andrew Stone says:

    I know this suggestion in antithetical to most Macintosh users but I have found NCFTP, a free commandline ftp app, on OS X is the most consistently robust FTP client available. Anyone who works in a UNIX/linux environment doing sysadmin work is familiar with this robust FTP client. If you have the will to become comfortable with commandline, it should be your first line of defence for FTPing unless you are doing a lot of discreet files transfers from lots of different directories, then an app like Transmit works well. Fetch under OS X is not good at all unless the developers have cleaned things up recently.
    NCFTP takes up next to no CPU resources and will faithfully download/upload huge files without crapping out. I have found no other FTP client can live up to this claim.
    If you are comfortable compiling UNIX apps then just go grab the source. An easier way into the UNIX side of Mac OS X is to use the FINK app/installer.
    Too complicated to get into here but you can read up on it at: fink.sourceforge.net
    There is darwinports another project similar to FINK that offers the ability to get UNIX apps running under OS X with a minimum amount of fuss but fink is, at this point easier to get going for the person who is new to installing UNIX applications under OS X.
    If you are new to UNIX then NCFTP might not be the way to go and Transmit might be your best answer.
    NCFTP get it.

  37. Braxton says:

    For FTP, CyberDuck is the way to go. Full featured, reliable and free. You can even get the source if you want.

  38. Josh says:

    For ftp I use transmit, nothing else comes close.
    As for mail, I have also noticed the slowdown after having it open for a few days. Also, for the last few weeks it has been crashing every time I get an email with a big attachment. Anyone know why it might be doing that?

  39. Trent Davies says:

    I’ve used RBrowser for several years and have also felt the spirtual angst for a better FTP client. It’s good, but there must be something better out there.
    What makes Rbrowser attractive? Column view. What makes us hate it? Sluggish behavior in column view. I concede that this “sluggishness” could maybe be reduced through continued development. However, the main reason for that sluggish behavior is two-fold: One, Latency on the FTP server side (i.e. bad internet connectivity), and two, the inherent multiple-connection nature of column view for an FTP client makes it seem slower.
    So, Dan, to summarize: you can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you want an FTP client in column view, sluggishness comes along for the ride.

  40. Used RBrowser briefly but its slow, have been using Transmit the last 3 weeks and bought it last night. No regrets. As for directly opening file in BBedit it can always be done with a little script. I love Transmits speed! When you are downloading/uploading files not just onces and 2′s speed matters. Add it up over a period of time you will see the difference. I use Transmit everyday! Tried a bit of Fugu too and had bought Fetch(what a mistake, oh well!), no comparison to Transmit really. And thanks to Andy for getting me hooked to Transmit. :)

  41. Hi!
    Well, someone suggested defragmentation. Well. No. This is not Windows-World. Fragmentation is not an issue here any longer. Apple is Unix and since 10.3 the file system should be journaled by default. Start from your System CD, upon the language choice go for the “File” Menu and choose Disc Utility (or whatever it might be called in your localized version). Click on your hard disc icon and look if Journaling is enabled. If not, do so. This has nothing to do with “fragmentation” of files really, but it keeps the files on your disc automatically in complete integrity and you don’t have to worry about them any longer.
    Now, one major issue with Apple OS X (aka Darwin BSD UNIX) is Apple’s problem with the UNIX file permission system. Well, they don’t really have a problem with it, however, after a while of using your Mac, the default permission on system and app files do get a bit jungled. So, while you are in disc utility, first check your hard disc using the disc repair button, next correct all permissions again. This little trick helps speed up Macs and solve strange behaviour problems tremendously. It is also alway recommended to do this after a crash or a harsh shut down (either by just pulling the power plug, pressing the on-button for more then 3 secs. or even for speed shutdowns using the ‘halt’-command in SU-mode in the terminal (this is for UNIX geeks).
    Another problem, which might cause the slowness of Mail.app, is Apples slight problem with cache files. Now, cache files help speed up things. Commonly used tasks get cached and hence run faster. Stupid but if a software or run-time error gets dumped into cache: then the system becomes lame and even instable. Flushing the system and user cache is not that easy if you do it manually. Actually I would not recommend this unless you are a REAL UNIX geek and have been on UNIXes for decades.
    There is a tool called Panther Cache Tool. This can help. However, I have a much nicer finding on the Internet, that even corrects your hard disc, does a permission correction and some other clean-ups in one go. This tool is called AppleJack and can be found at http://applejack.sf.net . It is a pure command line single user mode tool that comes with an easy to use installer. Now, I know, for those of you who are typical Apple fans and have never left the brilliant graphical user interface, AppleJack might seem like a shock to you as it takes you right into the Mac’s UNIX underworld. But don’t be afraid, its plain dumb simple:
    After installing AppleJack (it will tell you if everything was installed ok), reboot your Mac. When it bongs, immediately press and hold the Apple-key together with S (“S” like “Single User Mode”). Now your Mac will boot in UNIX Single User Mode, you’ll see some text on black screen. Don’t be afraid. After the boot is finished (very quick), you will see a note telling you to now enter “applejack” (without the ” of course) as a command, then enter. Next, AppleJack tells you what it does. Press “a” and enter. This calls the automatic clean up routine.
    This is brilliant, as it safes you from the inconveniant way with booting from the system CD, and it does all the cleaning tasks right for you.
    Once AppleJack is done, it tells you to reboot by entering “reboot” and enter. That’s it. Your Mac will be fresh and clean and new and – most of the times – odd slownesses, strange behaviour and other annoying things will be gone! Do this once a month or at least after crashes, harsh shut downs and other things gone wrong.
    Fresh Air for your Mac! :-)
    Have fun, Stephan

  42. One comment on FTP apps:
    Hi, me again!
    Okay, I am a heavy-user concerning FTP. I design and program dynamic web sites. Mostly using the Open Source CRM Mambo (http://www.mamboserver.com). Anyway: I upload quite a lot to web servers, and I need to work on files right there. I use BBEdit for that. I know that BBEdit can do FTP, but somehow I don’t find that very convenient.
    I can say I have thus tried out ANY FTP tool available on the Mac. All of them mentioned above. ALL of them! :-) I have, too, been using Transmit for quite a while and believed it to be one of the best. It still is, however it has its problems sometimes. Especially in combination with some switches with my Internet Provider (I am on a fast, permanent SDSL line) and those nasty hidden Proxy servers built into some Cisco Switches. The problem here is the following: FTP is quite a complex transfer protocol. There is one “channel” needed for the data and another one for flow control. Now, this is the dummy guide to FTP version of it. You might have heard about “Active” and “Passive” FTP. I won’t go into detail, but what happens on older or too hyperintelligent switches with your telco/internet provider: active FTP will cause connection losses which can be a pain in the… – you know. So, whenever you realize there is something somehow buggy with your connection, DO switch to passive mode.
    Okay. Now Transmit. I have noticed that Transmit, even though in passive mode, still likes to drop the connection – whereas Interarchy (here comes my new favourit) – is much more stable. As I said initially, I am on a fast SDSL connection. The line is rather long. Just a little too long maybe, so I do have some problems every now and then with it. Trouble only is, besides satellite DSL, there is no other alternative in my region. Now you can say, my line is brilliant, but at times it can be a bit “bumpy”. Transmit does not forgive that. It just drops connection.
    Interarchy however seems MUCH more robust.
    I like it too, because of the column view and doubleclicking-working-in-BBEdit-saving -right-back-to-the-server feature.
    CyberDuck seemed cute first, but prooved a nightmare on my connection. Anything else I either did not like from the looks, did not like to use or was simply just not working right in “high-tide” work load situations.
    Mind you, I just recently gave everything available with their current version another test. And came back to Interarchy. So, this is my recommendation, especially if you encounter uplink line flux (which might not show in regular downlink situations ) as I do every now and then.
    Hope to have been of help. Drop me a line at panamairlines@gmail.com (yeah, I know, how posh – smile) if you’ve got questions to both of my posts,
    Steph

  43. Mail.app – Another hint!
    Ah, sorry, me AGAIN! Another tip for Mail.app that makes it speedy again: I have observed on some (not all) Macs here in my company network that Mail gets slow the more mails there are in one folder. Now, this is not really reproduceable. It does not happen on ALL machines really. Just some have that problem.
    I found out that a little tidying up helps tremendously to bring Mail back to speed again. Create some folders (I’ve got one called for example “Archive 2003″ in which I have various subfolders of different kinds, like “private”, “customer A”, “customer B”). Distribute your old Mail into these folders. Try to really distribute them, so that your mail load is speat from one HUGE folder into several more small folders. Do not nest to much, that means, do not too many subfolder in each other, rather keep your hierachy rather flat.
    Technially, what happens, is the following: each mailbox folder is represented by one Mbox-File. This is basically a text file with ALL your mails in one folder neatly behind each other. This is the standard way for Unix Mailboxes and is also used by Mozilla, Thunderbird and a couple of other mail clients. Mboxes are great as they allow the most easiest way of transporting mail to other mail applicatoins if you switch mail clients, or even if you switch computers! To control where everything is, Mail also creates an index file for each mailbox. This is a bit like those boxes of file cards you find in old-fashined libraries that do not file their books with computers but using the old-fashioned way of drawers full of cards. So, the index is this look up that tells mail where exactly in a Mbox file a particular information can be found. You see this “filing” happening every now and then, when Mail says it is indexing the mailboxes. It does inventory at that moment.
    Now, if your Mbox file gets REALLY large, as there are SOOOOO many mails in them, sure things start taking longer times. This is why libraries switched to computers very soon as the old drawers with cards become a little slow to search through tenthousends of books, right?!
    By distributing your mail in several mailboxes, you start shrinking the size of the indiviudal Mbox files, reduce the indexes and that makes Mail quick again.
    Maybe you’d like to give this a try, too!
    Good luck, Steph

  44. I was a religious Fetch user, then switched to Transmit, once they updated it. It’s fairly easy to use, and handles both secure and standard FTP well.
    I definitely recommend :)

  45. Andrew Green says:

    Since you’re only using Mail for a POP account, I can’t recommend GyazMail enough. It’s really, really good.

  46. I’ve been a user of Transmit since it was called “Transit” and a registered user for quite some time. For the most part I’ve been more than happy, but I have one gripe and one suggestion.
    Uploading a file doesn’t appear to force the timestamp of the new file on the Destination server to be the same as the timestamp of the local file, hence using the Synchronize function can have variable results (if I Synchronize a folder, then Sychronize the same folder again a few minutes later without changing any source files, no further transfers should be made – and yet I usually see several files get transferred again). On this note I’d also like to see a “Compare” function that highlights changed files between Source and Destination folders, and then allows me to transfer these manually.
    A feature I love from seeing a colleague using WinSCP on XP is the ability to lock the Source and Destination folders while traversing the directory structure – how often do you find yourself clicking through a series of folders and then repeating the process in the other window? It’s a simple idea that would be a great addition.
    I have made these suggestions to the Panic guys but they appear to be busy on other projects :-)

  47. Kyle Bragger says:

    Transmit makes me giddy! I was amazed how easy it is to use, and how simple it is. I love the Sync feature, and the Edit feature, too. It’s a really awesome app!

  48. nate says:

    also, mail.app as of OS X 10.4 is supposedly going to support the “one file for each message” standard referenced in RFC 2822 (or something like that). so no more mboxes to deal with.

  49. Phil Sherry says:

    Mail does that to me too (as does Safari). it’s quite annoying.
    it’s also started asking for my password a few times a day, again. it hasn’t done this for so long, i thought they’d fixed that bug.
    2 bugs i’d love to see the back of.

  50. Rob Ballou says:

    Being a multi-os user, I have been disappointed with Mac FTP clients. When I have to, I use Transmit.
    My main disappoints, primarily with Transmit (but this applies to others): it is difficult to bounce around between folders (to make one or two changes to a website/application, I am often uploading files in multiple directories) and, along the same lines, there is no way to access recent folders quickly and path shortcuts are not very usable (I work on anywhere from five to fifteen projects a week).
    Realizing tree-view isn’t a very Mac oriented thing (other than the detail view, which is kind of the same), I think it is very helpful. Basically it is two views, one with a folder tree and another with the files. When at work, I tend to do all my FTP sessions on my Windows machine (one of the only things I use it for besides testing) using a new program (for me), FileZilla.

  51. mathew h says:

    yah, i use transmit and ncftp. both are great. i also use bbedit’s built-in ftp transfer (and i’m trying skedit’s transfer too).
    i love ncftp. it’s brilliant. bookmarking urls is great and a big improvement over the terminal’s built-in ftp app. give it a try!

  52. Marlyse Comte says:

    used to love RBrowser Lite.
    but now my ISP is using CrushFTP and it just doesn’t work, even after some email exchange with the coder. don’t remember what exactly was the problem.
    so I looked around. my favorite now is cyberduck

  53. dave rau says:

    Transmit is excellent for small sites and tasks, but Interarchy is dreamy! Use auto-upload on a site tied to a local folder on your Mac and drag any files & folders to the interarchy dock icon to be automatically transfered to the proper place on your web site. It’s fantastic! One- and two-way mirroring are also available, as are sftp, ftp disk (create a mounted volume of an ftp site) and Rendezvous support for auto-detect of ftp sites. Transmit can’t be beat for simplicity, but auto-upload with Interarchy is amazing! I just drag files to the dock and forget about it.

  54. As for a mail client has anyone tried Mailsmith? I have heard great reviews about this one.

  55. M.e. says:

    I use a combo of Transmit, BBEdit’s FTP function and Dreamweaver’s FTP function. I’m finding Dreamweaver quite nice for hand coding, and being able to shift+command+u to upload a file to the correct directory without any browsing at all is pretty darn handy.
    As for Mail, I think it is THE BEST. We use MS Exchange at work and no one has as many subfolders on and off the network as I do. Everything is zippy. I’m thinking defrag/zap PRAM/permissions repair is your answer to performance problems.
    Any of you every use HyperEdit? It’s pretty cool.

  56. Nate says:

    I currently use RBrowser and have found its interface to be a little weak. Functionally its great except every once in a while it mixed up previous with current directories. If anyone knows a fix for that let me know.

  57. dzd says:

    Transmit is probably the best client out there right now. Unfortunately that reflects the sad state of Mac FTP clients more than it says anything about Transmit’s greatness.

  58. Danny says:

    Filezilla was always my FTP client of choice when I used Windows. Now that I’m on a Mac I gave Transmit a shot and it seems to work great for me. I wish I could tell if Filezilla is any good on Mac, but I haven’t tryed it yet. AKA I don’t feel like compiling source code!

  59. Karen says:

    I use Transmit and Entourage respectively. I find it hard (as a switcher) to use a PC for too long without these programs.
    Transmit just makes FTP about as simple as possible and I love the user interface. I’d like column view too, but otherwise it is perfect.
    Entourage is the best mail app I’ve used on any platform. MS made a great job of making it feel like a Mac program rather than a port of Outlook (yuk!). OK, it is probably the most expensive Mac mail program, but sometimes you get what you pay for.
    By the way, I’ve just started on your book Dan. I like the style of it, and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot!

  60. Boris says:

    Just a simple question… don’t you think it’s a lack of Mac OsX ?
    Mac OsX should implement a write feature Ftp in the finder as it’s the case on most other Operating System (Linux + Kde, windows…).
    If they only could implement it as Midnight commander does…

  61. Brandon says:

    The mail thing….it happens to me too. And I use Thunderbird.
    As far as Transmit, I love it. I believe you can set it to open files with BBEdit, though I could be wrong since I don’t have the app.
    Prefences>General>External Editor ;)

  62. Tim says:

    I’m curious as to whether defragging helped at all. Generally, defragging is not necessary in Mac OS X as the journaling filesystem defrags automatically as files are opened. More…

  63. JH says:

    A few others
    The client I use most often is lftp — which on my Mac I guess I installed using Fink. Or it’s included in any Linux distribution. It’s a great command-line client with advanced features like auto-connecting, wildcards, batch transfers, recursive syncing, scripting etc. It also allows you to perform many useful UNIX commands like cat on remote files and supports reput.
    For a graphical client I used Fugu, and generally try to stick to SFTP/SCP for servers I maintain — for client servers untunnelled FTP is often required.
    Another decent graphical FTP client for Mac is Captain FTP — it’s certainly a lot more full-featured than Transmit.

  64. mathew h says:

    one thing that confuses me about mac os x is how you can connect to servers with the finder, but you can’t access any of the files thereupon. why is that? is it a secret feature they’re ever going to implement? it would be brilliant to be able to do that.
    anyone?

  65. I too will suggest Interachy. It’s solid, and works the way I expect it to. Of course I’ve been using it since the mid-90′s or so…

  66. Clayton says:

    Another vote for ncftp. If you’re comfortable using the command line you can’t go wrong with ncftp. I’ve used transmit and if you’re more of a GUI person transmit is probably the best choice.

  67. Joel Philip says:

    good ol’ Fetch is great. I use ver. 4.0.x and its nicer then Transmit.

  68. Patrick says:

    I had issues with mail becomming sluggish, and found that it was due to a plugin installed to allow accessing hotmail mail accounts (http://sourceforge.net/projects/httpmail-plugin). Anyway, a version released a while back had a memory leak that was causing my problems. I switched it out to the new version, and haven’t had any problems since then.
    Hopefully this helps.

  69. I use Cyberduck. The GUI needs some work, and it’s not too stable, but I love the SubEthaEdit integration.
    Transmit is a VERY good FTP client. I think I should buy this one some day.

  70. Mike W says:

    Sorry for the late entry but no-one has mentioned Captain FTP (http://captainftp.xdsnet.de/ftp/home.php). Maybe its a European thing. It’s built from the ground up as an OSX app. (needs Jaguar+) and feature updates are frequent. It has BBEdit support, handles multiple connections and server-to-server transfers amongst other things and is shareware. I like it.

  71. Jon Hicks says:

    Dan – I now think that the sluggishness in Safari is due to a memory leak in the app itself. Doesn’t make it any less annoying of course.
    Regarding defragmentation: OS X does defrag automatically, but only on files up to 20mb. If you handle a lot of high res files, it might be a problem. I tried out the applejack, and I think thats helped my general system slowness.
    As for apps, I use Mail. I converted from Entourage (which I’d been using for 2 years) back in January. Never looked back. Entourage’s mail database needs to be rebuilt every now and then, or else you get all sorts of weirdness happening. Mail feels like a part of the system, and is all the better for it. If only it had some way of archiving older messages.
    I’m also a Transmit kind guy, but really hoping for a column or tree view.

  72. MacGuru says:

    For me the best FTP client for Mac has to be Captain FTP. It offers more than any of the others, and is more reliable, and stable. It also looks good if that’s important.
    Goto: http://www.captainftp.com

  73. paul says:

    Transmit rules! I’ve been using it since it was called “Transit”, way back in the day. With the recently introduced v3, there is now a column view, and sort by “kind”. I’m not real happy about the way they’ve rearranged the favorites, but overall it’s a solid upgrade. I personally think it’s the best ftp client made for the Mac.