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My wishlist for a new email program

I am sick of the crummy email systems that have come and gone over the years. They have all failed to address the needs of modern power users like me.

My current client is nothing more than SquirrelMail, an IMAP client that handles the email kept on a server maintained by SquirrelMail doesn't break and it is reliable, but it has no power. It's like an old Volkswagen Beetle; it gets you down the street.

I've played with various email clients over the years and they all suffer from one huge problem: They cannot maintain control of that many messages. I want to keep all my email, generally on a local machine with a cloud backup using a combination of IMAP and POP.

I want it to be able to handle half a million messages with ease. Yes, half a million. This is not a lot for a computer, but it seems to be a lot to any email program, which will bog down after 100,000 records.

The problem seems to be that messages are not converted to records in a dynamic relational database where they can be sorted and searched.

And while it's wishful thinking, I'd like to see all the emails parsed and categorised from the parsing and further abstracted. What system does anything like this? Tell me.

The entire database should be indexed to quickly search the body content using subsystems that account for misspellings within the body of the messages. This is a huge problem.

Furthermore, I'd like to see an email system that can search selections. Let's say I'm looking for an email from Microsoft about an old event. I think it was two years ago, maybe three. If I search for events under the subject search, I get thousands of event invites from hundreds of companies. Not useful. My other option would be to search for messages from Microsoft, which brings up a similar problem.

I need to make a selection with a search and then I need to work that selection with other searches – maybe even search one more iteration to find what I am looking for.

Now I know that there are search mechanisms that can do this using advanced search forms, but most of these choke on the size of a massive database.

It has always seemed to me that a robust and secure email program that backed up or archived incrementally would be a huge success in the market. Instead, lots of folks are still using Outlook or (ugh) Outlook Express because they are included with Microsoft Office.

Outlook hasn't really changed much since its creation. Some new whiz-bang features are added, but fundamentally, it's not right. To back up your email, you have to export a .PST file after going through a right rigmarole. And would you trust Outlook with 500,000 messages?

Every so often, I complain about this situation and people suggest alternative systems, none of which have worked for me. There is always some niggling issue. It's ridiculous.