Last Week macOSXHints ran a tip about using Mail.app’s “Save As…” option to export messages in mbox format.
Mark Pilgrim, who recently switched from OS X to Linux, takes the opportunity to point out that this option doesn’t create a valid mbox. Rather, it is another example of Apple’s wicked addiction to proprietary file formats.
Mail.app was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Mark. It made him switch away. And the pain is still raw:
However, in the interests of fairness, I will amend my previous statement that Mail.app is a roach motel that auto-upgraded 14 years of my mail into a proprietary, undocumented format with no possibility of exporting it to an open format. This is not true. Mail.app is a roach motel that auto-upgraded 14 years of my mail into a proprietary, undocumented format with a tantalizingly broken export feature. I apologize for the confusion.
Mail.app. Gone but not easily forgotten.
Fortunately developers have found solutions and work-arounds for exporting Mail 2.0 messages. Mark could use either emlx to mbox converter or, better, the Archive script in Andreas Amann’s excellent Mail Scripts to solve his problem.
- John Gruber, Mark Pilgrim, Mail.app and openness
- Going backwards: Tiger emlx to Panther mbox
- emlx to mbox converter 1.0.3
- An emlx to mbox converter
- Address Book to CSV Exporter
Tags: Apple Mail, emlx, exporting, mail.app, mbox, pilgrim, switching