K-9 Mail is back (5.800 release)

As a long time user (and no I am not a developer because I have never had the need before) I was shocked at the dumbing down of the user interface.

Not only has the Unified Inbox caused me confusion, the hiding of the encryption options (why I use K9 in the first place), and even the moving of buttons from where they have been to where they shouldn’t be.

“There’s only a few people using the app that don’t like the direction the app is going.”
Really? Would you please point me at the user poll that shows that? I mean, you must have some evidence for that claim or surely you wouldn’t have made it.

You said “I develop for me” which is fine, but if you take over as lead developer on an existing project you are also developing for all of the other users. Not taking current users into account just shows that you shouldn’t be leading a project.


That’s wrong. Take a look at GitHub and see yourself

I really hope they quickly add the ability to view only unread email so I can select them all.

Since I may have 90 new emails and there may only be three or four that I actually want to look at I like being able to select everything go through it and then unselect the ones I actually want to look at and then delete everything selected, this will leave the three or four emails I actually want to look at in the inbox where I can view them.

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Why have you removed the long push feature of selecting all messages from same sender? It was the reason I kept K-9 over other email applications. It saddens me that this feature is gone. Also, why cannot you view you starred messages separately? Why would you flag then?



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“There’s only a few people using the app that don’t like the direction the app is going.”

I would venture to say there are even fewer developers that do. If this was just to suit the needs of those developers, make your own fork, for your own needs and not ambush the rest of us.


He’s the original developer, is he not? So it’s his decision to make. His generosity to offer it as open source allows others to fork and build something different.

I’ve tried a few different apps in the last few days, because I wanted to broaden my horizon, and just installed the latest version of K-9 again. So everyone make their own decision.

It’s only partly his fault that Google Play does not allow downgrades, but there’s F-Drois for that. You guys also have to accept every change Gmail makes to their app… Why should it be different here, EXCEPT that the open source nature gives you the possibility to fork it at an earlier stage, if someone is willing to put on the effort to bring it up to date so that it can be released in Play Store again.


I beleive the original developer is Jesse Vincent (of Perl fame) who published his source code to GitHub back in 2008 and appears to have continued being the lead developer until v4.901 in 2014.

Edit: Some interesting history about the motivations behind K-9 here.


K9-Bling hahaha :laughing:
with the new FUI

What I have learnt here today. The attitude of the developer(s) is they’re riding in a spaceship far away from earth. He/they made clear they are developing k-9 for themselves, not for anyone else. Users wishes, download counts, Likes/Dislikes are irrelevant. Well, thank you cketti for being honest. I’m trying to move back to 5.6 and if it doesn’t work, then that’s been it. What a pity.


Thanks for correcting me there!

Intersting read, thanks.


No, “Obra” is listed as “founder and former project lead”, so, no, he is not the original lead, he is not the original developer, he has taken over an existing project and moved it in the direction that he wanted.


How does the sand taste? You’ve certainly got your head buried in it.

You probably meant that people who worked on the development are largely happy with it. There are many who don’t ike the direction the app is going in.

This can happen with any software project, open or closed source, where the aims of the developers don’t reconcile with their user base. Like many I’ll just move on to something else.


He is right. Those who don’t like the direction the app is going, simply stop using it.

Back to 5.6 and happy again. Once they restore the accounts overview, I’ll consider redoing the update. I’ll give them a 4 weeks. Otherwise adios amigos.

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@cketti : Thank-you so much for explaining your motivation & reasoning behind the development of K-9. I, for one, completely understand your reasoning and accept it.

It is unfortunate for those of us that adopted & loved your app as it was are temporarily stuck in limbo. I say ‘temporarily’ as, although I do not have the expertise (nor currently the time), I can hope that one or more of the dedicated users will pick up v5.6 and fork it into a new project with the features so many of us have loved and grown used to.

As you have clearly stated:

being “successful” was never a goal. Creating the app I want to use is my main motivation.


K-9 Mail is an open source project. If you don’t like the direction the app is going, you can always fork it,

I hope that, like myself, the users not happy with your decisions about your app can now accept them and move forward.

Best wishes for you and K-9 into the future, one which (for now) I will have to part ways with.

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What I really don’t get, on top of questionable design decisions and completely ruining the usability and work flow k-9 was known for:

There were 2 years with the new UI and only beta releases until the 5.8 update we have now.
What I absolutely do not get is why hasn’t the time been used to do something like a migration guide or documentation regarding the huge changes between stable releases?

The forum is full with questions like “how to do this, how to do that”! Even simple and basic things like selecting multiple mails, synchronization of all accounts, etc need to be asked in the forum. There’s nothing like a documentation regarding how to do X or Y in 5.8 now that you’ve done in 5.6.

Most apps nowadays have something like an introduction/tutorial on where to find what and how to do this or that.

Sorry, @cketti, but you got my taxes for implementing Jmap into something that “isn’t a product”, but an open source project you code to your liking. That’s what I call a hobby.

If it isn’t a “product”, tell me why you got funded by the “Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)”? My taxes btw!!!
They do fund:

Wir fördern Public Interest Tech: Technisch und anderweitig versierte Akteur*innen setzen ihr Können und ihre Kompetenzen im Sinne des Gemeinwohls ein und nehmen aktiv, systemisch, interdisziplinär und vor allem “bottom up” an Innovationsprozessen teil, um die hieraus entstehenden Tools und Technologien in den Dienst der Gesellschaft zu stellen.
[/quote] see: About - Prototype Fund

Something solely to your own liking isn’t “Gemeinwohl” (public interest).

Btw, I searched the forum, but haven’t found anything regarding jmap!?

So, k-9 is not a product, but simply an open source project of some developers, mainly you, @cketti. You get fundings of around 4k € a month for that “hobby” without owning anyone anything?

No documentation, no migration tutorial after a complete rewrite of the UI? Not even an in-app guide after doing a major release after 2 years?


It is, what it is. The questions is, where K9 would be today without the current developer(s). Probably long time dead?

Are there enough other developers ready to fill in or do a fork to our likings? I don’t think so. So at the end it’s on the current developers to decide, where the ship is sailing.

Yes, there are plenty of people unhappy with the destination, but at least the ship is (still) sailing. As for us passengers? We can jump ship anytime. Nothing in this world is forever, and we had good years with K9.

I’m going with v5.600 as long as possible. I’m not angry, I don’t own this ship. Of course would I’ve been really happy to see K9 further evolve in it’s former nature. But it is what it is.

I’ve seen enough over the last days to conclude for myself: @cketti is sitting this out until we all go quiet. People move on.

After years (!) of waiting for the next update, v5.800 doesn’t made a difference at all. Death by update or death by closing. Nothing is forever.

I’m only sorry for the ordinary people having to deal with the consequences now and essentially losing the app they’ve grown to for so many years.

I’m out of here now.

Waow That’s interesting 4000€ / months from German tax funds for a project the main dev says he doesn’t care about its success and never thought would be popular,
Now we learn he didn’t create it, it was already popular when he took over, says it’s only for himself while taking public funds to further developing it for the public.
And the guy is privately giving me lessons on how to behave on a public forum, how ironic !


Ah, interesting. I should pay your life :smiley:

it’s not a one-way street - at least i thought that.

First of all: Thank you very much for investing time and efforts into K-9; much appreciated. I am sorry, but I have to admit I like the “old” GUI better. I am colorblind and even if I can see (and distinguish) colors, they have absolutely no meaning for me; the old GUI was easier to use for me. If my vote counts, I vote for the old GUI :slight_smile:

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