Mail Trends is a software written in python that analyses your IMAP inbox to produce a variety of graphical results.

Background rant: I first came across this when I was on windows and since there was a windows binary, I gave it a try. It didn’t work of course, had some issues with and (AFAI can remember) and couldn’t find a single person who has tried it on windows and blogged about it.

I looked for user comments on the Google Code wiki page and tracked down one of them on deviantart (All hail Google!) who seems to have got it working under Windows. But my joys were shortlived, he wasn’t quite willing to help out and in my world, nothing is left undone.

Now that I got Opensuse and everything is more than perfect, this was something I had to get back to.

So here’s how to get it up and running on your system (OpenSuse 10.3).

  1. Get the mailtrends tar ball
  2. Get the Cheetah template system tar ball (it wasn’t available on YaST for me, if you are using an Ubuntu system, probably can try the apt get commands mentioned on the mailtrends page).
  3. Extract both the tar balls on your say.. Desktop.
  4. Installing Cheetah:

    Part 1: This part they don’t tell you. You will also need “Python-devel” package (can be found via YaST) else when you try to install cheetah it’s going to spew an error like…

    “error: invalid Python installation: unable to open /usr/lib64/python2.5/config/Makefile (No such fil
    e or directory)”.

    Part 2: Now, navigate to the extracted folder of your Cheetah and do a “sudo python build”. Proceed if you do not encounter any error. Then do a “sudo python install”. That should install Cheetah.

  5. Now navigate to the mailtrends folder in your terminal and run the following…
    python \ \
      --use_ssl \ \, \

    where in my case (I have a IMAP enabled Google Apps Gmail account) I filled the parameters like this…, me =”,”

    You can use additional flags as mentioned in the mailtrends page, but I didn’t use any. This is the output that followed after I ran the…

    sindhu@linux-5e3p:~/Desktop/mail-trends> python \
    > — \
    > —use_ssl \
    > — \
    > —, \
    > —skip_labels
    [2008-05-10 11:16:08,482] Initializing
    Password for
    [2008-05-10 11:16:13,894] Connecting
    [2008-05-10 11:16:17,317] Logging in
    [2008-05-10 11:16:18,521] Selecting mailbox ‘[Gmail]/All Mail’
    [2008-05-10 11:16:20,278] Fetching message infos
    [2008-05-10 11:16:20,278] Fetching message list
    [2008-05-10 11:16:25,583] 5825 messages were listed
    [2008-05-10 11:16:25,584] Fetching info for 1000 messages (1000/5825)
    [2008-05-10 11:17:41,850] Parsing replies
    [2008-05-10 11:17:43,277] Fetching info for 1000 messages (2000/5825)
    [2008-05-10 11:18:32,059] Parsing replies
    [2008-05-10 11:18:34,171] Fetching info for 1000 messages (3000/5825)
    [2008-05-10 11:19:33,951] Parsing replies
    [2008-05-10 11:19:36,227] Fetching info for 1000 messages (4000/5825)
    [2008-05-10 11:21:17,537] Parsing replies
    [2008-05-10 11:21:19,929] Fetching info for 1000 messages (5000/5825)
    [2008-05-10 11:22:25,941] Parsing replies
    [2008-05-10 11:22:28,076] Fetching info for 825 messages (5825/5825)
    [2008-05-10 11:23:42,639] Parsing replies
    [2008-05-10 11:23:44,585] Got 5825 message infos
    [2008-05-10 11:23:44,587] Logging out
    [2008-05-10 11:23:46,306] Identifying “me” messages
    [2008-05-10 11:23:49,444] 1473 messages are from “me”
    [2008-05-10 11:23:49,444] 1771 messages are to “me”
    [2008-05-10 11:23:49,445] Extracting threads
    [2008-05-10 11:23:50,231] Generating stats
    [2008-05-10 11:23:56,660] Outputting HTML
    [2008-05-10 11:23:57,274] Done

  6. That’s it :) You can view the output in /out folder of your mailtrends folder.

In case you are interested, I have uploaded mine here.

PS: Now don’t get all over me about too much disclosure of personal information. There is nothing you can deduce from it. I just happen to a lot of people and I use the mail regularly.