Everyone needs to test emails for web applications, but it turns your inbox into a mess. Not to mention constantly refreshing your web mail and clicking Send/Receive. You struggle to find the broken html, and viewing your text and html alternate versions just takes too much time.

This is where Email Dissector comes in to play. Email Dissector creates a dummy smtp server right on your desktop. It will then intercept any outgoing emails on the host and port it is listening on, and present them to you in a few different formats: HTML, HTML Source, Text (for multipart emails with alternate text versions), raw headers, and attachments.

Since the email server is contained right in the application, there is zero wait time. The inbox is refreshed immediately! Also the Inbox is the only box, as this is development work only.

Before we get too carried away it needs to be noted right off the bat that the html view uses webkit. This means it is likely much more advanced than the general email client, so don’t get too far ahead of yourself with css and javascript. The good part is you can quickly see any major issues before debugging in 50 different email clients.

The html source view elegantly shows off the markup. Now you can see what is wrong with your html.

The Text tab is for alternate text versions of emails. If your email client is html capable (which it probably is) it can be difficult to find the the text versions of emails if they are supplied. Believe it or not but some people actually like text emails as they are generally short and to the point. Email Dissector presents this conviniently.

Looking for the encoding or your reply-to values? Check the Raw tab to see all the headers sent

Finally you can see what attachments were sent.

Thats all there is to this simple little program, but it should surely speed up you email development significantly! Best part is it is developed in python, so it should run most anywhere python does as long as Webkit is available. (So far tested on Ubuntu and Windows). Enjoy!

Python Email Dissector on Github