Thursday, September 05, 2002
Well finally I got 10.1.5 back and working on the powerbook, and after much work got most of my old files and settings moved over. Ug! My *new* powerbook hasn't shipped from Apple yet, but hopefully it will tomorrow.
[Powermail], my email client for home, has been crashing whenever it gets my main mail account the past few days. Rebuilding it's database, etc. etc. had no effect. And when I got home tonight, ready to back up mail and start over, it randomly started working fine. There's an update to Powermail that *might* fix this, but the installer disk image is always coming out corrupt (which has happened the apst few updates as well with these guys).
I had used Eudora for years and years, and I *detest* Outlook. The sad thing is that every email client under the sun these days looks and acts like Outlook and there isn't much that strays from Outlook's crappy-ass 3-paned view of mail. Eudora was getting just.... old. And it was showing. So after playing with Powermail and bunch of other apps, I bought Powermail and migrated a year's worth of Eudora mailboxes into it. That was about six months ago.
One of the selling points of PM was that it's search functions are based around V-Twin, Apple's find-by-content engine. Unfortuantely, it doesn't work very well, and that's something you can't find out in the demo version (because you can't import enough mail in the limited demo to see the search stuff work). In all honesty, Eudora's search functionality met my needs better.
In most other ways, Powermail is very nice - filtering works very well, the AppleScript support is very good (though it's weak in some areas specific to things I want to do), and it's overall integration with the MacOS is very good. It does look and feel like a well put together Mac application.
BUT for me it's still not good enough. After my initial frustrations with PM a number of months ago, I started working on my own mail client for MacOS X. Most of the code is built in java with [Javamail], though I have looked at using [Pantomime] , a "clone" of javamail written in Objective-C. Objective-C is the language that MacOS X works in, you can use Java instead but you do pay some for using it. While what Pantomime lacks in documentation I'm sure it makes up for in good intentions, it still has no documentation. As far as I'm concerned, that makes it pretty useless - I have no way of knowing how to use it, other than to take apart it's parent project, GNUMail, which also has no documentation. You would think someone but me has heard of things like [headerdoc].
For searching mail, I found that the original architect of Apple's V-Twin wrote a successor to it in Java called [Lucene]. From what I've seen, it kicks ass, and I've done some work with it indexing and searching remote IMAP directories (I may put out something standalone for that shortly after I get the TiBook).
The filtering system that this app uses... I'll talk about some other time.
As well as some of the things that it can do for eliminating spam. There may be a neat patent opportunity in there anyway. What would be really cool is to have a p2p network for tracking spam mails, but though I'll have a server i can use to centralize that, I think that there won't be nearly enough clients running this app to make it worthwhile (I'm only writing it for myself and my needs for now).
And I've promised [Chris] that all the backend stuff will be available to *his* projects as well. That might happen sooner rather than later (like within the next week).
[ 9/05/2002 08:51:00 PM ] [