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Monday, February 03, 2003

Well, I was waiting to post something about Columbia, but it's going to be a doozy, so that'll wait till tomorrow.
[Zoe] is pretty cool, but it's hard to get it working, and even when it's going it does eat a lot of memory. It does a lot of cool stuff, but it does it through a web browser interface, running a web server on your machine, which ends up being a little clunky.
[Emila] is an attempt to do much the same thing, with a less clunky Cocoa interface. Both of these apps do a lot of the things, and express the ideas that Evil Toaster, my mail app does. Of course, Evil Toaster is still a bunch of bits and pieces without a coherent whole still.

Email has always been the killer app for the internet, but it's becoming harder and harder to use. We're bombarded with information. At home I still have only the most basic spam filtering turned on with the account I've had for quite a while, last night I managed to get 30-something spams in the space of an hour. Of the 100 or so legitimate emails I get a day, maybe 90 of them are mailing list related - skunk-works, cocoa-dev, mac-games-dev, bsd-wireless, etc. Filters put those into the right places so that everything is tidy. At work, on the otherhand, I get cc'd on everything, people send Word, etc. attachments, various automated systems send me emails about things I don't care about, and all of it is impossible to filter. For work I've been using Mozilla's Mail and News component, which does a pretty good job at what I need it to do- fast searching.

But all email apps are still pretty much the same. Zoe and Emila are cool if only because they don't look and feel like Outlook. The things that I find important or useful in an email app are very different from what other people look for, but there's no reason that you can't build a back end of mail protocol and storage abstraction, indexing for searches, filtering, and all that other good stuff, and choose between the front end for the masses or the Batmobile of email.

Which, of course, is what I'm doing. Evil Toaster is now Evil Toaster (the GUI) and Mailroom (the backend daemon).

2/03/2003 11:21:00 PM ] [  0 comments  ]
A good quick laugh