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Woozle: Projects: MailFerret

Current Status

  • 2005-11-23 Finally managed to get MS Access to use MySQL as its database engine (had no trouble connecting to a MySQL server on a paid web hosting account, but could not connect to one on my local Linux box; turned out to be a setting which has to be tweaked in the .conf file), but I keep running into problems trying to edit records. An error message claims the record is already locked by another user, which is not true (I can edit the record by other means even after this message pops up).
  • 2005-09-30 Latest problem is that I've run into one of the limits of MS Access -- an error pops up when HyperMail tries to add new records, something like "database size limitation exceeded". The .mdb file is about a gigabyte; I tried compressing it, but Access just locked up... and the import isn't really anywhere near completion. So it's time to try another database engine. I have to set up a MySQL server on Camilla and see if I run into the same problem using Access as a front end connector, or if I have to somehow go directly (via ADO, maybe).
  • 2005-05-11 The Mozilla/Thunderbird code is basically working, although very slowly... and I keep running into variations of the timestamp format. First it was a malformed timezone string: "+0-900" or maybe it was "-0+900", I forget... but then the latest is this one:
mi�, 06 ago 2003 05:52:52 -0400

So I guess I need to provide a way to store the raw timestamp when the parsing code says "huh?".

Wanted Features

  • Log of all messages received so I can be *sure* I didn't receive a message (and can find out where it went if I did -- deleted, manually filed, filed by filter, etc.) Log should be viewable by filter, i.e. what messages has this filter been applied to?
  • Temporary disablement of individual or all filters (without having to delete them)
  • Filters should indicate when they were last applied
  • Filters should be applicable automatically or on demand
  • Filters should be runnable on any folder (not just inbox)
  • Scripting extensions (like what Gimp has), triggerable by events: on receipt of mail, on deletion of mail, on use of filter, on calendar/timer event...


  • Relevant articles by Jamie Zawinski:
    • Configuring Netscape Mail On Unix: Why the Content-Length Format is Bad: Some explanation of why the mbox format is so effed-up:
    • Recommendations for generating Message IDs
    • mail summary files includes some warnings about using databases for mail storage -- but mainly as regards summary files, in the context of a project which already had very highly-optimized code for managing summary files being de-optimized by using a database instead (overkill/bloat). This also may explain some of the "email client design mindset" which results in annoyances persisting across clients from different authors.
    • Intertwingle: an idea for an application which has a lot in common with what I want MailFerret to do (and may have some ideas I hadn't thought of)