David Roode (ROODE@BIONET-20.ARPA)
Sun 13 Sep 87 16:17:14-PDT
mkhaw@teknowledge cites several specifics of Unix MM-32
which I agree are points which could stand improvement
or clarification. Many mail programs seem to keep mail in
their own format so this concern is common.
I wasn't alluding to incompatibility with Unix or similarity
to TOPS-20 as the basis for suggesting taking a look at MM-32.
Specifically, the features in MM-32 that I think recommend
it as an improvement over other Unix mail agents are:
a) a ? feature for all commands and command options
The user need not know the options in advance to select
them; nor need he depart from command interaction
to consult separate help text for the command.
b) a distinct top level; i.e. the individual mail commands are
not merged in with the Unix shell commands. I think this is a
plus for user understanding.
c) a mode change between the top level of the mail program and
the level under which a particular message is being processed.
Again, I think clarity is enhanced when distinctions are made
as to context of user interaction.
d) profile capability including the ability to suppress
display of selected headers when they appear in messages
e) flexible specification of message sequences, i.e. to
perform an action on sequences specified by compound
conditions such as 'from joe' and 'since 15 May 1987'; the
mere ability to identify messages to include in a sequence by
one attribute of the messages intended let alone ability to
f) capability to search with messages with a certain text
string in the message body
Characteristics which I would find highly valuable
but which MM-32 does not have are as follows:
A mode when reading messages to allow display
of only the first n lines of message body. At that
point a one keystroke selection should allow for
continuation; otherwise all other message disposition
options ought to be valid.
Ability to specify automatic disposition with optional
confirmation, i.e. "when reading messages addressed to
'SPECIAL-COMMITTEE' by default save them in file
'SPECIAL-COMMITTEE.FILE'"; "when reading messages from Joe, by
default place them in file Joe.mail but confirm first"; when
reading messages addressed to 'announcements' delete them
after reading; when reading all other messages not addressed
directly to myself, place them in file 'LIST.MAIL'"
I think the last set of mail processing capabilities is very
simple yet provide a very powerful tool for managing a history
of online EMAIL.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu Mar 09 2000 - 14:39:15 GMT