June 1, 2002

I’ve started work on another one-trick-pony project :p This one’s called Comparator and it was started because I’ve been recently organizing my e-book collection and realized that I had quite a few duplicates in compressed format. One archive might be in ZIP format while the other might be in RAR format and I wanted to be able to compare them side by side. Of course, if I use WinRAR, I can simply start two different sessions and then compare them side by side but that’s a lot of mouse-clicks and I’m lazy :p So I came up with Comparator which will show the contents of two archive files side by side and since it understands a variety of archive formats (over 23 I believe …), I won’t have to use (or have installed) several different archiving programs. So far the program works fine but now I want to include the ability to compare a normal text file with an archive or to compare a full directory against an archive or for that matter, to compare two files against each other or to compare two directories against each other or any mix of the above. Incidentally, when I say compare, I don’t mean that the program actually does any comparison work at the moment – it simply displays the file name, the size and the file creation date so that user can do an eye-ball comparison of these values but again, I have plans to extend this to at least color code differences between files which match by name.

That’s one project and another one that I’ve started considering just today is an e-mail client :p I know that there are more than enough e-mail clients out there already but the basic fact is that none of them have all the features that *I* want. I currently use Eudora and am the most happy with it but recently it has started displaying a curious problem – I get “=20” at the end of lines (seemingly only for HTML e-mails or formatted e-mails and even then not in all cases ..) I’ve seen this problem in the latest beta (5.1.1.3 I think …) and the last public release which is 5.1. I use the beta at work and the public release at home and so encounter this problem regularly. I have looked at alternatives but I don’t like Outlook or Outlook Express – especially since my boss started having a weird problem recently where his Outlook Express would send out e-mails to seemingly random people on his address book! The e-mails would go to the proper person but they would also go to numerous others. I checked the headers of some of these e-mails and only the actual receipients address was there. I suspected that maybe the others were being added as a BCC but couldn’t figure out how this could be so – except perhaps for some corruption in the address book or a virus but even a virus had to be ruled out since repeated scanning by a daily updated copy of Norton Anti-Virus didn’t find anything. Incidentally, the problem stopped as soon as I switched my boss’s mail client to Eudora but now he’s complaining about the “=20” problem :-(

I’ve tried The Bat but I don’t like the fact that it can’t display images in HTML e-mails since that’s kind of important to me. I’ve also tried PocoMail and while I like the scripting and quite a few of the features, I find the interface to be a bit archaic (not withstanding the skinnable toolbar …) or rather the icons in the interface to be archaic I guess and find their handling of HTML e-mails a bit of a problem as well since I prefer not to have the preview pane on – if you don’t have the preview pane on, you have to click a button to download images on a per message basis. Plus, I like the junkmail filtering feature on Pocomail but it isn’t exactly friendly since it deletes anything it thinks of as junkmail off the server with no user confirmations and since it’s junkmail filter looks for things like three exclamation marks in the body of an e-mail, it routinely takes out e-mails that are not junkmail and since I keep mail on server when I check e-mail from work so that I can get the mails I want once I get home as well, this will result in me having to forward the mistakenly junked e-mails to myself again – and of course, if I checked e-mail with Pocomail after that, that e-mail would get junked again :p

Because of all of this, I want to write an e-mail client which would be pretty simple but would allow you to write live spell-checked e-mails, check multiple accounts and allow you to have multiple personalities, handle HTML e-mails properly and display images automatically (or not based on a user-selectable setting that can be toggled on and off at will), support multiple address books (mostly because I want to give the option to add all incoming e-mail addresses which aren’t in your address book to your address book automatically but I want to keep that a secondary address book so that you can prune it any time and control it without it affecting your main address book), handle junk mail but not do things arbitrarily but instead give the user the choice and a few other things like auto-completion on addresses and stuff. I think that’s all I really want :p Whether I’ll code the thing or even get started on the project is another matter … Guess we’ll see …

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Posted by Fahim at 6:33 am   Comments (2)