Press the "Check Mails" or "Check All Sites" button to check mail messages (see Fig: 5) If it is the first time, all the e-mail messages in the corresponding remote Inbox will be downloaded. If the mailbox contains a lot of messages, it could take some time. After the initial download, only the new messages or the ones whose local copy was deleted will be downloaded.
Parallel processing of mailboxes. When there are multiple mailboxes registered, a user can choose to check his/her e-mails individually or collectively. There is an "Check Mails" button on each tab page of an e-mail account. When this button is pressed, only the corresponding messages of that that account who do not have a local copy will be downloaded. There is also a "Check All Sites" button on top. Pressing this button, the system will check each account in parallel, making full use of the multi-core and broadband capabilities that comes with popular computing devices of today.
Persistence and restoration of a mailbox group. The "Saved Account Group" menu has two menu items, which can be used to save or load account group settings.
Click the "Save Settings" menu item to save the settings of the currently working mailbox group (see Fig: 6). Find a directory to put the configuration file, then give the file a meaningful name. Later on, when the file is loaded, the current mailbox group will be restored.
Click the "Load Settings" menu item and select a saved setting file (see Fig: 7). After opening it, your previously saved mailbox group will be restored. Any number of different mailbox groups can be setup and saved, as long as the name of the setting file is distinct.
Click the corresponding tab to show the corresponding tab page of an e-mail account.
What are shown on the tab are the online login status, name and a collection of edit buttons. The left most dot shows the logged in status of the user. When the user was logged in and no operation is going on, it will be green. When the logged in or some operation is under way, it will be red. In any other case, it will be gray. The "pencil" button is used to open the setting editor of the corresponding mailbox. The red cross button is used to delete current mailbox from the group. When the current user is currently connected to the remote mailbox and left most dot is green, the user can press it to logout of the account and disconnect from the mailbox (see Fig: 8).
There are two sub-tab pages in a tab page of a mailbox. The "New Messages" page list those messages that are gathered in the last download. The "Old Messages" page contains those messages that are already downloaded, including those listed in in the "New Messages" page, which are decorated in red. Both of them has an operation band on top. The operations on the "New Message" page are mainly for downloading new messages whereas in addition to these, the ones on the "Old Message" page are also for operations on the set of messages that are already downloaded.
A downloaded message can be in three state: 1) it's remote copy has not been deleted; 2) it's remote copy had already been deleted, only local copy is present; and 3) the local copy was deleted but the remote copy is present.
The "Downloaded Messages" tab page inside "Old Messages" list the messages for which both remote copy and local copy are present and the "Other Local Messages" page list all those messages whose remote copy had already been deleted (see Fig: 9).
The processing of mail messages starts when a user presses the "Start Processing" button. But before processing, a user needs to specify 1) what is going to be performed on the messages (the action), 2) what is the target and 3) which messages are going to be affected by the action. The processing is meaningful only after these aspects are specified.
The current version of the program supports only "delete" action. The available targets are listed inside the dropdown boxes to right of the "Default Target". It includes "Remode Copy", "Local Copy" and "All Copies". One of them should be selected as the target. For example, when the target is "Remote Copy", the action only affects the remote copy of a selected message. The meaning of the two targets is also obvious. Here the default target can be overridden as long as the user selects a non-empty and different target inside the dropdown window of a particular message.
The left most checkbox for each message in the list is used to select it for operation. For those users who seek convenience, the three buttons on the top band can come in handy, which are "Select All", "Deselect All" and "Revert Selection". They only affect the selection status of the messages in the current message page. The selection status will not be changed when the user changes a message page so that item selection can be set across message pages before processing. As an example of their usage, let's suppose that a user wants to delete most of the messages on a page, he/she could first select all messages and then uncheck those small number of them which are to be kept.
A side note: 1) if a user delete only a local copy of a message, it will reappear after the next download; 2) after the user start the program and before the first download, all messages will only be shown inside the "Other Local Messages" tab page since information about their online presence has not been gathered. The second characteristic is a limitation of the current version of the program, which will be improved when newer version of the same system is released.
Reading messages (see Fig: 10). User can read a downloaded e-mail message briefly. It can be done by pressing the leading buttons of the first two properties of the messages (see the figure below), which will open up a simple e-mail message reader. It usage is similar to the full e-mail reader described below.
Pressing the "Read Mails" button on top of the program, an e-mail message manager appears (see Fig: 11). The left side of the program is like what you see in a file browser. When expanded, all of the sub-directories allocated for corresponding mailboxes and their sub-directories are shown. Select "All Files Contained" on the top portion of the program will allow you to start browsing all of your e-mail messages, organized in paged form. Initially, these e-mail messages are ordered according to the time they are received, from the newest to the oldest messages. A user can also choose to order the messages according to some other property of the messages and/or direction (details are presented here).
When a e-mail message is selected, it's properties and content will be display on the right hand side of the manager, which provides a kind of preview (see the above figure). If a user would like to read in a more detailed manner, he/she could press the expand button on the right, which opens the e-mail message reader (see the figure below). When the reader is opened, the right hand side will not display information about the message until the reader is closed.
An e-mail message has two display modes which is determined by the "Brief View" checkbox on top of the message content. The first is the "Brief View" mode. In the brief view mode, only the tab pages related to the message's content are shown, tab pages containing other information about the message (like the message's raw data, the routing information, etc.) are hidden. In the non-brief view mode, tab pages containing many other information pertaining to the message are also shown.
The content of a message are separated into two categories, namely the textual content (including embedded media, if any) and attachments.
A tab page is dedicated for attachments. If there is no attachment, this tab page will not be visible. E-mail messages are presented in plain text in the early days, however decorated e-mail messages in the form of multimedia document are getting increasingly more popular nowadays. There can be a variety of forms that an e-mail message can be in: some has only plain text part, some has only multimedia part and the more formal ones prepared by popular service providers of today contains both forms. A user can in principle to decide which to read (some users prefer reading plain text messages due to security reasons). The present program present all forms contained in an e-mail message to the user to let him/her to choose. However, the plain text one is pre-selected by default if possible.
For those attachments that are images, a user can select them to preview them in the tab page of attachments. However for those images whose origin are not certain, it is advised not to do so. If you do decide to preview them, proper pre-cautions should be taken.
E-mail message reader (see Fig: 12). The figure shown below is a snapshot of the reader in the non brief view mode. The message contains both plain text representation and multimedia one so that a user can read any of the "Text, Multimedia Text, Raw and Other Aspects", as long as there is a need. On the left hand side, there is a dialog sequence tree display panel(see here). The entire content inside the read can be manified or reduced at the lower left corner of the reader.