PP v4.0 Sneak Peek #3: Send Mail

July 27, 2012

There are several changes to the Send Mail plugin that will be covered in this post:

  • Save message as a draft
  • Modeless compose window
  • Auto-complete addresses
  • Resizable address book
  • Status icons

Save messages as a draft

In the current v3 release, there is a work-around to simulate a draft folder.  This works fairly well, but only if you know about it and it does have its downsides.  In v4, you’ll be able to easily save the message you’re writing and edit it again later.

Modeless compose window

If you’re wondering what “modeless” means — it’s a developer’s term that means that the window on top doesn’t take control of the application.  That is, when a window is “modeless,” you’re still able to access other windows in the same application.  Making the compose window modeless means that you can still access POP Peeper and open other messages.  You can even have multiple compose windows open simultaneously.  This feature is very useful to reference other email while writing a reply.

Auto-complete addresses

When you start to type a name or email address in the to/cc/bcc fields, you’ll get auto-complete which uses the contacts in your address book.

Resizable address book

Why wasn’t the address book resizable in the first place?  Good question…

Status icons

When you reply or forward to a message, an icon will represent this in the message list.  The icon will be placed in a new (optional) column which will be discussed further in an upcoming post.

More

There are a few other enhancements that I’ll quickly mention here:

If a message fails to be sent, an error will popup to alert you.

You will be prompted if you try to exit POP Peeper while there are open compose windows.

There is another major feature related to Send Mail that I will detail in a future post.

 

All the features outlined in this post are scheduled to be in the free version of POP Peeper.

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PP v4.0 Sneak Peek #2: Web of Trust

July 12, 2012

This is one of the most exciting new features in v4.0.  I have partnered with Web of Trust (WOT) to make reading your email even safer.  If you’re not familiar with WOT, they rate the trustworthiness and reputation of websites based on ratings provided by millions of WOT users and trusted technical sources.

So how does POP Peeper use WOT?  When you read a message and hover your mouse over a URL, you will see an icon next to the URL in the status bar that represents the WOT score: green is good, red is bad.  If you click on a questionable link, a window will popup to make sure you want to open the link in your browser.  It’s also possible to see a list of all URLs that are in the email along with their WOT scores.

Here’s a screenshot of the WOT summary window.  This shows a list of all URLs found in the email (click on images to see a larger view):

POP Peeper with Web of Trust

POP Peeper with Web of Trust:
Summary of all URLs in the message

The circle icons represent the WOT score.  As you can see, there are 6 different icons that come from WOT.  In the first line, the icon represents an “unknown” score which means that the website does not have enough information to be rated.  There are 2 levels of both red and green; yellow represents unsatisfactory.  Next to the WOT scores is a graphic representing the confidence of the score.  For example, in the 4th line, the rating is considered “Good,” but there’s not a lot of confidence in this score (e.g. not very many users have rated it).  In this case, if you clicked on that URL, POP Peeper will still prompt you for confirmation since the confidence isn’t very high.  In the last line, you can see that email addresses are also verified, but I’ve put newegg.com in my personal ignore list.

Perhaps the most beneficial use for WOT in email is that it can help deter phishing scams.  Here’s what happens when I click on a link in a scam email:

First clues: The red WOT icon; the URL in the status doesn’t match the URL in the message

Wha…? Guess it’s not opening PayPal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clicking on a legitimate PayPal URL would have opened the link without any intervening window.

You can start taking advantage of the Web of Trust toolbar add-on for your web browser now: Download Web of Trust

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PP v4.0 Sneak Peek #1: Filesystem

July 9, 2012

To kick things off, I thought I would start with the least interesting new feature: changes to the file system.

There are 2 main changes that v4 makes to the file system:

  • Inbox messages will be stored in a database.
  • The folder structure of the data files will change

Database:

SQLite is my DB of choice as it’s lightweight and designed to be a “personal” database.  PP v3 stored inbox messages in a proprietary .emd file which was basically a flat file containing all the messages for one account.  The major problem with this format is that it wasn’t flexible and any changes would require the entire file to be rewritten.  In v4, the data will be compressed and encrypted by default, although you will have options to change this if you like to tweak it for performance reasons (however, in my testing, compression significantly improved performance since it required less disk read/writes, but that may vary depending on processor speed and other factors).  Storing messages in a database will also provide more flexibility for future enhancements, including better memory usage.

Folder structure:

If you’ve ever looked in the data folders in PP v3.x, you may see that it’s kind of a mess.  You’ll see a few folders, like Outbox/Sent/Archive and then a bunch of files (*.emd, addrbook.csx, *.ini, etc.).  v4 will restructure the data folder so that each account will have its own folder, and under that folder you’ll find its inbox database and the Outbox/Sent/Archive/Draft folders.

 

Ok, pretty boring stuff.  It will get more interesting from here, though.

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POP Peeper v4.0 news

July 2, 2012

Starting in version 4.0, POP Peeper will introduce a new premium option for POP Peeper users. POP Peeper has long been extending the capabilities of an “email notifier” and some users may not want the extra functionality, so v4 will offer two choices:
1) A free version that still has everything that v3 offered and will continue to be updated
2) A “Pro” version that offers even more functionality that are usually found in a full-fledged email client

Nothing has been set in stone, including which features will be in the Pro version, pricing, release date, etc; so consider everything as “subject to change.” For v4.0, the spam filters and spell-checker are planned to be in the Pro version.

It has not yet been decided how this will affect the Premium add-on pack. I do plan on continuing support for it. Some possible ideas that I’m exploring are integrating the add-on pack into the Pro version or providing them as separate options (with bundled discounts). In either case, existing users of the add-on pack can expect a discount if you choose to purchase POP Peeper Pro.

Watch this blog for more news. Specific features will be highlighted in the posts to follow.

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