A capable email client tiny enough to fit on a floppy!
This program prompted my very first review!
aka Kaufman Mail Warrior
- Tracking down Alex Kaufman of kaufmansoft
- Might have been moved and updated elsewhere.
- 2000-08-23 - 3.60 beta 6 on Windows (version not recorded)
- (date not recorded) - 3.57 on Windows (version not recorded)
- TODO - Fourth Impression: Use (various dates and versions) on Windows (version not recorded)
- 1 Introduction
- 2 2000-08-23 - 3.60 beta 6
- 3 Archive of earlier notes
- 3.1 First Impression: Bias
- 3.2 Second Impression: Home
- 3.3 Third Impression: Acquiring and Installing
- 3.4 TODO - Fourth Impression: Use
- 4 Converting Mailwarrior's 'kmx' email format to 'mbox'
Ok, so I'm about to embark on my first complete program review. As with all of my opinion texts, I intend to keep the text flowing with a frank tone.
This review is incomplete
2000-08-23 - 3.60 beta 6 ∞
shift-tabin the message composition window no longer works
control-mto check mail in all accounts has been removed
Several menu items do not have a default hotkey (like Tools/Check mail on all accounts)
Archive of earlier notes ∞
2020-06-07 -- I don't believe these notes applied to 3.60 beta 6 so they're being kept separate.
First Impression: Bias ∞
Email software sucks. All of it. I have gone well out of my way to hunt down literally dozens and dozens of different programs. Most of them are shoddy attempts at using Windows extensions. Some of them are programs which were made as a hobby or part of a class project and were quickly cleaned up and released into the den of evil that is the net. The only piece of software which might be considered "good" is (big surprise) Outlook Express. Microsoft artists have spent a good deal of time with shoddy beta software packages. For years and years this has continued. The ignorant population has continually bought into their public-beta software and funded the Microsoft regime's revisions. Over time, it is inevitable that they come out with something a bit better than before. Mind you, the planned obsolescence and purposeful bugs are still there.. but I digress. The only decent contemporary model of a good email program is Outlook Express. I want an alternative to that.
TODO - (provide quick reviews of it's peers (ugh)
In comes Mailwarrior. It was small, bloat free, bug free and worked well.
It was. It, like most software these days, is generally public beta. It has gone through phases. Some of them have been good, some of them have been a bath in boiling oil. As of now (Mid Dec 2000), it is a good piece of software having gone through a major revision and a series of bugfixes. One of the problems with the history of this program is that it constantly has ups and downs with feature improvements and bugfixes.. but I'll get into that later.
Mailwarrior has been featured on a good number of archive sites, and has received rave reviews by a great number of people. It is quite a popular alternative email client.
Second Impression: Home ∞
First off, I have to complain about the fact that the main URL www.kaufmansoft.com still redirects to www.kaufmansoft.com/Index.htm for some reason. Why is there a capital
I in index.htm? I don't know either. Nitpicking.. small oversight, anal retentive reviewer.. whatever. Let's continue.
The main website has a good layout, even though it suffers from 'unnecessary multiple column syndrome'. There is a self-review and there are screenshots (although they are not for the super-new releases and there really aren't enough IMO). Thankfully the author has also added in a changelog (a while back I was going to complain about it.. I either didn't see it or it wasn't in yet). A program history is a nice feature because you can determine (not easily mind you) the changes between the version you have now and the latest version available. There is also a buglist and a todo list (which I love to see!).
Third Impression: Acquiring and Installing ∞
This is a pretty trivial point under review, but it has great importance for some programs. Some software packages like to add unnecessary and annoying (or potentially dangerous) crap to their installation procedure.
Mailwarrior is trivial to get to. There is a link to a downloads page. Unfortunately, this link leads to the most recent official release. Normally I wouldn't have a problem with this, but in this case that version is a bug ridden piece of dung which I wouldn't feed to my worst nightmare as a last meal.
*cough* One is, rather, forced to check out for the latest beta release. In my opinion, the author's beta releases are amazing and rarely deserve the title 'beta'. I have confidence in using the beta releases. Acquiring the program in question is still pretty trivial and deserves high marks.
The file turns out to be a single-file executable. There is no installation routine as such.. just toss the file in it's very own directory and run it. Mind you, it wasn't obvious for me at first.. so I had to exit it, delete all it's annoyingly-named
.ini files and move it somewhere proper. Still, it's always a pleasant surprise. This is also nice since it doesn't rely on outside libraries (so other people's bugs don't tend to seep in), and it's fairly trivial to install, relocate and uninstall. Yum.
As it turns out, relocating the program is a matter of editing an
.ini file or two and changing the directories [ 1 ] TODO - instructions . In my opinion, the software ought to default to directories off of the home of the executable, allowing the option for user definition if need be. This would allow me to move it's directory and subdirectories around freely without worry.
Acquiring and Installing: Excellent
TODO - Fourth Impression: Use ∞
2020-06-07 -- This seems to have been a fair mess of notes taken from multiple emails, and likely for multiple different versions of Mailwarrior! From the style of the rest of the page, newer entries of the major sections would have been appended. However, for these notes they seem to have been prepended.. I'm keeping the format the way it was in my earlier content management system.
(date not recorded) - (version not recorded) ∞
This is where all hell breaks loose. I am not kind in the slightest bit. Let's go over the program point by point.
The future of Wailwarrior
- TODO - discuss public beta
- TODO - discuss the 30 day 'freeware'
- TODO - discuss it going commercial
- TODO - discuss the lack of proper record keeping with older revisions, and branching out like Linux..
TODO - discuss software and how it should have three or four versions: cut down, common, intelligent, bloated.
I intend to take this review and merge it with my email / discussion organization / whatever reviews and projects in due time.
I have a number of very specific problems with this program. In it's early life, it was the very best of it's peers (lack of features notwithstanding). It was to be improved over time, and slowly improve with additional functionality as they were requested. Ultimately, it has become bloatware and cannot operate without randomly crashing. There are predictable crashes and obvious bugs. I am forced to drop it into being a part time client primarily for those reasons (although others exist). I have sent emails to the author in hopes of having the program improved in specific ways, and yes there are a number of features which were included in later versions. However, the author (as is the case with most people) does not have the time to update the program, and in this case he is in school (I believe) and cannot make any updates until he is given a good length of free time. Unfortunately, earlier, more bug-free, releases are not available on his website, and I don't believe I kept any of them. At any rate, bugs aside, I am not hopeful of the future of this program mainly because the program is "freeware" and the author insists on payment after a trial period. This is NOT freeware, and I am paranoid about it becoming full-time shareware as soon as the author becomes confident in the product.
There, however, is still hope in recovering some usefulness out of my time spent with this software. I will not do a complete review, but I have been pushed to try to track some of my experiences and bugs, and even my correspondence in order to help improve that skillset so it can be better applied to additional worthy projects. I hope to take this rough work and expand it into a project on email, correspondence, discussion etc.. until then, it'll be left as rough notes.
(date not recorded) - (version not recorded) ∞
- The HTML underlining isn't quite right.. sometimes the word to the write of the URL gets highlighted as well. I believe this occurs when a
tabseparates the URL and the text.
- Should state the number of unread emails as well as bolding the folder with unread emails.
- It would be nice to have a "to" field when viewing message headers. (the unsent box has them.. all other user-created boxes should be like that)
- The incoming rules should be changed when I move mailboxes. (or rename them?)
- Mailwarrior should look ahead for the sizes of all messages, and summarize them in one large yes/no list instead of downloading them piecemeal and asking for download permission one at a time.
- - The message-writing screen isn't properly centred when it starts up -- if I maximize it, Mailwarrior should remember that. The same thing goes with the main program.
- - Do command-line switches exist to start Mailwarrior minimized (without changing the
.inifile that is). I want my computer to boot up with it minimized to the taskbar, but if I call on it myself, I want it maximized.
- - Unable to attach a file by typing in it's full path/filename.
- Bug: When renaming a folder/mailbox, one cannot press delete to delete a character -- it deletes the currently previewed email instead.
- Bug: Text contained within angled brackets is ignored. I assume this is because they are thought to be HTML tags.
- Mailwarrior also seems to be giving error messages a whole _lot_. I thought I had updated windows, but I'll do it again before bringing up specific issues. It seems to appear most when I'm renaming folders/mailboxes and moving lots of files around.
- I also see some problems with attachments being completely scrambled in a message.. I think it may only be when I send an attachment with a blank body. I saw a mention of it in your bug list, but I know I updated that aspect of windows.
- It would be nice to have a way to automatically hide that status/progress screen
Switching from one mailbox to another, to view the messages there, is extremely slow even on a fast computer.. [later, I would find this to be a problem with accessing Mailwarrior stuff from across a network]
(date not recorded) - 3.57 ∞
Heya.. I was going through the newest version (3.57) and have a bunch of comments / suggestions. :)
Some are just my opinion.. some are slightly silly, some are potential bugs. :) Yes I type a lot.. I hope a couple of these suggestions make it to your TODO list.
- Man Mailwarrior is pretty. :) I really like that it's clean and fast.
- and in the message editing window are still quirky. :(
- The list of accounts should be sortable just like the message header pane.
- The default directories should all use
$APPDIRand not the expanded installations directory.
- It's my feeling that a plain-text format of saving all emails would lead to greater compatibility to other software.. It would be particularly cool to be able to read/manipulate emails via an outside program (like
notepad). Is there a particular reason you chose the current mail format?
- In the options list, you should mention the ability to customize the menus (and menu animation) via the tiny arrow-icon on the right side of the toolbar. It's not an obvious place to look. :)
insshown on the status bar in the message composition screen should be on the right. :)
- It would be really cool to be able to have separate inboxes / sent items folders for each account. It would make it that much more organized.
- For some reason, when I switch back and forth from the message composition window to the main program.. sometimes, and only sometimes.. the menu in the message composition screen will be selected.. it's strange. I'm not sure how to track it down. It shouldn't be either the mouse hovering over the menu or my accidentally holding the
alt-key for too long (or double-tapping
- It would be nice to be able to sort the main mailbox and folders. (Alphabetically ascending/descending, or alphabetically with all the system-mailboxes at the top/bottom) -- defaulting to alphabetically descending with the system mailboxes at the top.
- I'd like to be able to have the message read as soon as the message's preview has been seen. Sort of like a "message read = '0' seconds" instead of the minimum of one.
- .rtf[doesn't exist] support. (underlines, bolds etc...)
- HTML support, so I can type directly in HTML in my message, so it will be sent as an HTML-type file, and the recipient will see it as a webpage-email.
middle-buttonscroll up/scroll down which is available in the message preview pane is not available in the message editing window.
2000-08-23? - (version not recorded) ∞
Attachments are still not deleted when the email is deleted. Grr.. As dumb as this may seem.. restructuring the mailbox concept might prove useful. The concept of "compressing" a mailbox, or having the email program handle encrypting it is somewhat silly. There is outside software which can encrypt a particular directory.
You could have one directory for each mailbox, and each email takes up one text file and a small control file (if that's necessary -- or it could be slapped at the end of the email itself). Every email which has an associated attachment would also have it's own directory containing those attachments. So the directories would look something like this:
MAIL\INBOX\firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com^re: MailWarrior review^username.txt 1 2 3 4 5
23 Aug 00 // 19h 05m 26s
- The time/date of receipt or of sending (not the time the email was sent by the author, but the time which the user downloaded it.
- I stress this, because it helps create guaranteed-unique files. Windows can only handle the first 30 or so characters of a file.. so there cannot be two files with the first 30 characters being the exact same. (I don't think "30" is the right number, but you get the idea.) The proper time and date of the email would be kept as the time/date of that file. I stress putting the from/to/subject info in the filename itself because it gives greater power for people to explore to their email directory and clean up or edit email without having to load up / deal with Mailwarrior.
The email address of the sender
The email address of the recipient
- The name of the account which received or sent that email.
You would have to restrict the use of the
^ (Caret) character in the from/to email addresses, the subject line and the name of the email accounts. Or if you want to avoid that, use two carats (or a weird combination of characters) instead of one, and then just restrict those characters.
Just like Internet Explorer saving a website to disk, attachments would be in a directory with a name similar to the file they are associated with. Something like
_1^2^3^4^5 with the beginning underscore
_ making the name slightly different and identifying it as a directory (and putting it at the top of a file listing in explorer if it's sorted). So it would look something like:
MAIL\INBOX\firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com^re: MailWarrior review^something\picture1.gif
This structure would let me view, edit, delete or move any emails with ease. If Mailwarrior were to allow any
.txt file and any directory starting with an underscore (
_).. it would be amazing. I could redirect text to the Mailwarrior outbox from batch files or other programs..
Mailwarrior would not send the above example because it has no to/from or email account information. It would, however, list it in the Mailwarrior outbox and prompt the user for an account to use, as well as a subject (default to "sendme"), and finally it would prompt for the email address to send it to.
However, if I were to create a text file out of thin air which happens to have the proper structure, Mailwarrior wouldn't know to tell it apart from any other email.
You could maintain a control file for each directory, so you don't have to go through every file to recreate your message header pane. There would be a command-line switch (used at startup) and a GUI user option to manually rebuild a directory - just like there is currently an option to compress a mailbox.
You could even allow sub-directories if they follow another naming convention.
- (two underscores)
This would display (in the GUI):
\-- another dir
\-- \-- sub-subdirectory
[-] SENT ITEMS
Furthermore, if you allowed special switches at the commandline to allow the user to run a batch file and have Mailwarrior load up, check / send email and shut down.. I could have a bunch of outside software generate / read email and use Mailwarrior as their "mail server" so to speak.
@ECHO OFF mw.exe -batch -Susername -Rall txt2speech.exe INBOX\*.txt
-S(name of the email account)
-R(name of the email account)
You could even include pkzip or other compression algorithms in Mailwarrior and have some emails with the
.zip ending.. it would still understand
.txt files and use them, but would create
.zip files whenever it downloads new mail. This idea is a bit weird, and would only really be useful if I were using Mailwarrior on a floppy and wanted as much space as possible without using a HD, and I wanted to view all emails within Mailwarrior itself.. hrm.. maybe the idea is a bit far-fetched :)
So anyways.. this structure would give the user far more power, and would allow Mailwarrior to know what files are associated with what emails.. so you can delete attachments when an email is deleted. :)
(date not recorded) - (version not recorded) ∞
I realize that I could have created an incoming rule to make an inbox for each of my accounts.. didn't quite realise it would be that easy when I was noting that earlier.. sorry about that :)
I sent myself an email from work.. with a collection of attached email messages. Mailwarrior displayed all the attachments in the body of the text (all mixed together) instead of leaving them as attachments.
It would be nice to be able to
right click on a message and "Save all attachments to..." a particular directory, or to be able to
shift-click files displayed in the bottom part of the pane in the preview.. that way I could select the files I wanted and either drag-and-drop them or save them to a directory of my choice.
It would be nice to be able to
right click on an attachment, as it's displayed in the message preview, and delete it right from there. A similar option is available in Microsoft Outlook.
When I edit a message, the word wrap appears to be functioning normally.. but in the message preview pane of the "Unfinished" folder, the word wrap is out of whack. The message lines should be un-wrapped then re-wrapped according to the width of the preview pane. How is the word wrap handled when the text is sent out to a client?
It would really be nice to have nested directories:
Converting Mailwarrior's 'kmx' email format to 'mbox' ∞
Convert MW 3.5x to 3.6x: caravela.homelinux.net/~higuita/kmx2mbox/MW36Conv.exe.gz [ 2 ] dead, and not archived. I may have this in my deep archives, but have not looked.
The main Kaufmansoft URL appears to be gone. Yay, another project with potential dies the hard death.