ZOE

15Apr - by - 7 - In IT general

I have a notebook at work and a server at home, both with multiple email accounts. I always had the wish to have a central email storage, but couldn’t quite find how to do it best. That’s when I found out about zoë.

After reading “Googling your email” and checking for news on zoe.nu, my Interest in zoë came alive again. There is a dokumentation wiki on http://zoe.omara.ca/ that I can recommend as well.

Installation was straightforward: unzip, double click the JAR file, and a browser window opens. Configuration was easy as well, and import of my Mozilla Thunderbird MBOX files went smooth as well (though it took a while…).

Using it really is fun – I have yet to see a better solution to finding stuff in a huge mail database. But: I tried it for a day, and I have come to the conclusion that it is not quite “there” yet – here’s why:

  • The concept is not properly explained anywhere. It is not clear to me how you would go about using it in conjunction with a “regular” email client.
  • How do you set up a URL as default email client in Windows???
  • The main page with your current emails does not referesh automatically
  • There is no page for a log file where I can check on errors or warnings
  • Mails with headers that mark them as SPAM are ignored, there is no way I can find out about false positives.
  • There is no “New Mail” button – what genius came up with that idea???
  • Mails forwarded to my provider’s SMTP server never got to their destination. No error code, no warning, no nothing.
  • Configuration for multiple accounts, let alone multiple users, is clumsy.
  • There is no “export to MBOX” functionality – thank you very much ;(

Right now I’m in the process of moving stuff back to Thunderbird (no comments about “leave mail on server”, please!) – use CYGWIN to copy all the .eml files from zoë’s directory structure to a single directory, drag the .eml files to Outlook Express, have Thunderbird import the mails.

Conclusion: GREAT concept, but still a lot of work to be done until it fits *my* purposes, at least as the one single solution to all of my email challenges. I have, however, found a way to make it useful: I will set up an “archive” mailbox that gets copies of all our email accounts, and will have zoë grab everything from there. This will give me a central storage for all of our emails and a convenient way to search for stuff, as well as a backup.

7 thoughts on “ZOE”

  1. Pingback: DeveloperZen.com
  2. Pingback: DeveloperZen.com
  3. Don’t toss it.
    You need to understand that the purpose of Zoe is a “Google for your email”, it is *not* in any way intended to replace your email client.
    If you don’t like having it “in between” because of the spam issues or whatever, you can use it like I do: I don’t connect my email client to it at all, I use an IMAP server and I have Zoe archive the “sent mail” folder as well.
    The user interface is designed to progressivly expose functionality from the user “exploring” Zoe. Some people aren’t fans of this but it’s a proven UI concept and I’ve gotten used to it.
    For logging errors, if there are exceptions, you will see a “bug” icon in the upper-left. If it’s bold, there are exceptions of some sort and clicking it will set up and outgoing email to the zoe-dev list with the exceptions and your system config already in it. You can also us -debug on the command line for all the stuff to goto the console (I keep it on all the time and pipe to a file)
    The main page does not refresh automatically because it’s not supposed to be your main email client and some people don’t like auto-refresh. You could submit this as a feature request but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else ask for this…same for the “new mail” button…you’re supposed to use your mail client for this. Raphael is quite responsive to request for new features, though if it’s a “use as my main email client” feature, less so as this is not his intention.

    Anyway, just don’t want you to give up. It a great program.

    Take care
    —–

  4. Don't toss it.
    You need to understand that the purpose of Zoe is a "Google for your email", it is *not* in any way intended to replace your email client.
    If you don't like having it "in between" because of the spam issues or whatever, you can use it like I do: I don't connect my email client to it at all, I use an IMAP server and I have Zoe archive the "sent mail" folder as well.
    The user interface is designed to progressivly expose functionality from the user "exploring" Zoe. Some people aren't fans of this but it's a proven UI concept and I've gotten used to it.
    For logging errors, if there are exceptions, you will see a "bug" icon in the upper-left. If it's bold, there are exceptions of some sort and clicking it will set up and outgoing email to the zoe-dev list with the exceptions and your system config already in it. You can also us -debug on the command line for all the stuff to goto the console (I keep it on all the time and pipe to a file)
    The main page does not refresh automatically because it's not supposed to be your main email client and some people don't like auto-refresh. You could submit this as a feature request but I don't think I've seen anyone else ask for this…same for the "new mail" button…you're supposed to use your mail client for this. Raphael is quite responsive to request for new features, though if it's a "use as my main email client" feature, less so as this is not his intention.

    Anyway, just don't want you to give up. It a great program.

    Take care
    —–

  5. btw…weren’t you/are you still looking for spam? I have a nice collection of about 50k spams if you are.

  6. btw…weren't you/are you still looking for spam? I have a nice collection of about 50k spams if you are.

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