Yet Another Mailer 1.3 (YAM) Review

by Adam Hough

As mentioned in the previous review, YAM 1.3 was released in the month between meetings. Shortly after 1.3.1 was too...

For a description of what YAM is, check the last issue. This is just an update describing my impressions with the new version.

Added functionality in the program is good. It now supports a hierarchical address book, automatic mail filtering in conjunction with multiple mail folders, a far more comprehensive configuration section, and MIME support.

The hierarchical address book is useful in that instead of one huge address book, you can categorise people according to their relation to you meaning you can now find them more easily. The problem comes with a further addition -- the aliases. You can now assign each person a brief nickname and description to help identify them. The nickname is great in that you no longer need to bring up the address book in order to send mail to a person, nor do you need to type in their full email address. However, when you import a YAM 1.2 phonebook into 1.3, anyone in it who shares a similar first name gets the same alias. If two or more people have the same alias, YAM won't send mail to either so you have to go in edit them. Putting addresses into folders is also a pain, despite the point and click interface. Say you have 200 addresses, and only 20 are onscreen at any one point. You end up doing a lot of scrolling while trying to drag and drop addresses into their respective folders. It's annoying, but you do only have to do it once.

The multiple folder support is good. Previously if you wanted to save email, it all went into one archive folder. The resulting mess tended to be huge, took ages to load, and you couldn't find anything. Now you can just set up specific storage groups and save mail into appropriate ones. Very handy.

The automatic mail filtering is intended for mailing lists. Instead of ending up with, say, 250 Lightwave mailing list messages crowding out your personal mail, you can set up a filter that dumps them into a mail folder specifically for that purpose. It works. Almost. If someone appends a name onto the mail address, the filter no longer flags the message, no matter how the wildcard support is used.

The MIME support is handy too. While it doesn't start up a viewer to handle the particular file sent to you, you can save out the individual files attached to a mail message. So if someone sends you five files encoded into one mail, you can pick out the one you want, rather than pulling them all out (you can do that too.) However, it currently does not support recombining single files split into multiple mails such as those generated by the defacto news/mail reader on the PC, Agent, nor will it create them.

As a further quibble, when iconified, YAM used to have one icon describing the status of the infolder (new mail, read mail, empty, and so forth.) The icon for that is still there. Unfortunately iconfying it now generates an additional icon which clutters up the screen. Bah. The interface has also changed a bit to accomodate the new functionality and to be honest, I don't like it as much. On the hand, it's still a lot more pleasant to use than Thor.

Overall, I like the program, and will continue to use it until something better comes along. Currently nothing else has.

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