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  • Opera Browser and new M2 email client

    For some time I have been using the Opera browser - it's very cool, very fast and has some neat features. The beta release of version 7 looks great, but the interesting part is a new email client: M2 - they are taking a new approach to organizing email, and I would be interested in other people's thoughts.

    I have yet to try it, as it is another distraction I don't have time for, but the concepts are very interesting:

    Here is the link and some text:

    http://www.opera.com/support/helpfiles/m2tutorial.html

    'Tutorial' is below:

    __________________________________________________ __________


    Access points

    The most important and innovative feature of M2 are the access points. They are not a mere feature, but form the foundation of the way M2 works and replace the customary way of organizing e-mail.

    What are they?

    Consider having one database of all your e-mails. If, for instance, you would want to view all e-mail from a friend, you search the database and view the result. Or if you would want to view all e-mails with an MP3 attachment, you search again, and so on.

    The important thing to understand is that access points are like searches into your e-mail database (your list of e-mails), where the "search results" are e-mails. Access points show all e-mails which fit a certain description, but they do not contain the actual e-mails.

    This makes them different from the mail folders you might be familiar with, where an e-mail is stored in a folder and only visible there. In M2 an e-mail may show up in several access points, if it fits the descriptions in each of them. For instance, if a friend attaches a document to an e- mail, the e-mail will show up under the "Attachments" access point as well as the "Contacts" access point.

    This unique behaviour will require some getting used to, but it is very intuitive and very powerful and you will be able to retrieve e-mails faster and with greater ease. To quote an internal tester:

    I just realized that before M2 I have never had mail in such a good order. If you wonder how I've managed in that, I must say that I haven't [M2 did it for me]! Finally, with M2 I can just leave mail lying around and thanks to access points/labels I can find everything quickly without problems. Now my mailbox looks just like my desktop and floor

    As the quote above illustrates: access points go a long way toward organizing your mail for you. It is just so much easier than with regular folders. There are a variety of standard access points in M2. These will be described briefly further down in this document.

  • #2
    Another email (and file) viewer

    A very cool new tool is the Scopeware bets (from www.scopeware.com). It shows all files and emails as a temporal stream, totally searchable.

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    • #3
      Correction

      Sorry, that should be Scopeware beta.

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      • #4
        Interesting software

        That Scopeware stuff looks very interesting. It is from Dave Gelernter - famous Comp Sci. guy who was badly injured by the Unabomber.

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        • #5
          Re: Another email (and file) viewer

          Originally posted by Guest
          A very cool new tool is the Scopeware bets (from www.scopeware.com). It shows all files and emails as a temporal stream, totally searchable.
          It might be cool, but it treats that anything you have that you didn't make or manage with Microsoft software as garbage. Outlook only. Word only. The author has stated that he sees no point in ever supporting any other company's software because "Microsoft has won in the marketplace," so I am extremely reluctant to give him any business.

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          • #6
            Re: Opera Browser and new M2 email client

            Originally posted by zootski
            M2 - they are taking a new approach to organizing email, and I would be interested in other people's thoughts.
            I've been using it for about a week. It rocks. The only trick is to realize that "folders" are really "filters." You create a new "folder," then set it's properties to include the messages you want. You can have one folder with all the mail from zootski, and another with all the mail that has "GTD" anywhere in the body. Any mail from zootski about GTD will be in both folders. Awesome!

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            • #7
              MSFT only is a problem

              I completely agree with Unbathed comments on the MSFT-only nature of the Scopeware product. It was enough to make me not want to even try it. On the other hand, Opera is a real product actually COMPETING (or at least carving out a niche) against the MSFT IE juggernaut.

              This is why I have yet to check out the Outlook GTD plugin: I don't use Outlook! And funnily enough I don't have email virus problems either. I will be exploring M2 a little more thoroughly based on others' comments on it. I currently use Eudora, which is a workhorse, but not exactly moving forward development-wise.

              In the longer run I am convinced that the MSFT upper hand will not always be so complete: I am already using OpenOffice (free!) and am very pleased to see the beginnings of the Chandler project http://www.bayarea.com/mld/bayarea/business/4327025.htm which in the longer run could well challenge Outlook, coming from an Open Source perspective.

              BTW - I highly recommend Opera - despite the fact that some sites don't render well (due to using MSFT 'special code'), many sites render perfectly and it is FAST - you can turn images on and off with one click , so it is great for a wireless connection or a slow modem. Plus it runs on multiple OS's.

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              • #8
                As a web designer, I'd humbly suggest that Microsoft isn't the problem. It's the people in the anti-Microsoft backlash (all 27 of them) who embrace anything that isn't Microsoft purely because it isn't Microsoft. These different browsers and their refusal to embrace any kind of standard forces people like me to jump through hoops and constantly learn new interfaces for that 0.7% of internet users who refuse to use IE or Netscape.
                Someone mentioned that a certain browser was great because you could opt to turn off images. Um...sorry, I put a lot of effort into designing those images, and spent a lot of money on the hardward and software producing those images, and spent hours tweaking my layout so the images would look good in your browser - so forgive me if "turning them off" is a functionality I don't WANT you to have.
                That being said, any tool that would help streamline emails would be a HUGE bonus. I like the "filters" idea with M2, although Outlook's "Rules" allow me to do pretty much the same thing.
                And the fact that David's Outlook plug in only works (by definition) with Outlook makes me glad I'm one of the vast, exponential majority who are happy to embrace a standard that allows me to work in harmony with people around me.

                Regards,
                Neil

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                • #9
                  One of the changes slated for Outlook 11 is "virtual folders" (messages classified by sender/date/content/attachment, etc.) like those mentioned here for M2 or for NEO. I have been using NEO, and it is wonderful to be able to quickly track an e-mail down by correspondent, attachment, or date, without doing a SLOW Outlook search or storing everything in separate folders.

                  Pam

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