Zomething different for your email

by Jason Deraleau

Related link: http://guests.evectors.it/zoe/

Sometimes I feel like I'm behind the times. Or maybe it's more that I don't feel like I'm really in touch with all of the great open source projects out there. I mean sure, I know about Apache and Samba. The big ones are easy. Sometimes though, a smaller player slips through and comes to my attention. Zoe is an example of this.

While Zoe might be in alpha phase, it is a very solid program and presents a working example of something we all should have: a personal database of all of our email. Sure you can create folders for messages in your mail program. With my Mac.com IMAP account, I have the folders kept on the Apple servers. Folders for friends' correspondence, client conversations, and so forth. The problem is that this method of organization is general at best. If I wanted to know what discussions I've had with O'Reilly folk, I can just hop into Mail.app and go into my O'Reilly folder. Then use Mail's search field to find a specific word. This can be cumbersome at times. Also, my IMAP account is only 15MB. Mail eventually gets deleted to save space on the server.

Enter Zoe. I've configured it to work in parallel with Mail.app in grabbing mail from my various email accounts (three in total). Zoe also comes with a Mail bundle that makes it easy to search for information in just a few clicks. A new feature (added in today's release) supports RSS aggregation. Zoe will pull your selected RSS feeds and display them in sequence along with your email messages. You can then pull this combined feed in Zoe's RSS export. Pretty cool if you want to consolidate your information.

Give it a try. It's not obtrusive at all, pretty easy to use and setup. My favorite part thus far is being able to use Zoe's search box for something like "Samba" and seeing emails from my subscribed mailing lists, professional correspondence, and RSS entries all pop up in one place. A great way to keep track of your personal Internet experience.

What do you think of Zoe? What other sources of information would be useful to have archived?


2003-02-22 18:19:07
Not only for the MAC!
While not for the faint-of-heart, Zoe can also be run on a Windows-based PC. I'm running WinXP Home, for example. However, Zoe won't run using Microsoft's Java virtual machine. You will have to download and install Sun's Java Runtime {http://java.sun.com/getjava/index.html) to get Zoe working.