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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Why can't Mail be more like AB, iCal and Safari?

Why can't Mail be more like AB, iCal and Safari?
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iDriveX
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Apr 11, 2005, 12:58 AM
 
Simple question, why can't mail be more like Address Book, iCal and Safari. With iSync and a .mac account, I open Safari on one computer, it looks identical to the other two computers (as far as bookmarks are concerned), Address Book is the exact same way, same with iCal. In fact, they are also all identical online with Addressbook.mac, ical on .mac, and bookmarks.mac. But Mail is the red-headed stepchild!

My mail looks completely different on all three computers and webmail. First off, folders don't sync. So if I create a folder with a rule on my cube, I have to do the same on my powerbook and my iMac. The iMac thinks every piece of mail I get (almost) is Junk Mail, the PowerBook is pretty good and the Cube filters almost nothing. And God forbid I leave a Mail app open on my PowerBook without using it for a few days. While I'm on my cube and deleting and sorting my mail, I go to my PowerBook and now have 110 new e-mails that I've already deleted and sorted on my cube!

Now I've heard of "mail sync" in Tiger, but Apple's Tiger page is very ambiguous on exactly what syncs and how. (believe it or not, I haven't even test drove any version of Tiger thus far). I'm hoping that Tiger cures these, what I call, flaws in the program.

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moonmonkey
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Apr 11, 2005, 03:04 AM
 
Originally posted by iDriveX:
Now I've heard of "mail sync" in Tiger, but Apple's Tiger page is very ambiguous on exactly what syncs and how. (believe it or not, I haven't even test drove any version of Tiger thus far). I'm hoping that Tiger cures these, what I call, flaws in the program.
I think Tiger just Syncs your email accounts and settings.
     
Randman
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Apr 11, 2005, 03:06 AM
 
I can access my Mail.app via .Mac just fine. Syncs fine.

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Graymalkin
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Apr 11, 2005, 04:04 AM
 
Mail's behavior is defined by three configuration files, com.apple.Mail.plist, LSMMap, and MessageSorting.plist. It wouldn't be terribly difficult for iSync to back these files up to .Mac or wherever which is what Tiger's mail synch is I believe. However having your mailboxes be identical on multiple machines wouldn't be nearly as easy. E-mail boxes can be many megabytes in size. These wouldn't be trivial things to back up to .Mac, especially considering most people's "broadband" connections have relatively anemic upstream bandwidth.

If you'd like to hack your own solution to synching Mail's preferences you can do this:

Select the LSMMap, MessageSorting.plist, and com.apple.Mail.plist files in Backup to specifically backup. This will create a small .backup file you can stuff on your iDisk that you can restore on each of your Macs. It won't back up your inboxes but it will maintain all of your settings and training and sorting rules.

OR:

Go into ~/Library/Preferences and find com.apple.Mail.plist. This file is the main configuration for Apple's Mail. Next go into ~/Library/Mail and find LSMMap (it might be called LSMMap2) and MessageSorting.plist. The LSMMap file is the junk mail training file for Mail and the MessageSorting.plist is your list of rules. Back these up in a StuffIt/Zip/tar/bzip file and stuff them on your iDisk or flash drive or iPod. Put these files on each of your computers you run Mail on and voilą.

The Backup method is a bit quicker and easier but not everyone has .Mac. Backup's built-in option to back up Mail messages and settings will maintain your LSMMap and MessageSorting.plist files but takes along all of your inboxes which makes for an extremely large backup in time cases.
     
iDriveX  (op)
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Apr 11, 2005, 09:58 PM
 
I doubt it would be that hard to sync these files. My Address Book Database is huge (MB in size) and it doesn't sync the entire database, just the changes (as far as I know). The same could be done for mail. On an average day, the inbox of any three of my computer might have 40 new messages if I haven't checked it. When I get home, I want to jump on the cube, delete, sort, file those 40 messages and then when I go to bed and do a check of my e-mail before I go to sleep, I don't want to stare at those same 40 messages (my problem is that I keep all my Mail's open on all three computers cause I forget to quit it). I have my iSync to sync my mac's every hour. If I delete Message A at 3:00 PM, iSync will run by 4:00 PM at the latest, it should send a message to the .mac server: "Message A was put into the deleted items folder", then when iSync runs on my PowerBook and iMac at the latest a full hour later at 5:00, it should say "See message A in the inbox? That was deleted so put it in the deleted items folder" and then remove that reference from the sync server.

I leave my mail application open so that when I am checking my webmail, I am not inundated with Junk Mail because I have "Remove Message from server when moved from inbox" checked and when Junk auto-filters it will remove it from my webmail. Unfortunately though, I'm deleting messages and sending messages on webmail, and when I get home, I have 40 messages that I have already read, none of the messages I sent are in my sent items mailbox and none of the messages I deleted are in the deleted items mailbox. See the problem?

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Mike S.
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Apr 11, 2005, 10:05 PM
 
Isn't IMAP supposed to do things like that?
     
iDriveX  (op)
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Apr 12, 2005, 10:50 AM
 
Originally posted by Mike S.:
Isn't IMAP supposed to do things like that?
True but God forbid you are in a place with no internet and you open mail, your inbox will be empty, where as POP3 actually downloads the mail to your inbox. I really see no good solution here....until April 29th!

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cpac
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Apr 12, 2005, 11:48 AM
 
Originally posted by iDriveX:
True but God forbid you are in a place with no internet and you open mail, your inbox will be empty, where as POP3 actually downloads the mail to your inbox. I really see no good solution here....until April 29th!
Not necessarily true - you can (in 10.3 and earlier) tell Mail to keep copies of everything offline as well. It will take a while depending on how much IMAP mail you have, but after that it's pretty straight forward.
cpac
     
iDriveX  (op)
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Apr 12, 2005, 09:26 PM
 
Just looked over all the Tiger stuff today, pretty much sounds like all my complaints are about to be alieviated what with smart folder syncing, setting syncing, account syncing. Sounds pretty perfect to me. HOPEFULLY it considers the "Inbox" a folder it syncs. I would hate for all this syncing action to be going on and delete an e-mail out of my cube and then go to my laptop and still see it sitting there. Only a few more days to find out!

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