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Mailboxer v4

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A few days ago, our little hack Mailboxer (original blog post) got an honourable mention over at Hawk Wings. Actually quite a nice review that suggests the tool as been tried out for real rather than just copying the sparse notes that came with it – a quality I find lacking in many areas of computer-related writing.

That, in turn, sent a number of people over to check Mailboxer out. And it didn’t take long for a bug in it to be discovered. A bug which caused people being listed with their company’s name rather than their own if the display order of their first and last name had been manually changed. Luckily this was solved without too much trouble once I had an example contact and re-read the documentation for the AddressBook framework, which I should have read more carefully to begin with.

I put the updated version up on the Mailboxer page.

March 22, 2007, 0:21

Tagged as earthlingsoft, Mailboxer.


Comment by ZapPow: User icon

Just a little detail. In your installer, you have the following line “a click on the OK button will…”

There is no OK button. There is a “Create smart mailboxes” button.

Other than that, I was draming of such a feature (that I used extensively with Opera). Well done.

March 22, 2007, 14:43

Comment by ssp: User icon

Thanks for pointing that out ZapPow. I wonder how I managed to miss that.

March 22, 2007, 15:01

Comment by LC: User icon

Just started using Mailboxer. Great tool - will save me doing 5 - 10 searches a day in Mail. Easy to set up, well thought out, and does one thing really well. Thank you for making it available.

One thought occurred looking at the results. I would like an option that gets only the From and To lines be the basis for selection, and not the CCs. I do a lot of work with a few committees where everyone cc s everyone, so I get all these repetitions showing up in the smart mailboxs - when I really want just the From/To s.

March 23, 2007, 20:43

Comment by ssp: User icon

LC, that sounds like a good idea.

But my impression is that Smart Mailboxes in Mail cannot do such a search as it will only let you do searches for ‘All Recipients’ in Smart Mailboxes.

As Mailboxer only sets up Smart Mailboxes for Mail it means that unfortunately I cannot change that either.

March 24, 2007, 23:44

Comment by kim: User icon

do you have an uninstaller? I don’t want to loose all of my smart boxes i already have in mail.

I need to reinstall because my contacts came in with their first names first, but I need to change that to last name first. I changed it in address book, reinstalled, quit, etc. but it won’t change it in mail. Thanks Kim

March 25, 2007, 19:50

Comment by ssp: User icon

You don’t need an uninstaller, Kim.

If you don’t want the smart mailboxes created by Mailboxer anymore, just delete the ‘AB’ smart mailbox folder from Mail’s folder list.

Currently Mailboxer cannot create mailboxes with the reversed name order. But the feature is on my list for the next version already.

March 25, 2007, 21:25

Comment by Faisal: User icon

Great app! Is it possible to allow the user to change the default sorting from Date Received newest first to oldest first, or any sorting for that matter? It becomes especially annoying when I rerun Mailboxer to add a new contact, and all the old (or recreated, not sure) smart mailboxes have reverted to the Date Received column being newest first. Otherwise, amazing!

March 26, 2007, 7:47

Comment by ssp: User icon

Faisal, Mailboxer doesn’t give Mail any information about how it is supposed to sort messages by default. My impression was that Mail automatically picks a sort order for these new Smart Mailboxes - descending by date in my case. (But I haven’t really understood how Mail decides which sort order to use).

Which columns is Mail showing in your setup (for the Inbox? for the Smart Mailboxes created by Mailboxer?)

March 26, 2007, 12:28

Comment by Faisal: User icon


I have the same columns in all my mailboxes, From, Subject, Date Received, and Size. I usually sort my mailboxes by Date Received, oldest first. I suppose that is the default. If I create a Smart Mailbox manually, it sorts by ascending Date Received. I tried creating it from my Inbox with both the Date Received sorted ascending and descending and I got the same result.


March 26, 2007, 16:02

Comment by ssp: User icon

Thanks for the details Faisal. I can’t promise much yet but I’ll have a look at it for the next version.

March 26, 2007, 16:11

Comment by Orion: User icon

Okay, this is very groovy — thank you!

A request: might it be possible to have an option regarding whether or not to include Trash in the smart mailboxes? I don’t mind going through and unflagging the few I have now, but as they expand, my mind trembles at the thought. grin

Thanks again for a very helpful utility!

March 28, 2007, 20:33

Comment by ssp: User icon

Orion, my magic crystal ball tells me that we may see the ability to set that in the next release.

March 29, 2007, 0:15

Comment by Orion: User icon

Excellent! Looking forward to it… and thanks again.

March 29, 2007, 19:31

Comment by Steven Romande: User icon

I cannot seem to remove mailboxer…….I have thrown away the application. I cannot find the AB Mailbox Folder to throw away……I cannot delete the smart mailboxes…..the names of thousands of these smart mailboxes are all alike…

Mailbox “Mailbox ” Mailbox…..(23 times) then “name of conact” does not exist….

What do I do?


November 29, 2007, 18:39

Comment by ssp: User icon

Sorry to hear this, Steve.

It’s the first time a problem like this occurs and I have no idea what’s going on there.

As described in the readme, the Mailboxer application doesn’t do anything once it has been quit. And all it does when it is running is change the setup for Smart Mailboxes used by Mail. Just delete the Smart Mailboxes you don’t want in Mail and no harm should have been done.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try whether you can reproduce the problem and mail us a description of what you did with which OS version, possibly including a copy of the SmartMailboxes.plist file in your ~/Library/Mail folder.

November 29, 2007, 18:53

Comment by Michael Kelberer: User icon

I have this same problem - I believe it happens as a result of synching thru .Mac when the other Mac has a different smart mailbox structure. I also cannot delete these smart mailboxes with the layered names: eg: Mailbox “Mailbox “Mailbox “Mailbox “Mailbox “Mailbox “fred” does not exist.” does not exist.” does not exist.” does not exist.” does not exist.” does not exist. This is in Leopard, fully updated.

December 22, 2007, 14:25

Comment by ssp: User icon

Thanks for the note Michael. I am not a .Mac user, so I can’t test interaction with that service. No idea what Apple do when synchronising that way.

The Mail application does seem to keep another file related to Smart Mailboxes in X.5, which is called VersionedSmartMailboxes.plist. I couldn’t figure out what it is used for so far. Perhaps it has to do with the .Mac syncing.

December 22, 2007, 16:17

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