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Re: How to rearrange the sequence of filters

Subject: Re: How to rearrange the sequence of filters
From: "Alexey Feldgendler"
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2005 16:04:26 +0600
Newsgroups: opera.mail+news
On Mon, 21 Nov 2005 14:42:17 +0600, Richard Grevers <newsreply7@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Opera M2 implements something in between of these two. Each folder is a place, and messages can be manually moved between folders, that's procmail way.

No, there are no physical folders or places in Opera. All messages remain in the central database, physically sorted on an account/time basis. (mbox per month per account in O8) - all the various type of folder are filtered views of this database (GMail way, although M2 predates and possibly inspired GMail)

There are folders. When you manually add or remove a message to/from a filter, how does Opera remember it next time it starts? The answer is that it's stored somewhere. You're right, the message body is not physically placed "into" the folder, but it doesn't matter as long as there is some place where Opera records which messages are in the folder and which aren't.

And Opera extends this in several ways:
1) You can manually add any message to most views by drag and drop.
2) You can remove a message from a view without deleting it completely

This is only because Opera gives up on implementing gmail way completely. Manual addition or deletion of messages is not gmail way because when you move a message into our out of a filter, you violate this filter's condition, and the filter isn't a pure search query anymore. It's a filter with "exclusions", like "all messages with ABC in subject BUT NOT message 123 AND NOT message 124, PLUS message 125". Because neither the user nor Opera developers would want to actually formulate such weird conditions with exclusions, Opera doesn't implement filters like pure search queries. Instead, they are indeed PLACES (and there is a place in Opera's mail database where it's stored for each filter what messages are in it currently), and conditions are matched only on creation/arrival of a new message. That's why there is an extra step to recheck all previously stored messages when the filter conditions have been changed.

1. Finally become procmail way by allowing filters to be ordered and adding a checkbox "Stop processing filters after this one" to each filter. This indeed would provide what V S Rawat and possibly others want, but it would also make filter setup more complicated because a filter's contents would become implicitly affected by other filters.

This is impossible, because Opera does not use folder-bsed storage.

See above about folder-based storage. Actually, this alternative is quite easily possible, easier than alternative 2. It's just dubious, but not impossible.

2. Finally become gmail way by giving up on the ability to manually add and remove messages to and from filters. Instead, changes in a filter's conditions would immediately affect what the user sees inside, as if it was a search query.

Why should it be crippled thus?. having to create a rule that will match exactly three messages from 100,000 requires a substantial amount skill, insight or experimentation compared to simply dragging those messages to a view.

Dragging messages into a view is procmail way. If you want to manipulate your messages like this, you're thinking procmail way. (There's nothing bad about it.)

By the way, there IS a solution that allows to pick three messages and make a view out of them without resorting to procmail-style folders. It's called tagging, a modern approach that's widely used in various information systems nowadays, such as in photo albums, blogs etc. The idea is that an entity (applied to mail, entity == message) can have arbitrary number of tags attached to it. The tags are attached manually by the user. (Opera implements a subset of tagging, called "labels", but that's not complete tagging because one message can have only one label, and the set of possible labels is hardcoded. But it can be extended in the future, if Opera developers decide so.) Tags can be used in filtering conditions (like "This folder shows all messages with tag XXX"). If Opera had complete implementation of tagging, you could just mark your three messages with a new unique tag (like "My Very Important Messages"), and they'd be visible by clicking "My Very Important Messages" under "Tags" in M2 panel. Of course, tagging a message doesn't remove it from any filter it is in, nor does it clear other tags from the message.

Opera M2 9.0 TP1 on Debian Linux 2.6.12-1-k7
* Origin: X-Man's Station at SW-Soft, Inc. [ICQ: 115226275] <feldgendler@xxxxxxx>

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