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Change Date of an email

Last post 07-03-2018, 21:15 by Mal. 27 replies.
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  •  06-24-2007, 19:23

    • franc is not online. Last active: 09-27-2011, 18:57 franc
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    Change Date of an email

    My father sends me quite often emails from 1970 or something because his notebook-battery is empty.

    Those mails are not on the top even if i haven't read them because of the wrong date.

    So why not make the date changeable in the mail-property dialog? would be an easy thing and helpful.

    franc

  •  06-26-2007, 5:04

    Re: Change Date of an email

     

    Hello!

     

    What you can do right now is to sort the unread messages before the read ones, simply called "Sort unread before read" in Pegasus Mail. Doing so, your father's messages will not be sorted at the end of the message list, so you can find his messages easier (as long as they remain unread).

    This is what the help file says about the option (on the help page "Sorting folders"):

    Sort unread before read splits the folder into two groups of messages - those which have been read and those which have not. Each group is sorted according to the current sort order, but all your unread mail appears above read mail in the list.

    There are two ways to change that setting:

    (a) When in preview mode: select the folder in which you want the the unread messages to be sorted before the read ones, then open the "Messages"-menu that contains the "Sort unread before read":command. Just click on it, and the unread message will be sorted before the read ones in the message list of the preview pane.

    (b) When using the list mode (also know as the classic mode):  open the folder whose unread messages should be sorted the read ones in its own folder window, then open the "Folder"-menu that contains the "Sort unread before read"-command. Again, just click on it, and the unread message will be sorted before the read ones in the message list of the respective folder window..


    Another idea is to choose a different sorting mode for the folder that contains your father's messages. Given that you are currently using "Sort by date" and no grouped views, you may want to try whether a different sorting mode might help you find your father's messages better.

    The help page "Sorting folders" gives you some hints how to order the messages within a folder - or you simply open the "Messages"-menu (when in preview mode) or the "Folder"-menu (when using list mode), seeing the various choices how to have the message of a folder sorted. For example, "Sort by sender" may be interesting because all messages sent by your father would be sorted within a block of messages.

    A similar approach is to use grouped views that are described on the help page "Grouped views" (well, not too surprising). The basic idea of the grouped views is (according to the help file):

    A Grouped View is a way of combining related messages together in groups within your folders. For example, you may want to group all the messages from Winston Churchill together in one group. Where a Grouped View improves on simple sorting, though, is that it creates a hierarchy - each group of related messages can be collapsed to a single entry in the list, making it much easier to find and work with specific classes or types of message. When in a grouped view, each group in the list has a caption, which is a kind of heading bar identifying the contents of the group. The caption has a standard collapse/expand box at its left allowing you to expand or collapse the view of that group within the overall message list. 

    Again, open the "Messages"-menu (when in preview mode) or the "Folder"-menu (when using list mode) where you can open the "Grouped views"-submenu that offers a lot of options; "Group by sender" may be interesting to you, too, in order to have your father's messages in a single group.

     

     ------

     

    What I have described is a change in your settings to find your father's messages better (in order to have them sorted not at the very end of the message list, but at a more prominent place in the message list). You can do this using the tools Pegasus Mail currently offers. However, this does not really cover the suggestion you made.

    Before answering, I have to say that I am not involved in in the actual writing of Pegasus Mail (only David Harris, the author of Pegasus Mail and Mercur, is and can decide what new features to add). Because of that, I can only describe my point of view; David Harris may or may not have a different viewpoint.

     

    As far as I can see, your suggestion cannot be implemented that easily. The actual problem is that the time stamp of a message has to follow a certain standard, and if you added a time stamp yourself, your own time stamp would (probably) also have to meet that standard. In other words: the time stamp you would add would have to have exactly the pieces of information and the order of information that are required by the standard - a criteria not every user could satisfy.

    An example: a correct time stamp in a message may be "Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 06:39:10 -0100". There are several permissible variants of that pattern; and to make things even more complicated, some e-mail clients and mail servers also add non-permissible time stamps that can difficult to interpret by the recipient's e-mail client.

    (If you really want to know more about the correct technique for adding a time stamp, read the RfC 2822 [for example at http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2822.html] and its sections 3.3 "Date and Time Specification" and 3.6.1. "The origination date field")

     

    So, if your sugestion was implemented, that new feature would have to ensure that the additional time stamp added by the users would also be correct. Note: I am talking about adding an extra time stamp, not overriding the old one; similar to the "X-PMDFROM:"-header line you can add, such an additional timestamp could be named "X-PMDDATE:" (X-PMDFROM is already implemented, whereas X-PMDDATE is not).

    So, if David Harris really wants to add it, such a feature has to make sure that the user cannot enter any wrong or illegitimate data (remember that David's to-do list already includes a lot of suggestions, ideas, fixes etc., so I am not sure whether there are enough resources to add you suggestion).

    One way of doing so could be to have several pull-down menus: respectively one for the abbreviated week day, another one for the day in the month, for the abbreviated name of the month, for the year, for the hour, the minute, for the second, and for the timezone information. Each of the pull-down menus might list the cases allowed for the respective menu (for example, the list for the months would only offer January until December in order to prevent the user from entering any nonsense data). The default value would be the original timestamp from the message (as Pegasus Mail interprets the original timestamp), so you would have to enter only those values that you want to change.

     

    I cannot promise at all that your suggestion will be added; it is up only to David Harris to decide what changes to add to a new version of Pegasus Mail.

     


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  •  06-28-2007, 17:20

    • franc is not online. Last active: 09-27-2011, 18:57 franc
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    Re: Change Date of an email

    Thank you for your long answer!

    Good idea with the sorting unread before read mails, but it is not possible to do both: also the grouped view, which i love and use. i group my mails by date, thats practical, i made five buttons on the toolbar: Group by date, Group by person, ungrouped, Open all Groups, close all groups. this is very practical and i use it often.

    for the date of a mail, this is not a problem. at the moment i have to close pegasus, search in the mail directory of pegasus for the .cnm-file which contains the wrong date and write the real date and reopen pegasus. finished. pegasus takes the date from the mailheader. no problem. and it could be so easily done by the context-menu in the newmail folder (mail properties)...

    i would make another field in this properties dialog (reached also by F12) where you see the date and the time, and a button 'change date'. you get a datebox, so the user cannot write but have to choose from the box. look at windows time and date dialog. this is solved so many times, this is not a problem.

    I hope sincerely that once pegasus will be opensource, then i wont sleep till i have compiled it successfully :-))

    nice, franc

  •  06-28-2007, 17:53

    • Marc is not online. Last active: 18/05/2010, 5:15 Marc
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    Re: Change Date of an email


    I'm sure You don't want to hear that, but Your father should fix his notebook and solve the problem. Surprise

  •  06-28-2007, 22:46

    Re: Change Date of an email

    Best solution, with least effort:  Fix the laptop.  Or, if you can afford it, buy your dad a new one, winXP laptops go for less than 700 USD these days.  Great solstice gift!

    2nd best:  write a small program to parse your CNM files and replace the "date:" header line with a date string extracted from the "received:" line whenever it sees a mail from your father's address, or alternatively whenever it sees a 197? date.  If you're a programmer, this would be pretty simple in perl, gawk or basic (all of which are available for windows).  You could rig your code to run before starting pmail easily enough.

  •  06-29-2007, 10:41

    • PaulW is not online. Last active: 31 May 2020, 15:17 PaulW
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    Re: Change Date of an email

    Thomas Nimmesgern:
    So, if your sugestion was implemented, that new feature would have to ensure that the additional time stamp added by the users would also be correct. Note: I am talking about adding an extra time stamp, not overriding the old one; similar to the "X-PMDFROM:"-header line you can add, such an additional timestamp could be named "X-PMDDATE:" (X-PMDFROM is already implemented, whereas X-PMDDATE is not).

    Thomas, an alternative approach would be for Pegasus Mail to insert this received date header automatically and then have an option which would allow this received date to be used (where available) in the folder view.

    These days it is not uncommon for mail servers and listservers to have problems which cause delays to mail, and I sometimes see new mail arrive which has a genuine (correct) date stamp a day or 2 old.  Having this option would be useful in those circumstances.  (Using the latest 'Received:' header date is also possible, but not as useful as it would not normallly show the time the message arrived at your own mailbox.)

     

  •  07-12-2007, 12:50

    • franc is not online. Last active: 09-27-2011, 18:57 franc
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    Re: Change Date of an email

    Medievalist:

    Best solution, with least effort:  Fix the laptop.  Or, if you can afford it, buy your dad a new one, winXP laptops go for less than 700 USD these days.  Great solstice gift!

    This is exactly what i did Smile I bought my father a new one (a mac ibook, which is lovely), but: he doesn't use it because its slightly different and he isn't flexible in this matter Sad

    And to get a new battery for an old mac, old like this, is not as easy as you might think Sad

    Its easier to change the date of each mail or even to write a prog. for that Smile

    I wait for the day pegasus will be opensource and i hope it will be possible to compile it. then, yes then all will be good!

     

  •  07-22-2007, 18:34

    • jss1941 is not online. Last active: 02-13-2017, 3:52 jss1941
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    Re: Change Date of an email

    I tried rewriting bad date headers in emails (.CNM extension) with mixed results.  The problem here is that Windows uses a 2-character CRLF as end-of-line, whereas most unix-style utilities use only LF (even in Windows implementations).  Also, this type of editing can play havoc with non-ascii attachments, making them unusable.

    Invoking such a process with the standard "new mail" filters is also not without difficulty.  There may be an easier way using Public folders, which also keep emails as individual .CNR files, rather than packed into .PMM files.

     


    John (loyal Pmail user for so long I've lost count -- ~19 years)
  •  09-29-2007, 14:46

    • franc is not online. Last active: 09-27-2011, 18:57 franc
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    Re: Change Date of an email

    jss1941:

    The problem here is that Windows uses a 2-character CRLF as end-of-line

    Please use as texteditor e.g. UltraEdit, EditPadPro or any Editor which keeps the original Linebreak-System.

    Thank you!

  •  04-05-2017, 11:19

    • krkj is not online. Last active: 2017-04-20, 9:38 krkj
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    Re: Change Date of an email

    franc:


    My father sends me quite often emails from 1970 ...
    So why not make the date changeable in the mail-property dialog? ...

    PaulW:

    ... for Pegasus Mail to insert this received date header automatically and then have an option which would allow this received date to be used (where available) in the folder view.

    ... (Using the latest 'Received:' header date is also possible, but not as useful as it would not normallly show the time the message arrived at your own mailbox.)

     

    I have a problem similar to franc's:
    My cell phone service provider sends me emails without the field 'Date: '.

    (Of course the company should mend their ways and conform.
    I wrote to their postmaster and didn't get a reply.
    I wrote to customer support and they pretended that they didn't know what I was talking about.)

    So I suggest (more-or-less as does PaulW) that it would be useful to be able to optionally sort emails according to 'actual send time' or 'actual arrival time'
    and also optionally display this time (maybe flagged somehow) in the 'Date/Time' coloumn.
    For 'actual send time' pmail could use the time of the earliest 'Received: '-field in the hidden headers.
    (That seems to be what gmail and others are doing.)

    Again: Emails should conform but when they don't (as with malformed HTML email) it would be nice to easily deal with them anyway.


    --
    Kristian.
    Pmail user since 1992.
  •  04-05-2017, 11:44

    • krkj is not online. Last active: 2017-04-20, 9:38 krkj
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    Re: Change Date of an email

    jss1941:

    I tried rewriting bad date headers in emails (.CNM extension) with mixed results.  The problem here is that Windows uses a 2-character CRLF as end-of-line, whereas most unix-style utilities use only LF (even in Windows implementations).  Also, this type of editing can play havoc with non-ascii attachments, making them unusable.

    Invoking such a process with the standard "new mail" filters is also not without difficulty.  There may be an easier way using Public folders, which also keep emails as individual .CNR files, rather than packed into .PMM files.

    By means of a text editor that respects the end-of-line of the input file I have been editing *.CNM-files, inserting the missing 'Date: '-field while using the date from one of the 'Received: '-fields.

    To have the modified email filtered again I can close and open the 'New Mail' folder. This has the disadvantage that all other emails in the 'New Mail' folder are reprocessed as well.

    Instead I have been 'bouncing' (forwarding without edit) the modified email to myself and deleting the date:-less copy.

     

    Has anyone written a script to modify  *.CNM-files in this way?

     

     


    --
    Kristian.
    Pmail user since 1992.
  •  04-05-2017, 16:56

    • irelam is not online. Last active: 05-31-2020, 18:35 irelam
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    Re: Change Date of an email

    There is an easier way to edit an incoming email message.  While the message is in the New Mail "folder" (ie c:\pmail\mail\username) you can right click on the message in the message list and select Properties. There you will find the filename (*.CNM).  You can then use Notepad type editors to correct or add  a Date: line

    Martin

  •  04-05-2017, 17:11

    • krkj is not online. Last active: 2017-04-20, 9:38 krkj
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    Re: Change Date of an email

    irelam:

    There is an easier way to edit an incoming email message.  While the message is in the New Mail "folder" (ie c:\pmail\mail\username) you can right click on the message in the message list and select Properties. There you will find the filename (*.CNM).  You can then use Notepad type editors to correct or add  a Date: line

    As I wrote, that is precisely what I've been doing. However I hate tedious repetitive tasks. Therefore I would prefer to just run a script. So far I have

    grep  "Date:"  --files-without-match *.CNM
    for finding any offending emails. Now to automatically parse the hidden headers for a date to use...

    --
    Kristian.
    Pmail user since 1992.
  •  04-05-2017, 20:44

    • irelam is not online. Last active: 05-31-2020, 18:35 irelam
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    Re: Change Date of an email

    In this day and age you should not be experiencing any large amount of badly built email messages. What with major software vendors (Microsoft, Google and Apple) as well as user ISP services, that are all very aware of RFC SMTP standards, there should only be infrequent occasions that cause problems. All that should be necessary is to advise senders of badly constructed email messages, that there is a standard, and that they should become aware of these.  That will leave only the bad guys such as spammers, and you should be filtering them out all ready.

    Martin

  •  04-06-2017, 16:48

    • krkj is not online. Last active: 2017-04-20, 9:38 krkj
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    Re: Change Date of an email

    irelam:

    ... All that should be necessary is to advise senders of badly constructed email messages, that there is a standard, and that they should become aware of these. ...

    Agreed. That ought to do the trick.

    krkj:

    My cell phone service provider sends me emails without the field 'Date: '.
    Of course the company should mend their ways and conform.
    I wrote to their postmaster and didn't get a reply.
    I wrote to customer support and they pretended that they didn't know what I was talking about.

    And what they send is not all spam. Some of it I need to see.

     


    --
    Kristian.
    Pmail user since 1992.
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