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Filing of Emails with Attachements in Email Readers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000030907D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Sep-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 262K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

When using an email reader software that supports attachements and filing, users are often repeating the same task over and over again: 1. Detach an attachement to a directory on disk on the local operating system, 2. Delete the attachement from the email, and 3. File or archive the email in a folder in the email reader. The filing structure to detach attachements and the filing structure where the emails are filed have often the same hieararchical structure. In this case, it is easier to navigate the emails and the corresponding attachments. Because attachments are stored on the local disk, this allows to file email messages and save disk space on the mail server and is critical, especially when there are strict disk quotas for each user's mailbox on the mail server. In this article, we describe a mechanism that prevents these repetitive tasks and provide a uniform way of filing attachments on the operating system and email messages in an email reader

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Filing of Emails with Attachements in Email Readers

Filing of emails

The idea is to create a new function in the email reader that does steps 1, 2, and 3 described above together. The advantage of the function is that the user can perform the three steps much faster. Not only would this function save time to the user, it would also reduce the risk of errors since the folder name where email and attachments are files is specified once instead of twice.

Let us take the example of an email reader illustrated by Screenshot 1:

Screenshot 1

In this screen shot, we can see:

   On the left pane, the hierarchy used to file email messages o

   On the right pane, the contents of the inbox where the unfiled o messages are stored.

    The email messages that contain attachements are indicated with an icon representing a paper clipper. We will show how the idea works on the selected email (the one on the right pane framed by a dark rectangle).

Screenshot 2 shows how the attachment hierarchy where the attachments are

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stored is organized on the local operating system. The hierarchy is exactly the same one than the one for filing emails in the email reader (shown on the left pane of the screen shot).

Screenshot 2

    The function we came up with works as follows. When the user wants to file the selected email, he/she first creates a folder where the email must be filed, if it does not already exist. He/she does so by using the existing function for creating folders in the email reader. The difference, however, is that the folder is created in the email reader AND a corresponding folder is also created in the attachement hirearchy of the local operating system. All folder management functions that affect the hirerarchy of the folders or their names must be applied to both the email reader and the attachment hirearchy of the local operating system in order to keep both consistent. Fo...