C-Command Software Forum

Eudora, Mail and Eaglefiler

I’m contemplating a radical move: Eudora to Mail when I go from Tiger to Leopard. Since I’m already using EagleFiler for pdfs and web pages, I thought it would be logical to archive old mails too. Especially since I gather from what I read that Mail isn’t quite the place to keep thousands of messages. I’ve been using Eudora for more than 10 years and keep just about everything (except spam, but that’s taken care of with SpamSieve). That makes for a lot of messages…

However, I’m having problems transferring Eudora mailboxes to EagleFiler. If I transfer them directly (from the finder to the EagleFiler Drop Pad), some messages appear empty. When I double click on them to open them in Mail, I do see the message but all the HTML tags are visible too so it’s completely unreadable.

So I tried to convert the Eudora mailboxes to Mail first, using Eudora Mailbox Cleaner. Then I dropped the mailbox from Mail to EagleFiler. The result is somewhat better but there are issues with the encodings of messages containing accented characters. The transfer from Eudora to Mail is not perfect and many messages end up with errors in accented words. EagleFiler reproduces these errors. But even when the message is OK in Mail, when it gets into EagleFiler, the accented letters are wrong. Also, in Eudora the quoted parts have a vertical bar on the left. This bar is visible in Mail but disappears in EagleFiler, so many messages are impossible to understand.

I then tried transferring a mailbox from Eudora to Thunderbird (also with Eudora Mailbox Cleaner). The results with the accents are much better in Thunderbird. However, getting from Thunderbird to EagleFiler is more difficult. I dropped the mailbox from the Finder to EagleFiler’s Drop Pad, which worked but the results are just as poor: mangled accents and lost quotes.

I chose Mail over Thunderbird for one main reason. I plan to use Time Machine (and also Spotlight and QuickView) and I know it’s much better for these applications to have individual files for messages instead of large mbox files.

So, what to do?


Just Mail and Eaglefiler
I’ve explored a bit further.

Using Mail directly (no conversion, just new mail) on Leopard here’s what I see:

If the reply message quotes the original message, the vertical bar that appears in Mail is shown in EagleFiler as closing angle brackets. No problem with that. But if I add styled text to my reply, Mail sends the message in both plain text and HTML format. When the message is passed to EagleFiler, it shows the styled text but the > and >> down the left margin disappear, eliminating any way to see the quote levels.

Is there something I’m missing here?

The accents are OK though. Which may not be really meaningful since I’m just testing by sending messages to myself.



If you e-mail me one of those mailboxes, I’ll look into this. Unfortunately, Eudora does not store its mail using the standard mbox format, which is what EagleFiler expects. To the extent that it deviates, the results after importing into EagleFiler (or another mail program) will be unpredictable. Using Eudora Mailbox Cleaner is probably a good idea.

When it stores the messages in a mailbox, Eudora changes the way the text is encoded. Some text is stored using an encoding (probably MacRoman) but without specifying the encoding. When the encoding is unspecified or if it’s specified but seems to disagree with the data, different mail programs will make different guesses.

Please e-mail me exports (from EagleFiler) of messages that display properly in Mail but not in EagleFiler, and I’ll see what I can do to make EagleFiler more consistent with Mail.

Currently, when displaying HTML messages, EagleFiler displays quote levels using indentation. If you use View > Message > Plain Text, EagleFiler will display the messages as plain text; it will then use colors and > marks to indicate the quoting level.

Thanks for sending the files. I’m seeing somewhat different results than what you described:

DotClear: This one claims to be in the Mac character set, but it’s actually using Latin-1. As a result, the accents don’t display properly. EagleFiler doesn’t currently have a facility to let you override an encoding that was specified incorrectly in the message, so there’s nothing to be done about this.

DotClear-1: This one doesn’t specify an encoding, it’s actually in Latin-1, and EagleFiler seems to guess that properly.

DotClear-2: Same as DotClear-1.

DotClear-3: This one says it’s UTF-8, and it is. It looks fine except that EagleFiler doesn’t decode the subject. I’ll fix that in the next version.

As mentioned above, EagleFiler doesn’t currently draw quote bars for HTML messages. I’m working on that. It normally would be able to color-code the quotes and > marks when displaying the messages in plain-text mode, however these messages (going against the standards) don’t include plain text parts, so that doesn’t work.

EagleFiler 1.2.7 adds quote coloring for HTML messages and improves the display of the subject in DotClear-3.