C-Command Software Forum

How to delete Emails stored in EagleFiler

I stored the registration information for 60+ software packages in individual mailboxes in EagleFiler and deleted them from Mail.app. Checking through I’ve found some emails that are dupicates because I forwarded them to my mac.com address from another account.

I’d like to delete these duplicates from the individual mailboxes in EagleFiler but try as I might I can’t find a way to delete the duplicate emails.

I know it must be simple but I can’t find anything in the manual either. I’d appreciate a few tips on how to delete. Thanks …

Bill

It’s not possible to delete individual e-mails in EagleFiler, only entire mailbox files. Duplicate messages don’t take up much space, so having them around shouldn’t cause problems. However, if you really want to get rid of them, you could import the mailbox into Apple Mail, delete the ones you don’t want, and then re-import the mailbox into EagleFiler.

Thank you. It’s unfortunately another step in the workflow.

How do you suggest handling emails with encoded and/or decoded .PDF files stored in Mail? Do they have to be decoded and imported separately? I have one email test full of jumbled characters.

I do have another question relating to a 400MB+ database of email stored in Thunderbird from 10 people working on a project in Asia, Europe and the USA. There are lots of attachments - .doc files, .xls files, .pdfs and various grapic file formats.

The main problem I have is finding information in specific emails. I suppose asking EagleFiler to deal with that lot would be rather ambitious? And then the next problem would probably be how to handle incremental updates relating to the 10 and 20 emails that arrive each day.

Bill

Well, the idea is that EagleFiler is for storing messages you want to keep. If you don’t want to keep certain messages, why not delete them before importing into EagleFiler?

If you import the messages, the attachments will be available in EagleFiler as if they were in a mail client. You can double-click a message to access its attachments. If you want to view and search the attachments within EagleFiler, you would need to save them as files and then import the files into EagleFiler.

Please explain further.

EagleFiler is certainly able to handle hundreds of megabytes or even gigabytes of mail.

I recommend deleting messages from your mail program after you import them into EagleFiler. Then you won’t have the messages in two places and have to worry about which ones have already been imported.

What I do is import into EagleFiler approximately monthly, or when a particular mailbox gets very large. Sometimes I use the Merge Mailboxes command to combine the mailboxes with the same names, i.e. combine the messages from last month and previous months that came from the same folder.

It’s not possible to delete individual e-mails in EagleFiler, only entire mailbox files.

Is there no way to change this behavior? It seems burdensome to import the mailbox into Mail, make deletions, and reimport into EF.

Well, the idea is that EagleFiler is for storing messages you want to keep. If you don’t want to keep certain messages, why not delete them before importing into EagleFiler?

Because one might have imported the messages 6 months ago, and now want to cull one or two of them.

It’s possible to change it, but it would take comparatively a lot of code, and deletion would be slow. EagleFiler’s mail handling is optimized for display and searching, not deletion.

It would help if you could tell me why you want to cull one or two of them. Is it that they take a lot of disk space (because of attachments)? That you want to remove any record of the messages? That you don’t want to be distracted by them when browsing or searching? For example, I’m planning to make it possible to hide individual messages, which would address the last use case but not the other two.

It would help if you could tell me why you want to cull one or two of them. Is it that they take a lot of disk space (because of attachments)? That you want to remove any record of the messages? That you don’t want to be distracted by them when browsing or searching? For example, I’m planning to make it possible to hide individual messages, which would address the last use case but not the other two.

The messages may no longer be relevant or required. Yes, there may be large attachments, or perhaps not. It really doesn’t matter. The user should get to decide what data lives in EF, not EF. And merely hiding entries is not the same as removing them.

Having said that, if it would mean making EF more bulky and slow, I would prefer it not be implemented. But why not allow users to drag individual emails into EF as emlx files rather than entire mbox folders?

EagleFiler stores messages in standard mbox format, one file per mailbox. So deleting a message means creating a new mailbox file that contains all the non-deleted messages. Then that file must be indexed, and references (e.g. tags and notes) to messages in the old file must be updated to reference the new one. Plus, there’s the question of what to do with messages that you delete. Probably you’d want them to live in a trash mailbox so that there was some way to undo if you made a mistake. The code to move messages between mailboxes is difficult to get right–even up to Panther, Apple Mail had bugs in the way it moved messages, and in Tiger Apple switched to a different design (one file per message, which works great for a mail client, but isn’t a standard format and doesn’t scale well for archiving). So, basically, deleting messages requires a lot of copying data back and forth and a lot of code. I could probably implement several major new features in the time it would take to add “real” deletion.

Hiding “deleted” messages is much safer and easier to implement, and it would be very fast with the current design. Deleted messages would still be stored in the mailbox files, so you’d be able to undelete if you made a mistake. True, you wouldn’t have full control over what data is in the files, but most database-backed applications (or even the OS X filesystem) don’t really remove the data when you delete records, either.

The reason you can’t drag individual e-mails is that Mail doesn’t make any data available to other applications when you drag messages. That said, you can select the text of a message and then drag it into EagleFiler or use the Import Text service. Or print the message and choose Save PDF To EagleFiler.

A possible future enhancement would be to make the capture feature work with individual selected messages in Mail.

I have almost a psychological need to be able to clean my email archive, it always seems some spam has got caught, or their are a number of huge files which we transferred by email, rather than via the server.
Your solution of hiding emails would work for me, but I would like an extra. The ability to export to mail only non-hidden emails. Then I can effectively carry out a compaction. This would satisfy my psychological needs, and very occasionally - when I got horrified by the size of my files - I could do an export and re-import.
Love the app and being able to hear the thinking involved with your application design decisions.
Ian

OK, I will add that to the to-do list.

This is added in EagleFiler 1.2.