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Messenger Pro 2 announced: R-Comp's acclaimed email and news reader

By Chris Williams. Published: 13th Apr 19:46:59 | Permalink | Printable

If I were to list the top ten software titles for RISC OS, Messenger Pro would in my opinion feature high up on that list. While the freeware version forms part of the popular standard freeware internet software family, the feature packed commercial big brother version is actively developed and marketed by R-Comp. Established software house R-Comp have big plans for Messenger Pro and this very week they announced that a new version of their acclaimed email and news reader is now available.

According to a press release from R-Comp, Messenger Pro 2 includes the following new features:

  • New email/news message "defer" feature allows you to pause half way through writing one or more messages, and pick up where you left off at a later date.
  • New, simplified send mail and news windows (amongst others) make getting to grips with the software easier. For more experienced users, these can be turned off, giving access directly to the more advanced features, otherwise clicking the "Advanced" button takes you to these.
  • Enhanced threading of messages. The relationships between messages are now shown graphically with tree lines, and the way in which Messenger Pro handles and deals with threading has been improved.
  • A "new arrivals" window is available, showing you which users/folders have just received new mail.
  • Any folder/group can now have both a signature and a "from" address associated with it. This allows you to have different identities or email addresses for different folders. It brings many of the advantages of Messenger Pro's "User" system to an individual's folder. Thus, with only one user set up, you can still have different email addresses for different folders.
  • Significantly expanded handling of links in messages, both to web sites and other articles. For example, if a news posting refers to another article which you don't have, you can automatically view it through DejaNews (which is now run by Google). Any web link can be "deferred" - ie put on a list to be called up at a later date when you are online. All the links can then be triggered together, or you can bring up a web page listing all the links, so that you can go to the most important ones first.
  • It is now possible to request receipts for messages, so that you know that the recipient has got your message.
  • The behaviour when deleting messages (close window, move to next message etc.) is now customizable - users can adjust the program's behaviour to suit their requirements.
  • It is now very easy to set up and use more than one signature for any user. Thus, if you would like to use one signature for personal messages and one for business emails, that's no problem.
  • The window showing the list of messages is much more customizable too - you can move the columns about, adjust their size, and also add additional columns of information such as size, who the message was to (as well as from), time of sending (as opposed to date) etc. All of these can be sorted on too, so you can ensure that messages with files attached (ie. large messages) are shown before smaller ones.
  • The new GnuPG PGP software is supported, allowing much more up to date PGP privacy/security than in previous versions.
  • R-Comp's DialUp software can now be triggered for fetching mail and news direct from Messenger Pro. This allows you to drive all your mail and news transfer and handling directly from Messenger Pro.
  • User names longer than 10 letters are supported in this version.
  • For saving and printing, a new "Short Headers" mode has been introduced, and is now the default. This saves a short synopsis of the message's headers - who it was from, when it was sent, who it was sent to and what the subject was.
  • For situations where several people use one copy of Messenger Pro, it is now possible to log out, but still leave Messenger Pro loaded. Messenger Pro can also start in this state, allowing it to be loaded when the machine is turned on, but only logged into when needed.
  • All attached files can now be saved in one go, which is useful if someone has sent you a large number of attached files.
  • Many "under the hood" improvements have been made to speed, reliability, handling of malformed messages etc.
  • Messenger Pro Online customers will also benefit from an enhanced version of the IMAP/NNTP network mail/news client.

Messenger Pro 2 also comes with a spiral bound manual and updates should now have been sent out to existing MessengerPro users. Copies of Messenger Pro 2 start at 33.

The freeware version of Messenger used Newsbase to store and manage the email and news files. This week has seen development of Newsbase being picked up again and as Messenger Pro uses MsgServe instead of Newsbase, drobe.co.uk asked Andrew of R-Comp if they planned to return to using Newsbase.
"Unlikely", replied Andrew. "I actually encourged NewsBase development during an Mpro quiet spell, largely because I felt that having two servers available was healthy. You may notice I run two MPro systems here, one on MsgServe and one on NewsBase to assist NewsBase users.
"But the fact of the matter is that MsgServe is faster, easier, more scalable and used by 98% of Mpro users. And allows a number of extra features, too."
It is worth mentioning that MessengerPro can use Newsbase as well as R-Comp's own MsgServe.

Andrew continues by commenting on R-Comp's big plans for Messenger Pro.
"As such, our next step is actually a network server edition of MsgServe, the Messenger Pro database, probably leading to Mpro upgrades too.
"We're investing heavily in Messenger Pro at the moment to take it from being just 'a great RISC OS app' to being a whole family of apps ranging from the entry level right up to the high(ish) end."

WWW: www.rcomp.co.uk
Tel: (+44) 01925 755043
Fax: (+44) 01925 757377

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