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Pegasus Mail v4.61 Release Notes

Version 4.61 is an interim release – not quite version 5, but part of the way there. We're releasing it primarily because it incorporates some important bug fixes, but it has some extremely worthwhile new capabilities too.
  • New HTML renderer  HTML has become increasingly common in e-mail, even though it is actually not especially well-suited to the medium and is technically challenging to implement there. Version 4.61 includes a new HTML renderer that uses the built-in power of Internet Explorer to render HTML. Developed by Michael in der Wiesche, this renderer has been exhaustively tested and secured, and we believe it meets all our very high standards for security. For people who really don't trust Internet Explorer, though, Martin Ireland's BearHTML renderer has also been improved and can be used instead with a single click of a button.
  • New graphics, updated interface  Version 4.61 sports beautiful new graphics designed by Sven Henze. The program is also most of the way towards a redesigned user interface with a more "modern" 3D look. We believe the combination of Sven's graphics and the new look make the program very attractive in a classical way.
  • Numerous bug fixes  including, but not limited to the following: HTML messages with very long lines will now render correctly; mailto: specifiers are now removed correctly when adding addresses to addressbooks and lists; fixed crashes caused by various types of malformed message; corrected the colour selector for filtering rules; allowed folders to be dragged onto closed trays when rearranging the folder hierarchy... and many more.
  • Accent expansion in the glossary  you can now create accented characters using the Glossary Expansion key (Ctrl+E in the English version). Simply type the base character followed by the accent you want added, then press Ctrl+E. For example, to create an e-acute character (é) simply type e' then press Ctrl+E. For a complete table of the accented characters that can be created, consult the full Pegasus Mail help file.
  • Confirm-reading prompts  You can now have Pegasus Mail prompt you for whether or not a confirmation-of-reading message is sent when a message contains a request for one (the original options for always and never sending them remain available as well). Make this change in the "Advanced" settings page.
  • Size column for drafts and queued mail  The window that displays draft messages and messages in the sending queue now includes a size column, by popular request.
  • Attachment size controls  System administrators wanting to control the maximum sizes of attachments sent with the program can now do so by running the LIMITS.EXE program supplied with the system. LIMITS.EXE allows you to specify both soft and hard limits (a "soft" limit pops up a warning but still allows the user to add the attachment, while a "hard" limit does not allow the attachment to be added). LIMITS.EXE places values in the Windows Registry, and system administrators may wish to remove it from the installation directory to a location not accessible to users.
  • Commandline and GUI versions of MBXMAINT  The Mailbox Maintenance utility, MBXMAINT, now comes as two versions: MBXMAINT.EXE is a commandline utility that can be used in scripts, while MBXMAINT_UI is the traditional GUI version of the application. Both have also been slightly improved in the types of error conditions they can handle.

Click here to go to the download page, where you can get v4.61.


Pegasus Mail v4.52 Release Notes

Pegasus Mail v4.52 is an update that provides support for the new Windows 7 operating system from Microsoft. All known Windows-7-related issues in v4.51 have been addressed, in particular the annoying problem where toolbar buttons would sometimes not appear correctly. As well, the program can now correctly register itself as a system mailer under Windows 7, meaning that it is now possible to click mailto: links in web pages and have them open in Pegasus Mail.

This has actually been a more major update than we expected, involving a shift between versions of the Microsoft Visual Studio development environment we now use that ended up being quite difficult. The development schedule is now back to normal, though, and work is progressing on a number of interesting new features in the program, many of which will be released this year.

Note: The move to Visual Studio 2008 has resulted in a program that can no longer be run on Windows 9x systems (Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows ME). This is not by our design - it is a Microsoft-enforced limitation of the new compiler. We are working on finding a way to support Windows 9x systems for a little longer, but realistically, the days of Windows 9x support are now seriously numbered - it is likely that there will not be more than one or two more releases of Pegasus Mail at most that will still support these old operating systems, and the next major release of the program almost certainly will not be able to run on anything earlier than Windows 2000.

International versions: International language modules for version 4.51 will work correctly without modification or update under v4.52.

Pegasus Mail v4.52 is supplied as both a full installer and as an updater for those of you who currently use v4.51. If you do currently use v4.51, we strongly suggest you use the updater instead of the full installer.

Pegasus Mail v4.51 Release Notes

Sometimes, you simply have to bite the bullet and get going on a task you know is overdue, but which is scary in its magnitude... Welcome to Pegasus Mail v4.5!

I expect many users of Pegasus Mail v4.4 will look at v4.5 and say "what's the big deal?", because on the surface, very little appears to have changed - certainly not enough to suggest that it might have taken over two years of quite difficult - at times, even harrowing development. Pegasus Mail has been around for a very, very long time - the Windows version sent its first messages in 1992 - and a heritage that long can become a serious problem over time. In the case of Pegasus Mail, the primary problem I have had for years has been that it was developed using an ancient, but wonderfully reliable version of the Borland C compiler, version 5.02. Unfortunately, Borland C has been out of development for many years, and by 2006 it was finally becoming clear that its days were very numbered.

The solution was to move the 460,000 line Pegasus Mail codebase to a more modern compiler - in this case, Microsoft Visual Studio 2003 (and subsequently Visual Studio 2008). On its own this would have been a big job, but when the code you're moving is carrying around as much historical baggage as something like Pegasus Mail, it gets huge. Of the 460,000 lines of code that make up Pegasus Mail, more than 100,000 have had to be modified in some way during the process of modernizing and moving it to Visual C++, and the testing required has been just unbelievable. Because there has been such an upheaval in the underlying code, we briefly considered changing the version number to 5.0, but decided that a major version number change should really depend on the significance of the visible features instead.

On the positive side, the move to a modern compiler has resulted in the fixing of hundreds of minor bugs, and creates a platform for future development that will allow Pegasus Mail to exist as a viable project for a number of years, so it was definitely worthwhile, even though it took as much effort as it did. It's not all porting and bug fixes though - Pegasus Mail v4.5 does have quite a few worthwhile new capabilities:

In this version ...

Autofiltering folders  Pegasus Mail was the first mail program to have filtering rules (back in 1990, in fact), and its filtering capabilities are still the envy of most mail programs... but they can be time-consuming and fiddly to use for simple tasks. It occurred to us that what most people want to do with filters the majority of the time is simply to file mail they receive from and send to particular people so it all appears in one place. In v4.5, you can do this incredibly easily using the new Autofiltering folder support. Any folder can be made an autofiltering folder at any time - just right-click it in the folder list and choose the option there to enable it. When a folder is marked as autofilteringand you copy or move a message into it, the program will subsequently move all messages you receive from that person, and copies of all messages you send to that person into that folder - it's as easy as that: move a message into the folder, and Pegasus Mail will do the rest from that point on. You can turn autofiltering on and off for folders at any time using the right-click option, and the program is clever about handling messages you send to multiple recipients including a person whose address is a target of an autofiltering folder. We think autofiltering is a hugely useful feature and hope you like it .

HTML line drawing  The message editor now has a new Draw line button that allows you to draw horizontal lines in your HTML messages. When you reply to HTML messages, the same line style is now also used to separate your text from the text of the message to which you are replying.

Full justification available in editor  The message editor now supports full justification of text in your messages. Choosing full justification will force your message to be sent as HTML.

Vista-ready help system  The program now has a new help system which avoids the bugs introduced by Microsoft in the Windows Vista operating system.

New reply options  The way the program initiates replies to messages has been overhauled. If you press <R>, you will get a normal reply using the reply-options dialog. If you press <Q>, however, you'll get a "quick reply" - a reply with no reply options dialog using the last settings you used. Similarly, pressing <A> will start a "reply-to-all" without an options dialog using the last settings you used. Notice also that the reply button now has a down-pointing arrow at its right-hand side: clicking this arrow will open a menu allowing you to generate any of these types of reply, as well as to change the default behaviour of the button itself.

Signature top-posting  You can now instruct the program to insert your signature above the text to which you are replying when you generate replies. This practice is called top posting, and to old-fashioned people like me it's hideous, but who am I to argue with a new generation? <Grin>.  Enable signature top-posting in the Messages and replies preferences page.

Spell checker works on the subject line  When you spell-check a message, the spell checker now also checks the subject line.

HTML generation and rendering improved  As always, where HTML is concerned, the never-ending process of "keeping up with the Joneses" continues in this version of Pegasus Mail, with better rendering of HTML mail, and considerably better generation across the board.

Transcript support  Mercury/32, Pegasus Mail's mail server companion product, can generate what are known as "transcripts" - reports showing the time and details of the delivery of a message you send to someone else that can be used as pretty reliable proof of delivery. Pegasus Mail now has an option on its message editor's Special page to enable requests for Mercury transcripts on a message-by-message basis, and you can specify that the option should be on by default in the Messages and replies preference page. The option has no effect and is harmless if you do not use Mercury.

Mailbox maintenance utility  Pegasus Mail now includes a utility program called MBXMAINT.EXE, which allows both commandline-driven and interactive maintenance of Pegasus Mail mailboxes from outside the program. MBXMAINT can be used to move mailboxes, check and repair folders, and to compress deleted space from folders. To use MBXMAINT, simply run the EXE file without any parameters.

Simultaneous multilingual release  V4.51 is being released simultaneously in versions with full French, German and Italian interfaces as well as English.

Faster  Long-term users of Pegasus Mail should notice v4.5 being much faster than previous versions due to the use of more modern software tools.


Pegasus Mail v4.41 Release Notes

Version 4.41 is the release that was never meant to be...  After the release of v4.31, it was my intention to begin work on Pegasus Mail v5, in which the core capabilities of the program will be heavily extended - new addressbook, a group calendar, new folder formats and a new programming interface. Then I received an offer from one of my test team, a very clever man from the Czech republic called Lukas Gebauer. Lukas asked me if I would like to collaborate with him in integrating his Spamhalter Bayesian Spam Filter into Pegasus Mail. Now, Pegasus Mail has had a rule-based spam filter called Content Control for quite some time, but it requires constant maintenance. A Bayesian Spam Filter, with its automatic learning and minimal maintenance, was too good an addition to pass up. As a result, I decided it would be worth adding a little extra delay to the v5 developments to make this powerful new addition available to my user community. Read on for more information, or click here to go to the downloads page and retrieve v4.41.

In version 4.41 ...

Spamhalter  Lukas's Spamhalter plugin is a fully-fledged Bayesian Spam Filter for Pegasus Mail. It learns automatically from the mail you receive and moves anything that it thinks is spam into a folder you designate as your "spam folder". Training Spamhalter is easy - just move any spam it misses into your spam folder and it will automatically learn from it. Similarly, move any false positives (mail it mis-identifies as spam) out of the spam folder to any other location and it will be trained on them as not-spam. Spamhalter is comprehensively integrated with the program - you can right-click any message and train it as spam or not-spam (without even moving it in or out of the spam folder), and you can get explanations of what caught Spamhalter's interest in the message: you can even sort and group messages by their level of "spamminess". Combined with Pegasus Mail's existing Content Control and General filtering capabilities, Spamhalter provides a level of filtering power other applications can't even dream about.

Mail Merge built into the program  Pegasus Mail has shipped with a simple but effective mail merge plugin for many years, but as times have changed, so people have found they want to do more and more with their merges. Pegasus Mail now has mail merge built in as a core function - as a tab on the standard message editor you use every day. The new mail merge allows you to use formatting, tables and graphics in your merged messages, and even to merge attachments into your messages. What's more, the new "dry run" capability allows you to preview the exact appearance of your merge before you actually send it out.

Global whitelist  Now that the program has two different but complimentary spam filtering tools, it has become important to provide tools to prevent messages from being detected as spam. The new global whitelist capability allows you to exempt certain e-mail addresses from spam filtering, ensuring that they pass reliably into your new mail folder. More powerfully, the whitelist is configured by default to add every address to which you send mail, meaning that anyone to whom you send a message is automatically whitelisted and exempted from spam processing on your system.

Still more improvements to HTML rendering  The improvements to HTML display and editing introduced in v4.31 take another step forward in this version. Crashes from poorly-constructed HTML should now be vanishingly rare, and the quality of editing when replying or forwarding is significantly improved.

Default size and layout capabilities for folders  You can now save the size and column layout of any of your folders and use that layout as a default for all new folders. You can also apply your default layout to any existing folder at any time. These new commands are on the Folder menu when you have a folder open in its own window.

Autoreplace improvements  The message editor's Autoreplace feature now attempts to preserve the capitalization of any text it replaces for you. It also has a number of improvements dealing with international characters, and if you run the program in more than one language, each language can have its own autoreplace list.

Support for the Windows "context menu" key and Shift+F10  The program now supports keyboard access to right-click context menus in its key windows.

Simultaneous multilingual release  For the first time in the program's history, v4.41 marks the simultaneous release of Pegasus Mail in English, German, French and Italian. Proper credit is due to all the dedicated volunteers involved in each language's translation process, in particular to Sven Henze, Philippe Chartier, Emmanuel Demulau, Markus Wiedemeier and Valter Mura.


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