Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Buzz clogs your sent mail folder

Google Buzz, Google's latest addition to gmail that harvests and redistributes content - basically to give gmail a facebook-lite type of experience has the rather annoying feature that it creates a message in your sent mail folder for every item harvested - so send twenty tweets - get twenty messages.

Now, if you use your sent mail folder to check what you said in a previous email (always a good idea if a followup email is needed) it becomes difficult to find said item by eyeballing the message list. (yes I know you could search, but it seems overkill for a message you sent yesterday).

The solution is of course simple - Buzz (a) creates the message as coming from me and (b) prefixes the subject of the item it creates in the sent folder with "Buzz:" making it easy to write a filter to delete the items. This isn't quite perfect, as gmail doesn't really believe in folders meaning that the filter could potentially delete a message if I was to send myself one with a subject line starting "Buzz:" but it's probably good enough for most cases.

(BTW, this reminds me of a problem with early versions of Eudora for the Mac which used to automatically encode binary files with binhex and prefix the encoded file with 'this file is encoded with binhex 4.0'. Unfortunately Eudora would look for this phrase and then try and decode all following text, meaning that support desk messages asking people to check for the string in messages which refused for some reason to decode could never be read as they failed to decode ... )

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