RelatedMail

A plugin for Apple Mail that shows messages related to the currently viewed message.

Download

Note there is currently no version for Mac OS X 10.7 or later. Maybe someday…

Current version: 0.9.1 betaRequires Mac OS X Snow Leopard. (10.6)

10.5 users can use 0.8.4 beta which is the last version developed for Leopard.

Release Notes

RelatedMail is Freeware. If my grand plans for more features are realized I might consider shareware in the future.

Screenshots

screenshot two screenshot one

Installation

RelatedMail creates the following directories when run: ~/Library/Mail/Pertinere, ~/Library/Logs/Pertinere, and ~/Library/Caches/Pertinere. It does not modify your mail files in any way. So to uninstall just remove ~/Library/Mail/Pertinere, ~/Library/Logs/Pertinere, and ~/Library/Mail/Bundles/RelatedMail.mailbundle

Explanation

The RelatedMessages plugin builds an index, similar to Spotlight, of all your mail files, and uses that index to find messages related to the currently viewed message. The plugin determines relevance by looking at both the headers and the contents of the message. A given item in the related messages list shows the sender, date, subject, and first sentence or two from the message. Above the item is a score indicator &ndash the longer the bar the more relevant the message. Various styles are applied to the text to indicate a particular relation to the currently viewed message.

Item Styles
Sender Black: same sender as current message
Gray: different sender as current message
Italic: sent from self
Date Black: sent after current message
Gray: sent before current message
Subject Bold: same subject as current message (and may be truncated)

The subject is a link to open the message in a new viewer window. Command clicking on that link will open the message in the current Viewer. You can change the ordering of the related messages by right clicking anywhere in the related messages text area.

A few graphics are reused from Mail (sometimes flipped or rotated):

Graphic Meaning
reply Message is a reply to the current message
reply Current message is a reply to the message
reference source Current message refers to the message
reference Message refers to the current message

The number of messages from a given thread is limited, so that one thread does not dominate the results. Mail already has tools for viewing all the messages in a given thread, I do not want to duplicate that. RelatedMail has not been extensively tuned for RSS messages but it does a decent job there as well.

Known Issues

Acknowledgments

Installation instructions were adapted from Attachment Scanner Plugin and MailFollowUp.
Thanks to James Eagan's notes on writing mail plugins for a place to start.
Here is a nice list of other Mail plugins, and another list

Feedback

Comments are welcome.