Polarbar Mailer Changes

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These change log pages provide an overview of bug fixes and new features for each version of Polarbar we've released. The information on these pages also appears in the welcome letter that is automatically loaded into Polarbar when you upgrade to a new release.

View changes for the current changelog, version 1.24, 1.23, 1.22, changes from 1.20 through 1.21b, changes from 1.17 through 1.19a or changes from 1.15 through 1.16c.

The following is new or has been fixed in 1.24

Address Books:

  • Nicknames and full names can now be sorted on first name first, last name first, last name part first, or full text. (Instead of only on the first or last word, with only "last word" taking into account the possibility of "last, first" name entries and both literally sorting on only a single "word".) The new sort orders take into account the following possible name part arrangements: 1) "first last", 2) "last, first", and 3) "last1 last2, first". The "first" name part may consist of multiple name parts. If more than one comma is used, the very first one will be taken as the "last, first" separator. For the three name sorts, the appropriate name part is moved to the front of the string, if necessary, before sorting. Given the arrangements listed earlier, a first name first sort will move the "first" part of #2 and 3. A last name sort will only move the "last" name part of #1. A last name part sort will move the "last" part of #1 and the "last2" part of #3. And a full text sort will not make any changes before sorting.

Bayesian Spam Filtering:

  • Bayesian spam filtering has been added to Polarbar. Each account has a separate message corpus. You add messages to the bad or good message corpus by selecting them and then using the appropriate Message / Bayesian filtering / Mark as ... menu item. You can unmark messages if you decide you don't want them in either corpus. You do not have to unmark a message before switching it from the good corpus to the bad (or vice versa). After you've built up a good sized corpus for both bad and good messages, you can start to use the Message / Bayesian filtering / Check message(s) menu item or enable the "Check Bayesian spam probability" option (under Tools / Mail filters...) and expect to get reasonable results. Messages are marked in a new Bayesian icon field in the message list (this new column is identified with a "B"). The default icons are as follows: Red circle == bad message corpus; green circle == good message corpus; green plus sign == unlikely to be spam; and red cross-mark == very likely to be spam.
  • You can filter messages based on their Bayesian status using regular filters. When you choose "Bayesian status is" for either the first or second filter condition, the next choice list changes to show only the Bayesian status options, including "unknown".


  • Added autocomplete when typing an address. It will search for the given address in the list of last 15 addresses used and in your current address book. You can use the up and down arrow keys to browse through matching items. Say you typed the letter u, you will be prompted for user@example.com. But if you're looking for usher@nightclub.com you can hit the down key and that address will show up. Last15 is searched on e-mail address, name and nickname. The address book is searched based on your selected sort order.
  • Fixed bug that caused Last 15 to stop saving only unique addresses.
  • Fixed bug that allowed blank lines to be added to the Address Tool.
  • Fixed bug in parsing local email address (e.g., David Holm ).
  • Added a drop-down list to holds all addressees and leave the Address Tool button visible at all times (instead of leaving them in the text field and replacing the text field with the Address Tool button when the text field gets to be too long). To delete an address without using the Address Tool, choose the address in the drop-down list and press the Delete key. To edit an address without using the Address Tool, choose the address in the drop- down list, edit the address in the text field, and press the Enter key.
  • If duplicate email addresses are encountered (only the bracketed part, e.g., is tested), the last one entered is the one that is used. This allows you to select an address from the new drop-down list and change the addressing mode and/or the name part without having to go back and delete the old address afterwards, because the edited address replaces the old one. But if you change the bracketed part of the email address, then the new address is added to the bottom of the list.

Custom Keystrokes:

  • Custom Keystroke support has been added for BayesianBad, BayesianCheck, BayesianGood, BayesianUnmark, Filter, and MarkAsRead. They do not have default keystrokes, so in order to use them, you will have to edit your custom keystrokes file. See the Custom Keystrokes section in the online help for more details.

Custom Programs:

  • You can now specify where to place the file name in the command line for any custom program. You do this by placing a percent sign (%) where the file name should be placed. If no percent sign is present, the file name gets appended to the end of the command line with an intervening space, just like before. If more than one percent sign is present, only the last one will be used. If you don't use a percent sign and the file name has a space in it, then the file name will be quoted. This example shows how to quote all file names:
            C:\bat\custom.cmd "%"


  • A new filter action, "Show Message Text" has been added to display the message text in either a text message window or an HTML message window, depending upon the Polarbar browser setting. The older "Show Message" filter action, which shows the raw POP file contents, has been renamed to "Show Message File".

Folder Index Files:

  • Corrupted folder index files are now automatically repaired. You still lose the status indicators for any messages following the bad part of the index file, but that is better than having to manually delete the index file, which loses the status indicators for all of the messages.


  • Optimizations were added to improve the loading speed of message indexes.

HTML Message Browsers:

  • Fixed bug, introduced in 1.23, that resulted in plain text messages not getting
    tags inserted in front of each text line, resulting in the messages being displayed as a single word wrapped paragraph.

ICE HTML Browser:

  • Set the size of the fixed spacing font to match the size of the proportional font.

IMAP4 Server Driver:

  • The IMAP4 server driver now supports automatic mail retrieval from the server's INBOX folder. If you don't want to use this feature, then you *must* disable the IMAP4 server (you can still access a disabled IMAP4 server from Preview Mail). The updated IMAP4 server driver has options to retrieve only new mail and to delete retrieved messages from the server. It also supports mail mapping.


  • You can now specify where to place the attachment file name in the command line for any attachment launcher. You do this by putting a percent sign (%) where the file name should go. If no percent sign is present, the file name gets appended to the end of the command line with an intervening space. If more than one percent sign is present, only the last one will be used. When you don't use a percent sign and the file name has a space in it, the file name will be quoted. The following example shows how to always quote them:
            "D:\Program Files\PMView\PMview.EXE" /NoHelp "%"

Mail Mapping:

  • Reverted mail mapping to only read the message headers when deciding if a message should be retrieved.


  • When launching Polarbar with the -mailto command line option, Polarbar will check to see if another instance of Polarbar is already running If one is, the mailto command is handed off to the running instance to deal with, in order to avoid running multiple copies of Polarbar. Unless the new command line option -separate is also given, in which case a new instance gets launched to handle the mailto command, just like before.

    Note: A side effect of this is that you cannot launch multiple instances of Polarbar, even for non-mailto purposes, unless you use the -separate command line option. If all running instances of Polarbar were started up with the -separate option, any -mailto use will also start up a new Polarbar instance, even if the -separate option is not used with -mailto.

Main Menu:

  • Checkbox menu items now work properly on Linux, FreeBSD, etc.

Message list:

  • The message list has three new icon fields. The first is for the new Bayesian icons (see Bayesian Spam Filtering above). The second and third are for the PGP status and attachment status icons, instead of having them occupy space in the Subject field.
  • The message progress indicator that appears when copying, deleting, or moving more than one message now only appears when the operation takes longer than half a second.

Message reading:

  • Polarbar now supports undo & redo. By default these are mapped to the backspace and Ctrl-Right arrow keys. Undo will get you back to the previous displayed message, redo undoes undo. The maximum number of undo actions is 100. Also, using undo, you cannot read a message that was moved or deleted. The message area will be cleared.


  • A new outgoing mail driver for newsgroups has been added. You can send a message to one or more newsgroups by entering news: or newsgroups: before the destination. You cannot mix newsgroup addressing with to, cc or bcc addressing.

POP3 Server Driver:

  • The POP3 server driver now sorts the list of server messages by server message number (or reverse server message number order if the reverse download option is enabled).

Preview Mail:

  • Added a POP3 debug mode that logs the entire server response to the LIST and UIDL commands to the debug log.
  • A new control has been written to show the message list in preview. A single click will no longer load a message in the preview window, it will just select it. You have to press enter, or double click to open it. The new control also allows you to hide and reorder columns.

Send Current Message:

  • The functionality of the Message / Send Current Message menu item has been extended to allow you to (re)send any message marked as sent. If you are not in the outbox when you use this function, you will be asked if you want to send the message now (Yes) or later (No). Or not at all (Cancel). (If you are in the outbox, the message will be sent now.)


  • A new settings framework has been added to Polarbar. It replaces four existing dialogs, General Settings, Advanced Settings, Platform Settings and the Persona dialog. The information for those dialogs now appears in one new dialog that is presented in a hierarchical tree view. Each node in the tree displays the information on a panel for viewing and/or editing. The tree makes it easy to traverse from one configuration panel to the next. The nested menu selections for the older dialogs have been replaced by just Tools/Settings. The Tools/Persona menu selection still exists and displays the new dialog with only the Persona data in the tree.

Spell Checker:

  • A new spell checker has been added to Polarbar. It can be configured on the Spell Checker panel in the new Settings dialog, The default is the original JSpell spell checker. To use the new spell checker, click on the checkbox entitled Enable Wintertree Sentry spell checker. This is on the main Spell Checker settings page. Selecting Wintertree will enable two extra pages of settings under the Spell Checker panel. Opening the second one (Spelling Files) will trigger automatic extraction of the dictionaries from the polarbar distribution.

    In addition to the Wintertree spell checker, any external Java class can be configured as your spell checker. This is supported by clicking on the checkbox entitled Use an external spell checker class named. When that is enabled, you can then enter the name of the Java class that you wish to use as your spell checker. For more details on this programming interface, please drop a line to the support team by choosing Help/Support. We'll be glad to fill you in on the details of this simple interface.


  • Polarbar uses UDP ports 2746 and 2747 (attached to your localhost address) to prevent multiple instances from being run normally and to avoid running multiple instances when Polarbar is started with the -mailto command line option. The first instance of Polarbar that is run without the -mailto command line option configures itself as the mailto handler.

    If you try to start another instance of Polarbar without the -mailto option, the new instance will attempt to bring the already running instance to the foreground.

    If you try to start another instance of Polarbar with the -mailto option, the new instance will attempt to pass the -mailto command line parameter to the already running instance, which will open a new compose window.

    If you want to run more than one instance of Polarbar, use the new command line option -separate. You can either use it with all instances or, if you want to run multiple instance except when using -mailto, all but the first instance and not with -mailto instances.

Text Components:

  • Corrected problems in 1.22 enhancement that was intended to allow all text fields and text areas to directly support Ctrl+X, C, and V for cut, copy, and paste (with the obvious exception of non-editable text, where only copy is supported), but failed on any platform that doesn't support those shortcut keys natively. The fixes were developed and tested on a FreeBSD 4.7 system running KDE 3.0.

Transaction Log:

  • Fixed bug, introduced in 1.23, that allowed the transaction log to grow uncontrollably instead of obeying the maximum entries setting in cleanup.

Web Browsers:

  • You can now specify where to place the URL in the command line for any of the external web browsers. You do this by placing a percent sign (%) where the URL should be placed. If no percent sign is present, the URL gets appended to the end of the command line with an intervening space, just like before. If more than one percent sign is present, only the last one will be used. If you don't use a percent sign and the URL has a space in it, then the URL will be quoted. The following example shows how to quote all URLs:
            C:\bat\url.cmd "%"

The following is new or has been fixed in 1.23

Address Books:

  • Fixed a small bug in Address Book import where the first line was ignored
  • The list of address books is now sorted alphabetically.

Compose Window:

  • Fixed problem with madly cycling Persona drop-down list on systems using the KDE desktop (and possibly other X window managers).
  • After altering an existing message, changes are immediately reflected in the message window

Custom Keystrokes:

  • Rewrote custom keystroke handling, greatly simplifying the logic. This should clear up the previously mysterious failure of custom keystrokes that some people have encountered. If anyone continues to have problems with custom keystrokes, add the command line option -debugshortcuts as the very last thing on the Polarbar startup command line and then look in Tools / Logs / "Java console log", which will have debug information from when the custom keystrokes file was read in and processed.
  • Added parametrized keystrokes support. You can now map features like moveToFolder(foldername) and gotoFolder(foldername) onto keystrokes. A full description is available in the online help.
  • In some VM/OS combinations using the spacebar (nextPage keystroke) may not work correctly when the focus is on the message list.

Double Click:

  • Fixed the same bug in the handling of mouse activation in several lists to restore the ability to use double click to both select and activate an item.

File Attachments:

  • Fixed problem with attachment file names that are encoded with an unsupported character set by generating a randomly unique file name, because the encoded version of the file name contains characters that are not valid for use with some popular file systems.


  • Fixed bug that could leave a dummy entry in the note list when filtering selected message.
  • In list filters, leading spaces are no longer trimmed from the first list entry and trailing spaces are no longer trimmed from the last list entry.
  • You are no longer allowed to type a semicolon (i.e., ";") in any text field in any filter. You are no longer allowed to type a comma (i.e., ",") in the list filter text list. Both of these restrictions are due to limitations in the current filter.dat storage format and the previous lack of enforcement has allowed the creation of filters that can't be loaded back into Polarbar.


  • Cleaning the transaction log is now faster

Inbound Servers:

  • Added APOP support to POP3Driver. If enabled and supported by the POP3 server, Polarbar will log on using an MD5 encoded form of your password instead of sending your password in the clear.

Mail Mapping:

  • Look for email addresses in Received: headers, if present in the form of "for <mailbox@domain>", in addition to the To:, Cc:, and Bcc: headers.

Message Browsing:

  • Fixed problem with inline display of BASE64 encoded messages and/or attachments that don't end with a newline character (after decoding).

Outbound Servers:

  • Fixed problem causing NullPointerException when attempting to send messages using the POP3BeforeSMTP driver.

Preview Mail:

  • Ignore mail mapping when retrieving selected messages.
  • Added Message menu and popup menu items to Mark/Unmark selected messages. Marked messages have the prevmark.gif image displayed in a new column that is located to the left of the message number column.
  • Added a Select submenu item to select all marked messages.
  • Don't display message text after right clicking in the note list.
  • Fixed column sorting.


  • Printing a text/html-only message prints the text extracted from the HTML code, unless Polarbar is started with the -nostriphtml option (an existing 1.22 option that also affects text/html-only messages in the text browser).


  • Don't blank the address list or subject line if those are not present in the template that is being loaded.

Tool Tips:

  • Decreased visibility time from 45 seconds to 7 seconds.
  • Increased mouse movement pop-up delay (i.e., when already visible) to 1 second (the same as the initial pop-up delay).
  • Added synchronized access to pop-up thread to eliminate orphan tool tips.

The following is new or has been fixed in 1.22

Note: If you use an IMAP4 mail server, it is very important that you
                      read the IMAP4 section in this message.

Account Settings:

  • Your account settings file will be copied to a backup file with the same name, but with the extension .121, the first time each of your accounts is accessed. The intent is to create a backup copy of your Polarbar 1.21 account settings in order to facilitate falling back to 1.21, in case you have serious problems with 1.22. But if you delete this backup file after switching to 1.22, then the backup will be recreated the next time you access the account, but it will not actually be a backup of your old 1.21 account settings. So don't delete files named AccountSettings.121 or ACCOUNT.121...

Address Book:

  • Fixed the bug where leaving out mandatory fields in a new address book entry cleared all of the fields after admonishing you to provide the missing information, instead of retaining what you had already provided.
  • Fixed the bug where importing comma-separated address books wouldn't work unless fields with spaces in them were quote-delimited. Quote-delimiters are once again only required for fields with commas in them.
  • Added a multiple selection mode for selecting To, Cc, or Bcc addresses when viewing individual addresses. The default mode is single selection. To switch between modes, either use Edit / Select / Multiple or press the shortcut key combination, which defaults to Ctrl+Q and follows the custom keystroke setting for QuickAddAddresses.
  • The layout of the address book dialog has been cleaned up.
  • If an address book is open, it will be notified when personas are added or deleted. after the persona dialog is closed using the OK button, so that it can update its list of available personas.
  • Fixed bugs that prevented Virtual Folder searches using the selected address(es) from working.

Address Tool:

  • Restored the use of the Enter key to add addresses to the address list. The default address type is "To:", but you can specify "Cc:", "Bcc:", "news:" (for newsgroups), or "file:" (for distribution list files).
  • The tool window is now resizable and the position and size are remembered.

Advanced Settings:

  • The custom program and web browser settings are now platform dependent. If you are upgrading from a previous version of Polarbar or J Street Mailer, then your old custom program and web browser settings will be the default settings for each platform, but when you change them, they only change for the current platform.
  • Windows users have a new tab page where they have the option of adding Polarbar to the registry and setting it as the default mail client. This enables mailto link processing in Internet Explorer and allows you to start Polarbar from the Internet Explorer menu (Tools->Mail and News)
  • Deleted all inbound character set decoding options, which are obsoleted by the improved inbound message character set handling.
  • Added a character set choice list for use by Compose / File / Import.
  • Added a default option to display US-ASCII encoded messages using ISO- 8859-1, in order to work around the problem where some implementations of Java do not support the mandatory ASCII character set and to also work around the problem where some HTML messages that specify the ISO-8859-1 character set in a META tag incorrectly specify the US-ASCII character set in the message headers.
  • Added an option to display ISO-8859-1 encoded messages using CP1252, in order to work around the problem where some Windows email programs will incorrectly identify messages that contain extended Windows characters as using the ISO-8859-1 character set. Note: If US-ASCII to ISO-8859-1 conversion is also enabled, then US-ASCII encoded messages will also be displayed using CP1252.


  • A dialog has been added for editing the LAUNCH.DAT file (or the file that is specified with the -launch command line option), under Tools/Launchers. More than one extension may be listed for each entry.
  • A new message reader has been written, dramatically improving load times of large messages with big attachments.
  • Fixed bug that generated two sets of MIME headers when including an attachment with a message sent as quoted-printable.
  • Fixed bug that ignored the attachment file name under certain conditions.
  • Fixed decoding of quoted-printable encoded binary attachments.
  • Fixed bug that left attachments in the ATCHMNTS directory after switching accounts or closing Polarbar while viewing a message with attachments.

Character Sets:

  • Fixed bug where character set encoded header lines didn't encode the question mark character, which can result in decoding stopping early if a question mark is followed by an encoded character (.e.g., "?=A4" is now encoded as "=3F=A4", because "?=" indicates end of encoding).
  • Improved the handling of inbound character sets by replacing the two- step conversion (which used ISO-8859-1 as the intermediate step) with a direct character set conversion.

Choice Controls:

  • Based on feedback from Linux users, only those choice controls that have the potential to fill up the screen (currently the compose tagline choice and the various character set choices) will be controlled by a platform setting. Because of the significance of the change, a new platform setting has been created and the previous platform setting has been obsoleted. See the Platform Settings section for important information about this setting if you are using BSD, Linux, Solaris, or Unix.


  • Colors can be set for the Compose, Folder List, Main, Message, and Message List sections of Polarbar. The colors are chosen in the font dialogs for the corresponding named sections. The Message colors are used in all text areas (including the reply quote area), text fields, choice lists, and scrollable lists. The Main scheme is used for all other unnamed sections. With Java 1.1.x, editable text fields will be one shade brighter than the selected Message color. With Java2, non-editable text fields will always match the system control color. The ICE HTML and Hot Java browsers ignore the Message color choice. After the Main color is changed, including when switching to another account, some parts of the main frame will not show the new color until you exit and restart Polarbar. See also: Font Dialog.
  • All of the Polarbar color settings can be set to the Main Font colors by using the Tools / Fonts / Consolidate Colors menu item and answering yes.

Command Line Options:

  • Added a help section for all of the Polarbar command line options.
  • Added the command line option -nobubblehelp to disable all bubble help messages.
  • Added the command line option -nostriphtml to disable the new feature that strips HTML codes when viewing or replying to html-only messages.
  • Added the command line options -longfolderlist and -shortfolderlist to override and enable or disable the long folder list system setting and save the new setting.

Compose Window:

  • Changed the style of the attachment file field from being platform- dependent to always using the drop-down style in order to keep the size of the upper panel on Unix-derivative platforms reasonable.
  • If the persona dialog is opened from a compose window and a persona is added or deleted, then the compose window is notified to update its persona list after the persona dialog is closed using the OK button.
  • Fixed bug that caused message body to be excluded when bouncing, forwarding, or replying to a text/html message.
  • When replying to an HTML-only message, the original message is converted to plain text for the original message text area.
  • The persona selection method has changed from previous versions. The old method was that the last address that had an address book entry with a persona selection determined which persona to use by default. The new method is that the first address with an address book entry with a non- default persona determines which persona to use by default. The result of this change is that the persona is less likely to change when you add one or more addresses to the end of the address list.
  • Fixed several email address parsing bugs.

Custom Keystrokes:

  • The ability to define custom keystrokes has been restored and extended. See the udpated help entry for "Custom Keystrokes" for a complete list of the default keystrokes and information on how to customize them. Only simple custom keystrokes that match the default platform menu activation key (e.g., "CTRL+A" for Linux, OS/2, and Windows) are displayed in the various menus as the short cut keystrokes, provided that your version of Java supports this feature.
  • Fixed bug where most custom keystrokes didn't work when using the separate message window setting.

Error Logging:

  • System.err is now logged to Log.error instead of Log.warning.
  • Logging of messages to file is suspended for Java applets that are run by the ICE HTML Browser, because it runs them in a sandbox that does not allow file input or output.


  • Fixed bug where list filters were displayed as a comma-separated list after any filter changes were saved.
  • The cancel button now reloads the filters from the filters.dat file, if any changes were made, instead of merely not saving the changes.
  • Moving a filter around in the list is no longer excruciatingly slow.
  • The filter action Play Sound is now allowed to follow the filter actions Delete Message, Move to Folder, Move to Directory, and Move to Account.
  • The Filter List window is resizable and its position and size are remembered.
  • The position of the Filter Settings windows are remembered. The size is not remembered (because the window size varies by filter type and those windows are not resizable).

Folder Index Files:

  • When loading a folder index file, automatically rename an orphan backup file (PopFiles.new) to the correct name (PopFiles.Inx).

Folder List:

  • Custom keystroke shortcuts have been added for Expand All and Collapse All, but they do not have default key assignments.

Font Dialog:

  • Buttons for choosing the background panel color and the foreground text color have been added to the font dialogs. The choice is between one of sixteen preset colors or a custom color (chosen using decimal RGB values) and the currently selected colors are shown in the font preview panel. See also: Colors.


  • Startup speed has been improved significantly.
  • Memory overhead has been reduced by at least 3MB.

General Settings:

  • If you don't have at least one inbound server and one outbound server defined for an account, then the General Settings dialog will pop up when Polarbar starts up with that account and when you switch to that account.
  • Added a new Message setting "Prompt if no default persona when composing" to allow a choice of whether or not Polarbar prompts for a persona at the start of a compose when there is no default persona. Defaults to enabled.
  • The setup for incoming mail is now similar to outgoing mail. You can define multiple mail connections which will be processed sequentially when you download e-mail from your mail server(s). This allows you to retrieve mail from multiple servers into one account.
  • A new check box on the main tab of the mail server settings dialog allows you to disable a mail server without having to delete it.

ICE HTML Browser:

  • The ICE HTML browser now blocks web bugs by stripping all personalization from images that it retrieves (e.g., <IMG SRC="http://site/image.gif?you"> results in "http://site/image.gif" being retrieved).
  • Added bubble help for all hyperlinks. The way it works is if you hover the pointing hand cursor over a link, a bubble help window pops up to show you the hyperlink URL and (in square brackets) the destination frame reference.


  • Fitting IMAP4 into the new inbound server structure required a significant rewrite of the IMAP4 functionality and the Polarbar testers have a limited number of IMAP4 servers to test with. As a result, the IMAP4 code in 1.22 may need changes in order to work with some IMAP4 servers.
  • The IMAP4 mail server driver no longer retrieves messages directly into Polarbar. As a result, IMAP4 connections require the use of Preview Mail.
  • If the IMAP4 server reports that it is capable of using AUTH=LOGIN (which sends the prompts and responses using BASE64 encoding), then that method of authentication will be used (instead of sending both the user ID and password using plain text).

Internet Download Tool:

  • The tool window is now resizable and the position and size are remembered.


  • All menu items insert an extra space in front of the menu text, in order to give the menus a cleaner look.
  • Fixed bug where shortcut keys didn't get assigned to checkbox menu items.

Message Menu:

  • Replaced the Message / "View message file in separate window" menu item, which displayed the raw POP file contents when the text browser was in use, but displayed the message fully formatted when the ICE HTML or Hot Java browser was in use, with two new items and added them to the custom key- stroke facility: "View POP file in separate window" (Ctrl+Z) displays the raw POP file contents regardless of which browser is in use. "View message text in separate window" (Ctrl+V) displays the formatted message text regardless of which browser is in use, but is less flexible when the text browser is in use.

Message Navigation:

  • Fixed bug where choosing Next Message or Previous Message when no message is selected threw an exception instead of moving to the appropriate end of the message list.

Message Transaction Log:

  • Fixed bug that left the most recent message transaction log entry out of the reversed display when using Log / "Message transaction log..."

MIME Conformance:

  • Polarbar now generates a "MIME-Version: 1.0" header for all messages, as mandated by RFC2049 for all MIME-conformant mail user agents.


  • There is a news server connection for incoming mail. You can use this to download mail from one newsgroup into your local mail. Create multiple connections if you want to track multiple newsgroups.
  • There is an experimental newsgroup feature that will allow you to preview all of the newsgroups on a particular news server. To use this experimental feature, use "$all$" as the newsgroup name. Warning: When you use Preview Mail on this news server, the very first thing that Polarbar does is ask for the group list (EVERY time, not just the first time), so you probably do NOT want to use this experimental feature with a USENET news server!
  • In Preview Mail, the message size is actually the number of lines in the news message, as extracted from the message headers, because news servers are incapable of providing message sizes.

Platform Settings:

  • The platform setting "Choice control uses drop-down list; unless..." is obsolete and has been replaced with "Large choice controls use scrollable lists; if..." In order to upgrade to the new platform setting, you do not have to do anything, unless you had previously customized the old setting and you want to customize the new setting or if you have a PLATFORM.INI file and you want it to reflect the settings that Polarbar is using. (The only time that Polarbar writes the platform settings to the PLATFORM.INI file is when the OK button in Tools / Settings / Platform is activated.)


  • Encryption/Decryption of messages is now supported.
  • You can now select an area of text to add the signature keyblock, if no area is selected, PBM will search the entire message and add the first keyblock it finds.
  • PGP keyring files are now platform specific settings. If you set a keyring filename on one OS, it will now only apply to that OS. This eliminates any file path issues when switching between Operating Systems. If you are upgrading from a previous version of Polarbar, then your original PGP keyring settings will be retained, until they are changed. When you change them, they only change for the current platform.


  • Retrieving messages from the Popper into the current account waits for any server downloads to complete before getting messages.
  • The Popper now honors the "Send mail in outbox when performing receive" setting for the current account (but not for any other accounts).
  • When you switch to an account that has the "Popper retrieves to another account" setting enabled, the messages, if any, that are waiting in the other account's Popper directory are no longer read into the new account.

Preview Mail:

  • Before connecting to a mail server you can select which one to connect to. There is now only one type of preview. Only IMAP servers support creating folders or moving & copying messages on a server.


  • Fixed problem where inline text MIME message parts that are BASE64 encoded (including the main message body) would not print.

Retrieve Messages:

  • Manually initiating "Retrieve Messages" resets the auto-refresh interval.
  • Retrieving new messages no longer forces the detached message window to the foreground.
  • You can connect multiple mail servers to a single account

Route Message(s):

  • Added controls to temporarily override the default word wrap settings (only applies to the optional note and the "Routing message from" line).

Scrollable Lists:

  • All scrollable lists now support first letter search navigation, instead of just a select few...

Select Address(es) for Reply:

  • The Esc key works as a shortcut for the Cancel button again.
  • The default reply address (i.e., the one that will be used if you cancel the dialog) is highlighted by default (which allows you to also hit Enter to choose the default address).
  • Some additional addressing headers are tested for potential use as reply addresses.

Sending Mail:

  • Some significant speed improvements have been added.
  • Base64 encoding of attachments is significantly faster
  • When an attachment file can't be found, the dialog that appears now prompts for Yes, No, or Cancel. Cancel means to not send the message. No means to send the message without the attachment file. Yes brings up a file dialog, but if the file dialog is cancelled, or only a directory is chosen (on those platforms that allow that), then the initial dialog prompting for Yes, No, or Cancel reappears.
  • An optional keyboard shortcut has been added for the File / Send Mail menu item. Using it requires a Custom.Keystrokes file entry assigning a keyboard shortcut to SendMail.

Separate Message Window:

  • All keyboard shortcuts that work in the attached message window now work in the separate message window.
  • Clicking the mouse cursor in the blank panel where the attached message window would otherwise reside brings the separate message window back to the foreground.
  • Changing the separate message window setting no longer requires a Polarbar restart to activate the change.
  • Accounts now properly follow the separate message window setting instead of using the setting for the first account to be loaded.
  • In addition to saving the separate message window size and position when the window is explicitly closed, the size and position are now also saved when the separate message window mode is disabled, the account is changed, or Polarbar is exited.


  • The Java vendor and version are now logged into the Java console log at Polarbar startup.

Status Bar:

  • Display the time since last online immediately after starting Polarbar or changing accounts.

Text Components:

  • All text fields and text areas now directly support Ctrl+X, C, and V for cut, copy, and paste. (With the obvious exception of non-editable text, where only Ctrl+C is supported.)
  • Opening MIME encoded mail, especially with more than one attachment, is now an order of magnitude faster.
  • Added a workaround for a KDE bug that incorrectly sizes the text message browser after changing the message font on Linux and FreeBSD systems that use the KDE desktop environment.

Text Browser:

  • When viewing an HTML-only message in the text browser, Polarbar now strips all HTML tags from the message body, does simple formatting, then displays the plain text conversion. This is in addition to still creating an HTML attachment that can be viewed in an HTML browser by clicking on the attachment icon).
  • Java 1.4 changed the rules for what gets selected when double-clicking in a text component, so Polarbar attempts to compensate for this by automatically extending or reducing the amount of text that is selected when you double click in the text browser window.

Tool Tips:

  • Force tooltips to stay within the screen and/or main window boundaries, when needed and possible.
  • Tool tips now vanish after 45 seconds of no mouse movement or when the mouse cursor leaves the component that the tool tip belongs to.

Window Positions:

  • If a window, whose position and size are remembered, is maximized, then the next time the window is opened, the position and size will be restored to the upper left corner and the current screen size. If you go back to version 1.21b (or earlier) after using 1.22, then any maximized windows will be restored to their default positions and sizes instead of their stored positions, because 1.22 stores a maximized indicator instead of the actual position and size, so as to keep the Polarbar window maximized, even if you change your desktop size between invocations of Polarbar.
  • The General Settings window position and size are remembered.
  • The Advanced Settings window position and size are remembered.
  • The Filter List window is resizable and its position and size are remembered (unless you use the Cancel button).
  • The Filter Settings window position is remembered (unless you use the Cancel button).
  • The position and size of the "Select server for preview" window is remembered (this is the window that pops up when you activate Preview Mail when you have more than one incoming server defined).

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