tkbiff is yet another program to alert you to incoming mail. tkbiff allows arbitrary commands to be executed upon mail reception. If you like programs like xbiff++ but wish they were more flexible, then you'll like tkbiff. For example, suppose you want to play your favorite song when you get mail that mentions "windsurfing" but play a groan when you get mail from your manager unless you're mentioned in the cc in which case don't play anything. This kind of thing is easy to do with tkbiff. tkbiff also doesn't waste your valuable screen space with icons - instead, it shows you the mail itself. (If this image were live, clicking on a message in the graphic would bring up that message.)
tkbiff is fully customizable. If you want to change the appearance of tkbiff or the way it behaves, it is easy to do.
tkbiff runs on Windows, NT, MacOS, and UNIX and supports IMAP, POP, APOP, SSL, TLS and UNIX-style mail files and directories.
tkbiff comes with a very pleasant default configuration. The default configuration is aimed at three things:
tkbiff lets you browse mail with a single mouse click - particularly convenient if you normally use heavy-duty mail readers (such as Outlook Express, Messenger, and Emacs VM) which can be slow and in states where it is inconvenient to rearrange window configurations just to peek to see if a mail message is worth spending more time looking at.
Playing a sound is traditional - providing a fast way of finding out who mail is from without having to shuffle through windows or look at the screen in the first place. But tkbiff can do other things on receipt of a message: pop it up automatically, display the sender's icon, or even order pizza.
tkbiff can also decide what to do based on the sender, whether you were listed in the To: line (versus Cc:), or how many times the word "pizza" was mentioned (and if it was cheese or pepperoni).
tkbiff avoids unnecessary frills such as mailbox icons or postage stamp icons or borders inside of borders inside of borders. All you see is your mail and in a clear, obvious, and accessible way. Of course, if you really want glorious 3d highlights, huge fonts, lots of borders, animations, etc., tkbiff can provide that too.
The current version of tkbiff is 3.18
Here are some things about tkbiff that some people might not like.
Get tkbiff.tar.Z or tkbiff.tar.gz. The gz file is preferrable simply because it is quicker to download. However, if you have no idea what to do with a gz file once you've got it, just transfer the Z version of the distribution. Then, at the command line, type:
uncompress < tkbiff.tar.Z | tar xvf -
This will create a directory containing the tkbiff distribution. Change to that directory and read the INSTALL file.
tkbiff works well on Windows and MacOS, but a nice package for shipping it has not yet been constructed. For now, grab the files one at a time. (Fortunately, there aren't that many required files - in fact, there's only one!)
|tkbiff.tcl||THIS IS IT - the file to download for Windows or MacOS. Note: if you've got the Tcl plugin loaded in your browser, you'll have to shift-click when fetching to avoid it being executed!|
|INSTALL||After downloading tkbiff.tcl (above), read these installation instructions.|
|documentation||No need to get these files manually - they will be downloaded automatically as necessary. But you can browse them now if you like.|
|example audios||Audios used in the example tkbiff configuration - you needn't take any - but they're supplied for completeness sake.|
Once you've downloaded the file(s), read the installation instructions.
There's a lot of documentation for tkbiff. Fortunately, most people will be able to use tkbiff without looking at any of it!
Although I can't promise anything in the way of support, I'd be interested to hear about your experiences using it (good or bad). I'm also interested in hearing bug reports and suggestions for improvement even though I can't promise to implement them.
If you send me a bug, fix, or question, include the version of tkbiff (as reported by <?>), version of Tcl and Tk, and name and version of the OS that you are using. Before sending mail, it may be helpful to verify that your problem still exists in the latest version.
Awards, love letters, and bug reports may be sent to:
National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8264 Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8264
Last edited: Fri Jan 28 15:40:45 EST 2005 by Don Libes