OE Classic discussions and updates

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by FanJ, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. FanJ

    FanJ Updates Team

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    OE Classic is an email program, and could be considered as a replacement for Outlook Express, for those interested.

    Site:
    https://www.oeclassic.com/

    It comes with a free and paid (Pro) version.

    It is made by Zvonko Tesic, aka Phazze; see also http://www.infobyte.hr/phazze/about.htm

    As far as I know, it was first mentioned here at WSF by Buddel in reply # 28 in this thread

    Current stable version is 2.6. Users of the Pro version can download the latest beta wich was released on 8 April 2017.

    As far as I know, at the moment it does not support IMAP but only POP.

    Some other remarks:

    1.
    Why does it install 7za.dll version 9.22.0.0 which is from 2011?
    The latest version is v16.04, as mentioned by mood in this thread

    2.
    Why can it not use IMAP while OE Run AS XP seems to be able to do that?

    3.
    At the other hand, OE Run AS XP seems not to be able to use the TLS protocol, while OE Classic seems to be able.

    4.
    Is OE Classic (Pro) able to integrate with, for example, Eset AV (NOD32)? OE Run AS XP seems to be.

    5.
    Why is OE Classic not digital signed? Yes, I do understand that that might take "some" money. I understand that. Nevertheless...
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  2. FanJ

    FanJ Updates Team

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    OE Classic uses libeay32.dll and ssleay32.dll from OpenSSL
    The versions of these files used by OE Classic is 1.02.10.
    It is not clear to me why the newer versions of the 1.1.0 series from OpenSSL are not used.
     
  3. FanJ

    FanJ Updates Team

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    I had only a very quick look at OE Classic, meaning I had it only for a short while installed.
    You may call me crazy but I have always liked the original Outlook Express.
    This OE Classic looks nice! But it was a too short time to get more familiar with it.
    The info given at their site and the lay-out there is in my humble opinion much and much better compared to OE Run AS XP. At the other hand the site of "OE Run AS XP" has a forum, which OE Classic doesn't have. There is some more to say when comparing the two, but in above posts I made already some remarks about that.
    As for the beta versions 2.7 of OE Classic: in the last months there have been several released. What I don't like is that those installers for the beta 2.7 versions have all the same name, and the property tab of those installers don't give the version number.
    I may like OE Classic; that could very well be possible. But I will not use a program, and certainly not an email program, with such an old and unsafe version of 7za.dll.
    I made a backup-image (having OE Classic) and restored a backup-image from before I installed it.
     
  4. phz

    phz Registered Member

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    Here is the developer's reply:

    As far as I know, at the moment it does not support IMAP but only POP.

    That is true - and IMAP is high priority feature at the moment, currently under development so soon the program will support that too, in addition to other features it already has. Note though that many servers can be used with POP so IMAP is only required if you really require to sync with multiple devices which is easier with IMAP than with POP even though it is not impossible with POP too. Also note that IMAP is not a better replacement for POP. It serves different purposes and both POP and IMAP have advantages and disadvantages.

    1.Why does it install 7za.dll version 9.22.0.0 which is from 2011?

    7za.dll is not even used in the current release. It was planned to be used for the purpose of creating compressed backup. At the time, that backup was delayed for later in favor of some other features and the library remained in the installation. So it is just installed in program directory but not used at all. Once the feature which will utilize it will be done, the library will be updated to most recent version.

    2. Why can it not use IMAP while OE Run AS XP seems to be able to do that?

    Because "Rome wasn't built in a day" and OE Classic was built from the ground up by a small team (7 years so far and counting) - it is not just a copy-paste of proprietary Microsoft code with exact same set of features so they are not the same thing. It is fully developed by OE Classic developers and only the user interface resembles OE6 (where it made sense to resemble it) for easier use to those accustomed to OE6, but everything else is different - from development philosophy and treating users to actual code itself. Development is a very demanding and time intensive task but due to fact that there are many apps around it may not seem like it is - but it still is, regardless (it takes years for good app to emerge). IMAP is being developed as noted above. Regarding RunAsXP - you should be careful for a few reasons - IMAP implementation in the original OE6 (which RunAsXP packs in) has issues, especially with Gmail, it doesn't work well. OE6 was optimized for earlier implementations of IMAP when it wasn't even widely deployed so its implementation has certain issues. For example, deleting messages doesn't expunge them properly from Deleted Items folder. There are a few others which don't make it a good client for IMAP use. Furthermore, OE6 is a product which hasn't been updated since 2001 (or so) and the security updates for Windows XP stopped in 2014 which means any libraries and executables taken from Windows XP were not updated for security since. Windows XP itself is insecure to use but so are the libraries taken from it which are being used by OE6 - it is the same old program without any new updates as well as no new features. If security is your concern, you should be careful about using OE6 today being so old. OE6 consists of several DLL files taken from Windows XP, still a proprietary Microsoft product, even if it is an obsolete one. This also raises important question, how RunAsXP is avoiding this issue because if they distribute the original and proprietary files in their installation (and even sell it) this is a Microsoft lawsuit case (possible case of piracy). I do not know much about RunAsXP but I do know that OE6 is a proprietary product and it can't be just taken as it is and sold. In addition to that, RunAsXP recommends disabling Windows 10 security updates. This is a huge deal if security is your concern as security updates make Windows more vulnerable to "zero-day" exploits. The reason why they recommend this is because Windows 10 updates can break OE6/RunAsXP. On the other hand OE Classic developers encourage Windows 10 updates fully enabled as that enhances both OE Classic (as it fixes bugs in Windows 10 features which OE Classic may use) and enhances Windows 10 security. In addition to that OE Classic, doesn't need hacks to be installed on Windows 10 - it is compatible from Windows 2000 to Windows 10 and if new Windows emerge, it will be adjusted to it.

    3. At the other hand, OE Run AS XP seems not to be able to use the TLS protocol, while OE Classic seems to be able.

    OE Classic can utilize the most recent TLS 1.2 encryption protocol and if/when it gets updated to 1.3, OE Classic will support this updated protocol as well as one of the emphasis in the development is security - in fact, all the automatic configurations we have are prefering to use TLS encryption, even though, users sometimes lower this to non-TLS encrypted protocol. Also, and this is documented on news page - www.oeclassic.com/news when a security flaw called POODLE was discovered, OE Classic support for SSL 3.0 was immediately disabled making TLS the only choice.

    4. Is OE Classic (Pro) able to integrate with, for example, Eset AV (NOD32)? OE Run AS XP seems to be.

    The developers don't support third party antiviruses. With that said, many antiviruses can be linked on a protocol level, by scanning POP3/SMTP traffic before receiving/sending emails so they can be in a way "linked" to be used with any protocol complying email program so they don't need to be integrated in the program as a "toolbar" itself. On top of that, many providers such as Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo and many others provide antivirus-scanning for you before it even reaches your inbox as a download. In addition to that, OE Classic has built in security feature such as - not executing any content automatically, blocking external images / scripts (working in "offline" mode), filtering out email contents, option to display a popup window if link is being opened and a few more.

    5. Why is OE Classic not digital signed? Yes, I do understand that that might take "some" money. I understand that. Nevertheless...

    That is true, digital signature has associated (and not cheap) costs - the price of OE Classic is made to be as low as possible which means adding such a thing would increase the price too. Still - the main advantage of digital signature is being able to distribute the executable on various web sites and having authenticity checked so it comes from original developer. When the download of OE Classic is distributed from own web site www.oeclassic.com - there is very little or no advantage in having digital signature as the web site already has HTTPS signature and the software itself uses checksum check for a very long time when downloading update (for both authenticity check and download integrity check). With 99% of downloads originating from our own web site, we don't care much if someone chooses to download from another web site. If you want a secure and authentic download, always download from developer's web site (there is no reason why we would put unauthentic product on our own web site).

    The versions of these files used by OE Classic is 1.02.10. It is not clear to me why the newer versions of the 1.1.0 series from OpenSSL are not used.

    The newer is not always better. 1.0.2 versions have long term support and they are supported for a longer time than 1.x.0. When OpenSSL developers change their libraries they may introduce new interfaces and this can introduce new strain on the development team to adjust the built in functions which use these libraries. For this reason it is best for us to choose long-term-support version which will be supported until 2019. Besides, OE Classic doesn't even use full feature set of the OpenSSL, many of the features which 1.1.x version adds are completely unnecessary to us.

    But I will not use a program, and certainly not an email program, with such an old and unsafe version of 7za.dll

    That is your choice of course, but there is nothing in 7za.dll which makes it unsafe to use. It is a compression library, not a encryption protocol and - in addition to that, it is not even used in the program at all. There is a matter of it being unsafe in a sense that it can be creating corrupted archives. But this too can be easily checked by creating a checksum check of archive right after the creation and examining if files have been packed correctly, so if there is any chance that files have been packed incorrectly, checksum check quickly reveals that. But all of that is completely irrelevant as at this moment the DLL is just inside archive and it is not even being used.
     
  5. phz

    phz Registered Member

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    ...has a forum, which OE Classic doesn't have

    It is also one of the planned but lower priority features for the web site - but the first priority is the program itself.

    ...beta 2.7 versions have all the same name, and the property tab of those installers don't give the version number

    No but there is something else - a version build date is used. In the "About" box you can see the build date for each individual version. Which is (in a way) better than meaningless version number and also easier to remember or compare.
     
  6. Buddel

    Buddel Registered Member

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    Thanks for your informative replies. Good to know that IMAP support is a high-priority feature. I don't need it, but it is probably a must-have feature these days. For those who are looking for Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail alternatives, OE Classic is a good replacement.
     
  7. Buddel

    Buddel Registered Member

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    It would be interesting to know what new features are going to be implemented into OE Classic. Just curious. :geek:
     
  8. phz

    phz Registered Member

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    For support of OE Classic please contact us on our web site contact forum - www.oeclassic.com/help - we can't offer you support on third party forum, this was a one-off reply to explain the possible confusion of OE Classic not being secure to use. There are tons of new features in our queue but the ones implemented in the most recent version are shown on the news page - www.oeclassic.com/news as well as some screenshots on the Facebook (or Twitter pages) - www.facebook.com/oeclassic and www.twitter.com/infobytehr - these pages also announce from time to time what new is being implemented at the moment, like the IMAP feature right now, but this is most certainly not the only thing being worked upon at the moment.

    Once OE Classic web site will have its own forum we will discuss about it on our forum, but we can't use third party forum to discuss it as it is not a proper place for support (and we cannot serve you properly that way, if for example you ask about a feature which we don't have yet but we want to notify you about it, it is impossible to do on either Facebook, Twitter or this forum, but very much possible if you contact us on our help page and in some future our own forum).
     
  9. Buddel

    Buddel Registered Member

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    OK, no problem. Thank you.:)
     
  10. FanJ

    FanJ Updates Team

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    Hello phz,

    Welcome at the Wilders board.
    I assume you're Phazze; right?

    Thanks for your extensive reply; it is appreciated!

    About 7za.dll (version 9.22.0.0) being too old :
    OK, so it is not (yet) used, you say. Hm, why not remove it then or replace it with the proper newer version in the next build (beta or non-beta) of OE Classic? This is kind of puzzling me.....

    About the OpenSSL libraries :
    I understand what you're saying. I guess it is a good decision to stay with the 1.0.2 versions, having long-term-support. Maybe when that long-term-support ends in 2019 (as you say), things have to be changed then ...

    About IMAP :
    Good to know that it has high priority on your list. Although I use POP, I know that others prefer IMAP; so it is good for those interested in OE Classic to know that support for IMAP will come in OE Classic.

    About TLS protocall :
    Good to know that OE Classic is keeping an eye on the latest issues and can use the latest version(s), and will use newer versions when available.
    (off topic: why on earth does not every email provider support the most recent TLS encryption protocol? But that is out of the scope of this thread).

    About OE Classic not being digital signed :
    As I already said, I understand it due to the costs. Nevertheless, wouldn't it be better to have it digital signed, even when that would mean the program would cost more?

    About integrating with NOD32 for example :
    I understand what you're saying. For example there is also no integration with Thunderbird by NOD32.

    About a forum for OE Classic :
    First of all I want to say that I like your website and the info there. In my humble opinion it looks nice and gives a lot of info.
    You're speaking about Facebook and Twitter; but realize that not everyone is using them. I for one block them.
    If there comes a forum, I hope it will be well moderated, be safe and secure, be without advertisements, and be without any Google and the likes ....

    About installers for the beta 2.7 versions having the same name :
    It's not a big deal. It is, let's say, sort of a personal thing: I don't like it when installers for different versions/builds have the same name. (An analogous discussion happened some weeks/months ago with respect to a complete different program).

    OK, so far:
    I have OE Classic installed again, if only to see how it develops further. (besides other email clients).
    I have to get more familiar with it, I know.
    But first of all I would like to make at least two wishes:
    1. If you really don't use that old 7za.dll file then remove it or replace it with the proper one!
    2. Give users of OE Classic the option to NOT let the program periodically check for updates!! Not all users want that!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  11. phz

    phz Registered Member

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    As we can't offer you support on this forum, I kindly ask if there is a technical issue or question for the support purposes to contact us using our regular help page (in the post above) or directly from within the program itself (main menu Help -> Contact). I don't plan on spending time on this forum more than I need to - it was a one-off to clear your doubts about the program being insecure to use and to emphasize that security is one of our main developing guidelines. If you are bothered by 7za.dll you can delete it yourself and you will see that there are no ill-effects if removed, as I mentioned before, it is not used at all - we'll keep it in the installation as a kind of reminder to utilize it at later time (in updated version).

    TLS 1.0 is still secure to use and there are no known vulnerabilities. The providers are kind of inert to provide the latest version because that would cause real mess for their user support as many programs default to 1.0 protocol and if you simply change the version number it will stop working causing tons of user-support questions. So that is the reason why they keep it (most likely). Google is a bit ahead of the pack, but still, they allow TLS 1.0 connections which tells a bit about TLS 1.0 still being secure although there is some future-proof in using 1.2 protocol when supported by the server of course.

    Regarding the integration of antiviruses - there is also another thing - when they integrate into programs, that could provide additional vulnerabilities to the host program, introduced by the toolbar itself - which opens a whole new can of worms! It is already the case that antivirus programs today can nest themselves on a lower level inside host operating system and this way introduce their own vulnerabilities which is a big problem for the security of the operating system and a problem which antivirus developers won't admit easily so don't take it that antiviruses are by default super-secure and just because you installed them you are magically secure just because their advertisements says so.

    Take a look at these articles to see why this is much deeper problem than you may have thought:
    http://www.techrepublic.com/article/why-antivirus-programs-have-become-the-problem-not-the-solution/
    http://bgr.com/2016/01/01/avg-antivirus-chrome-security-issues/
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2459...dled-with-security-flaws-researcher-says.html

    So that is also one of the reasons why we are extremely careful of introducing any kind of integration of anti-viruses into OE Classic. It simply introduces unknown factor which we can't control and could compromise OE Classic security itself. So for now, there is no integration which actually makes OE Classic more secure for the end user. But antivirus scanning can be done on a protocol level or by the provider host software, which I have already explained earlier.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  12. FanJ

    FanJ Updates Team

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    I noticed that a new beta version of the Pro version has been released recently:
    OE Classic 2.7 Pro, May 31st, 2017
    https://www.oeclassic.com/news

    Later I will upgrade.

    Buddel, please let us know about your experiences of the new version. You have far more experience with the program than I do. :)
     
  13. Buddel

    Buddel Registered Member

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    The address list decoder has been rewritten to improve it for mailing lists. I installed the latest beta version via the internal updater. No problems so far.
     
  14. FanJ

    FanJ Updates Team

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    Thank you Buddel :thumb:
     
  15. Buddel

    Buddel Registered Member

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    You're always welcome.:)
     
  16. FanJ

    FanJ Updates Team

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    A new beta of OE Classic Pro was released on 14 July 2017
    https://www.oeclassic.com/news

    Some remarks:

    1.
    It isn't always easy to get the changes from the ReadMe file: What was changed between this (beta) version and the previous (beta) version.
    So I had the ReadMe file saved, "upgraded" (later more on that) to the newer one, and compared the two ReadMe files.
    The only change I saw in the ReadMe files, was this one added in the newer one:
    "[b] Reinstalling the program could cause error and failure to start the program after reinstallation due to bug in uninstall script".

    2.
    The news page https://www.oeclassic.com/news has a topic:
    "Brand new message decoder/encoder!" dated Jul 7th, 2017
    Read there more. I give this quote:
    3.
    But about upgrading from beta version 2.7 (31-5-2017) to 2.7 (14-7-2017).
    On my end it was not succesfully working.
    I upgraded using the internal updater. It looked to be succesfully. But it wasn't. The version still says 2.7 (31-5-2017). And when manually checking for an upgrade, it still says there is a newer version 2.7 (14-7-2017).
    Something is not working right, either on my end or at the end of the company.
     
  17. Buddel

    Buddel Registered Member

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    1. You're right, my friend, the "ReadMe" file sucks. I also find it VERY difficult to find out what has changed.

    2. The new message decoder/encoder probably still needs some work to be done. It is my understanding that it has not been released yet.

    3. The latest beta version cannot be downloaded and installed here, either. It just doesn't work. it is NOT on your end. I will give it another try tomorrow. I'm sure they will have fixed it by then. Stay tuned.:)
     
  18. Buddel

    Buddel Registered Member

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    PS: I just sent an email to the developer about the problems mentioned above. I'm sure he'll soon get back to us and address the problems.
     
  19. FanJ

    FanJ Updates Team

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    Hey Buddel, thank you my friend!!

    I agree! About the only way I see, is to copy the existing ReadMe file to another location, then upgrade, and then compare the two ReadMe files (I use the non-free program Beyond Compare, old version 2, for that).

    It is my understanding too, but I wasn't sure.

    Thank you !!!

    Once more: thank you :thumb:
     
  20. phz

    phz Registered Member

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    Thank you for being so prompt on the OE Classic updates :)

    Allow me to clarify a few things about this release:

    1) Readme file is laid out in such a way that the most recent items are added to the bottom of the list. So you don't have to search nor compare them with earlier one - just look at the bottom most items in both sections (new features and bug fixes). So while it is in beta it is being laid out as features are implemented. However, once the stable version is released, we like to rearrange the readme again, to emphasize the most prominent features first.

    2) The new decoder is not yet fully ready. It is very important piece of code and 100% of the messages will be passing through it without exception. So it is definitely very important not to make mistakes with rushing its release - so it will be added - but in a few stages. First stage will be decoder only - for headers - and that will likely be in the next beta (2.8 that is). The main purpose of the new decoder in the beginning won't be improved speed (which it offers), but mainly fixing the incorrectly decoded subjects which is not relevant for some but very relevant for users across Europe and Asia (we have examples of incorrectly decoded subject / from lines, some caused by message decoder issues, some caused by improper detection of character set - when character set is not properly set as required by MIME standard). If message is correctly encoded, the current decoder makes no problems, but that's the thing - the devil is in details, when character set is not specified (as it is supposed to be by the standard), the program can then do a bit of autodetection - so that it presents the message in the best possible way to the user with minimal interaction from the user. This was one of the big lacks in the current decoder. And the new one will do much better detection when charset is not specified so many messages will open immediately correctly without user even knowing something is wrong with the message.

    3) The beta version date is probably confusing - because it is exactly the same like the last release (May 31st, 2017) because the build (executable) is not ready - the only change in this release is the uninstaller. There used to be a bug in uninstaller - if a user uninstalled the program and checked the option to "remove stationery" - after uninstallation and then repeated installation the program reported registry error "registry key StationeryLocation is missing". This no longer happens that is why we rushed the new release to update the uninstaller so that the bug no longer is around at least to those who update regularly - and we did that before updating the build of the program itself but tomorrow or in the next few days there will be another beta and then followed by final 2.7 version before we move on to 2.8 beta. But rest assured this is all good and just ignore the date in the "about" window, as it is accurate - no changes have been made there, and the new updated executable will follow in a day or two.

    If you have issues installing the new beta, feel free to contact us and we'll examine but we didn't notice any misbehavior with regard to installation program now which has been fully updated and bug-fixed now (the bug with uninstaller has been around since version 2.5). But it may be a bit confusing to see that beta version date is the same like the older version from May 31st - that is because the build wasn't changed yet - which will happen in a day or two.

    I hope this explains things a bit now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  21. Buddel

    Buddel Registered Member

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    1.) I'm aware of the fact that the most recent items are added to the bottom of the list. But it's hard to tell how many new features have been added to this long list of features. Just one, or two, or even four or five? Please make the latest changes more prominent in your changelog, so that users don't have to guess what features have been added to the latest version.

    2.) As far as the new encoder/decoder is concerned, just take all the time you need. It's ready when it's ready. No need to release it prematurely.

    3.) I'm just waiting for the next beta release. Maybe this one can be installed.

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by. Much appreciated.
     
  22. phz

    phz Registered Member

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    New update of OE Classic is released and now it shows today's date and won't now cause confusion like the yesterday's one did. The date of the new update is 2017-07-15 which is also shown in the "About" window as well. Check for updates no longer reports "new version available" any longer after updating to today's version.

    We will also consider the suggested changes for the error log, we'll see what we can do about it, either by adding date or something of that sort next to the feature. This will have to wait version 2.8 though.
     
  23. Buddel

    Buddel Registered Member

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    I installed the latest update a couple of minutes ago, no problems here. Thank you very much.

    Yes, adding dates to the long list of features in the WhatsNew.txt would help users to find out what the latest updates are, and they don't have to re-read all the entries just to learn what has recently changed. This new way of presenting the WhatsNew.txt can definitely wait until the release of version 2.8, just take your time. Thanks you.
     
  24. FanJ

    FanJ Updates Team

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    Thanks.

    The 2017-07-15 update fixed the problems of the 2017-07-14 update as previously mentioned.

    As for the ReadMe file I noticed the following changes:

    Comparing the ReadMe files from 14 July and 15 July I see the following changes:

    1. Bug fix

    Wording changed.

    ReadMe 14 July says:
    [b] Reinstalling the program could cause error and failure to start the program after reinstallation due to bug in uninstall script

    ReadMe 15 July says:
    [b] Reinstalling the program could cause error and failure to start the program due to bug in uninstall script


    2. New feature

    In ReadMe 15 July added:

    [+] Support for importing UTF-16 IAF files (generated by Windows Mail or Windows Live Mail)


    3. New feature

    In ReadMe 15 July added:

    [+] Program now communicates with web site using encrypted (HTTPS) connection (e.g. when using contact form or downloading update) - this may require Windows XP users to enable support for TLS 1.0 in Internet Explorer settings (it is already enabled in more recent Windows versions)
     
  25. Buddel

    Buddel Registered Member

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    OEClassic 2.7 has just been updated (16 July 2017)
    Taken from a notification email:
    In the most recent update of OE Classic (v2.7-beta - Jul 16st, 2017) the following feature was added:
    a.. Options for returning requested read receipts to sender - Notify for each request / Never send (Send options)
    It gives you a choice - whether you will get a popup when sender requests read receipt, or if the program will ignore the request. If you were annoyed by read receipt requests in 2.7 version, you can now disable them. The default value is Notify for each request, so by default a popup is shown.


    IMO, it would have been nice to add a third option: "Always send read receipts". I personally don't like this option, but some people do.
     
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