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Agent 3.1 Release Notes

Improved Header Joining

Auto-joining of headers has been significantly improved. In previous releases Agent did not detect certain subject lines as indicating they were part of a multipart message. Now Agent can detect any legitimate format (and many incorrect formats) and join headers into a single message.

To give you greater control over how Agent interprets subject lines, you can tell Agent whether to look for legitimate file names as part of the subject line. (By default Agent requires that the subject line contains text that looks like a filename, to minimize the possibility that Agent will incorrectly identify a message as being a multipart section when it isn't.)

Performance Improvements

We have optimized the Get Headers process when doing automatic joining of multipart messages. With this change, getting headers, and in particular getting headers for multipart messages, should be as fast as it was with Agent 2.0. If you're running Windows XP on a high-powered computer you may not see a significant change. However, users running older operating systems (e.g. Windows 98) on older hardware will notice a dramatic improvement in header retrieval performance.

When getting headers for a large binary group Agent would use 100% of your computer's CPU. While Agent would yield to other programs, you may have noticed some overall system degradation. As described above, Agent now gets headers much more efficiently, increasing download speed while decreasing use of your computer's processor.

Mirror purging (removing messages when no longer available on the news server) has been optimized. This change should reduce the duration of the "Updating Folder" step after getting headers, when you have mirror purge turned on. How much faster it is depends on how many existing messages are no longer available on the server.

Agent 3.0 was taking up to a second longer than 2.0 to retrieve a text body. This was related to get-body throttling. This minor overhead has been eliminated.

Other Changes

The default number of simultaneous header updates has been changed to 1 (from 4). This is controlled by the agent.ini parameter [Online]MaxBGThreads. Generally, this change should not affect performance one way or the other, but it will reduce the chance that you'll get stuck waiting for the "Updating Folder" dialog to close while multiple folders are updated simultaneously.

A new email alert dialog displays how many new messages were retrieved the last time Agent received new email as well as the total number of messages retrieved since you last read your email. Only a single dialog is displayed and it is updated each time Agent receives new email. Previously a new dialog was shown each time Agent checked for email, so that you might have several dialogs to close before you could read your email.

We removed "(via POP server)" from the title of the "Checking for Email" panel because Agent now only supports POP for retrieving email.

The tool tip for "Action | Get New Headers in " has been changed from "Get New Headers" to "Get New Headers in Folders".

The "Task | Pause All" toolbar button could be added to the main browser window, but was disabled. We have now enabled this, and allowed "Resume All" to be added as well.

Bugs Fixed

The following GPF (program failure) items have been fixed:

  • Joining messages (with the dialog open) and, at the same time, getting headers in the same folder. (This bug also occurred in Agent 2.0.)
  • Saving or launching multipart attachments when Agent is configured to join multipart messages when saving attachments. Agent would frequently crash if you saved more than one attachment at once or if you performed some other operation that modified the contents of the folder while attachments were being retrieved and saved.
  • Scrolling horizontally using a Logitech mouse.
  • Sorting by author if there was a problem in the header fields of one or more messages.
  • Dragging and dropping a folder. This was intermittent, not occurring often.

A Get Bodies task would use the default access plan if the folder was not currently selected. This could occur when getting bodies for marked messages, where Agent would use the default access plan for each folder (which may not be the correct access plan for that folder) except the folder that was currently selected. This was the cause of the spurious "No servers in the access plan carry the newsgroup" message.

We fixed some bugs in the task scheduler that sometimes caused Agent not to open the correct number of connections, or to repeatedly close and reopen connections.

Agent was not recognizing an existing dialup connection, even when "If another connection is already open, use it instead" was selected. Also, when Agent was configured to check for email automatically, the program would open a dialup connection and check for email even if "Check only when dialup connection is open" was selected.

In the Startup Wizard for a new installation, if you told Agent to use your POP username and password for your outbound email server, Agent still required you to enter a user name and password. Agent was failing to log in to some SMTP servers, mishandling a greeting line sent by the server, thinking it did not have to authenticate even though the server setting required it. This could cause the server to reject email sent from Agent. Also, Agent was not handling "Use POP username and password" correctly.

When doing a Get Headers task, if the computer ran out of disk space for the saved headers, Agent would try to recover from the error by completing the saving of the headers already retrieved, thereby causing another out of space error. Now, for certain critical errors (such as running out of disk space), Agent will terminate the task and not try to save the data.

Dragging a message below the last folder in the Folders pane would remove the message.

If the date returned in the XOVER information was different for two copies of the same message, Agent was treating the copies as different messages. The date is no longer used when comparing headers.

When multiple get-body tasks tried to save a file with the same name simultaneously, Agent would give the files the same name, so that each task would overwrite the previously saved copy of the file. Agent now checks for and uses an unused file name.

When adding a new news server, the server was not enabled in the default access plan on the body retrieval tab when "Override the Retrieving Headers servers list" was checked. New severs will now always be enabled regardless of this option.

Deleting, then adding the same news server caused it to be duplicated in the access plan's list of servers. Folder names with leading spaces were being removed from the copy-to / move-to menus. Agent now allows folder names with leading and trailing whitespace.

When setting Folder | Properties | Message Views to "Apply message view selections to this folder only", Agent failed to set the folder's view to the current view and would revert to the shared view for this folder type instead.

When a desk was selected in the folder pane, "Skip to Next Unread Folder" was not navigating to the next unread folder and was marking all folders in the desk read.

When creating a news server using the Setup Wizard, that server was not enabled in the default access plan.

When jumping to a message-id, Agent was jumping to the first message in a folder instead of to the correct message.

When launching a message-id URL that required the message to be downloaded, the message's attachments were not parsed and displayed properly.

The Folder Property setting "Disable filtering for this folder" was being ignored, so that filters were still being run on the folder.

The Newsgroup Directory was inconsistent in how it treated case differences in newsgroup names. Now it always ignores case when comparing names, so that two groups with the same name but using different case are treated as the same group.

Address Book and Pick Addresses progressive search text was displayed incorrectly.

The default colors for Body Pane Quoted Text and Message Editor Quoted Text were set to custom colors rather than default color for Quoted Text. As a result, if you changed the Quoted Text default the other colors were not changed.

If either the log window or the file agent.log were active, the task status displayed in the status bar and in the task manager window was not updated consistently.

Sent email messages showed only the plain text icon, even when the message contained an attachment.

Some users reported getting error 480 from the server when trying to retrieve several message bodies at the same time.

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