January 31, 2004

Introducing OmniaMea

Before starting to discuss the development details of our project, I should tell you what is it that we're developing. (This is especially important because, aside from a brief mention at Eugene Belyaev's blog, there has been virtually no public information on our project).

OmniaMea can be called a PIM (Personal Information Manager), but a lot of very different programs go under that label, and our focus for the initial release is a bit different from the rest. First, we don't strive to help a user organize his entire life - we only deal with what's in his/her computer. Thus, the release 1.0 won't have a calendar - a very common element of other PIMs. Second, the focus of release 1.0 is an individual, not a team - thus, we don't include features like data sharing (which is a major point for Chandler) and task delegation.

So what do we actually include?

  • Email - Outlook integration. The initial release won't have its own email client, but the Outlook integration is pretty much transparent (all changes in Outlook are instantly reflected in OmniaMea, and Outlook actions like replying or delivering mail can be invoked directly from the OmniaMea UI).
  • Instant messaging. Currently we support importing the conversation history from ICQ and Miranda, and allow to organize IM conversations in the same way as you can organize emails. Support for other IM clients may be added, depending on the users' requests.
  • News. Our goal is to cover most of the functionality of Outlook Express.
  • RSS. Since I'm the one responsible for this module, you can guess it's pretty much feature complete. :-)
  • Web links. All common categorization and indexing features are available for Web pages.
  • Files. The formats supported so far are TXT, HTML, PDF, PPT, DOC, RTF and common picture formats - BMP, JPG, GIF and PNG.
  • Contacts. Nothing fancy here - just the basic contact management features.
  • Tasks. Also nothing fancy in release 1.0.

Some of the features common for all of the resource types mentioned above are:

  • Full-text indexing and searching. In just a second or two you can find all resources, of any of the types mentioned above, containing the specified word or phrase. More complex queries can be built in the Advanced Search dialog.
  • Custom views (the analog of search folders in Outlook). Again, a custom view can return resources of any type.
  • Categories. There is a common category hierarchy for all resources, and it's possible to assign multiple categories to each resource.
  • Links. You can connect any two resources, and you can create any number of custom link types. The same mechanism is used to express the standard relationships between resources (a folder and messages contained in it, a message and its sender, a message and its replies and so on).

Another major point is that the architecture of OmniaMea is completely open and extensible - actually, the support for all of the resource types I mentioned above is implemented by plugins. I'll discuss the internal architecture of OmniaMea and its open API more in the future posts.

Posted by Dmitry Jemerov at January 31, 2004 12:19 PM | TrackBack
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