writes "In a recent blog entry, Gabor Cselle wrote about How Researchers are Reinventing the Mail Client. He highlights some ideas taken from research papers that will probably make it into the real world someday. From the article '
"[TaskMaster] All your emails, drafts, attachments, and bookmarks are mapped to "thrasks". Emails in the same thread are grouped automatically, but the user still has to assign other mails, links, and deadlines manually.
[Bifrost] The idea here is that the people are the main indicators of whether an email is important. (...) Bifrost then reorganizes your inbox and displays your email in a number of predefined categories: Timely, VIP Platinum, VIP Gold, Personal, Small/Large distribution lists.
[ReMail] Thread Arcs visualize relationships between email messages. Instead of wasting lots of space with a tree view that Thunderbird has, it displays the thread structure in a little image. (...) Contact Maps offer a different view of the address book: Senders from which you have received email are grouped by domain. Each person's name is shown with a different background color, depending on the time of the last email exchange."
Given that most of us probably read email essentially the same way as elm/pine did for us a decade ago, it sure would be swell to see updates to these metaphors.