Sun Java logo     Previous      Contents      Index      Next     

Sun logo
Sun Java System Communications Express 6 2004Q2 Customization Guide 

Chapter 4
Customizing General Features in Mail

This chapter includes information on the customizable features in the Mail component of Communications Express. This chapter has the following sections.

Defining Your Customization Requirements

Before you customize mail for Communications Express, you need to decide your customization goals. There are several common customization senarios.

Customizing the Skin to Modify Global Look and Feel

To customize the skin, you need to understand the structure of the underlying Casading Style Sheet (CSS). The Skin color, font style, or font size can be globally changed in the CSS file.

Customizing Text

Since the mail client supports internationalization, most of the text used in mail are referenced through a special array named i18n. The strings are saved in xx/i18n.js, where xx is the locale name for the specific language. To replace the text with a desired text, you need to look up the string from xx/i18n.js and modify it. The default encoding for all files is UTF-8, and you need to make sure that you use the right one, especially when the text contains non-Latin charaters.

Customizing Mail by Domain

Mail supports customization specific for each domain . A user who belongs to a specific domain will be directed to a different view (skin) on signing in. Refer the chapter Chapter 9, "Customizing Communications Express for a Specific Domain," for more information on customizing mail by domain.

Customizing Mail Icons

All Image files are stored in imx/ directory. You can look up the image file name from html files and replace the URL with the required one.

Adding Extra Features

For functionalites that are not supported by the current mail component, you can create a new function using the listFrameHTML() function in the corresponding _lr_fs.html. You can also add new functions to be called by listFrameHTML(). The new content will then be inserted in the mail application. If the feature to be added involves more technical aspects that are not documented here, contact Sun Professional Service for assistance.

Understanding the File Layout in Mail

In mail, the static files are HTML and JavaScript files. These files have .html and .js extensions. These files are transmitted to the browser and used to retrieve dynamic contents from the server using a proprietary HTTP protocol. The mail server provides user interfaces for the stand-alone Messenger Express and the integrated mail component of Communication Express. The JavaScript files are shared by both these interfaces, and in general provide functionalities for the application.

Files that end with _fs_lr.html are used exclusively in the integrated mail component of the Communication Express. This section provides a basic overview on the various files used in the integrated mail component of Communication Express.

The CSS files that are used in mail are:

Table 4-1  JavaScript files that are used in Mail

JavaScript file Name



Detects the browser to select which .css file should be used


Maintains the common UI codes shared by messaging listing and Search message result listing


Checks for Domain security


Maintains the Initialization and globally shared functions


Utility functions

Table 4-1 shows the different JavaScript files that are used in Mail.

The frame work related files are,

The Mail page is configured to display the Mail page. It creates a number of frames, including several invisible frames. These invisible frames are used to pull the dynamic contents as JavaScript objects from the server. Once downloaded, the hidden frame can invoke the specific callback function in frameset HTML (_lr_fs.html) to render the updated dynamic contents.

The Mail component can be perceived as a dynamic client-side HTML engine. There are not many standard HTML statements in _lr_fs.html files. It is the ListFrameHTML() function in _lr_fs.html files which is responsible for the HTML output. This action takes place when ListFrameHTML() accesses the JavaScript objects from the hidden frames such as cfgFrame, msgFrame, and mboxFrame to generate the dynamic HTML page.

Understanding Basic Interfaces in Mail

This section provides information on the various Mail screens in Communications Express, including:

Inbox Screen

The Inbox screen, shown in Figure 4-1, enables you to view all messages and its basic features— for example, subject, from, received and size. The Inbox screen gets new messages and enables you to search for or delete old messages, as well as move messages into other folders

Figure 4-1  Communications Express Inbox Screen

Sun Java™ System Communications Express Inbox Screen

Message Screen

The Message screen, shown in Figure 4-2, displays the message selected from the Inbox screen. The Message screen gives the option of replying to the sender, forwarding the message, moving the message to a different folder, or deleting the message. The Message screen also enables navigation to the next or previous message.

Figure 4-2  Communications Express Message Screen

Communications Express Message Screen

Folders Screen

The Folders screen, shown in Figure 4-3 displays all folders that can be accessed. The Folders screen lists the number of messages contained and the size of each folder. The Folders screen also enables creating new folders, renaming or deleting old ones, subscribing or unsubscribing shared folder, sharing folder, moving a folder within another folder, updating the inbox, and composing new messages. Like the Inbox screen, the Folders screen also enables collection of external mails.

Figure 4-3  

Folders Screen

Folders Screen

Composition Window

The Composition window, shown in Figure 4-4, is used primarily to compose a new message. You can also use the window to save a draft or attach a file to the message, look up a recipient in the address book, access the help file, and cancel the composition altogether. Mail recipients can be added in “To”, “Cc”, or “Bcc” fields. You can edit the message in Text or HTML format if you are using Internet Explorer and this feature is not supported in Netscape Navigator. In the Composition window you can also check the spelling. The Composition window also enables you to set the mail priority or request for a return receipt.

Figure 4-4  Communications Express Composition Window

Composition Window

Message Search Window

The Communications Express Message Search window, shown in , is primarily used to search messages by entering sender’s name, subject, body text, or recipient’s name. You can also delete the messages from the search list.

Message Search Window

Message Search Window

Previous      Contents      Index      Next     

Copyright 2004 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved.