ZOË was an IMAP email client built in Java in the early to mid 2000s. The tagline was "Googling your email" – you could search, filter, sort by email headers, find out information about different organizations / people by the domain their email came from, etc.

The link is to a Wayback Machine snapshot from 2004.

I wrote about it multiple times. Here's Zoe and Email Choices in my own long term archive, which quotes Scott writing about it, although his original 2004 post is 404.

I'll quote Scott's post below:

Scott on Zoe

Ah, finally—someone explains the point of Zoe. It’s basically a personal email search engine. Once I got that, I grabbed a copy and tried it out.

It’s trivial to install—just extract the files from the archive and double-click on Zoe.jar. Zoe runs its own web server on port 10080, and automatically fires up your favorite browser when it starts.

The web interface is intuitive and reasonable attractive, and it’s easy to add new POP or IMAP accounts and have Zoe import mail from them. While it’s possible to use Zoe as a web-based mail reader, it’s not really very good at that—it doesn’t do folders at all, and I can’t figure out how to get it to do threads, but that’s not really a problem, because it’s not supposed to be used for normal mail reading: it’s a search engine, not a mail reader.

I probably have around 100,000 messages sitting in assorted IMAP mail boxes in various places, and Zoe is the first program that I’ve found that is actually usable for searching them. OS X’s Mail program isn’t very good at searching huge volumes of mail, particularly when most of it lives on IMAP servers.

The big problem with Zoe is its resource needs—it’s written in Java, and wants at least 70 MB of RAM when it’s running on my laptop, plus a few hundred MB of disk space. I just don’t have enough free RAM on my laptop to add another 70+ MB program, so I’m going to try running it on one of my Linux servers at home and see how that goes.

Note that the resource needs are MB not GB 😅

Zoe Professional

Another Wayback Machine link which has some writing.

The Google principle: It doesn't matter where information is because I can get to it with a keystroke.

So what is ZOË?

Think about it as a sort of librarian, tirelessly, continuously, processing, slicing, indexing, organizing, your messages. The end result is this intertwingled web of information.

ZOË is a email client. It's also a email server. And a long term archive. And a search engine. And an application server. All that at once on your desktop. Or server. Or both. Or it doesn't matter because client and server are the same.

And on the product page:

Managing email has become an increasingly time consuming task. Email is also becoming a corporate source of knowledge and information.Therefore keeping information is more essential than ever.

ZOË.professional is targeted for the corporate customer. Archiving of Email information, retrieval of data, sharing of knowledge, these are just a few of the topics in which ZOË.professional provides your company with a complete solution.

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