Monday, May 02, 2005

Outlook never wonders what folder to update first, but do you?

Ever wonder when you open Outlook 2003 which folder it's going to choose to update first?

When Outlook is in cached mode (or rpc/http), Outlook will download the mail/objects in specific folders in the background while you work. But sometimes, when you restore from hybernation mode, you want it to update the inbox, but it waits to do that last! What's up with that?

Well, according to the Outlook documentation, Outlook gives weights to the folders on which it will update first. This means that sending or replying to items is given the most weight (ie outbook is probably updated first, or calendar since it has to reply to requests etc), and reading is given a lower priority.

But how come it doesn't do what *I* want?

Well, when you return from Hybernation mode, Outlook doesn't know it's been hybernated, and it just knows it hasn't talked to the server in a while, so it follows it's algorithm, not knowing that the current folder needs updating so you can work.

You can push the folder you in (like your inbox) higher in the queue by simplying changing folders and changing back to the inbox, this tells Outlook that you're waiting on the Inbox and it will be given a higher priority.

It pays to know how things work, now you'll save an extra one or two seconds every time you hybernate. I just can't wait for the study on how many hours an average human spends waiting for email to download.

... Then you have to ask the question, am I average?