Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

spaces web access as default windows client

Spaces eventually will use native libraries to insert hooks into Windows and other OSes so that it can function as the default email client on a system. For the moment, though there's an alternative.

John Rubier posted to the spaces dev list this tip for making spaces web access the default mailto: handler. Here are his instructions:

To use Spaces as the default mailto: handler, we can use the Spaces Web Access feature. (I've modified his instructions to account for the VBS script being downloaded).


  • Download the file mailto.vbs into the Spaces directory. (If you use IE, to avoid it from running the script from the browser use Shift-click to request a Save As dialog).
  • In the registry go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto\shell\open\command
  • Make a copy of the contents of the "(Default)" value just in case you want to put it back the way it was (make a new value called "original" and copy/paste the "default" string into it.
  • Edit the contents of the "(Default)" string to be (include the quotes (") as-is)

    "c:\winnt\system32\wscript.exe" "d:\java\spaces\mailto.vbs" "%1"

    Of course, substitute the appropriate paths for your system. You don't really need the quotes (") around the paths if there are no spaces/special chars in the paths but the "%1" should stay as-is. You can also use cscript.exe instead of wscript.exe but you'll see an ugly DOS box flash on the screen every time the script runs.

  • Edit the URL in the script to match your Spaces Web Access setup only if it's not localhost:80 (the default).
You're good to go.


  • Any subject and body parameters are parsed and passed but only the to, cc, and bcc fields will be filled out. Unfortunately, the Spaces web form doesn't take body or subject parameters at this time.
  • Spaces must be already running.
  • Web Access must be enabled.
  • Watch that when you copy/paste the script that lines don't get wrapped.
  • No warranty, expressed or implied on the script!
  • Not guaranteed to handle all permutations of RFC2368.
Also, It should be possible to restore the old mailto: handler by going to Control Panel/Internet Properties/Programs tab and selecting the email program you want to use. This is a temporary solution, but useful if you want to connect IE to spaces alpha 1.8. Of course, be really careful and be sure to know what you're doing, since editing the Windows Registry might create problems. So use at your own risk. As John said, this code and instructions are provided "as is", with no warranty expressed or implied!.

Anyway, thanks John!

Categories: clevercactus
Posted by diego on March 3 2003 at 10:17 PM

Copyright © Diego Doval 2002-2011.
Powered by
Movable Type 4.37