Author Topic: PMMail - COMCAST - secure tunnel  (Read 1079 times)

Dave Yeo

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Re: PMMail - COMCAST - secure tunnel
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2019, 07:14:09 pm »
Not being able to port would mean any useful open source license is incompatible, so without getting the purchase agreement updated, not worth pursuing.

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: PMMail - COMCAST - secure tunnel
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2019, 11:06:54 pm »
I reviewed the purchase agreement again, and I don't think there is anything in the way of making PMMail for OS/2 open source. I would still contact the prior owner just to make sure we agree.

Any software can be open-sourced with the permission of the owners.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 11:10:22 pm by Neil Waldhauer »
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Dave Yeo

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Re: PMMail - COMCAST - secure tunnel
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2019, 04:51:05 am »
Thing is open source is a very general description. Lots of various licenses ranging from stuff like the BSD which allows most everything including closing your work and selling it to the GPL and such which are somewhat restrictive in the name of freedom, no using OpenSSL with GPL code for example to restrictive licenses that don't allow commercial use for example.
This can be important if you want to use other licensed libraries and such and reusing libraries can be the simplest or best course. Really don't want to reinvent encryption software as you're almost guaranteed to get it wrong and adding something like Imap may be a lot easier by using someones library.

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: PMMail - COMCAST - secure tunnel
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2019, 03:58:08 pm »
The thing is, there is no reason currently to Open Source PMMail. If a developer is willing to commit to working on PMMail, the program can be made open source (with permission of the current owner, VOICE) in a way that works for all parties. As it stands, we have quite a few developers who have access to the code with a non-disclosure agreement, but none who will commit some time to enhance the software.

There is also the point that when QT5 is finished, there are other e-mail clients with IMAP that can be ported. The continuing of the platform does not depend on PMMail, just the future enjoyment of current users.
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Doug Clark

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Re: PMMail - COMCAST - secure tunnel
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2019, 05:18:17 am »
Seems to me if we, the OS/2 community, have access to the source code of PMmail and can make whatever changes or fixes that are needed or desired, then that is close enough to open source.

I agree with Doug Bissett in prefering email messages in text format rather than HTML format. Maybe its my age, maybe its my paranoia, but I don't want email as HTML: I don't want someone else monitoring which messages I read, when I read them, and how often I read them.

I tried switching from PmMail to ThunderMonkey  some years ago but it could not handle sending emails out on different accounts; it could receive from multiple accounts but could only send out using a single account.  Plus there was the email as HTML issue. So I stuck with PmMail.

PmMail is a strange animal that works well in so many ways, and at the same time has some ah, interesting, design issues. Like storing messages as files and using Presentation Manager containers as the user interface.

Dave Yeo

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Re: PMMail - COMCAST - secure tunnel
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2019, 07:24:59 am »
I used PMMail for quite a while and liked it. Back then it did have a few issues, the one that killed it for me was the lack of threading, since fixed. It also isn't very cross platform, which if a user does decide to migrate to a different OS, makes it hard. I've migrated away from OS/2 a couple of times, though I do keep coming back.
It is easy to send with different accounts with Thunderbird, it depends on the from field. There's likely add-ons or other settings to make it more fine grained. I have TB set to send text messages and use simplified HTML if I receive HTML messages. The simplified HTML has no pictures, JavaScript etc so no tracking. Could have it set as text as well. It is also cross platform and the mailbox itself is pretty standard.
SeaMonkey uses the same news and mail engine as Thunderbird so is pretty similar, along with many of the extensions.
Of course our port is getting old and due to changes upstream, things like extensions are harder to find.

As for PMMail being opensource, as mentioned up the page, it might make using other libraries easier, though even as closed source it can use quite a few. LGPL as an example can be shipped as DLLs with source.

Decent Email programs seem to be in short supply on all platforms, at least to hear people bitching and now a lot of people use web mail in a browser.

Doug Bissett

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Re: PMMail - COMCAST - secure tunnel
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2019, 06:08:53 pm »
Quote
Seems to me if we, the OS/2 community, have access to the source code of PMmail and can make whatever changes or fixes that are needed or desired, then that is close enough to open source.

We have the source. The problem is, that we don't have the volunteers to do the job, within the limits of the purchase contract. If VOICE hadn't bought it, PMMail would have been totally obsolete, long ago. At least it is still usable, thanks to volunteer help, but it does need a lot of work to keep it viable.

Quote
PmMail is a strange animal that works well in so many ways, and at the same time has some ah, interesting, design issues. Like storing messages as files and using Presentation Manager containers as the user interface.

The messages are stored individually, exactly as they are received from the mail server (with required header additions, such as time, and  date received). That actually makes them usable as legal documents (or, it did, at one time). Storing messages, in that way, is not a problem.

The basic design was actually quite good. The implementation that VOICE got, was full of examples of how to do bad programming. Most, if not all, of the worst examples got fixed, but there are still a lot of things that are "not perfect". One of the main problems, is using the PM Container for the user interface. The limit for the number of messages in a folder, seems to be somewhere near 20,000 (depending on a lot of things). The usable limit seems to be about 10,000 in any one folder, and if you want any kind of performance, 1,000 messages, per folder, is pretty much the limit. The indexing scheme is partly responsible for poor performance. It turned out, that the chosen XML engine is designed to be slow. There is another XML engine, that may be faster, if anybody knows how to implement it, but containers need to be replaced by something else too. Using a container for the actual display is good, but it needs to be changed to display a small portion of the message lists (sliding window), with the actual data stored in a different way.

There is also the PMMSEND program, that is a part of PMMail. It has not been kept in step with PMMail, but it still works, with a few work arounds implemented. I am not sure if anybody actually still uses that program, although I should do one monthly mail out using it. I just haven't got around to doing it.

One of the most demanded features, is Remote Control, where the user can list all available messages, and handle them individually, before downloading them. That feature (mostly) works, in spite of the fact that such a thing is not, at all, supported by mail servers. It takes a bit of practice, to learn the tricks, but those who use it, love it. It is mostly needed for high volume mail, on a dial-up network, but I am sure that others use it, just because...

Quote
Decent Email programs seem to be in short supply on all platforms, at least to hear people bitching and now a lot of people use web mail in a browser.

Web mail, seems to be a work around for the problem. It also makes it much easier for companies, like Google, to spy on what you are doing, and add advertising to your messages (IMAP is used for the same thing). If you read the fine print, you specifically allow them to do such things, when you use their service. Of course, e-mail is generally not a secure thing anyway, even when you use the so called "security features".

Of course, the "replacement" is in the facebook, twitter, etc. world, which is specifically designed to feed back information, and add advertising. I am not sure why anybody (especially certain politicians   ::) ) would even think about using those things.