[Vmail-discuss] Webmail for vmail-sql

Marcin Sochacki wanted@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Wed, 29 Aug 2001 09:59:42 +0200

On Tue, Aug 28, 2001 at 01:48:20PM -0400, Alex Fore wrote:
> Thought you all might be interested in what I decided to do.
> I decided to keep both our unix poponly users and add virtual
> domains email hosting. This way I could start to provide virtual
> servicves without having to have anybody change pop3 logins or
> passwords. I compiled tpop3d with support for passwd & mysql
> logins and I wrote a little filter to seperate & deliver the
> mail for localusers@orgininalmailserverdomain.com. Everything
> else is handeled by mysql stuff, and therefore I can continue
> to use neomail for webmail access. everyone here is more happy
> when i maintain the status quo. Thanks for the vmail package
> & tpop3d -- I am sure they will be quite usefull.

As I suppose you use neomail for local users, but what about
`virtual' ones? One needs some patches for neomail (though it might
be quite easy to write) to support MySQL authentication and different
mailbox scheme.

The original question concerned virtual accounts; getting some webmail
for local users is a piece of cake.

And BTW, some thoughts I've had recently about webmail solution for

One can choose out of two possible ways to do it: (1) direct mailbox access
and authentication (usually requires SUID scripts) and (2) access mailboxes
via POP3 (i.e. tpop3d).

The first solution is employed by `neomail' and `openwebmail' packages.
Both are written in Perl and need some patching to customize them for
vmail-sql. They have some nice features, like addressbooks and subfolders,
and don't require any IMAP or POP3 daemon at all.
On the other hand, I'm not sure what the result would be under heavy load;
I think there might be some mailbox locking issues.

The second way is quite popular among webmail packages. Unfortunately almost
all of them claiming support for POP3, are extremely slow with large
mailboxes. Actually the problem lies not in the size itself, but the
number of messages. The webmail software connects to POP3 server and
retrieves the headers for each message. Every time the user clicks
on another message, or reloads the page there is a new POP3 connection
made. Most of them have no caching mechanism, and it slows down things
quite considerably. Some nice webmail-POP3 apps, which belong to this
category are: NOCC and Postaci.
The only one I've found which provides caching for POP3 sessions is:
PHPost (http://webgadgets.com/phpost/). It's written in PHP, and is
muuuuch faster thanks to caching. Unfotunately there is no subfolders
support here yet, but addressbook is almost done (as the author claims).

Currently my choice is PHPost (with some patching). Direct mailbox access
with Neomail and the like has too many problems for me:
- SUID and security,
- mailbox locking,
- need to rewrite some code when vmail-sql changes e.g. the authentication


P.S. Chris and The Team: how about hacking some IMAP
server to support Vmail-SQL authentication? Folders should be no problem
IMHO, one could use e.g. $MAILBOX_PATH.$FOLDER_NAME