[svlug] Is there a GOOD source for web-based email?

Tin Le tin at le.org
Thu May 11 14:21:03 PDT 2000


> > I was struck that none of the responses to your posting (so far)
> > have addressed the questions you actually posed.

> > Whether such an application actually exist, I do not know. 

> In the OpenSource arena there are two main products and several
> dozen hangers on in this space: IMP and Twig.  For my own WebMail
> needs I use Twig (I have a half dozen external users I suppy mail
> service to, I don't use it myself).  Adding most of what he talks
> about, such as [PG]GP support, to Twig would not be that difficult.
> The biggie is threading.  Its a well documented problem with
> significant prior art, but its also computationally expensive,
> especially given the interception of an arbitrary IMAP server in the
> middle.

Same here.  I have both Twig and IMP setup on my home machine and at
an ISP that I used to run.  They are for others to use, although there
are times when the only net access I have is through a browser (think
airport and web kiosk :-)), the ability to access my email via web
has come in handy.

As for solving the threading problem, it's actually not all that hard.
I am in the lets-not-reinvent-the-wheel mindset, so I simply reuse the tried
and true Usenet for threading.  Essentially, I gatewayed most of my mail
to INN running on my local server.  Then I can use any news reader I want
to read the messages.  The news hierarchy is le.tin.* which is local to my
system.  INN (v2.2 and later) has access control to the user level.  It
may get unwieldy to scale to thousands of users, but for a few hundreds,
I can give each person their own news hier.

IMP and Twig can also handle NNTP access, so you can actually read the
groups via the web.

> Figure $200/month for a colo box or $80/month for a DSL connected
> box with a static IP, throw in a *nix enthusiast, and the effort
> level is pretty damned low for a _reasonable_ service level.  The
> hardware is ignorable (say $150 for a low end pentium of i486
> system).

Which ISP give you $200/month for a colo?  Does that include everything?
what bandwidth?  What are the size limit of the box?  I have a ProLiant
1600 that my wife want to move out of our bedroom... seems she's bothered
by the fan noise... ;-)

Tin Le

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Internet Security and Firewall Consulting
Tin Le - tin at le.org

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