[svlug] Outlook + SSL IMAP

Mark Symonds mark at symonds.net
Wed Mar 14 21:54:01 PST 2001

On Wed, Mar 14, 2001 at 08:06:05PM -0800, Dan Beimborn wrote:

> Here's a more detailed problem description.
> We have SSL IMAP (u wash, imap-2000rc8) set up,
> many users on win98+outlook or outlook express
> (version number seems not to matter).

This sounds very much like the same sinister "feature" 
that bit me awhile back.  It was on pop3s but I don't
think it has anything to do with the servers; the problem
appears to be in the way Outlook and friends establish
SSL connections (or lack thereof).  

Version numbers definitely made a difference.  Win95r1 
seemed to break things regardless (?) as did any version 
of Outlook prior to 98 and any version of Outlook Express 
prior to 5.  

> If you *don't* allow the automatic check on startup,
> and do it manually it seems to work. It seems to
> (my theory) hang when the user manually checks at 
> the same time the auto check is happening. if it
> messes up once, closing it and restarting fixes it
> (heh).

In my experience it is totally random.  You can leave 
a box alone auto-checking every minute, come back the 
next day and it will be hung.  Sometimes it happens after
only a couple of checks, sometimes after a couple hundred.  

> On the exact same connections/computers/cables running
> netscape's simap client is fine.

Same thing here. *Luckily* there were still plenty of people
here running alternative MUA's at the time without problems
so it was much easier to point out that yes, this is indeed
a Microsoft bug and not a flaky mailserver.

> Is there a fix/workaround that you know of? The article
> you linked looks to be basically the problem, but 
> OE5 doesn't help matters here.

Here is where the requirements ended up and everything
is running smoothly:

* Windows98

* OE5 along with newest versions of IE etc. etc. etc.


* Outlook2000 (or Outlook98 (usually))

...that's the only way I ever found to fix it.  Some users
complained as they were running older machines that could 
barely handle IE/Outhouse Express 4.  The only advice I 
could offer was "Get used to restarting OE all the time 
or switch MTA's ... it's a Microsoft problem."

> Another thing (I thought was related) is that users
> who leave an outlook at home with an auto-check seem
> to conflict with their work version. I wonder if the
> manual check + the automated one hit some locking 
> constraint that outlook deals with poorly (and netscape
> mail can handle)

Could be a locking issue but sounds suspiciously like
the same thing.

Sorry to rant a bit there, and HTH,


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