I got my first email account back in 1996. Back then, Juno and AOL were the big boys on the block and Microsoft was just being a pest by offering free email at Hotmail. Since then, I’ve become an email-account junkie. I have an account at Yahoo, Gmail, UC, work, and two at Hotmail. Since I’ve gotten this domain, I’ve added my wyatt at hackerforhire dot org account. Now of course, this requires having some sort of access to the email, either a client like Outlook or use a web mail solution. I’d have to say the best way to go is web mail access. For us open source folk, there aren’t that many *good* options for web mail. I know, I’ve looked. When I installed the server, I went through all 2 that Gentoo had builds for and the other 20 on Freshmeat that looked like they had some sort of potential. They were all pretty much sub-par. So I stuck with Squirrel Mail. It wasn’t the best looking or the most user-friendly interface, but at least I could check my mail without it exploding and dying horribly. Then I found this new one that I’m liking a lot. It’s called RoundCube Mail. It was posted on slashdot about a week and a half ago and it reminded me that I still had it “installed.”
When I say installed, I mean I unpacked it, attempted to do a base configuration, futzed with it a bit, and didn’t read the documentation…like a true engineer. Of course, I had my issues with it. I couldn’t get it to connect to my IMAP daemon properly, the system couldn’t see itself as a server, and just other general BS. But seeing the article reminded me about my hacked install, and I figured I would give it a second shot. So I went back through the install, this time reading the…um…”documentation.” Still had the same problems that I did last time. So I got the crazy idea, why not try to use just plain IMAP instead of SSL IMAP, I mean, the worst is that someone on my server could look at the traffic I’m sending to myself over the loopback interface. So a tweak here and a tweak there, shazam! It works! And I have to say, this is how you should write a web mail client. The interface is relatively intuitive (could use some really tiny font), and the actual way the application flow is pretty slick too. I think I’m going to have to dig into it a little more to try and figure out why the SSL doesn’t work right. It will be a good opportunity to give back to the community, though not on the scope that Tim mentioned last week.