Excellent reply and some valid points Kent or Adam!
>> new box. For now I remain a "remote" Linux user, working solely from the
> command line, and a newbie to boot. So, ummm, hello to the CLUG. :)
For a so called newbie you know quite a lot about the web side of it
>> > Basically, it's an email client and contact manager in one application.
> > Like Outlook I guess, but it offers the ability to list the history of
> playing devils advocate. Needless to say, if you're aware of all of the
> stuff below, you can just ignore it and me, and get on with your life. In my
> defence though, I'll say that I'm a good friend of Helen O'Driscoll's, so
> what else could expect only an opinionated, argumentative, stubbord old
> bo**ix? :)
Ah! Say hi to Helen for me then!
>> I'll get right down to brass tacks - I hate to knock anybodys project, but I
> think that there are several already out there that - while not exactly the
> same - run along the same lines as what you're working on, and I don't see
> the logic in duplicating the effort.
I do :P
I've tried both IMP and twig and don't like either.
I managed to install IMP here at home and played with it for a while but
some of the design behind it seems ridiculous - open a new window to
Twig just lacked user interface features altogether. Before you get the
wrong idea about me, you may have seen some of the mails flyinf around
last August or so when we were designing cork.linux.ie, I strenously
want something to be as functional and as easy to use as possible.
Twig was designed from the ground up to be very cross-browser
compatible. I'm aiming at version 3 or 4 browsers. That doesn't mean I
use stuff like dhtml or netscape layers because they're not stable
enough or browset compatible, but I'd like to use frames and
There's also OCS from a company in South Africa which looks great but is
lacking in certain small areas.
I wish there was a program that did all that I wanted. I'd use it in the
> which will even run on Lynx if necessary. For job tracking, there's also
> several projects, the names of which elude me now, but some of which are
> quite good. You'll find them all, of course, on
I did a job tracking system for my 4th year project, the homepage still
gets hits and someone wanted to take it over last July but I heard
nothing else from him..
Check it out at http://members.xoom.com/xeer/ts/ (I think) although the
Xoom frames screwed up the demo I put on there. Download the tar.gz and
point your browser at the demo directory to see what it does.
>> I don't mean to insult your intelligence or originality, but IMHO I think it
> would be better to either start with the source of one of those projects,
> and build on it; or join up with the development teams of one of them,
> rather than starting from scratch and doing all the work that has been done
> already. WIth the amount of groupware projects out there already, some of
> them - like Jetspeed by the Apache group - getting huge attention in the
> media, I think that building one from scratch with limited functionality is
> almost inevitably going to get tabled, and probably sooner rather than
It always was my intention to use code from the other projects. I have
twig unarchived in my home dir and I've looked through it to see how
they organise their code and looked at how they open connections to IMAP
>> And both of these suggestions would negate Bobby's original suggestion -
> "that various people from the group could use their various skills towards
> creating something new and fresh exclusively from us". An idea I like, and,
> I must admit, an idea I could *use*, but I think the keywords there are
> "new", "fresh" and "exclusive". Without trying to be insulting (I'm very
> polite anyway, you have to give me that), your project is none of those
Several people here will back up the asertion that open source doesn't
generally create new and exciting projects. Open Source is brilliant at
doing a great job of creating a decent version of an existing
product/idea. As a certain other person put it, you'll get innovation in
a small directed group working closely together, the masses will bring
it to fruition and make it good and usable. (paraphrased!)
>> But anyway, I have no doubt that you have zoned yourself into this project,
> so I'll try and run through what you have here and hopefully I'll be able to
> point you to some stuff that will save you some work. It would be a help
> though if you could answer some basic questions though, like: What language
> are you working with? I get the impression that it's PHP, but what version?
> What webserver are you using? What database? What platform are you
> developing on/for?
At the moment I'm using Apache/MySQL/PHP3 with phplib 7.2
Developing on Linux, for? any Unix I guess, and clients of course can be
any operating system with a modern browser.
>> > present a nice configurable interface. Everything should be
> > configurable. font size/face/colour, frame sizes.
> IMP has all of that, although some of it is tucked away in the source. That
> said, pulling them out of the source and into configurable variables is just
> a matter of tedium rather than real work.
> > new sub-windows, simple text checking, event driven actions)
> Again, IMP has all of this functionality, so you could "rape" the app for
>> > Use database or ldap to hold the user database. phplib has nicely
> > abstracted this and I might be able to do something similar.
> Not familiar with LDAP, and the only SQL database I work with is MySQL,
> although I have PostgreSQL installed if necessary. I must also confess I'm
> not a fan of phplib, or classes in general - I'm a straight functions man
> meself. Then again, I don't even indent my code, because I prefer it that
> way. Shame, shame. :)
MySQL is my prefered db too, but I'd like to try my hand at postgres but
it's probably not needed because phplib abstracts things to a high
I'll use classes alright, but I prefer to use the classes provided by
phplib and build code on top of them. Seperate groups of functions have
seperate files which can be included. Unfortunetly, I found that to use
the sessions from phplib I couldn't create abstract mail or imap classes
so I put all my mail functions into a seperate file which I include in
any file which needs the function.
A lot of my code is straight line, but with a small bit of thought put
into it, as well as indenting!
>> > Receive messages (*)
> > Store messages in databases and create user accounts automatically (*)
> Ok, you mentioned in a previous email that you're currently using POP
> accounts, and I'm wondering if IMAP might be more suitable, particularly for
> organisational reasons. That said, I think that the best method by far for a
> web-based app using email is to pipe messages directly into a database. The
> reason I say that is because it's ultimately easier to manage virtmaps on a
> server than it is to set up accounts, plus you get the added benefit of
> losing the clutter of all those accounts. But that requires some Sendmail
> (or is it Fetchmail?) hacking. And of course that only applies if you're
> going solely with web-based email, but if you want "proper" email
> integration - like Hypernews - you're still gonna need that hacker.
I ported my code from a pop3 class I found somewhere to the native IMAP
support in PHP3.
I'm using the filesystem as my storage. Various other projects have used
the filesystem for storing large data objects. All messages are indexed
though. Here's my messages table at the moment:
Database nim - table messages
| Field | Type | Null | Key | Default | Extra |
| ContactNum | bigint(20) unsigned | | | 0 | |
| Email | varchar(255) | | MUL | | |
| Subject | varchar(255) | | | | |
| Recipient | varchar(255) | | | | |
| MessageFile | varchar(255) | | | | |
| status | varchar(255) | | | | |
postmaster at ccserv.ucc.ie
Delivery Notification: Delivery has been delayed
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The message is stored in /www/hosts/nim/var/msgs/ in a sub-dir with the
same name as the local user the email was for, in this case, me! It uses
an md5sum and microtime() to create a random filename too.. Can't
remember if I check in case the name is there, but that's easy to do.
>> > Browse stored messages and create folders. Related: Filters.
> Again, IMAP. Not so sure about filters, because I tend to do that at the
> server end. I'll have a look in Twig this evening though and see if they're
I'd like to meet up with you to talk about the IMAP side of it. To be
honest I've only ever really used pop3 because imap gets very unwieldy
with lots of folders..
>> > Reply and compose mail. when composing mail the user database has to be
> > available to the user. Hotmail has a nice way of doing this - click on
> > "To" and a new smaller window opens with your address book in there.
> > Click on a name and the name gets inserted into the main page in the
> > right place.
> I can't remember how this done in IMP, but in Twig it works slightly
> differently - you go to the Contacts section and click on a user to open an
> and so it remains a cross-browser product.
But I remember this is one thing I didn't like. If you have an email
open already and want to add someone else to the "To:" you click on
contacts and you lose the email! I may be wrong but that's the way it
seemed to me.
>> > I'll have some source and install script to show you in about a week..
> Okey-dokey. I'll reiterate though, I still think you're a loony working on
I've heard worse :)
> this while there's several other projects like this out there. That said,
> I'll try and help you any way I can, including making any required server
> resources available to the project, if necessary. BUT, I think that it might
> be an idea to send a message out to the lists, looking for a project along
> the lines of what Bobby suggested, because I agree with him that an
> innovative, *new* project would draw attention towards the ILUG and CLUG,
> which surely is/should be the primary aim of the group. As a newbie to the
> group, I may be wrong, but it's up to you to correct me... :)
I think the Irish Linux Community has garned quite a bit of attention
lately, but it's always the same people doing most of the work. I doubt
we have the motivated pool of talent available to throw at a large
project. If nobody is interested in this I'm still going to carry on
with it. I need this functionality at work yesterday..
With Caolans' Word translation program and libaray, my own Install
Sendmail script as well as other projects, I think it's safe to say that
we Irish have proved we are innovative and sometimes have good ideas.
If anyone wants to put a KDE or Gnome interface on Install Sendmail get
in touch. There's certainly a niche there for someone.
>> Of course, all that is the ravings of a Linux/CLUG newbie, and I don't want
> to come in here kicking up dust about it. Feel free to tell me to ram my
> opinions where the sun don't shine if you wish. I'll need a bit of help
> fitting them up there though, because it's jam-packed with my opinions from
> the IEDR mailing list. :)
Hardly ravings, or badly formed opinions. You've obviously got some
experience in this area, and I for one am happy you're around and could
be bothered to reply :)
Long email but lots of points. Glad you posted!
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