For immediate release

As has been announced to the edevites, and now to the world, you can now be free'd from the benevolent tyranny of the message inbox if you wish. Presenting the Private message to Email gateway.

What it is: It's a simple system, written in Perl, that presents private messages in a POP3 (rfc 1939-ish) interface. This allows any email client capable of communication via the POP3 protocol to retrieve and store your E2 private messages.

What it isn't: It's only a way to read messages, not reply or send them. It's not a replacement for the message inbox (you can't {un}archive messages, etc), but merely a way for those who have 3000+ messages to deal with them in an easier fashion.

It implements the current POP3 specification according to, erm, the specification, excepting the mostly unused APOP command. However, some clients may still balk or have issues with it. It has been tested successfully with Netscape 6 and kmail. It does not support IMAP or SSL, and is a basic "use at your own risk" deal. That having been said, I retrieve my messages with it several times a day and it "Works for me™".

You have two options available should you decide to use it. If you have an understanding of Perl (enough to configure the code), you can download the source from either the official site at "http://hanna.pyxidis.org/e2/" or the mirror at "http://noders.net/eBridge/", files begin with "eBridge".

Or if you're not up for all that hassle, you can configure your mail client to point toward "hanna.pyxidis.org", port 1100 (not the standard 110) and log in with your E2 username and password to use it just like any other POP3 server.

Many mail clients will not allow spaces in usernames. To get around this, use three underscores ("___") in place of each whitespace character. This is to not step on the feet of those who use underscores in their names. If your handle already has three concurrent underscores in it, you are way too 31337.

*** Important: if you wish your messages to stay alive on E2, it is important that you tell your client to not delete messages from server; this is because the majority of clients will delete messages as soon as they retreive them unless they are told otherwise. THE DELETE COMMAND IS LIVE. However, if you want them gone from your account and only exist in your email box, let your program do its thing and all will be fine.

There are bound to be bugs, concerns and issues. If you have any, I can me reached here by a /msg, or my email at "xunker@pyxidis.org".


- Bugs -
jobby has informed me that there is no IO::Socket IO::Scalar support under Activestate Perl, so getting this to run unmodified under Windows 9x, NT or 2000 will probably not be possible without a major minor rework. Sorry.

The server seems to think that it's 2003. This is a calibration problem with the flux capacitor (because we're using technology from the future here), but should remedied... eventually.

Patching up the flux capacitor is all that's needed here, Emmett...

--- pop3.pl     Thu Apr 18 19:36:16 2002
+++ pop3-2.pl   Sun Mar  9 17:17:26 2003
@@ -428,8 +428,8 @@
     $DD = substr ($raw, 6, 2);
     $YYYY = substr ($raw, 0, 4);
     $HH = substr ($raw, 8, 2);
-    $MM = substr ($raw, 10, 2);
-    $MM = substr ($raw, 20, 2);
+    $MN = substr ($raw, 10, 2);
+    $SS = substr ($raw, 12, 2);

     my $secs = &Date_SecsSince1970GMT($MM,$DD,$YYYY,$HH,$MN,$SS);
     my $stamp = strftime('%a, %d %b %Y %l:%M:%S', localtime($secs));

Several months ago, I spent about 10 minutes poring over the source to this little program in order to try and get to the bottom of why the dates were screwed up. The year and month seemed to be wrong... so I checked that they were extracted from the correct portion of $raw (which is a string of the form yyyymmddHHMMSS), and after confirming that they were, I probably gave up and went and had a cup of tea or something. Revisiting this today, the glaringly obvious error was... well, obvious.

Sometimes you see things, sometimes you don't.

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