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From "Rajith Attapattu" <>
Subject RE: Who wants to write POP and IMAP transports?
Date Sun, 04 Dec 2005 00:57:51 GMT
Thanks Bruce for the update and so we are back at square one. I will try
to look at the POP3 side as much as I can and I may need some help.

I will start today on reading the specs.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Snyder [] 
Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2005 7:11 PM
Subject: Re: Who wants to write POP and IMAP transports?

On 12/3/05, Rajith Attapattu <> wrote:

> Do we really need to write it ourselves??
> The following link includes a few open source implementations of email
> clients. If we can reuse them, then the effort can be used in some
> area.

Below is a quick licensing breakdown of the projects listed on that

Columba ( == Mozilla Public License
Polarbar ( == public domain (?)
ICEMail ( == GPL
Pooka ( == GPL
Grendel ( == Mozilla Public
Snowmail ( == public
domain (?)

So this narrows the field to four:

- Columba: Doesn't make use of JavaMail (big problem!) so everything
is very proprietary
- Polarbar: No source code
- Grendel: Grendel has been dormant for a long time and was just
recently restarted;
- SnowMail: Doesn't make use of JavaMail (big problem!) so everything
is very proprietary; it doesn't speak IMAP at all

Out of all of this, everything is a non-option except for Grendel. So
then I took a deeper look at Grendel and here's what I found:

Grendel does make use of JavaMail which is the whole point of this
research. There is a storage package and it has a message model based
on the JavaMail Message object, but this is where the good news ends.
The whole project is very UI application focused (e.g., prefs, mime,
filters, search, addressbook, UI, widgets). There are no broken out
transports so any IMAP that it might speak (and I don't think it
supports much, if anything in the IMAP protocol) the POP3 and IMAP
code is very much spaghetti'd together. What's more is that some of
the classes import classes from the com.sun.mail.* package (bad,
bad!). In addition, Grendel's manner of constructing a MimeMessage
seems to be very tightly tied to it's UI implementation - no
separation of concerns (big problem!).

My conclusion was that Grendel is not usable either. This narrows the
field to zero. There are some very good GPL implementations of
everything we need, but alas, the GPL/AL incompatibility kicks in
which leaves us to build our own implementation.

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