Posts for the month of May 2011

LogicMail 2.0 Released!

Its been several months since the beta release announcement, and I'm finally ready to declare LogicMail 2.0 as released! Throughout the beta, I was able to find and fix a lot of issues. Most of these issues are listed in the ChangeLog. Throughout the beta, I've considered the application to be in "string freeze". As a result, the overall look and feel hasn't changed.

For anyone seeing this version for the first time, here are some key new features in version 2.0:

  • Step-by-step setup wizard
  • All network communications now happens in the background, and mail data is now locally cached
  • Improved look and feel
  • Support for both local and remote Sent/Drafts folders
  • Ability to copy messages between folders, even across accounts
  • Improved message composition, with an Outbox that holds messages until successfully sent
  • Keyboard shortcuts mimicking the native messaging application, and touchscreen device support
  • Able to read E-Mails written in many different languages and character encodings.
  • Full support for IMAP IDLE (while connected; background polling not yet implemented)
  • Supports OS 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 5.0, and 6.0+
  • Translations available for: English, German, Spanish, Russian, Chinese
  • Any plenty more!

For installation:

For a walkthrough of downloading and installing with screenshots, visit the Setup Guide!

P.S. You do still need to know how to setup an E-Mail client to talk to your E-Mail service (via IMAP/POP/SMTP). This really isn't that difficult, and the settings are no different than what you'd use with any other desktop E-Mail client.

There are still a number of known issues with 2.0, which will be fixed with future patch updates. However, none of them were deemed important enough to block the release. The most noticeable of these issues is the need for better detection and handling of stalled network connections (#315, #285).

As mentioned in the beta release announcement, the most user-requested feature of all time (background server polling) had to be postponed to 2.1. It is currently under active development, however, and will be available for testing in the not too distant future.

  • Posted: 2011-05-30 11:43 (Updated: 2011-05-30 12:37)
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Gmail issues investigated

Every once in a while, I've seen users complain that LogicMail behaves strangely when trying to access Gmail. They usually say that it only loads the oldest messages, instead of the newest ones. While actual configuration details are rarely given, I did finally luck out on this discussion thread. The gist of it is that these users are configuring LogicMail to access Gmail via POP, and they are seeing the wrong messages at the top of their Inbox. Once reconfigured to use IMAP, this problem goes away.

That all being said, I did still want to investigate. Did I have some strange POP bug I was previously unaware of, or was something else going on? Gmail already has a pretty bad reputation in the IMAP world, as far as standards-compliance goes, possibly even likened to the reputation IE6 had on the web. However, I had not previously run into user-reported issues with Gmail and IMAP. Could there be issues with POP as well?

While I'm normally a  FastMail user myself, I do keep a Gmail account around for testing (and access to other Google services). So I decided to do a 3-way comparison.

First, let's see what the website shows for my Inbox:

Okay, looks like 154 messages, of which the first several are auto-generated Trac ticket modification notices.

Now let's see what Gmail gives us via IMAP:
(actual transcript edited for privacy and brevity)

$ openssl s_client -crlf -connect
* OK Gimap ready for requests from a.b.c.d q41if4775955yba.118
A01 LOGIN **** ****
A01 OK **** Derek Konigsberg authenticated (Success)
* FLAGS (\Answered \Flagged \Draft \Deleted \Seen)
* OK [PERMANENTFLAGS (\Answered \Flagged \Draft \Deleted \Seen \*)]
* 183 EXISTS
* OK [UIDNEXT 208]
A02 OK [READ-WRITE] INBOX selected. (Success)
A03 FETCH 180:183 (ENVELOPE)
    "Wed, 04 May 2011 21:05:04 -0000"
    "Re: [LogicMail for BlackBerry] #170: Implement BrowserField2 for OS 5.0"
    . . .)
    "Sun, 08 May 2011 19:58:06 -0000"
    "Re: [LogicMail for BlackBerry] #301: Support updating Draft messages in local folders"
    . . .)
    "Mon, 09 May 2011 00:05:04 -0000"
    "Re: [LogicMail for BlackBerry] #79: Implement server polling"
    . . .)
    "Tue, 17 May 2011 02:05:04 -0000"
    "Re: [LogicMail for BlackBerry] #325: Add support for the IMAP COMPRESS Extension (RFC4978)"
    . . .)
A03 OK Success

This time, the Inbox contains 183 messages! Of course the web interface may present its content differently, so it may not be the end of the world. But what's important to note is that the same messages are at the top of the mailbox.

Now let's see what Gmail gives us via POP:
(actual transcript also edited for privacy and brevity)

$ openssl s_client -crlf -connect
+OK Gpop ready for requests from a.b.c.d c30pf10276912ana.19
USER ****
+OK send PASS
PASS ****
+OK Welcome.
+OK 268 1789575
TOP 266 0
+OK message follows
Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2010 13:43:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Buzz from Derek Konigsberg
TOP 267 0
+OK message follows
Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2010 17:09:47 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Buzz from Derek Konigsberg
TOP 268 0
+OK message follows
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2010 04:30:54 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Buzz from Derek Konigsberg

Did you see that? POP now tells us there are a whopping 268 messages, and the first couple are a bunch of old Google Buzz notifications! No wonder users accessing Gmail via POP were seeing strange results.

So what have we learned from this? It is actually Gmail's fault that POP users are only seeing old messages. The obvious recommendation is to only use IMAP when accessing Gmail.

That being said, if your mail service of choice supports IMAP, then you really should never use POP. The reasons have absolutely nothing to do with the above issue, however. IMAP is a far more sophisticated and efficient protocol, and will work a lot better with clients like LogicMail that try to optimize their data usage and local storage needs.

  • Posted: 2011-05-18 20:33 (Updated: 2011-05-18 20:49)
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