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Microsoft looking at mail client for UNIX 134

Eater writes "Here's an article from Federal Computer Week. Seems they're afraid of losing Army dollars. " The Army is using Lotus Notes, because of "security concerns" with Exchange. Looks like military intelligence may not be such a misnomer.
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Microsoft looking at mail client for UNIX

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    For eight years I have been a Notes Administrator for an very large international financial institution. We have NEVER lost an email message. We use internal, SMTP, generated messaging - everything. You either don't know what you are talking about, don't know how to spell, or don't know how to read manuals.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    JWZ has quite a rant about mbox format on his
    site. Go read it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They can't possibly believe a critical mass of Linux users are stupid enough to use irreplacable closed-source components as vital infrastructure. Games and SQL databases, sure, but....
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I work in the army and in my unit we use MS Outlook and Exchange Server exclusively. It is used on intranet and internet connected machines. Lotus might be in use, but not everywhere.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If NT can bring a navy cruiser to its knees, why not turn it loose on the army?

    Where is the dividing line between mere incompetence and actual treason?

    If the commies were still a threat, I'd say that M$ exchange was a commie plot.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ummm... urr... Microsoft DID ship Internet Explorer 4 AND 5 for Solaris and HP yucks. Those would, IMHO, qualify as "non-MS operating systems"...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I work in the IT department of a miltary installation, and we are in the process of converting our email system from VAX-based mail (with PC software clients) to Microsoft Exchange. (Going from one mistake to another.) One of the reasons Exchange was chosen over Lotus Notes, in our situation, was that Microsoft Exchange is compliant with the Defense Message System (DMS) guidelines. ("DMS provides a fully integrated, supportable, secure, and accountable messaging system for individual and organizational users within the DOD." -- This includes IMAP compliance and LDAP.) Of course, roughly half of our users -- who tend to be engineers and scientists -- were already receiving their mail through various Linux servers and they were not happy to hear they were being "upgraded" to an NT-based email server and client. Due to the funky schedule imposed on us from on high (think PHBs with stars on their shoulders), the migration is not considered complete until 100% of the users are using the Outlook 98 client. Those of our customers without PCs are in the lurch; we acquired several dozen hand-me-down Pentium 100 systems for the express purpose of being able to say they have Outlook. So, despite the occasional glimmer of intelligence suggested in the article, I don't recommend rescinding the oxymoronic status of "military intelligence".
  • It's interesting to see how they test Stronghold on Linux against IIS and Netscape servers, when Netscape Fasttrack servers are available on Linux.

    Also, not that they have obviously never heard about FastCGI [], which in many respects are way superior to NSAPI and ISAPI.

    Test's I've done have shown that for some types of dynamic applications we've seen between 2 and 5 times the performance of ordinary CGI's with FastCGI's... That would have placed Linux on par with Solaris and IIS on most of those tests.

    Also, I'm curious about the TCP/IP issues they whine about that made them choose 2.0.35 over 2.2...

    At best they screwed up again. At worst it's intentional FUD.

  • Who else would wear a purple satin shirt with puffy sleeves?

    Seriously though, geeks of his caliber don't like anything.
  • > Why do you need it all integrated?

    How about this? The end users only have to deal with one program. Its more of a psychological advantage, I admit, but people whine enough about having to learn one program.
  • "Army Intelligence" is NOT a misnomer ... - it's an oxymoron, just like MS "technical support".
  • There probably won't be any boxes at MS running Linux/unix _for this project_ because "Microsoft is working with a third company..." This probably means that they are paying someone to write the software (like they licensed Spyglass Mosaic when they needed to "develop" a browser).
  • Heh, JWZ entertains me. Once you realize that all operating systems suck, it'll start to make sense.

    Also, I've never made that much money working on a software project, or known that much about X, or really *used* IRIX (although the big machines are really impressive) so I'm really not in a position to judge.

    However, JWZ gets much respect for what he has managed to write under X, even though it sucks. (everyone knows about xdaliclock, and some people even use xscreensaver, especially with the new matrix mode, written by... guess who?)
  • The article explicitly says they'll be porting the *client*. The Exchange server still has to run on NT, doesn't it? (I have to know, we're running it here - not my choice, BTW). If they were dismissing Exchange because of NT's security problems, then Microsoft would be porting both the client and the server to Unix, which I believe they won't be doing for a long time ("long time" approaching infinity, in this case).
  • OK, so basically they're porting the Exchange client to Unix (like they did with IE). Doesn't look like it will be much different than the Win32 version, I guess. Also, it's scary that the Army would reconsider using MS products, after proving they don't meet their needs.
  • *Half* the functionality of emacs?

    When Micros~1 delivers ANY product with half the functionality of emacs, i'll use it! Imagine, a nearly complete set of filesystem functionality built with ftp (like ange-ftp), fully programmable language-specific editing capabilities, shell access from within editors... the mind boggles.
  • Can i easily drop in my choice of editors in Outlook? I can in pine. Or mutt. Or elm. Can i change pager behavior? I'd like to be able to use spacebar to page, rather than having to move from touch-typing to pagedown. For that matter, i'd like to not have to use a mouse at all, and easily access all commands, menus, and headers with a few keystrokes. I'd like to be able to filter which headers i do and do not see. I'd like to set my Reply-to: address. I'd like to easily access multiple POP mailboxes, and have replies appear to come from the address in the To: header. Mutt and fetchmail do that one just fine.

    Can Outlook do ANY of these things? NO!! So don't give me crap about how "powerful" Outlook is.
  • I don't have time to correct all the mistakes you've made here. Get a copy of "Computer Security Basics," by Deborah Russel and G. T. Gangemi Sr., from O'Reilly & Associates and read it, then come back and we'll talk.

    Doug Loss
  • Whats the suprise here, MS will always go where the money is. This is a point I discussed with a friend a couple of years ago. The USA DOD has lots of cash for software, so MS will eventually write software for the platform that is preferred. If this is a Sun product then that is what they will target, if it is Linux then expect Word for Linux.
    I would expect MS to go the linux route then they can target Sun, Corel, IBM/Lotus and StarDivision all in one go !
  • Well, the "military" is not one entity. Even within each major branch of the armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, etc.), there are further subdivisions, and little fiefdoms that exist.

    For example, the company I work for is currently a contractor for the US Navy, and we're using Lotus Notes internally (at the Navy). It seems like all of the Navy uses Notes, BTW. The Marines use some Vines-like thing, and maybe Notes as well (the Marines are *technically* related to or part of the Navy).

    Just wanted to point out that just because the Army is developing or forcing Unix-based systems, doesn't mean the Navy (who had the smart ship program) is doing the same thing. In fact, our NT based Domino servers have been flaky all week, further increasing everyone's ire with MSFT here


  • One of my noisiest bitches with Netscape Messenger is that it saves attachments with the message. So, if I want to keep the message text in my Inbox without this 10MB attachment some dumb-ass sent me, I have to manually edit the nsmail folder and remove the attachment part.

    (Granted, it's nice I'm _able_ to just edit the mbox, but I'd rather an option to save certain mime-types into an attachments directory.)

    Another bitch is not having direct access to the "From" header when writing a new message. I loved Eudora's "personalities", but I'd settle for just being able to edit that damn header. (I assume Netscape doesn't allow this because it'd make it easier for lamers to send weak fraud e-mail.)

    If I didn't have a job keeping me busy, I'd try to write a Eudora-ish client myself. I'm astonished nobody else has-- maybe all the new-breed hacker kiddies are used to sub-par Unix clients, or feel the need to irrationally stick to a command line.

    I use Mutt to check mail when ssh'ing from my cablemodem, but when I'm in X, I want to use a graphical mailreader. Right now it's Netscape, but I'm aching for something better.

  • I admit, it isn't very nice to set up at all. But once you figure out how to use it, it's the best mail client ever. Spam filtering? Much more intuitive than any other mail client. Inbox sorting? You can use basically any elisp expression possible to use to sort your mail. The flexibility is unbelievable.

    Gnus has my vote for most functional mail client. As for ease of use, well... not. =)
    Kyle R. Rose, MIT LCS
  • Too late. Microsoft made a Netshow player that runs on Linux back in 1997.

    - Sam

  • That article was much poorer than the other ZDnet article, which is why I have written a web page critizing it []. In summary: The comparison did not properly represent how well Linux can handle the load of an enterpirse-class web server.

    - Sam

  • They've already done Outlook Express for Solaris, but based on my experience, DoD is looking for something larger, such as full Outlook.
    Christopher A. Bohn
  • by edgy ( 5399 )
    I thought it was because the post was completely off-topic. Or maybe because it's an obvious troll. Oh, maybe it was because it was repeated in several articles already.

    But I guess I must have been wrong.

    Rob is evil. Let's kill Rob.

  • Lotus Notes might be nice for administration, but as a mail system it sucks massively. The UI is atrocious - quite possibly the worst I've ever seen. The speed is a joke, and yes, I know it's a database underneath because it exposes this fact (which the users shouldn't need to know about) every chance it gets. You're right, mail doesn't go missing, in fact it arrives multiple times, days apart.

    How anyone has the bare-faced cheek to sell this as a mail system is beyond me, it's so awkward to use that since being forced to use it we're seeing mail volumes drop considerably as people find it easier and quicker to hand write messages and stick them in the internal post or use services like HotMail for sending internal mail !

    This reminds me of the articles of why "NT is good for the enterprise developer" 'cos it saves a few cycles here and there, but misses the point that as a developer it's so hard to find out what's going on beneath the veneer that those precious few cycles fade into insignificance for those who don't work for MS, IBM, Sybase or similar (hence a thriving industry in "internals", "secrets", "undocumented areas" etc.).

    I don't want a "powerful database merging programmable blah blah blah", I just want to send mail to people (please). Anyone got an Emacs RMAIL to Lotus Notes binding lying around ?
  • True, I have never seen it, but that is what I heard from the system administrators over here. Perhaps I am speaking of another release. (then again perhaps the system administrators are just plain stupid). I'm sorry if I stepped on any toes.
  • GNUS + BBDB and some custom macros and you
    have an information port (reading mail, news,
    man pages, info docs, and arbitrary other
    stuff) that is keyboard operable, has grouplens
    filtering power and mail expiry features that
    outlook won't have in 10 years' time. Most
    people just haven't been exposed to what CAN
    be done. As a matter of fact, I even have toys
    like X-faces, my own encryption, a uk-to-german
    filter and address-book synchronisation with
    my psion siena in it. Thanks to Masanobu UMEDA
    and Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen for giving me an
    incredibly powerful tool!
  • Microsoft is apparently porting applications such as IE and Outlook to Unix, so they can add proprietary extensions to various internet protocols (or implement completely new variants) with a good chance of gaining market share by being the only vendor supporting and providing these protocols. It's the old game, but because of the momentum Linux has gained, playing it in the Wintel world isn't sufficient anymore.


  • Eudora and Visio are the only reasons to use a micros~1 product.

    If you like Visio, you should try playing around with dia []. It's not nearly as powerful, but it can do some neat things with network diagrams, and object/class diagrams. I think it's really coming along nicely.

  • somebody told them to get that buggy, crackerjack marketing FUDcrap outta here. We need some serious software for some serious life/death business.

    Only a fool goes into the email server w/o a strategy.

  • And they suck badly. I believe the IE for Solaris is even still beta. At least the one I downloaded and tried recently was.
  • I wish I could set vim as my editor in Outlook and get rid of all of that extra formating. I hate seeing these large fonts in rainbow colors and other MS-Word formated e-mails. A coworker even tried to send me an e-mail with coloumns aligned to easy reading. It turns out Outlook reformats the e-mails as they are sent. It deletes certain numbers of spaces or something.

    If Outlook would let me edit with my own editor and allow me to read messages in non-proportional font (without having to select it for each message) without having to use the mouse, I would be mildly happy.
    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
  • eBay users are restless due to numerous system performance embarassments. Unfortunately, I can't get the link because Wired News's search engine is down :-(, but I seem to remember reading it there.


  • Didn't the military make a major commitment to NT only a year or so ago? I see this as a major turnaround, an admission that switching to NT just isn't working. (Perhaps that "smart ship" debacle turned the tide. I know it would make me think twice).

    I think it's striking that an unspecified company is doing the port by an unspecified time. I'm not holding my breath for this software; when MS is really serious about something they give a (wildly optimistic) deadline.

    Finally, does anyone use and like Internet Explorer for Solaris or any other Unix? The few people I've heard from who've tried it promptly switched back to Netscape, calling it a major dog. I would assume there's at least some common code between IE and Outlook, so whoever did IE is bound to get the Outlook project, and the result is bound to have the same problems.


  • True - I said "user level functionality", which means mouse-wielding WIMP users (Windows/CDE/Linux DE). For the record, I currently use telnet+Pine, Outlook, Netscape, and Lotus Notes on both Windows and Unix platforms. Different tools for different circumstances.

    Unix mail certainly has more "functionality" - it's just not as accessible on the user level. But apparently "user" is a four letter word around here so give 'em ssh and mutt.

  • 1. Roaming support is provided via Windows roaming user profiles. A bit sucky, esp on Win9x. Intellimirror improves this on paper.

    2. I've been able to set up mutiple mail sources in Outlook, but never never tried multiple IMAP servers. The UI makes it look possible, though.

    3. LDAP is supported.

    4. If you are using LDAP, there's no reason you can't use PINE or something in addition to Outlook.

    5. Windows and a substandard Mac client only. I would guess that a Unix port would have poor "public folder" support just as the Mac client does.

    6. Internet client-side mail filters work fine in Outlook 98 without an Exchange server.
  • I meant

    4. If you are using IMAP, there's no reason you can't use PINE or something in addition to Outlook.
  • The "North American" version of Notes/Domino does not have this supposed back door.

    Note that the "back door" is so Lotus can export a 64 bit encryption version, only that the US government knows 24 of the bits, effectively making it 40-bit when the USG is trying crack you.

    Lotus has documented this. Go to and search for technote 162546.
  • by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Tuesday May 11, 1999 @06:19AM (#1897274) Journal
    There is about 50 posts here guffawing at Microsoft's crappy software and poor unix ports. Har Har.

    But is there even one Unix mail program (commercial or otherwise) that comes even close to the user-level functionality of MS Outlook? And before anyone nominates KMail or Netscape Messenger, try using both side-by-side!

    (Admittedly Outlook is a 30 MB install, but where I come from, mail is the #1 application by far. Of course, the PST format can go hairy, but again, so can Netscape's mail database.)

  • mbox gripes: writing a program to access a mbox file securely is, let's say, non-trivial, especially when combined with NFS. It can be done, though, look in the procmail sources. The fun really starts when sendmail is using a different locking mechanism than your mail client....

    I've found ">From" in books. What's the cause: the mbox format.

    Then again: mbox is ancient, I don't think the author of binmail can be blamed for this.

    The amount of cruft we've collected over the years sometimes scares me.
  • I hate to say it, but Outlook is terrible! I can rant all day on it, but I already did that. Check out: houghts/outpuke.html [].

    In short - it's a memory hog, it causes my Win95 machine at work to crash more often, and it is nasty and non-inititive to configure.

  • Well, maybe you are particularly partial to Outlook. I don't particularly like it, precisely because it has so much stuff in it, and because I had a number of other technical problems with it.

    Contrary to Microsoft's claims, one size doesn't fit all, more isn't always better, and there is no single "#1 application" for everybody.

  • I've read JWZ's rantings. While they do highlight some problems, what's valuable to me with formats like mbox is the openness and simplicity--it's simply a bunch of textual lines with a format you understand as soon as you see it.

    I'm not sure what JWZ wants. He doesn't like X11 (yes, X11 has faults, but it's far better than any other windowing system and it's also freed), complains about Unix, feels that Mozilla failed (when it hasn't--M5 is pretty good, although I'm still waiting for something release-quality), and goes on and on about the glories of IRIX (which is an embodiment of everything I would not want in an operating system).

  • I'm sorry, but *how* can Netscape's mail database ``go hairy''? At worst, you can just rm -f ~/nsmail/.*.summary (or delete the SNM files if you're a Windows user).

    One of the nice things about mbox format is that it's incorruptible.


  • If I am reading the article right, the Army's concern is not specificly Exchange, but NT. They think that the underlying OS is insecure and that compromises security for everything running on it. Therefore they are switching to Solaris, since it is more secure. Since Exchange currently runs only on MS platforms, MS is left out in the cold.

    If Exchange was ported to unix platforms it could stand or fall on its own merits rather than having to deal with its own shortcomings plus those of one particular OS. The advantage for MS (after their ego heals) is obvious.
  • The Navy has MS all over its PC's both on shore commands and onboard ships. Fortunately, the fire control systems use a completely seperate method of operation (won't discuss, don't ask). And our backup computer systems (COTS based) runs HP-Unix.
    Thank God the supply people have their stuff straight. Logistics is handled through a *nix. But if we don't get MS off those f***ing PC's, some bright individual is going to learn how to connect it to the combat systems and then we should all worry about all hell breaking loose.
    Fortunately, it takes a live person to press a button. I don't trust a computer to say whether or not we're going to start WW3.
    Digital Wokan, Tribal mage of the electronics age
  • Mail Clients were designed to read mail.There's not a heck of a lot of "functionality" needed. Sure its nice to have a group calendar, but you can easily use one of several solutions for that (some of which are web based, so everyone, no matter what their OS can acess it easily). A calander is not part of a mail client.

    Address Books are fine, but I get that in pretty much every mail client I use... many of which can use LDAP, so that multiple clients can work well together.

    A mail client should first and foremost do its job... and do it well. After it gets that right, then perhaps it might look at some extra functionality. Otherwise, the functionality is a waste, designed only to overwhelm the user into beliving that they have something good.

    Its amazing what can be done when people use things for what their intended to do, not fifty extra things that they were never intended to do.

  • Thanks for posting that link, it was pretty amusing. Seeing how so many people were clamoring for tests using dynamic, rather than just static, web pages, this study should make them happy. -[[ Takes another look at the graph of Linux's dynamic performance compared to NT's and shudders ]]- Ummm, then again, maybe not. :)

    In case anyone got discombobulated with your tagging error, they can go to,6755, 2256617,00.html?chkpt=hpqs00019 []
    to see the study.


  • 4.x was ugly, but R5 has done a 180 in terms of UI functionality. I'd think you linux guys would embrace notes. 1: They are developing a domino server for it, and 2: It one of the only products out there for which MS cannot compete. And dont say exchange. Exchange is NOT groupware.

    For any doubts about the power of Notes, go talk to Chrysler.
  • They'd still probably choose notes. Notes can do a lot more than exchange can do. You need to bolt together 5 different MS apps to be able to do what notes does. Notes powerful email system is such a small portion of what notes can do.
  • Micros~1 ROTFL!!!
  • Sticking with the origional subject...You've just described notes. With all the basic email functions comes a scheduler, serial route memos, document management, cutomized applications, a web server, news server, and w/ r5 you can have a real time messaging system, and is completely standards based.

    I speak highly of notes because it allowed me to set up an ecommerce (ssl) web server and start my own business online. I completely wrote the whole system (including the shopping cart) with absolutely no CGI, HTML, Perl, etc knowledge other than a
    tag here and there. All with less than 1yr of notes tinkering experience.

  • Not to mention Word 6 for the Mac....
  • At my company, we'd really like to replace exchange and outlook with something unix and standards based. However, after searching for a couple of months, no good replacements are apparent. Remember, outlook doesn't just do mail, but scheduling and contact managements (glorified address book). We need ONE client program that handles scheduling, e-mail, and addresses. It needs to be as easy or easier than Outlook. It needs to be usable offline (not connect to any network in any way). It also needs to be inexpensive, since Outlook is distributed by M$ on the virus model as far as I can tell.

    I don't like Outlook and I *really* detest Exchange and NT. As soon as I find an adequate replacement, I have my boss' full support in removing the last vestiges of M$ from the server room. Can anybody help me?

    Btw...I'd be more than happy to smack with a dead fish the first person who suggests anything involving emacs. 8]
  • I have yet to see an argument for NT that can't be answered with the domain name

    It's owned by Microsoft, but according to Netcraft: is running Apache/1.2.1 on FreeBSD

    Hmm, I thought they were running Solaris, but this is even better! They've tried to switch to NT more than once, and it just couldn't keep up. What more do you need?

  • Even your average NT fan couldn't be this dumb right?

    Trolls. Sigh.

  • Please don't feed the troll. Move along, move along.

    Either that, or this dweeb has never administered both. (I have/do, and fscking hate it).
  • At my company, we'd really like to replace exchange and outlook with something unix and standards based. However, after searching for a couple of months, no good replacements are apparent.
    Remember, outlook doesn't just do mail, but scheduling and contact managements (glorified address book).

    Ummm... Why do you need it all integrated? I think the whole point of Unix way is that you can use different tools, and make them work together -- the 'one thing does all' is a very Windowish way (Emacs is different, it provides a framework for those 'separate things' to work together, it does not try to do everything by itself -- it's more of an OS than an editor)


  • I'm in the same position. I loathe Exchange, but don't have any simple alternatives to replace the Outlook/Exchange combination. If it were just a question of e-mail and the directory, I could drop in the Cyrus IMAP server and give users a choice of clients.

    The problem is that there's a really strong case (and solid user support) for integrating calendaring and messaging. Unfortunately, Internet calendaring standards are not as mature as IMAP4 and LDAP. We haven't found a combination of open standards that will let us match that functionality.

    Also, Exchange public folders are pretty handy. The back end isn't very robust, but in practice they work pretty well.

    Some of our technical people are quite happy using Pine and plan. I would never force that solution on our sales force.
  • M$ has been a developer on the Mac platform for years.

  • Their existing software is crapworthy and insecure, so they'll write some new cw&i software for Unix. Where's the improvement?

    Or maybe they'll buy something that a real software producer has already made, and sell it under the MS brand. But then they'll want to be "better" than the competition rather than merely functional and reliable, so they'll start adding in support for macro viruses and all that, and they'll be right back where they are today.

  • The reason these tests don't get any respect here is that too many ./ participants have firsthand real-world experience with running Linux and NT side by side, or with replacing one with the other, and they know exactly what happens when they do so.

    Quote whatever authorities you want; people are still going to believe what they see with their own eyes.

  • MS porting a package to a non-MS operating system? Not in my lifetime. This is obviously just a vaporware announcement to get the Armies attention.

    Why? Because MS's operating systems are its bread and butter, its cash cow. Witness IE and the whole anti-trust deal. They needed IE to succeed (for strategic, not monetary reasons), so they bundled it. Anything that weakens the operating system business won't fly.

    I expect this to go as far as IE for Solaris (which they mislabeled "IE for Unix", as in we support (all) Unices). Just lip service to satisfy people who argue "we need (portability|security)".

    My advise to the US Army: take a cue from the Navy (can you say "dead in the water"?), and don't touch MS software with a laser guided smart bomb.
  • Outlook may have a lot of whiz-bang Intelli-*(tm) slickness, but what it really comes down to is that it is pretty lacking in when you are working in an open-standards environment.

    Here are some of my biggest beefs. Does Outlook have:

    1. Roaming access like Netscape Messenger? As a contractor who spends a significant amount of time on client site, I'd constantly be setting up new mail profiles. With roaming access, all my settings follow me around (with my bookmarks and browser settings too). Plus my Netscape settings are consistant whether I boot into Linux or Windows. (I think Win2000 Intelli-mirror does something similar.)

    2. Decent handling of multiple IMAP servers? Makes life much easier when you recieve mail from multiple sources.

    3. LDAP address books? Many companies have their e-mail directories available through LDAP. Can Outlook use them?

    4. Command line functionality? Sometimes, telnet is your only friend...

    5. Available on Unix and Windows platforms? Sounds like Microsoft is getting better here.

    6. Mail filters? Ok, I actually use procmail for this, but still. The last version of Outlook I used had the annoying and inexplicable limitation of not allowing (client side) mail filters unless the mail server was MS Exchange.

    Until I find a mail client with all of these, I'll stick to Netscape and Pine.
  • Actually you can use WinWord as your editor inside of Outlook. The functionality has been then since Windows Messaging came out in Win95. There is nothing stopping Corel from doing the same, but one Windows text editor is almost the same as the next.

    Of course using Winword like that increases your GPF rate, and your chances of corrupting your .pst file...

  • True Notes is a technically impressive piece of work. It is a shame it is crippled with a UI that I wouldn't wish on a first poster.
  • I'd suggest you just have a bad Notes sysadmin then. In all my experience of notes I've practically never seen a mail go missing & all mail arrives at it's destination mailbox instantly. If mail is taking any time to get to the recipent then I'd guess you have some sort of mail routing issues. Not the fault of Notes, more the fault of the people who set it up or who maintain it.
  • In practice it's not working out too well though. To cover the extra functionality the notes client offers over a browser they are using java for everything which is slow as shit. A great pity since as a mainly Solaris based organisation we are now having to look for an alternative to Notes.
  • While I don't want to kick a dead horse here, but I found this little piece [] on wired today about lotus notes

    he report charges that popular software programs such as Lotus Notes and Web browsers include a "back door," through which the NSA can gain access to an individual's personal information......"Lotus built in an NSA 'help information' trapdoor to its Notes system,"......"The feature reportedly
    broadcasts 24 of the 64 bits of the key
    used for each communication, and relies
    on a public key that can only be read by
    the NSA.

    This is still somewhat arguable, the US has not admitted to such, and Louts was not reachable for comment. This would kind of leave one to think that Lotus and The US military are in bed together oon many things. I wonder how far M$ would go to get a Goverment contract? Would they agree to such clauses in their own software? Have they Already?
    Just something to ponder
  • Yep, didn't even occur to me this was the equvilent of 40 bit encription polices set by the US for foreign export (64 -24, Doh where was my math?)

  • He said that the secure, DMS version of Lotus Notes running on Solaris "provides us with better security" than a Microsoft solution. He added that "Lotus Notes is a far more technically superior product."

    Boy I bet that stung M$ like a bi*&$.

    M$ developing unix apps? Does that mean we will see more M$ ip's running linux/unix for development reasons? Hmm, mabey an internal revolution within M$ company culture will occur after employees get to use a real os!

    Probably not ;-)
  • You mean you don't spy on us already using Pine Gap (US military installation in southcentral Australia)? :)
  • Is this an admittion by M$ that NT is insecure ?
    Surely it would be in their interest to make their current products more secure :-)
  • I suggest you take a good look at mutt []. mutt's one of those programs where, once it's set up, people think, "Ahh, this is the way email was *meant* to be!" If the only thing it did better than pine was to thread messages, that would be a good enough reason to switch. It does much more than just that, though.
  • So how tough would it be to create an Exchange clone for Linux? Not an exact clone, just the same general functionality tied together with a nice management GUI. SMTP, NNTP, POP3, IMAP, LDAP, IRC, Scheduling, web access to mailboxes... I've seen open source apps for all of these. Have I missed any key parts here?


  • so bill's scrambling for a piece of that war chest action? not a bad move... i wonder if he's taking a leaf out of howard hughes' book [who managed to score himself a pretty penny for that wonderful spruce goose and many many other less than effective flying contraptions].

    all we need bill to do now is start buying up casinos [online gambling?] and wearing tissue boxes on his feet.

    anyway,email clients [crappy as they are] i can handle, it's not going to really get scarey until bill starts talking embedded systems with these army guys....
  • Just think, Microsoft NT crashes and the world gets nuked. Most actually highly classified work gets done on computers with removable hard drives that get locked up in a skiff at night. Can you imagine if one of them went down? Then the aliens would be furious! ;)
  • Dan Bernstein dosn't much like the mbox
    format either.

    However he designed something which addresses
    some of the flaws. (And which is in some ways

  • Yes, the qmail maildir format is much better in
    some ways and actually works through NFS without
    The problem is that most mail apps

    This even applies to newer stuff.

    What would be really nice would be to have
    Windows apps which would read maildir nativly.
    (As it's NFS resistant it should also be SMB
    resistant. Apart from any Windows inspired
    filename mangling.)

    Maybe I should send some code to the M project
    and hope that it makes it into thw Windows port.
  • another interesting note. Zdnet while praising the stability and reliability of Windows NT, Netcraft says zdnet is running on Solaris and Netscape/Enterprise.
  • Give PMMail a try sometime: []

    Small, fast, built in PGP. Best client I've ever used...on windows and OS/2. When I asked the developers, they said they may port it to linux.

  • by dcs ( 42578 ) on Tuesday May 11, 1999 @05:47AM (#1897321)
    75% of message arriving? Notes mailing is much more reliable than standard internet mail, thanks to it's powerful DSN capabilities, to which smtp cannot yet compare to, even if one was garanteed to have them.

    No biff? No .forward? You have never ever SEEN it, have you? Notes mail is database-based, it's routing done through highly programmable database merging, and all system is programmable. Notes mail system is actually a Notes application, in fact.

    I prefer SMTP, but don't spread FUD. You know nothing about Notes.
  • I don't get it. Are they going to attempt to make a "new {standard,revolution}" in Unix clients? Perhaps move Unix from the savage, old world way of using a CLI for mail to using a GUI? That's what they basically said about Internet Explorer, and I don't see a revolution yet. (Plus of course Netscape exists.)

    What I do anticipate is an increase in morons posting HTML to Usenet from their shiny new Linux system.
  • I am new to Linux. Would love to see Eudora on Linux.

    I primarily use Outlook Express 5.0 on NT4.0WS. Email is my primary application. I access more than a dozen different mailboxes, have even more "From:" "Reply To:" identities. Like the choice of either text or html editing. Don't mind the mouse. Outlook 98 is overkill. Eudora 4.x is the only thing that approaches Outlook Express in flexibility.

    Keep hearing about the virtues of Pine and Mutt -- are there any X-based clients with this same functionality in one package available for Linux?

    If Eudora goes OSS and something wonderful happens -- great! Alas, it will be a long time before MS ports IE/Outlook Express to Linux.

    Any practical suggestions?

  • Perhaps the army's choice is related to the forthcoming Lotus Notes on Linux ? Meanwhile you can get a look at
  • If your friend is so good at configuring NT and OE, have him contact micros~1. I understand they are offering various contractors around US$50,000 bonus to get this bid back. They haven't had any serious takers in almost 2 months. And that's the bonus, on top of the $20,000 or so for the one week of work.

    SunFed sells Secure Solaris, which has an A2 rating even in small network clusters. But they only sell it to approved government agencies.

    And there are two linux boxes here with C2 ratings.
  • Eudora and Visio are the only reasons to use a micros~1 product.

    Eudora has the interface almost nailed down to perfection. It could use a few more interface whizzies, and better LDAP and IMAP backends, but it does everything I need in an email front end.

    When the rumors of Qualcomm releasing the Eudora source as OSS went around last year, I was rejoicing. As soon as that happened, I knew the Open Source community would jump on it and make it into a truly inspired and great program. Then I could make up extremely cheap email machines for my clueless relatives, instead of now getting them cheap 98 machines with AOL or Eudora. And with something like Enlightenment to make the windows pretty, it would be the coolest machine on their block.

    But alas, Qualcomm has failed in their duty, but they might do it yet... there is another Qualcomm story on the wires this morning...we wait and see

    the AntiCypher
  • Yeah, editing the From: line is one of the first hacks I'd make. I'd even go do it myself if necessary. And make the personalities switchable from within the compose window. And arrange the columns in any order I want, with different setting for each folder/window.

    I use too many systems to keep switching from a CLI mail on unix, to Eudora, to the occasional trip to hell in the outlook handbasket. If there were a *nix version of Eudora, that would cover all the platforms I have to use in my job/secret life as a boy reporter.

    the AntiCypher
  • by anticypher ( 48312 ) <> on Tuesday May 11, 1999 @06:16AM (#1897328) Homepage
    Here's my favorite:

    the company provides highly reliable security "out of the box.... Policywise, you have to make sure you configure it correctly."

    A group I work with for setting up some secure systems recently invited micros~1 to send some experts to set up a system with proper security. There was a rather large contract riding on this bid, and as near as we can tell micros~1 DID send their most knowledgable engineers. But after three days of configuration and re-configuration, we could break the box with any of a dozen script-kiddie exploits, and with several custom made attacks.

    The micros~1 experts finally went away muttering a few feeble excuses. Only one seemed genuinely embarassed, the others 'just didnt get it'.

    So the bid going to the customer will be almost entirely unix based, and only a handful of M$ machines to cover a specific need in the contract. The account team from micros~1 are crying themselves blue right now, since it was going to be their quota for the year. Either way, I get paid :-)

    The AntiCypher
  • Yes, the qmail maildir format is much better in some ways and actually works through NFS without corruption. The problem is that most mail apps, such as, say, pine, have to be forced into using it. I use it for pop only mailstores, but use mbox for the real login users.

    Qmail is really a fine piece of work. if you need to setup an MTA and are fed up with sendmail, check it out.

    David Harris

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller