Push Email

Graham Auld openmoko at graham.auld.me.uk
Wed Feb 7 05:05:49 CET 2007

Looks fab, good work with tinymail!

Sadly I think the issue with OpenMoko/Neo - or any other mobile handset for
that matter - is that in order for any of these direct delivery methods to
work you have to notify the handset. This means either maintaining an open
TCP link over GPRS (or Bluetooth or wifi or a usb cable but they don't count
as I'm referring to on the road only connected via phone network use)
thereby allowing a channel over which the mail server may send a
notification of new mail or send the mail. The real problems with this IMHO
being power and comms blocking. Have your phone connected all day via GPRS
and I suspect it will use a fair bit more power than not being connected.
Also I'm given to understand that the GSM module in the Neo is only capable
of GPRS OR a phone call, so things get disturbed each time a phonecall is

Only other way I see of mail delivery without polling is to have some
notification method.

Now with something like the Neo it is quite feasable to have a mailsever
plugin/addon/write new mailserver from scratch... That could send a
specially formatted sms to my number when it had a mail for me (probably
also based on the importance of that message determined by a little ruleset,
router/server status reports and mailing lists aren't usually urgent - a new
job offer or 'meet in the pub in 5 mins' may be a little more criticle). The
phone could be programmed to intercept such incomming SMS' and rather than
play a cheesy tone and let you read it, the phone could connect up, download
your mail and then alert you that there's something worth reading!

Ideally of course I could just run postfix (ok maybe something slightly
lighter) on my phone and my network provider could make
<mymobilenumber>.gprs.vodafone.co.uk point to my handset :D
Now I havn't /actually/ asked vodafone yet but I've got this sneaking
suspicion that even if I do make it past 20 levels of callcenter
pleb/customer services to anyone vaguely technical they'd still not be too

I know someone's floated the idea of hidden/control SMS' on the list before,
under the guise of phone security and other things emaily too. It does
strike me as a "nice idea"(TM) however to define some format or paramater of
text that could by default be passed to an script handler in openmoko rather
than displayed as a text message. Perhaps the first 3 characters could be a
sequence of non-printables,
0x05 0x07 0x17 <any custom message stuff> 0x04 perhaps;
ASCII - Enquiry,bell,end transmission block,<any custom message stuff (with
EOT escaped!)>,end of transmission

Anyone for or against some such control message standard/quasi-standard?

I know there is a paramater in SMS' to indicate a flash message, I don't
know if there are any other paramters that are 'spare' that could be used to
indicate a control message, perhaps my scheme is flawed if there are
restrictions on the character set/data that can be transmitted in an SMS? My
current phone wouldn't let me enter hex strings when writing text's :'(

Sorry for rambling on


-----Original Message-----
From: community-bounces at lists.openmoko.org
[mailto:community-bounces at lists.openmoko.org] On Behalf Of Philip Van Hoof
Sent: 07 February 2007 01:42
To: community at lists.openmoko.org
Cc: openmoko-devel at lists.openmoko.org
Subject: Tinymail is now doing IMAP IDLE (Push E-mail)

Hi there guys,

Because you guys where so busy discussing how to do Push E-mail on the
OpenMoko device, I decided to just go ahead and implement it in that little
tinymail of mine.



Have fun

Philip Van Hoof, software developer
home: me at pvanhoof dot be
gnome: pvanhoof at gnome dot org

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