Email Push Service :) smtp+dnotify+Asterisk+... :)

Elliot F. elliotf-openmoko-discuss at
Wed Jan 31 20:04:04 CET 2007

David Ford wrote:
> It's a great idea, never thought otherwise.  My comment should be taken 
> to mean, don't reinvent the wheel, take the existing wheel, sand it down 
> like new, and refinish it so it's all bright and shiny again.

What if we want a wheel with rubber, rather than just bare wood?
There is plenty of stuff that can be reused.  Procmail/maildrop
would be the most obvious.  The mail server won't change (other than the
MDA,) asterisk would work well (as Robert pointed out,) and we are going
to need some new software on the client side no matter what.  I'm just
talking about the glue between the mail server and asterisk.

> As in, there is already a well established network service designed to 
> do this, let's not be mucking around with making new scripts and 
> patching servers to execute scripts.  Let's simply re-awaken the use of 
> comsat/biff and update that software to modern needs - i.e. SMS on 
> receipt of new mail that pushes the notification to the handheld and 
> then the handheld can immediately respond as the user wants.  That 
> prevents the need of having an established IDLE connection all the time 
> that needs to periodically poll. (mobile phones need to poll even in 
> IDLE because more often than not they are behind a NAT gateway which 
> will drop idle connections)

That's exactly what I was saying (notify the handheld of new mail.)  I
agree about the reuse of existing solutions, but I don't know of a
single mail server that supports biff/comsat, so I don't think that it
would be very useful to 're-awaken' comsat/biff.  We would still need to
modify some portion of the mail server (procmail) in order to notify
comsat/biff.  I'm assuming all comsat/biff would do is trigger the
notification to the handheld, so why not do that directly?

In general, there's no server to patch, just a script that would be
dropped into procmail/maildrop or whatever your MDA is.

> This is what "push" email does w/ exchange when you configure your phone 
> to ask for SMS for email notification.

Right, I said that in my email.  I agree with you in how it could/should
be done, but I don't think it would be very useful to use biff/comsat,
as they would be an unnecessary middleman.  I think it would be cleaner
to just have a script that someone can drop into their MDA to trigger a
pull from the client.  Like I said in my previous email, it seems the
best place to do it, because then they can filter for specific emails.
I don't know if I would want my phone being woken up by every mailing
list email that I get, for example.

More information about the community mailing list