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

David Ford david at
Wed Jan 31 15:42:02 CET 2007

Elliot Foster wrote:
> Of course it's an ancient idea, but that doesn't mean it's not a good 
> idea.  Biff/comsat were local notification or notification via 
> hostname.  Local notification of mail delivery is easy.  All modern 
> biff replacements that I know of function by polling a mailbox 
> (POP/IMAP) every N seconds/minutes.  This is not efficient/practical 
> for a cell phone.
> The closest thing to push mail as a semi-standard protocol is IMAP's 
> IDLE extension, or Exchange's proprietary protocols.  Both of which 
> require a persistent connection.  Again, not practical/efficient for a 
> cell phone.
> It's an old idea, but it's still very much a good idea with no clear 
> solution in the mobile space, and Michel came up with a very good idea 
> for notifying the device.  It's an obvious need and it would be great 
> if we could fill it.
> I'm not sure what you were trying to add by saying it's an ancient 
> idea.  Care to explain further?

Sure :)

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.

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)

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


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