Push Email

Philip Van Hoof spam at pvanhoof.be
Wed Feb 7 10:30:05 CET 2007

Yes, The thing is that as the tinymail developer, I can't really
anticipate on things like this until they get decided and are known to

Well, that's not really true. I can, and have, anticipated 'the unknown'
in the design of tinymail. I frequently tell people "Change is among
us", well this again proves it definitely *IS*.

I anticipated in that the design flexible on how you implement the
observable's part of the game. That can be SyncML but, as you now can
see, also IMAP IDLE on the same thread and using the same connection as
your normal IMAP one.

Who knows tomorrow we will all get mail notification through some
obscure bits in the TCP/IP headers of the GPRS connection? And who knows
will we someday have to look at the VPI + VCI of ATM cells to know from
which provider the messages came? Whether or not it's possible, ATM
isn't used for phones, or whether it's a good solution is not really the

Well, not for tinymail. That's an implementation detail for tinymail.

The design that will cope with the event, which is the well known
observer pattern, will deal with it once the observable is implemented.

If you need a "Click" kernel module for that, to feed certain bits to
the application layer, then that's great.

I hope to make that message very clear in clarity ;). The IMAP IDLE
support is not a demo, no, but it's also not a statement: I'm not
sticking to 'just' IMAP IDLE. Tinymail could and 'will' cope with other
Push E-Mail notification methods. It's designed to do so. And it will.

So ... basically .. ( and forgive me for my direct & to the point style
of discussion. I don't mean anything anti-empathic with it :-p ) :

Please develop me the method for notifying your phones about messages
over the networks that will be used, give me the technical details, and
let's implement a libtinymail-openmoko platform specific library that
deals with this. Does that sound good? 

3..2..1 Go! :-)

On Wed, 2007-02-07 at 04:05 +0000, Graham Auld wrote:
> 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
> made/recived.
> 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
> keen...
> 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
> Graham
> -----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.
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFBqqdIghz0
> http://tinymail.org/demos/tinymail_doing_lemonade_idle.mpg
> http://pvanhoof.be/blog/index.php/2007/02/07/and-then-there-was-push-e-mail-
> support-for-tinymail-imap-idle
> Have fun
> --
> Philip Van Hoof, software developer
> home: me at pvanhoof dot be
> gnome: pvanhoof at gnome dot org
> http://www.pvanhoof.be/blog
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