Pre-October-2003 Deflexion & Reflexion from the IMAP Service Providers Page

Until January 2004:   Apple .Mac (“dot Mac”) has many special offers. For more about this, see Apple offers three gifts to .Mac subscribers at MacCentral and the section in The Table below.

2003 October 11, 15, 15:    Mozilla 1.4.1 and 1.5, and Thunderbird 0.3 released, respectively. These releases contain improvements in perfomance, stability, standards support, website compatibility, junk-mail classification, and more. Mozilla and Thunderbird, which are discussed below, are free (gratis) open-source multi-platform and designed for standards compliance. The Mozilla Mail/News client is one of the most popular IMAP and NNTP clients.

2003 September 27 and September 26:   Mitch Kapor, of, is switching to IMAP and discussing his experience in his blog in the entries titled Still on the IMAP Operating Table and On the IMAP Operating Table. Both of these entries, as well as the comments, are worth reading. Especially interesting are the comments by Daniel Klaussen, which include this:

Every imap clients has some strengths and weaknesses against these three objectives. The very best imap clients are ones like pine [discussed below], with features so arcane you’d have to be an academic to love.
There are also some more comments related to this, including one from moi, in Michael Toy's Blogotomy in the entry IMAP, POP and interaction design.

2003 September 26:   Cyrusoft released version 3.1b8 of Mulberry, which I discuss in detail below. This version supports S/MIME, PGP8, and GPG cryptography and up to 8 user-defined labels on messages. In order to use user-defined labels, you need to use an IMAP server which supports this, such as the following.

(Please tell me what IMAP service providers and what IMAP software support user-defined labels!)

2003 September 22:   As announced in this message, SpamAssassin (SA) 2.60 is available at (and many other places including and Theo Van Dinter's SpamAssassin is a popular spam-detection and scoring tool that is often used in conjunction with Procmail and IMAP.

If you use SpamAssassin, or any other spam-detection tool, I recommend that you plug it in after you process your “bluelist” (solicited bulk) and “greenlist” messages. This will both save processor power and avoid false positives & the mangling of messages that are almost surely not spam. For more about my spam-fighting strategy, see Reverse Spam Filtering: Winning Without Fighting.

2003 September 19 and September 3:   Added sections named Snagging Viruses and Using SpamAssassin to the Procmail Quick Start: An introduction to mail filtering with a focus on procmail. These Procmail recipes are especially useful when Procmail can deliver “possibly spam” and “possibly virus” messages to mailboxes on an IMAP server. This way you can use an IMAP client to delete (or save) messages in these mailboxes and you do not need to waste time and bandwidth downloading the bodies of these spam and virus messages.

2003 September 10:   Release of version 4.58 of Pine, an IMAP client that is discussed in detail below. This version fixes two exploitable overflows that are in Pine 4.56 and earlier.

2003 August 27:   The Osirusoft blocklists are dead. These blocklists have been used by many tools, for example SpamAssassin, to help determine the spam score or spam probability of a message. If your spam-detection tools use these lists, you need to stop immediately because they are “blacklisting the world”! For details, see Osirusoft Blacklists The World at and Osirusoft Blocklists Dead at

2003 August 24:    Mitch Kapor posted A POP User Talks About IMAP in his weblog. This post and the comments below it are worth reading, especially if you are curious why it is taking so long for IMAP to become popular. This is a followup to Mitch's 2003-July-26 weblog entry, in which he said:

Please don't tell me I should use IMAP to retrieve mail or I will be forced to explain why I don't use IMAP and won't until I find (or design) an IMAP client that works properly. IMAP is a complex protocol and not easy to support well. Really what I want is something to replace my Blackberry which adds the things it doesn't have without taking away the things it does superbly well. I'll keep looking. ...

Considering that Mitch is the key person behind OSAF and Chandler, a free open-source multi-platform Personal Information Manager that will support IMAP, this is quite strong evidence that it's hard to find a decent IMAP client. In fact I think there is only one: Mulberry (especially when it is combined with a powerful IMAP server such as Cyrus).

2003 August 18:    In the article The Sad Tale of a Security Whistleblower at, Mark Rasch says:

McDanel apparently discovered a flaw in the web-mail that would permit malicious users to piggyback a previous secure session, grab the unique session ID and thereby read a user's e-mail-- despite the fact that the site promised that e-mail was secure.

This article and especially the follow-up comment I was there when this happened provide more evidence that poorly designed and poorly maintained email systems are quite common (and most likely they are more common than robust well-designed systems). Some more comments about this are in Talk About A Security Hole, Go To Jail? at

2003 August 15 & 13:    In the articles Microsoft abandons Outlook Express at and Microsoft kills off Outlook Express at, Angus Kidman quotes Dan Leach, lead product manager for Microsoft's information worker product management group, who said

... our investment in the consumer space is now focused around Hotmail and MSN.

and quotes Steve Conn, MS Exchange Server product manager, who said

IMAP is just not a very rich protocol.

You can read and participate in discussions about this at

2003 July 31:   As announced in the DreamHost Newsletter, DreamHost is now offering . . .

Dreamhost, which is described in the Table below, is one of my providers and a provider that I recommend.

2003 July 31:   ZDNet published the article July spam captures exceed all of 2002 by Will Sturgeon.

2003 July 17:   In the article Complaints of Email Security Glitch at KPIX-TV 5 San Francisco, Sue Kwon says:

A Walnut Creek man showed CBS 5 how he accidentally accessed other subscribers' email through his Comcast broadband service. Chris Raine simply logged on to his account, and checked his inbox, then found something surprising. ...

More evidence that email is neither private (it can be read by others) nor secure (it can be deleted by others)!

2003 July 17:  As announced in this message, Cyrus IMAP Server 2.2.1-BETA released and it includes full read-write ANNOTATEMORE support. The Cyrus IMAP Server is one of the most popular, robust, feature-rich, standards-compliant, and respected IMAP servers.

2003 July 17:  Stable 1.0 versions of Kolab Server and the KDE Kolab Client released. The Kolab Project is a free software groupware solution that uses Cyrus IMAP, Postfix, OpenLDAP, and the KDE PIM packages to store contacts, notes and calendar entries on the IMAP server.

2003 July 15:    As announced here, POPFile v0.18.3 and v0.19.1 are available. POPFile is a multi-platform, general (Bayesian) email classification tool that recently became open source software. Currently it can be used as a POP proxy or invoked via a Procmail recipe. Using it via IMAP is planned. It is receiving a lot of attention, including

The CVS version includes an SMTP proxy that does SMTP mail classification and an NNTP proxy that does NNTP Usenet news post classification. The SMTP proxy makes it easy to use POPFile for server-side mail classification.

2003 July 15:    As discussed here in the blog, Info Aggregator gets a [4.5 out of 5 stars] rating and is the #1 Guide Pick in both the Top 9 Mac and Top 10 Windows RSS Feed Readers / News Aggregators at Info Aggregator is an RSS-to-IMAP service that lets you receive and read RSS feeds in your IMAP client. I discuss Info Aggregator — and other deflexion services — in Providers Offering Message Deflexion (including deflexion to or from IMAP servers) below.

2003 July 8:   In the article Dot Mac Reloaded at O'Reilly's, Michael Brewer says:

Having a good email address available via IMAP is what makes Dot Mac worth it to me. I love being able to manage my messages on the server without worrying whether they're on my PowerMac, iBook, Red Hat box, or in some Web mail client. 

Apple added Address Book for Dot Mac shortly after iSync went 1.0. This does for addresses what IMAP does for email. I don't need to worry about whether or not I've entered an address from my laptop onto my desktop or my Address Book on the Web. Entering an address in one of those places makes it show up in all of them.

I describe in The Table below.

2003 July 7:    Updated Reverse Spam Filtering: Winning Without Fighting so it now includes my SpamAssassin 2.60 user_prefs file with an explanation of each setting that I use.

2003 July 4:   In the article Study: Wi-Fi users still don't encrypt at The Register, Kevin Poulsen of says:

What they found was that users checking their e-mail through unencrypted POP connections vastly outnumbered those using a VPN or another encrypted tunnel. Only three percent of e-mail downloads were encrypted on the first day of the conference, 12 percent on the second day.  ...

That means the other 88% could easily be intercepted by eavesdroppers using commonly-available tools, compromising both the e-mail and the user's passwords.

You can read and join in a discussion about this at in the topic Study: Wi-Fi users Still Don't Encrypt. I discuss secure email (and other important email features) in What to Look For in an IMAP Service Provider below.

2003 July 2:  Cyrus IMAP Server 2.1.14 released. The Cyrus IMAP Server is one of the most popular, robust, feature-rich, standards-compliant, and respected IMAP servers.

2003 June 23:   At the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple Previews Mac OS X “Panther” Server. It includes: “An all new mail server rebuilt from the ground up using the open source Postfix SMTP and Cyrus IMAP and POP servers provides an open architecture for integrating with spam and virus filtering solutions, and SSL for secure email.” In this blog entry, Chuq Von Rospach says “I have to say, the mail stuff ... looks great.”

2003 May 28:   Initial release of Cone and its companion program mailtool. Cone is a COnsole Newsreader And Emailer that handles POP, IMAP, NNTP, and local folders.

2003 May 12:   In the article Hacked Hosting Firms Caught Without Recent Backup at, Keith Regan says:

the companies admitted not having recent backups for all customers' Web sites. In some cases, the most recent backups may be more than four months old. ... Alphamega claims that all data on its network is backed up to tapes daily.

Bear this fiasco in mind when you are evaluating potential hosting providers and note that a good backup & restore policy is the #2 feature that I suggest in What to Look For in an IMAP Service Provider.

2003 May 12:   Opera 7.11 for Linux and Windows released. For more about Opera version 7, see the article Opera 7 Sneak Peek at where Jim Wagner tells us that Opera 7 features

. . . a redesigned e-mail client, one that supports the latest standards and runs on any OS Opera supports. "Called M2, we've added support for the IMAP protocol and completely redone the user interface," [Håkon] Lie said.

M2 supports POP, IMAP, NNTP, and ESMTP and is discussed in detail on the M2 E-mail Client page.

2003 May 11:    John Levine: Challenge-response systems are as harmful as spam posted in Declan McCullagh's Politech mailing list.

2003 May 7:, an IMAP provider which I discuss on this page here, here, here, and here, has filed another lawsuit about their patented challenge-response filtering. For details about the latest lawsuit, see EarthLink to Offer Anti-Spam E-Mail System by Jonathan Krim at The Washington Post. BTW, as far as I can tell, Earthlink does not offer IMAP (please let me know if they start supporting IMAP!).

2003 May 5:   In the article Web mail drives flight from dial-up at The Seattle Times, Paul Andrews says:

an unheralded phenomenon known as Web mail is driving much of the flight from dial-up. With a ... Web mail account, you can check your e-mail from any Internet terminal. ...

Moreover, Web mail offers a couple of powerful tools that client software does not. You can delete all that spam much more efficiently with a Web interface

2003 May:   The Project of the Month at is POPFile, which is an open-source, multi-platform, Bayesian email-categorization tool. The interview with the leaders of the project includes these comments:

The road ahead consists of ... Support for IMAP and SMTP protocols. ... filter RSS news items and NNTP posts.”

POPFile is one of the most exciting tools for helping users and -- in the future -- ISPs to deal with email overload.

2003 April 30 and May 2:   As discussed in gets blocked for... spamming and ISPs will be ordered not to use blacklists! in Declan McCullagh's Politech mailing list, we see that yet another “spam fighter” is spamming (and in addition to being clueless, he's illiterate!).

2003 April 23:   IMAP made an appearance at The O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in these Notes from the Chandler Demo:

. . . It became apparent that we have information from a lot of different sources and we'll need to do some compositing of data. The canonical example is IMAP, where a student's email may stay on the IMAP server forever, but there might be some metadata that we'd store in Chandler. It's a requirement and we have the beginnings of the architecture for that.

For more about this, see this entry in Mitch Kapor's weblog.

2003 April 16:   As announced in this message, Pine 4.55, Pico 4.5, and the UW IMAP Toolkit 2002c were released. Starting with these versions, Pine and the IMAP Toolkit include support for “mail drop” mailboxes and the #move namespace. These new features make it very easy to automatically move all messages from one POP, IMAP, NNTP, or local mailbox to another IMAP or local mailbox. To see what else is new in Pine 4.55 and to download it, go to

2003 April 5:   In the article Spam foe puts his own interests first at, Mike Langberg says

In October, Mailblocks sent vague, non-threatening letters to other anti-spam companies that use challenge/response.

... Mailblocks then filed suit in January against three companies without first giving them any further written warning: DigiPortal Software of Sanford, Fla., which operates a service called ChoiceMail; MailFrontier of Palo Alto, which offers Matador; and Spam Arrest of Seattle. ...

Goldman says he's willing to license the ... patents on reasonable terms. But, when pressed, he admits he won't license to any company that wants to offer challenge/response directly to consumers, as Spam Arrest does.

I discuss challenge-response filtering in the 25 March 2003 item below; and both Mailblocks & Spam Arrest in the Look OUT section below.

2003 April 3:   Bill McCoy released IMPblog 0.1, “an exploration of using IMAP as the content database for weblogs and email as the weblog management interface.”

2003 April 1:   According to Mitch Kapor's weblog, the Open Source Applications Foundation received a grant of approximately $100,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop a higher education version of Chandler, the OSAF open-source personal information manager. The weblog entry includes this

We are presently hard at work understanding requirements for a campus version of Chandler. For instance, on a typical day, many students will want to access information from multiple computers, some of them in computer labs and clusters of public kiosks. This introduces nomadic access requirements. In addition, Chandler will need to interoperate well with standards-based messaging systems like IMAP.

2003 March 25:    Declan McCullagh posted Why is's approach different? (Answer: It isn't) to his Politech mailing list. This includes some very interesting commentary about challenge-response email filtering, including the following by John Levine:

In the long run, these challenge systems are a bad idea because they treat correspondents' e-mail addresses as passwords. But they're just about the worst kind of password you can imagine, easy to guess, easy to spoof, and hard to change. We're already seeing spam sent with random forged return addresses, which among other things reverse spams the forged user when the spam hits a challenge. If challenges become at all popular, we can expect spammers to start harvesting mail in bunches to try and maximize the chance that the forged return address is already in the victim's whitelist. And remember that for spammers, if that works 1% of the time, that's "success". I can hardly wait.

[Warning!] In my (Nancy's) humble opinion, a challenge-response filter is useful only for an email address that is . . .

  1. either on a public web page,
  2. or is in the From: header in a message in a publicly-accessible newsgroup (note that the other headers and the body are also vulnerable to address harvesting),
  3. or is already receiving tons of spam and you need to keep the address alive for your long lost correspondents who are not yet in your greenlist or don't yet know about your current (non challenge-response) email address.

For the first two, you can put a blurb on the page or posting that explains in advance — before someone sends you mail — that a challenge-response filter is in place and a challenge will automatically be sent to any non-greenlisted address that sends mail to this address. If you are looking for a mail provider that offers challenge-response filtering, I recommend (described below), which gives their users the option to use TMDA.

2003 March 23:    A new IMAP-only challenge-response-filtering provider,, is launched. For details and warnings, see the Mailblocks description below.

2003 March 21:   As announced in this thread at, lost their users' email messages and is no longer offering email services. FastMail.FM, which is described below, is now hosting the domain and old customers can continue to use their email address through FM. Regular FM users have the option to switch to this domain.

2003 March 18:   As announced in this message in the rfc-dist mailing list, the new IMAP RFC 3501 is now available and it obsoletes the old (1996) IMAP RFC 2060. The title is (still) INTERNET MESSAGE ACCESS PROTOCOL - VERSION 4rev1 and it is available at all the standard RFC places, including,,, and my favorite ( is my favorite because their RFCs include hyperlinks to other RFCs, their logo reminds me of a scene in The Matrix, and because many years ago I suggested that Kent register the domain name FAQS.ORG.)

2003 March 17:   Bill McCoy goes semi-public with IMPblog, “an exploration of using IMAP as the content database for weblogs and email as the weblog management interface.”

2003 March 7:   As discussed in AOL flips open e-mail Communicator ( and AOL previews e-mail product for tech-savvy (Reuters), AOL released a preview of AOL Communicator to AOL users. AOL Communicator is targetted at AOL's “more technically-savvy members.” It supports digital encryption of email messages, spam filtering, POP and IMAP (based on the UW IMAP Toolkit). For more about this, see the thread aol email client at and the 27 November 2002 news blurb below.

2003 February 25:   Dovecot Secure IMAP Server 0.99.8 released. Dovecot works with maildir and Unix mbox mailbox formats and is fully compatible with UW-IMAP and Courier IMAP servers as well as mail clients accessing mailboxes directly.

2002 February 19:  Jürgen Haible, Thomas G. Liesner & others released version of Hamster, a mail and news server for MS Windows. One of the significant changes is a new local IMAP server.

2003 February 18:    CNET published 18th-century theory is new force in computing by Michael Kanellos. This discusses Bayesian theory and how it can help us manage email and information overload.

2003 February 13:    The mail service provider SpamArrest spammed and all hell broke out all over the Net, including in many discussion groups and in articles that popped up around the Web. For more about this spam, the reaction on the Net, and tips about how to avoid signing up with a provider like this, see What to Look OUT For in an IMAP Service Provider below.

2003 February ?:   MailService.MS (in table below) crashed & burned and lost all their users' email. For more about this, see this thread at

2003 February 4:   Cyrusoft International and Carnegie Mellon To Collaborate on Next Major Release of Mulberry. Mulberry, which is discussed below, is the premier standards-based GUI IMAP client for Macintosh, MS Windows, Linux, and Solaris.

2002 February 2:    According to Mitch Kapor's weblog, he and the Open Source Applications Foundation are rethinking the decentralized/P2P approach of Chandler and now seem to be open to also using IMAP servers. The comments about this log entry are worth reading too.

2003 January 31 - February 5: (discussed below) was off the Net as discussed in DDoS gets SDF Public Access Evicted and in Doug Palin and Northwest Link's Position on SDF. SDF is now back online thanks to

2003 January 31:   exchange4linux Version 2.2.1 released. This version includes a snapshot of the work in progress state of the exchange4linux IMAP4 service, which will provide access to the exchange4linux service through standard IMAP clients.

2003 January 24: is accepting new sign-ups again. This is one of the better free IMAP providers. For details, see the MRB entry in the table below.

2003 January 24:   Cyrusoft released SilkyMail 1.1.10. SilkyMail is “the smoothest mail client in a browser” and has “the most complete IMAP capabilities available in a webmail client.”

2003 January 22:   Webmonkey published IMAP Mail Drop How-To by Paul Adams.

2003 January 17:  Spam Conference at MIT -- check out the schedule, speakers & talk abstracts, proceedings, webcast, and photos.

2003 January 14:    Malaysia's largest English-language newspaper,, published the article Free e-mail anyone, which focuses on FastMail.FM, but also talks about IMAP in general and mentions this page! You can see the print version of the article, including a picture of Jeremy Howard, one of the founders of FM, here.

2003 January 6:  Network Associates Technology, Inc. (NAI) acquired Deersoft, Inc. and now owns the SpamAssassin™ trademark and now employs Justin Mason and Craig Hughes, two of the main SpamAssassin developers. Another main SpamAssassin developer, Matt Sergeant of MessageLabs, announced that because of the acquisition he will “have to quit working on this project.” Since SpamAssassin uses the Perl Artistic License, it is not required that NAI give their revisions to the SA code back to the SA community (and it is unlikely that they will). For more information, see Deersoft Acquisition - Frequently Asked Questions at NAI, and the SAtalk mailing list at and Especially interesting are these two messages:

2002 December 2:   Mozilla 1.2.1 released. According to the Release Notes, Mozilla 1.2 and later include

“Major improvements to Mac OS X IMAP mail header download performance. Preliminary tests show about 2000% improvement.”

2002 November 27:   In the article New AOL Email Client Takes On Outlook Express at, Jim Louderback says:

Tired of Outlook Express to access your POP or IMAP email? Are you an AOL user sick of the typical AOL interface? Wish your AIM and email address book were integrated? Good news! AOL is readying a new email client, called AOL Communicator that does all that and more.

And according to Alex Bishop's comment about AOL Communicator == Minotaur in Blogzilla:

It might look a little like Mozilla Mail & Newsgroups but it's not based on it. If you mess around in the Application Data folder, you'll see that it stores its messages differently. And the file copyright-notice.txt states that it uses the University of Washington IMAP toolkit, . . .
I think that AOL Communicator is currently available only to AOL users. You might also be able to get it at

2002 November 25:   In the article The e-mail scandal at InfoWorld.Com, Brian Livingston says

A new study shows that 11.7 percent of messages that were requested by an e-mail subscriber never reached the recipient's inbox. Six percent were incorrectly routed to a junk mail folder, and 5.7 percent never arrived in any form.

The problem is faulty spam filters put in place by major ISPs . . .

Overly aggressive filters such as these “faulty spam filters” are why I recommend that you choose a provider who lets each user customize his or her own server-based filters. For details about this and other things to look for in a provider, see What to Look For in an IMAP Service Provider below.

2002 November 1   Micro Logic released Info Select 7. This version includes support for IMAP, NNTP, and of course its usual amazing award-winning intertwingular Personal Information Manager.

Between 2002 October 18 and November 17:    Someone at Google Answers > Computers > Internet offered $20 for the answer to the following question about IMAP4 Deployment Among U.S. ISPs:

“Nearly every ISP in the U.S. provides at least one POP3 account by default. How many ISPs in the U.S. provide an IMAP4 account by default? Answer must include links to references that are ideally not older than January 2001.”

My first thought about this question is what exactly is meant by “ISP”? It probably means Internet Connectivity Provider since that's the most common interpretation of this ambiguous acronym. Given that, my guess is that the answer is that less than one fourth of ISPs in the U.S. offer IMAP. Note that this means that a lot less than 25% of users have access to IMAP servers through their Internet Connectivity Provider because a small number of providers (AOL, MSN, ATT WorldNet, EarthLink, etc.) are the ISP for a huge percentage of U.S. users and most of these monolithic ISPs do not support IMAP. In any case, I recommend that people separate their email hosting from their Internet connectivity so that they can easily change one without disrupting the other -- I hope that this page will help people to do that!

Since this question has expired at Google Answers, let me know If you know the answer and I'll post it here.

2002 October 18 and ~10 days beyond:    The Internet -- including The New York Times -- was abuzz with the announcement that Mitch Kapor and the Open Source Applications Foundation are developing Chandler, a free (gratis) open-source multi-platform “interpersonal information manager,” which will have these features. The first feature listed is “POP/IMAP retrieval,” which makes me wonder if they are going to utilize any IMAP functionality beyond the retrieval of messages from IMAP servers. Or, if this is going to be yet another messaging system that is not easily used from anywhere by any client that speaks the appropriate protocols. Note that it is not important that IMAP be one of the protocols; what is important is that they are open standard protocols, that neither the data nor the user are locked into Chandler, and that users and administrators can easily plug in or unplug any standards-based tool.

2002 October: published What You Need to Know About Bayesian Spam Filtering. This includes a good overview of this hot topic and links to more information.

2002 October 17:   In the article The host with the most at The Age, Charles Wright discusses FastMail.FM (discussed below) and IMAP (and mentions this page!).

2002 October 8:   In his weblog, Ray Ozzie, CEO of Groove Networks, says

“Imagine the field day that Google could have if 1) all email files had access controls removed, and 2) people started surfing each others' email messages.”

The entire weblog entry is worth reading.

2002 October 7:   In the article Service providers win one, lose one at News.Com, Paul Festa says

“The [California] governor late last month signed a bill that requires e-mail service providers to give 30 days' notice before shutting down e-mail accounts.”


2002 October 7:   In the article Net guru: Encrypt everything at Government Computer News, Susan M. Menke quotes Ray Ozzie who says

“We should be more aware that everything we’re doing on the Internet is tappable. The intelligence agencies of foreign governments are looking at what we’re doing. If we focus too much on the wireless problem, we lose sight of the fact that it’s a much deeper problem—and a fixable problem, if customers demand that it be fixed.

Encrypt everything.”


2002 October 4:   In the article Replacing Microsoft Exchange with a Linux-based solution at NewsForge, Robin “Roblimo” Miller says

“If other groupware and corporate messaging software vendors also work "to standards," and they all still support Microsoft Outlook as a desktop client, suddenly Microsoft Exchange will become one of the worst possible choices on the server side due to its proprietary nature and lack of compatibility -- not to mention its licensing costs and massive hardware requirements.  . . . 

A growing number of companies are offering commercial alternatives to Exchange, most of which run on Linux. We'll look at a number of them in upcoming weeks, one at a time, and we'll follow Free and Open Source groupware solutions as they mature enough to be usable at the enterprise level. ”

For more articles in this series, see - Topics - Servers.

2002 September 16:   In the article Dealing With .Mac Trials Ending at TidBITS, Adam C. Engst says

“Our advice is to ask anyone in your address book using a email address if they plan to keep that address or if they'll be switching. If you have a account that you're planning to let lapse, we encourage you to change your mailing list subscriptions before the change happens . . . and let your regular correspondents know of your address change.”

For more about .Mac, see the section of the IMAP Service Providers table below.

2002 August:    The latest update of DarkORB Communications' cPanel, which is one of the more popular inexpensive web hosting management control panels, includes IMAP and SpamAssassin (SA) support. This means that soon there will be a lot more web hosting providers who also offer IMAP and SA. And it's likely that many of them will be pretty clueless about IMAP so make sure you ask some probing IMAP questions before you pay!

2002 July 31 & August 1:    Over the course of these two days, about 600 visitors, each coming from a unique IP address, viewed this page! Thanks to Art Gorski for telling me that it was most likely because of a message that he sent to MacInTouch that was posted in the .Mac Reader Report: Alternatives to .mac.

2002 July 23:    In the article Rethinking spam at NewsForge, Robin “Roblimo” Miller says

“Let's face it: today's most typical email pattern, where we use POP to download emails one at a time, in sequence, then sort our email on our client machines, is going to be killed by spam overload. Email handling must move almost entirely to corporate or ISP servers. IMAP is now a decent standard.  . . .  This article will probably help me find a hosting service that includes SpamAssassin  . . .”

[If you know of an ISP that has SpamAssassin installed, please post a comment after Roblimo's article. I will put any provider that has SA installed on this page, even if they are one of the providers who currently don't support IMAP. To find the ones that are already here, use your browser to search this page for “SpamAssassin”.]

2002 July 17:   At Macworld Expo in New York, Steve Jobs announced that

2002 July 15:    In the article Standard may bring order to e-mail chaos at NetworkWorldFusion, Carolyn Duffy Marsan discusses the growing popularity of Sieve, a standards-based mail-filtering language that is especially useful when used in conjunction with an IMAP server. She quotes Tim Showalter, author of the IETF's Sieve document, who said “Server-side is the way to go with e-mail filtering, especially if you don't read your e-mail in one place.”

 [Please tell me about ISPs that support server-side Sieve scripts -- so far the only one that I know of is FastMail.FM (described below).]

2002 May 22:  In the article “Microsoft Software Expelled by Top College” at Computing, The Newspaper for the Networked Economy, Steve Ranger says that

Cambridge University “has banned Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express . . .
and . . . users are recommended to use Mulberry.”

2002 May 16:  In the article The evil that lurks in e-mail at ZDNet, Larry Seltzer says

“The right way for corporations to deal with spam is at the mail server/gateway level.   . . .   Blocking spam at the server blocks it for all your users and means there is only one point that needs to be updated for changes in spam filtering technique.”