Contributed by Dengue on from the mullets dept.
By Dianna Mullet & Keith Mullet
Forward by Mark Crispin
Copyright © 2000 O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
$51.95 CAN, $34.95 US
Managing IMAP provides that single source of information for systems programmers, implementers, and administrators. It is an excellent resource, providing an overview of the IMAP protocol, comparisons with POP, a review of freely available IMAP clients, and extensive coverage of both CMU's Cyrus IMAPD and Washington University's UW-IMAP.
Managing IMAP makes no bones about its stand on the Open vs. Proprietary mail protocols issue. Throughout the book, the authors point to examples of why open protocols are desired over vendor specific shrink-wrapped solutions. If you are planning, or presenting a case for moving to an open standards based email solution, then you are the audience for whom this book was written. A lot of coverage is given to black-box vs. clear-box implementations, and the pros and cons of both the Cyrus IMAPD and UW-IMAPD are well covered, along with client requirements and assocaited administrative issues. The Cyrus Server gets the most press, deservedly so, due to it's greater complexity.
Pine users will rejoice, with a lot of information on configuring what was, until recent security issues, my mail client of choice.
Web-based IMAP clients are also given treatment, with a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the Web-based mail model. Throughout Managing IMAP are helpful feature matrices for both host-based and web-based IMAP clients. The host-based client list is a little lean, the only true UNIX mail application reviewed was Pine. Conspicuously absent were Java email clients. A quick search of http://freshmeat.net turned up two, ICEMail , and Polarbar , both of which are out of the 0.* release infancy stage, free, and in the case of ICEMail, open source.
Managing IMAP is broken down logically, like most O'Reilly books, it is organized so the reader can lookup information quickly.
- The Internet Mail Model
- What is IMAP
- Anatomy of an IMAP Session
- IMAP Clients
- Web-Based IMAP Clients
- Introduction to the Cyrus IMAP Server
- Installing the Cyrus IMAP Server
- Configuring the Cyrus Server
- Cyrus System Administration
- Introduction to the UW IMAP Server
- Installing UW IMAP
- UW System Administration
- Addressing IMAP Security
- Running a Dedicated Server
- Server-Side Mail Filtering
- Server Performance Tuning
- Remote Configuration Storage
- IMAP Tools
- Conversion from Berkeley Mail Format
- Adding SSL Support to IMAP
- IMAP Commands
In particular, I found Appendix B quite useful, easily detailing SSL setup for IMAPD. Unfortunately most email clients fail to support Kerberos, which is a shame, given the seamless integration of Kerberos into OpenBSD. This makes SSL wrapping IMAPD an excellent alternative. Chapter 9 was also quite helpful considering the dearth of Cyrus documentation available.
If you are looking at IMAP as a mail service, or if you are using Cyrus IMAP, I highly recommend this book. My copy is already becoming pretty dog-eared.
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