I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Board for discussions around the Epyrus mail and news client.

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What should the E-mail client be named?

Poll ended at 2022-05-22, 09:55

Epyrus
26
62%
Centrapost
4
10%
Hermopolis Mail
11
26%
Raphemail
0
No votes
Hermopost
1
2%
 
Total votes: 42

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athenian200
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I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-05-12, 12:39

I feel like I need to go ahead and say I'm working on this, because people are starting to get impatient about a replacement UXP e-mail client. I wanted to start fresh, with a clean slate that doesn't have all the baggage of the past, if you know what I mean.

Essentially, it's working and I'm using it right now, the main problem is that I haven't come up with a permanent name or debranded/rebranded it at all. I'm also kind of ambivalent about what I will have to do to be able to maintain it. I don't really want to work on it and design it completely alone or setup my own organization like was done for a mail client previously (I want a lot of feedback on the design rather than to just make a lot of unilateral decisions), and it's possible that I may only be able to provide it as a base for someone else to continue.

I'm able to maintain it as a programmer, but I don't really know anything about release engineering or branding, and that may mean I need a partner to help out with that aspect of it.

Anyway, the codename of the application is "Hermopolis," and the source code is here if you want to build it yourself:

https://repo.palemoon.org/athenian200/hermopolis

The codename does reflect some of my hopes for the application, though. The name comes from Greek, and it's meant to evoke the idea of a city where an ancient God of communication is honored. Essentially, I want it to reflect some kind of collective, archetypal idea of what a given community (specifically, this one) thinks an E-mail client should look like. It's kinda nerdy, I know, and that's why I want input on what the name should be, etc.

What does everyone think about this? Do you guys have any interest in helping me decide what features this should have, what the layout should be, what the name should be, what theme it should use, etc?
"There are two sentences inscribed upon the Ancient oracle... 'Know thyself' and 'Nothing too much'; and upon these all other precepts depend." -- Plutarch

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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by ron_1 » 2022-05-12, 13:01

I was going to suggest "Pony Express" for a name, but I see that the USPS trademarked it in 2006. Anyway, I hope this endeavor of yours is successful.

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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by Baloo » 2022-05-12, 13:39

Hermopolis sounds like a fine name. Here are some recommendations, that I've previously made in the older thread.
  • See if you can convince the Cardbook dev to fork version 38.0 (the last version compatible with Thunderbird pre-68) to have a CardDAV add-on to Thunderbird, which I think is necessary for any mail client these days.
  • OAuth2 is important for anyone using Google, but IIRC that was lifted from new Thunderbird releases.
  • Next, I wouldn't make this theme default, but I would like to see someone fork this theme for your new Mail Client, since it does run just fine: https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/th ... b-edition/.
  • Reach out to the Enigmail developer and see if he would develop the same GPG add-on for Hermopolis.
  • Inform any Microsoft users that the program DAVMail exists, which would let them use any Microsoft email account they have with the new mail client.
  • Finally, of course get FranklinDM to target his Moonscape theme over.
Otherwise, would be a great piece of software.
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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by Michaell » 2022-05-12, 13:49

I don't like the pagan idol connection at all, but if it is only a behind the scene code name, then I guess I can ignore.

For a name, first suggestion I thought of is Unity Email. Partly because of UXP and partly because of your description.

My favorite email was Outlook Express. Never liked Thunderbird much from a design standpoint but did use it some (and Fossamail).

There is/was a small independent one I used for a long time called Scribe. Basic but has the most important stuff and simple design. One I would not emulate is Pegasus - overly complicated.

Unfortunately now I'm stuck with web-based email. No one wants to offer free (POP3) email anymore. I miss when ISPs included that with internet access.
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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-05-12, 14:42

Baloo wrote:
2022-05-12, 13:39
OAuth2 is important for anyone using Google, but IIRC that was lifted from new Thunderbird releases.
That might be the one thing I can't do easily. I considered it at first, but then I realized I can't just use Thunderbird's API key, which is how that was done before. There is kind of a legal... err, grey area surrounding that, and I tend to be sort of a "by-the-book" kind of guy. I don't know if I could implement OAuth2 in a fully open-source way, and I might have to put that functionality off into some kind of proprietary add-on. I'd definitely have to look at the terms (if any) under which I could do something like that, whether I would need to sign an NDA and bury implementation details, comply with all the licenses carefully, figure out how I would keep people from taking the API key, etc.
Michaell wrote:
2022-05-12, 13:49
I don't like the pagan idol connection at all, but if it is only a behind the scene code name, then I guess I can ignore.
Yeah, that is something I didn't even think of people objecting to, which is why I asked. I definitely want a name the whole community would be comfortable with, of course.
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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by back2themoon » 2022-05-12, 15:35

Excellent idea and name, but before suggesting anything... I think starting May 30, 2022 OAuth2 is going to be the only way to access Gmail with a desktop eMail client. Isn't this critical?

https://support.google.com/accounts/ans ... 0255?hl=en
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1369658

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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-05-12, 15:42

back2themoon wrote:
2022-05-12, 15:35
Excellent idea and name, but before suggesting anything... I think starting May 30, 2022 OAuth2 is going to be the only way to access Gmail with a desktop eMail client. Isn't this critical?

https://support.google.com/accounts/ans ... 0255?hl=en
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1369658
Honestly, it might be the thing that kills this project before it gets off the ground. :/

If that's the main thing people need, then... I'm afraid you know what your options are, at least for now. I'm actually kind of starting to regret putting work into this, given that this is what people are pointing out to me almost immediately, and it's the one thing I know I will have a hard time doing anything about.

All I can say is... if someone wants to build their own UXP E-mail client based on my work, brand it themselves, and take on the legal risks to do things I am not willing to do, then I guess I'm fine with that. But I don't want my name on it or to be linked to it in any way in that case.
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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by back2themoon » 2022-05-12, 15:52

An explicitly non-Google eMail client does have a certain allure, but I'm suspecting most people use at least one Gmail account.

Its non-Googleness is going to be a main feature, for better or worse.

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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-05-12, 15:57

Sorry guys... I think I've changed my mind.

The work is there, but I won't do anything further. It really seems to be a dead end. You've told me some hard truths that I did not want to hear, about Gmail and what people will demand that I may not be able to deliver. I'll be going straight into a challenge I am not prepared to face if I do this. I don't want to invest in something that will be defined by its lack of ability to use Gmail, and compared unfavorably to everything else because I can't legally do what people want. I can already see that people are going to be disappointed out of the gate because the main feature people will want is Gmail compatibility, and I just can't deal with that.

Thanks for your interest anyway. I... I'm not the guy to do it.
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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by EMH_Mark_I » 2022-05-13, 04:35

athenian200 wrote:
2022-05-12, 12:39
I feel like I need to go ahead and say I'm working on this, because people are starting to get impatient about a replacement UXP e-mail client. I wanted to start fresh, with a clean slate that doesn't have all the baggage of the past, if you know what I mean.
athenian200 wrote:
2022-05-12, 15:57
Sorry guys... I think I've changed my mind.

The work is there, but I won't do anything further. It really seems to be a dead end. You've told me some hard truths that I did not want to hear, about Gmail and what people will demand that I may not be able to deliver. I'll be going straight into a challenge I am not prepared to face if I do this. I don't want to invest in something that will be defined by its lack of ability to use Gmail, and compared unfavorably to everything else because I can't legally do what people want. I can already see that people are going to be disappointed out of the gate because the main feature people will want is Gmail compatibility, and I just can't deal with that.

Thanks for your interest anyway. I... I'm not the guy to do it.
Well that was quick. Perhaps you could just forgo Oauth2 support altogether. There is also the matter of the API key involved too. There would be less maintenance in this implementation, but also likely far less users too; but that is their problem since they refuse to leave a service that is closing them in, not yours. Demands for support with such services is unreasonable. You'll have to carve yourself a niche!
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Re: I was working on a new E-mail client for UXP, but...

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-05-13, 05:06

Well... uh, this is awkward. I almost gave up on the idea because I thought there was no legal way for me to actually get an OAuth2 API key from Google.

It turns out that... they pretty much just handed me an API key after I found the request form and said I was creating a desktop app. If I'm understanding correctly, they are apparently willing to give one to anyone who has a Google account, and I have one for YouTube anyway. So all I have to do to be in the clear as far as having some kind of implementation is replace Thunderbird's API key with my own, and then I should be able to legally include some degree of OAuth2 support. I don't know if it will work as well as Thunderbird's key since it will likely be unverified (unless I can convince Google to verify my application), but it's something more than just having no support at all.

I was fully prepared for this to be a showstopper if it was something people cared about, but it looks like it may not be. I was able to get my own Gmail account working using the API key I created. Anyway, sorry for almost giving up. You may actually have Google to thank for lowering the barriers to obtaining an OAuth2 key somewhat for the fact that I found the motivation to continue, ironically.

The reason this brought on such a big reaction so fast is because it was something I was already worried about before making the OP, so seeing that concern echoed in the first couple of posts just cemented those doubts in my mind. But anyway, just bear in mind. I can't actually make OAuth2 support happen unilaterally. I have to work with these companies to get it done the right way, and I am essentially at their mercy as to whether we can support their services or not. But if there are hoops I can jump through to make it happen without violating any laws, then I have no moral problem with attempting to work with them on their terms.
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Re: I was working on a new E-mail client for UXP, but...

Unread post by Pause » 2022-05-13, 06:25

athenian200 wrote:
2022-05-13, 05:06
It turns out that... they pretty much just handed me an API key after I found the request form and said I was creating a desktop app. If I'm understanding correctly, they are apparently willing to give one to anyone who has a Google account
Unfortunately that's just a step for development testing purposes and has a user cap too, with actual implementation apparently requiring even more steps including a YouTube video being made.

The biggest stopper for most Open Source email projects however will be that there's a yearly cost of at least $4.5k (that can go anywhere up to $75k or even more) for Google to verify it.

https://support.google.com/googleapi/an ... 4865?hl=en

https://community.pmail.com/index.php?u ... impossible

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Re: I was working on a new E-mail client for UXP, but...

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-05-13, 06:57

Pause wrote:
2022-05-13, 06:25
Unfortunately that's just a step for development testing purposes and has a user cap too, with actual implementation apparently requiring even more steps including a YouTube video being made.

The biggest stopper for most Open Source email projects however will be that there's a yearly cost of at least $4.5k (that can go anywhere up to $75k or even more) for Google to verify it.
That's the thing, though. It seems like from what I've gathered so far, the scope that would be needed for an e-mail application would not be one of the restricted ones, which means that a lot of that process would not be necessary for something that deals with e-mail on the user level only. A lot of people seem to be trying to include/request restricted scopes and thereby getting their application flagged as needing a premium version of the service unwittingly. It would be very easy to do that.

Anyway, I'm not content to accept your answer just yet. I'm not saying you will be wrong in the end, but so far I was told verification was not needed to publish my application based on the scopes I requested.
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Re: I was working on a new E-mail client for UXP, but...

Unread post by Pause » 2022-05-13, 07:23

athenian200 wrote:
2022-05-13, 06:57
That's the thing, though. It seems like from what I've gathered so far, the scope that would be needed for an e-mail application would not be one of the restricted ones, which means that a lot of that process would not be necessary for something that deals with e-mail on the user level only. A lot of people seem to be trying to include/request restricted scopes and thereby getting their application flagged as needing a premium version of the service unwittingly. It would be very easy to do that.
https://support.google.com/cloud/answer ... ted-scopes
https://mail.google.com/ (includes any usage of IMAP, SMTP, and POP3 protocols)
That suggests otherwise.

If you're thinking of the exception stated to be
SMTP/IMAP/WP: The app is used to send emails through WordPress, or similar single-account SMTP plugins.
then it seems clear enough that they're thinking in terms of sending transactional email from a singular email address, like registration confirmations, lost password reset emails, or other such types etc. from a blog or similar type of installation as an exception.

And given that a developer of an email client that he's been making for over 30 years has had to drop the functionality that he thought was ready after hitting publish, due to it not being made clear in the development process of the fees and other steps, I'd imagine it's safe to say he knows what he's talking about.

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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-05-13, 07:40

Very well then, Pause. I will take you at your word. I'm not willing to go forward without OAuth2 after all, but out of respect for you and the author of Pegasus Mail, and a lack of desire to compete with e-mail clients that do have OAuth2 with something that has to be crippled for legal reasons... I'm going back with my original decision and not working on this.

I apologize for the indecisiveness. It's easy to work on something alone and find solutions that work for me, but having to actually publish it and deal with other people's expectations and hard truths is more than I can bear. I've had to swallow so many bitter pills today already, and I can only imagine going forward would be even worse.
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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by Moonchild » 2022-05-13, 10:05

Sorry but doesn't the fact that you indicated clearly you are making an e-mail app when requesting the API key and Google giving you one in response put this clearly in the green light zone? I mean, Google if anything has always been very keen to not grant keys unless they are sure it's OK. You indicated the intent, they gave you a key for that intent, so you should be able to use it in that case, period.
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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-05-13, 10:39

That's what I thought too, and here's why:
paint.png
It's really not clear at all that the API key would only be for testing, because what it said right here was that verification was not required, and I was able to use this key for multiple Gmail accounts after setting the status to "In Production," so I thought I was in the clear.

The dialog explicitly says "verification not required," and lists status as in production. But it looks like there is a possibility that this would result in a hard cap of 100 users and after it passed that, it would no longer work. As you can see, it's rather confusing.

Yeah, basically I am leaning towards making something, I just don't want to get people's hopes up if I can't make something I consider useful enough and that's why it seems like I keep changing my mind, because the information and possibilities available seem to keep changing. At first it seems like I can, then it seems like I can't, then it seems like I can... and that keeps changing my "decision," but really there's not a decision being made so much as assumptions about an external situation that affects my choice keeps changing.
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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by Moonchild » 2022-05-13, 11:05

That user cap seems to apply only to "apps" (i.e. Android) and perhaps web applications that use OAuth to request sensitive data from other services (through single sign-on). It's indeed not at all clear where this would come into play (if at all) for an e-mail application that is on desktop and uses it to authenticate for gmail mail access.
To be fair i'm not using OAuth myself in Interlink, even if I have 2 gmail accounts linked, and there doesn't seem to be any problem because I set my google account to allow "less secure" clients (i.e. normal authentication over SSL) way back when, so I can't say one way or another how well or poorly it works.

I think if you want to make a mail client, you should not get hung up on what Google does or doesn't do. Many users would actually not use gmail, anyway. And you can release it with the note that the status of OAuth usage isn't clear... Or maybe even allow people to set their own API key if it's going to be gmail account bound for individual use only? I mean, there do seem to be solution for all of it.
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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-05-13, 11:10

Moonchild wrote:
2022-05-13, 11:05
To be fair i'm not using OAuth myself in Interlink, even if I have 2 gmail accounts linked, and there doesn't seem to be any problem because I set my google account to allow "less secure" clients (i.e. normal authentication over SSL) way back when, so I can't say one way or another how well or poorly it works.
Well, supposedly Google is about to stop allowing that at the end of the month. That was the main issue that was causing alarm and made me think maybe this wasn't feasible.
I think if you want to make a mail client, you should not get hung up on what Google does or doesn't do. Many users would actually not use gmail, anyway. And you can release it with the note that the status of OAuth usage isn't clear... Or maybe even allow people to set their own API key if it's going to be gmail account bound for individual use only? I mean, there do seem to be solution for all of it.
That is actually an idea I had shortly after going back to the drawing board. Seeing if I can set the application up so people can create and use their own API key with Gmail rather than requiring me as the application vendor to provide one, if it turns out I can't provide one. There have actually been a few types of applications out there that complained Google told them that every user had to have their own API key for a particular use case and they were frustrated about it, but it seemed to annoy them more than stop them.
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Re: I'm working on a new E-mail client for UXP.

Unread post by back2themoon » 2022-05-13, 11:21

The App password method should work for anyone with 2FA enabled on their Google account. No OAuth2 requirement. There's no indication it will be axed post May 30, 2022.

In case OAuth2 implementation becomes unreachable, users in search of a quality alternative client shouldn't have trouble dealing with 2FA.

There's a lot of potential for this project.

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