Push mail the open standards way

by Volker Weber

I think IBM has some "open standards" work to do, real stuff that works outside of PowerPoint, err Symphony.

What's the open standards way of getting push mail to your mail client? RFC 2177 better known as the IMAP4 IDLE command. The standard is dated June 1997. And it has not been implemented in the IMAP Domino server task, and also not in the Notes client. It's in all Symbian phones, the Mac Mail client supports it, and of course a load of IMAP clients all around. The iPhone however does not support it.

macimapidle.png

Here is a little exercise: take the latest and greatest Notes client (8.5 beta 1) and connect it to an IMAP server, for instance Google Mail, and see what you get. I hope it's better than 8.0.

Read the RFC and you will see that it's not that hard to implement the IDLE command. It essentially does ... nothing.

Comments

Does the twophone support it?

Chris Linfoot, 2008-06-10 10:21

I don't know. 1.13 does not.

Volker Weber, 2008-06-10 10:25

The funny detail of this RFC is the author's employer.

Oliver Regelmann, 2008-06-10 11:20

wow, I didn't realise the iPhone didn't actually do IDLE like they said it did. I have been pestering IBM for ages to support this, and CalDAV. They still should.

Alan Bell, 2008-06-10 11:33

IMAP on LN 8.5 is still looking like LN 5.

Markus Thielmann, 2008-06-10 12:13

I've been using IMAP IDLE for a year now with my Sony/Ericsson phone, and it works great - all email arrives at my phone with no polling (had to direct all mail to a generic hosting mail server, as Domino didn't support IDLE).

If there is no good technical reason why Domino can't support this, it would seem to me to be an easy way for IBM to give enhanced business functionality to all those (non-BB) people with phones that already support IMAP IDLE.

Richard Hogan, 2008-06-10 13:10

@markus. Duh, it's a beta! It's not finished yet. ;)

Kerr Rainey, 2008-06-10 13:16

@Oliver: The author worked for IBM Research. Noone in development pays any attention to those guys ;-) This reminds me of the story of ASCII vs. EBCDIC, as pointed out in the Wikipedia page on EBCDIC:

"Interestingly, IBM was a chief proponent of the ASCII standardization committee. However, IBM did not have time to prepare ASCII peripherals (such as card punch machines) to ship with its System/360 computers, so the company settled on EBCDIC at the time."

And several decades later, EBCDIC is still with us.

Bob Congdon, 2008-06-10 18:19

Bob, much of Sametime, and all of Activities, Dogear, and Atlas came from Lotus Research. Future versions of Connections and Quickr are integrating Lotus Research work.

Alan Lepofsky, 2008-06-10 19:38

After I figured out that Domino does not support IMAP Idle (while trying to get my new Palm 755p to play nice with my Domino server), I posted this idea to IdeaJam:

IMAP Idle Command

To date, 19 votes. I figure that not many people care/know about this.

Gregg Eldred, 2008-06-10 19:48

Just a quick note to point out that there actually is an IMAP IDLE application for the iPhone if you jailbreak it. I've used it and it does work but you suffer a small battery life hit.

http://iphone.rustyredwagon.com/

Kirk Kuykendall, 2008-06-11 03:37

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vowe.net is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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