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Offering Email through the Laptops

Although at some point during development a laptop email was apparently a priority project, it seems to have now been decided that "children don't need email" and that in any case Gmail is sufficient. If your needs are different, see Tinymail and Projects/xomail for an active email client project for the OLPC. See the discussion below for history.

Historical unnamed email client

Note: The project described in this section appears to be dead.

OLPC intern Imran Akbar is working on a prototype email client written in Python. It will initially utilize existing POP/IMAP servers to store messages, and use a keyserver for GPG encryption and zlib compression built-in. The GUI interface will be simpler, with three tabs on the left: Mail, Contacts, and maybe History. Voicemail capabilities will be added later utilizing the Speex codec (recording and playing back of voice messages).

Other ideas:

  • captchas and hashcash to eliminate spam
  • casy mailing-list creation
  • tags
  • presence - location & local time, through a P2P layer such as the Circle
  • global address book
  • ditching the Re: and Fw: conventions, and moving them to the headers instead, along with hashes for each conversation so they can be properly threaded

Considering a four-step spam solution: for in-network email:

  • captchas required to send any msg
  • hashcashs added to email headers
  • a user-based dynamic ranking system

for regular email:

  • integrating pyzor (collaborative spam filtering) and spambayes (bayesian spam filtering)

Bits and Pieces:

  • pymailgui
  • pyne
  • pyaudio
  • Either pyQt or PyGTK as the GUI toolkit - perhaps pyQt due to cross-platform compatibility, with a frozen binary for systems without Qt.

Tentative timeline:

  • End of July: a running python email client with a GUI
  • End of August: above, with encryption/compression/backend database support
  • End of September: above, with P2P support and voicemail capabilities

More thoughts on why email still sucks:

Generous thanks to Wingware for their great IDE for Python.

Imran is looking for a nice name for the project, preferably a recursive name a-la GNU.

--Imr 14:54, 14 July 2006 (EDT)

Existing email clients

  • Sylpheed works well, though you need to launch it from the command-line.
sudo yum install sylpheed