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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 150345 22-Jul-2008 15:44
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Your original post was about "push email" and the underlying technology. Now we are delving into mobile operators and data plan pricing, which is completely unrelated to the topic.






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  Reply # 150349 22-Jul-2008 15:51

OK. I think you're right (though they are not totally unrelated)

I think the matter has been addressed sufficiently for me to make a decision forward.

Conclusion: true "push mail" IS as myth, but the end-user doesn't care (and the marketing IS deceptive/misleading)

Another project that may be of interest to those working with this tech is:
http://z-push.sourceforge.net/

PHP-based IMAP ActiveSync translator/component





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BDFL - Memuneh
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Reply # 150362 22-Jul-2008 16:08
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From Wikipedia,

Push e-mail is used to describe e-mail systems that provide an "always-on" capability, in which new e-mail is instantly and actively transferred (pushed) as it arrives by the mail delivery agent (MDA) (commonly called mail server) to the mail user agent (MUA), also called the e-mail client. Most of today's clients are smartphones.

So, once the email-client which gets connected to the mail server using some program like Activesync, in other words, when the email client looks/queries for changes at the mail server, the sync operations like push/pull is done.

Am I wrong here?




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Chaks

Desktop : Intel Quad Core Q9400 2.66GHz - 8GB RAM - 500 GB + 500 GB HDD - NVidia GeForce 9800GT - LG246WH Flatron Display - Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with Hyper-V
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  Reply # 150384 22-Jul-2008 16:38

The rub comes in at the use of the term "push", as in: the server uploading (push) the changes from the server to the client, which is not happening.
In "push mail", the server sends a request to the client that triggers a download (pull) from the server.

May seem a small, subtle & insignificant difference, but all the marketing is built on top of this misconception
(it basically implies a glorified mail client polling a modern mail-server)




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Reply # 150387 22-Jul-2008 16:45
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chakkaradeep: So, once the email-client which gets connected to the mail server using some program like Activesync, in other words, when the email client looks/queries for changes at the mail server, the sync operations like push/pull is done.

Am I wrong here?


What you are describing is what happens when you configure your client (mobile device, email program) to check the server on a pre-defined amount of time, in a cycle. This is not push, this is pull.

Microsoft Direct Push is based on the client opening a persistent connection to the server. On the HTTP request to open this connection the client notifies the server what folders to monitor.

This connection stays open for sometime, and if any changes happen in one of the nominated folders, then the server replies to the client on the same path that something happened.

The client then start ActiveSync behind the scenes but only for that folder.

You see how this is different of "email client looks/queries for changes at the mail server"?




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  Reply # 150389 22-Jul-2008 16:48
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freakalad: (it basically implies a glorified mail client polling a modern mail-server)


The client is not polling the server. The client opens a connection to wait for notifications from the server. Polling would be if the client were activelly connecting to the server and searching for new messages - which it is not. The client only connects to the server for new message when it receives a message saying there are new messages.

This is much different of traditional "polling" where you would configure an email client to log into your server every [x] minutes and ask for new message ids since the last time, which is most POP3 clients do for example.




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  Reply # 150571 23-Jul-2008 10:31
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freakalad: "Instant mail retrieval", "dynamic mail" or even "instant mail"

You cannot use the term "push" when you're not acually delivering anything.

If I call my local pizza-joint & order something to be delivered, I do not consider it delivered if I have to get in my car to go pick it up.
The product or service is provided, not brought to me


I've just read this entire thread and I'm flabbergasted - this seems like a lot of fuss over a real non-issue. I hate to poke the troll but I just can't help but respond to the above.

Your analogy is *way* off the mark. The experience of using "push email" cannot be compared to you ordering pizza and then having to go pick it up. It is more akin to pizza magically being delivered to your doorstep the instant your tummy starts to rumble. For all intents and purposes it was "pushed" to you from the pizza store. The mechanics of *how* it got to your door are not relevant to you as a consumer.

The fact that you take an interest in the technology behind "push email" and have discovered that the mechanics of how it works doesn't quite live up to the dream is irrelevant - it's the *perception* of the product that is being marketed, not the mechanics.

Quite simply: What should push email mean? Push email should mean email that is instantly delivered to the device without the human end-user having to manually check for email.  Is that the net result of the technology currently being marketed as "push email"? Yes, it is. End of.


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  Reply # 151181 25-Jul-2008 09:11
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I smell a linux troll.

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  Reply # 151205 25-Jul-2008 09:47
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I think this is largely a debate about domain semantics.

In cellular systems engineering, "push" is when a client receives a notification of some event without having to activate its transmit radio. Your cellphone always has its receive radio on, listening to the control channel (a broadcast channel) for events like incoming call notifications and sms notifications. So when e.g. it hears a notification of an incoming call for itself, it starts the transmit radio (thereby increasing power usage on the device by perhaps 10-100 times) and answers the call (on a different channel)

Cellular systems also require a form of keep-alive.. so that cellphones which have gone out of range are not persistently contacted on every base station in the area. That's the "brp brp br br br br brp" you'll hear every now and then if you keep your cellphone next to an audio amplifier. Years ago, Vodafone trumpeted a battery saving change on their network.. all they did was change the keep alive timer to a longer interval.

Now knowing all that... you can see that there is the potential, when you have tight integration between cellular provider and data services provider, to have notifications for other types of event than just incoming calls and sms messages. You could for example, have notifications that you have a new email on some arbitrary email server. HOWEVER as far as I'm aware, not one Enterprise messaging provider (not even RIM) uses such a solution. The degree of business integration between the cellulalar provider and messaging provider required to get the technical details worked out makes it impractical to deploy on multiple networks.

So we get the next best thing.. persistent TCP connections over the various GSM data carriers. If the handset is good, it will shut down the transmit radio afer very brief intervals when there is no transmission, and thus the power usage is a close approximation to the true cellular network push.

Apple's solution is as good as any.. they are using modern servers for the MobileMe email.. here is the IMAP caps string:

[CAPABILITY IMAP4 IMAP4rev1 ACL QUOTA LITERAL+ NAMESPACE UIDPLUS CHILDREN BINARY UNSELECT SORT LANGUAGE IDLE XSENDER X-NETSCAPE XSERVERINFO X-SUN-SORT X-SUN-IMAP X-ANNOTATEMORE X-UNAUTHENTICATE XUM1 AUTH=PLAIN STARTTLS] Messaging Multiplexor (Sun Java(tm) System Messaging Server 6.3-6.03 (built Mar 14 2008))

You can see both UIDPLUS and IDLE in there.. so notifications of new mail are going to be efficient.



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Reply # 151279 25-Jul-2008 13:50

Nice write-up, bleater!

Provides some food for thought

From the finer points you're providing, I would gave to take into the account the fact that SMS is also not truly mail, but this is a moot point, as was pointed out to me

From the header info provided, it all looks suspiciously IMAP IDLE to me, with a bit of fancy footwork thrown, presumably to make it proprietary.
Would be interesting to pull the traffic apart & see what makes it tick...

What would be required from your description would be some sort of ICMP or network layer signalling to get around the issue.

SIP?

a BTW PS. as was correctly noted, linux's my ho', but my mac is pretty sweet. windoze was swell, but the swelling's gone down
I'm a bit of a slut that way




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  Reply # 151334 25-Jul-2008 15:53
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ROFL! I like an honest Ho..truth be known I'm PDA hag :-)

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  Reply # 151335 25-Jul-2008 15:56
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Bleater - can you give us the skinny on this:

"Add your Wifi access point's location to Skyhook and help enable Loki location-based services in NZ! Takes 30 seconds at www.skyhookwireless.com/howitworks/submit_ap.php "

Cheers

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  Reply # 151337 25-Jul-2008 16:01
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motorwayne: Bleater - can you give us the skinny on this:

"Add your Wifi access point's location to Skyhook and help enable Loki location-based services in NZ! Takes 30 seconds at www.skyhookwireless.com/howitworks/submit_ap.php "

Cheers

Sure, I've got a post on the Wifi forum over here: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=9&TopicId=23914. So follow it over there.. it's cool.



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  Reply # 151339 25-Jul-2008 16:02

Little off-topic, but I see that VF's using the GSM/GPRS relay tower triangulation method on some of their services; don't know the NZ term, as it was called "Look4Me" in SA.

Sh!tty thing is that it's a vendor-only service, as they don't make that data available (won't cost them a cent).

I can think of a million & 1 services that could use that sort of data

Feeds into my point that these guys are bas.....!
*mope*




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