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17th Dec 2004 | 10:55

Excellent idea from stephdiary in the pub last night: something like a proxyconfig.pac but for auto-configuring email software. This would be a boon because it's too complicated for most users.

gerald_duck mentioned that he has written a C++ program which frobs the registry in order to acheive something like this for common MUAs running on NT or its descendents.

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Comments {5}

from: techiebloke
date: 17th Dec 2004 04:44 (UTC)

I think there is a windows thing for this already; I seem to recall various demonic OLR systems handing out an .ins file that would configure DUN & lookout & things 'magically'.

I'll ask the turnpike folk this afternoon (we'll be in the pub); they're bound to know the details if my memory isn't playing tricks.

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 17th Dec 2004 04:53 (UTC)

That would be cool, thanks.

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from: pjc50
date: 17th Dec 2004 07:13 (UTC)

I remember the .ins files. They're standard win.ini style, so it should be easy to write on for e.g. Hermes.

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from: techiebloke
date: 17th Dec 2004 11:08 (UTC)


(Warning: This is a remembered conversation from early in the office xmas thing in the pub)

.ins files are .ini files. The fields are (now) reasonably documented in the IEAK (IE adaption kit); a MS downloadable thing. It will deal with DUN and lookout (and lookout express) and IE and things. It will happily add settings; deleting them is impossible(?), changing them is interesting.

It works on a Mac, too; this is because it used to DTRT with mac IE and mac outlook, and apple have carried on using it with macbuddy, even though it now configures different things.

If you need more clues, I'll see what I can get of of the turpike gang when I'm sober. And likely to stay that way ;-)

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from: knell
date: 17th Dec 2004 04:50 (UTC)

A mail server discovery protocol might be interesting (FSVO "interesting"), but the proxy.pac route would most likely be easier to implement with current technology. The wpad.whatever stuff Windows uses for auto proxy discovery could easy be extended sideways to do this.

And yes, mail server configuration is too complicated for most users, especially now that there are all those exciting options for, say, exactly how you want to do SMTP authentication.

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