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Background, Features and FAQ

Posts: 9,136
Thanks: 546
Fixes: 46
Registered: 06-04-2007

Background, Features and FAQ

    Following the Webmail Incident back in May 2007, we withdrew our @mail Webmail solution and implemented SquirrelMail as a temporary solution.
    Whilst SquirrelMail has served us well, it hasn't got the prettiest of user interfaces and it does have some annoyances that we felt could be eradicated with the use of an alternative client. So with this in mind we've spent the last few months looking around for a suitable replacement. Here’s some of the software we’ve looked at…

    We found that whilst RoundCube offers basic functionality, it also provides a good foundation on which to build. It’s open-source and there are opportunities for us to contribute to and influence the development of the product. Accordingly we decided to install a copy of RoundCube and let staff and our customers evaluate it.
    RoundCube Webmail is a browser-based multilingual IMAP client with an application-like user interface. It provides the full functionality you expect from an e-mail client, including MIME support, address book, folder manipulation, message searching and spell checking. RoundCube Webmail is written in PHP and requires a MySQL or Postgres database. The user interface is fully skinnable using XHTML and CSS 2. The project includes open-source classes/libraries like PEAR and the IMAP wrapper from
    RoundCube is currently in stable/alpha stages. The stable build is v.0.1.1 released on 5th April 2008. The version installed for the trial is the v.0.2-alpha build that was released 9th June 2008 - This pre-release comes up with a DOM (Document Object Model)-based HTML sensitisation which removes malicious JavaScript code from HTML messages and fixes all known XSS vulnerabilities. It also contains over 100 bug fixes and sports additional features such as the inclusion of a preview pane.
    Released features
  • Multilingual capabilities
  • Full support for MIME and HTML messages
  • Compose messages with attachments
  • Multiple sender identities
  • Basic address book
  • Find-as-you-type address book integration
  • Forwarding messages with attachments
  • Create or remove custom message folders
  • Built-in caching for fast mailbox access
  • Support for external SMTP server
  • Searching messages and contacts
  • Spell checking
  • Advanced user interface
  • Unlimited users and messages
  • Complete customisation with skins

Planned features

  • Richtext/HTML composing
  • Message filters and rules
  • Full featured address book based on VCard standard
  • Import/export functions
  • Support for GPG/PGP encryption
  • Threaded message listing
  • Plug-in API for flexible extensions

You can see a copy of RoundCube's development roadmap here.
The proposed move to RoundCube is only a small part of a much wider project which encompasses architectural changes, the introduction of additional functionality and a number of improvements to the features we currently offer (spam filtering in particular). Expect to hear more about all of that over the coming months.
If your question is not covered here please raise it in the forums. Additional questions/answers will be added based on that feedback.

Support Questions
How is trial support provided?
Support for the RoundCube trial is provided entirely through this forum, please do not raise a ticket.
Does using RoundCube mean I can no longer use SquirrelMail?
No. RoundCube accesses exactly the same IMAP mail folders as SquirrelMail and that application remains available to trialists for use when desired. However to avoid the applications being confused by unexpected changes in folder contents please try to avoid using them simultaneously.
Is there a list of known problem and new feature requests?
Yes, the ongoing development of RoundCube is supported through the wiki and tracker site here. Before reporting an issue, you are encouraged to consult the View tickets section of that site.

General Questions
Can I create alternative sender identities?
Yes, go into Personal Settings (along the top edge) and select the Identities tab. Click an existing identity to view and edit its definition.  Click the New identity button and fill in the form to create a new one. Tick the Set default checkbox on the identity you want to be the default. Remember to click the Save button if you make changes.
How do I select an alternative identity?
Your default identity should appear first in the list and be selected when a new message is created. If you want to use a different one select it from the drop-down list shown against "Sender" (top box)
How can I create a new folder?
Go into Personal Settings, select the Folders tab and you will find a Create new folder box at the bottom of the display.
How can I move messages to a different folder?
List the contents of the folder containing the message to be moved. Click and drag this message from the list and drop it on the destination folder.
What are Pretty dates (Personal Settings option)?
This is a date format where dates within the last week are described in the style Today 14:55, or Tue 08:17 instead of 09/10/2008 14:55, or 07/10/2008 08:17.
08/10/2008 Editorial changes to Background section.
09/10/2008 Updated FAQ.