POP Peeper v3.8.1 RC with Lycos support

October 12, 2011
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A release candidate for POP Peeper v3.8.1 is now available. The full changelog is available through the link.

This is primarily a maintenance release to fix some issues that were introduced and found after the release of v3.8. The one glaring exception is that support for Lycos webmail is back.

In 2010, Lycos went through several changes. First, they dumped their old interface and basically outsourced their email service to Zimbra. I decided to support the Zimbra interface. Some months later, in early 2011, they abandoned Zimbra and decided to go back to using their own, newly designed interface. At this point, I was pretty frustrated with Lycos and I had to decide whether I would continue supporting them. For quite a while — since at least the Zimbra-era — they were no longer allowing free accounts to be created. Not only does this drastically reduce the number of people that POP Peeper could be used for, but I had my doubts that Lycos’ email service would last for much longer with that strategy. For that reason, I decided to just wait-and-see and informally discontinue Lycos support.

Which brings us to today. I was recently told that Lycos had brought back free email service. You do need to provide a mobile phone # for verification, which can be a nuisance (there are free text-services available if you don’t have this capability, or more likely, don’t want to give your number to Lycos). With free accounts back on the table, I decided to support Lycos again. It’s certainly not the most popular webmail service that PP supports, but hopefully more than a few people will make use of it.

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POP Peeper: The future of Lycos support

February 16, 2011
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As of right now, I don’t know if I will continue to support Lycos. Here are the outstanding reasons why:
1) They don’t provide free email addresses anymore; this severely limits the number of people for whom PP support would benefit. If I didn’t already support Lycos, I wouldn’t even consider supporting it due to this reason.
2) They have changed their interface 2 times recently. While this is not a major deal breaker (I’ve gotten used to it with Hotmail and Yahoo in years past), it’s certainly a contributing factor. But, to me, it smells of desperation. They were using Zimbra which is a well-organized and popular email platform. I had never heard of anyone complaining about the Lycos-Zimbra interface; well, no more than when any interface changes, and if you remember the MyWay->BlueTie debacle, and they’re STILL using BlueTie… well, it just makes me suspicious of Lycos’ reason. I suspect that the royalties they pay to Zimbra outweigh the money they’re making from premium subscriptions.

#2 is only speculation and is not enough on its own to justify terminating Lycos support. #1, on the other hand, is very relevant. It takes a lot of time to add support for a brand new interface and how many people are still using Lycos free accounts? A handful or two at most, I suspect. The time spent supporting something that benefits a very limited number of users could be better spent supporting features that benefit the masses.

This is not a final decision, nor an easy one to make; I don’t like the idea of ending support for an existing service. Feedback is welcome and appreciated.

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Zimbra support for Lycos (beta)

October 12, 2010
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Webmail v3.7.0.1 contains Zimbra support for Lycos.  I consider this beta because, as of right now, I only know that it works for my one account.  Since Lycos does not provide free accounts anymore, I cannot test another account to make sure that it works for all accounts.

As far as what’s supported, everything should work with one known exception: it will only retrieve the first page of the inbox.  Zimbra let’s you adjust the number of messages per page: 10, 25, 50, 100 (under Preferences / Mail), so change that to your liking.  I may or may not support multiple pages as it appeared exceptionally complicated on my first look.  Respond with your opinion if it matters to you.

Since this is beta and I have already acknowledged that I don’t know if this works for any other accounts, I need your help to confirm that everything works as expected.  Here’s what I need tested (note that 3-6 can be tested with a single message if you retrieve preview by default, and then ‘get entire’ after #4):

  1. Can you retrieve your inbox?
  2. Do messages appear read/unread correctly?
  3. Can you view a *preview* of the message (as opposed to entire)?
  4. When you have a preview of the message, can you access attachments?
  5. Can you view the *entire* message?
  6. When you have the entire message, can you access attachments?
  7. Can you delete messages?
  8. Can you send messages (e.g. send yourself a test message)?

Well, that’s a small sampling of what needs to be tested, but it covers the bases.  If anybody can test each of these features and let me know your results, I’d appreciate it.  And the more people that can do so, the more confident I’d feel about it.

Update: If you have any free Lycos/Zimbra accounts that are still trying to access with Imap/POP3, you need to edit the account and change the ‘Server Type’ back to ‘Lycos.’

Update #2: POP Peeper only supports the ‘Ajax’ interface.  In Lycos, this is modified under Preferences / General / Client Type.

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