[Moderately OK GIF suggesting envelopes turning into hypertext
documents] HYPERMAIL.FOR

What is it?

HYPERMAIL.FOR is a webserver script which makes email archives accessible from the web. It was inspired by the Unix Hypermail application currently owned by Hewlett-Packard but available under the GNU public license. The original version of Hypermail takes email archives from a Unix mbox file and creates linked HTML documents, thereby duplicating the archives in a web-accessible format.

Why another version?

HYPERMAIL.FOR is a complete and independent re-write of a Hypermail-like web script for the OpenVMS environment and the OSU/DECthreads webserver. (Hypermail.c is not available for platforms running the OpenVMS operating system.) And yes, it's written entirely in Fortran, despite the stampeding hordes who have known only C.

Is HYPERMAIL.FOR any better than the original?

HYPERMAIL.FOR does not read Unix mbox archives and spew out hundreds of little HTML documents. Instead, it uses the OpenVMS callable mail interface to read VMSmail archives directly, and generates HTML on the fly. It takes advantage of the scalability of OpenVMS ISAM mail file structures and the robustness of VMSclusters existing on no other platform, to provide instant email archive access from the web. No separate programs need be run to update the web portion of the archive, since there is no "web portion"; it's dynamically generated from the source.

Find out more about Hypermail's ease of use here.

Hypermail Now!

The current version (V1.4) was released on July 23, 1997. V1.1 added subject threading. V1.2 allowed customized presentation (H1 and H2 substitution) via translation of process logical names. V1.3 detected and provided links for likely URLs and email addresses. The ~username syntax was added for accessing the default mail index of the specified user. Marked mail messages in subject list are highlighted via the <strong> tag. V1.4 further enhanced customized presentation via special messages contained within the email archive itself. Link formation occurs around some forms of DECnet email and DECnet subnet addresses, and Hypermail can now access mail folders which include spaces, quotes, and the # and % symbols within folder names.

Download the source to V1.4 as well as the include file, and check out some additional installation details before compiling.

Wish List

Possible Alternatives

Since HYPERMAIL.FOR was written, several alternative strategies for serving MX archives or VMS mail have surfaced. The latest Digital solution would be the replacement for the All-in-1 product, called Digital Office Server V4.0 for OpenVMS. The Office Server provides a web interface to All-in-1 folders with full user authorization. This product is not free. Hmmm. Let's try Office Server V5 these days instead.

A Perl version of Hypermail was written by Earl Hood. He calls it MHonArc, and it's known to run on VMS against MX archives. It even includes support for MIME'd messages.

Another potential alternative for MX archives is John Brittnacher's Web MXarchive software, which is composed of two pieces. The first piece reads a monthly MX archive and produces an index of message subjects. The second interacts with the OSU Webserver, receives a request for a specific message, and parses that message from the MX archive.

DECnotes have been served via Roland Kessi's DECnotes Script (aka Webnotes?), but Spyglass seems to have purchased the rights to this software and then killed it. For an example site covering many different DECnotes conferences, check out the DECUServe conference index. If you locate a current source for the DECnotes Script, please correct me via email.

Francesco Brunetta has written a COM file which extracts mail to text files using PMDF, and also creates HTML index files for web serving. He calls his product Mail2Web.

Finally, Mark Daniel created YAHmail (yet another hypermail) for his WASD server, and then ported it to other servers as well. This is probably the package of choice for those who want simply to read their own VMS mail via the web.

[Hypermail] [Installation] [Customization] [Typical Use] [Security]

Last updated July 16, 2002,
Jonathan Boswell, jsb@NewTrumpet.org