An FAQ post for future reference because, well, it’s a FAQ!
ViMbAdmin is primarily a database frontend for managing virtual mailboxes with mail services such as Postfix and Dovecot.
A frequently asked question is does it / can it support vacation / out of office auto-responders. The short answer is no.
The main way to handle OOO responders is via SIEVE (e.g. Dovecot’s version). To put a front end on this, you need a server configured for external SIEVE management and a client with SIEVE support (which ViMbAdmin does not have).
I’ve done it in three ways in the past:
- directly editing the .dovecot.sieve file. This is only really good for people with access to the server and some clue.
- Using a Thunderbird plugin allowing editing of SIEVE files. Again, clue required.
- For one customer, they can do it via the SoGO web interface weÂ installed for them.Â This is a very nice interface for people migrating from Exchange.
We did look at fixing a Thunderbird Out of Office plugin but didn’t getÂ very far.
What we all need here is for someone for write / sponsor aÂ decent SIEVE based Thunderbird OOO plugin.Â Here’s some prior art:Â https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/sieve.
As part of pushing our new release of ViMbAdmin, I wrote up a mini how-to for setting up a virtual email system on Ubuntu where the components are:
- Postfix as the SMTP engine;
- Dovecot for IMAP. POP3, Sieve and LMTP;
- ViMbAdmin as the domain / mailbox / alias management system via web interface.
It supports a number of features including mailbox archival and deletion, quota support and display of mailbox sizes (as well as per domain totals).
Find the how-to at:
This post is much less of a detailed how-to but rather some useful links. We were tasked with the job of sync’ing about 1,000 MS Exchange mailboxes to a Dovecot server. This needed to be done via an administrator account on the Exchange end as individual user passwords were not available.
The tool of choice for this is imapsync. Â Unfortunately, there is not a single formula that will work for all as it can depend on the Exchange configuration and version as well as the use of domains on the Exchange and ActiveDirectory servers.
To help understand the various combinations of logins for Exchange, I found the following invaluable:Â Understanding login strings with POP3/IMAP.
Also invaluable is the imapsync FAQ – just search for mentions of Exchange.
In the end, the following worked for me (but yourÂ mileageÂ will most definitely vary!):
./imapsync --host1 exchange-server
--user1 'domain/adminuser/user' --password1 'admin-password'
--host2 dovecot-server --user2 email@example.com
One key element here is that when logging into Exchange as an individual user I had to use
--authmech1 NTLM but if you use this auth method with the above user string, you will always end up logging into the admin’s mailbox, not the user’s. That, at least, was my experience.
I was just reviewing an accessibility presentationÂ where the author had an interesting slide on the top 15 UI libraries on GitHub with 1500+ watchers. Here they are with links and descriptions (my own comments in italics):
- impress.js – It’s a presentation framework based on the power of CSS3 transforms and transitions in modern browsers and inspired by the idea behind prezi.com. (GitHub page).
- chosen -Â Chosen is a library for making long, unwieldy select boxes more friendly. Another plugin we love and use in a number of projects.
- jQuery-File-Upload -Â File Upload widget with multiple file selection, drag&drop support, progress bars and preview images for jQuery.
- spin.js -Â An animated CSS3 loading spinner with VML fallback for IE.
- deck.js – Modern HTML presentations (GitHub page).
- Skeleton -Â A Beautiful Boilerplate for Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Development.
- Foundation -Â An easy to use, powerful, and flexible framework for building prototypes and production code on any kind of device.
- showoff -Â the best damn presentation software a developer could ever love (example).
- ajax-upload -Â A file upload script with progress-bar, drag-and-drop (GitHub page).
- isotope -Â An exquisite jQuery plugin for magical layouts.
- Timeline JS -Â Beautifully crafted timelines that are easy, and intuitive to use. This actually looks really cool and very pretty.
- etherpad-lite -Â An Etherpad based on node.js – Our goal is to make collaborative editing the standard on the web.
- ColorBox -Â A lightweight customizable lightbox plugin for jQuery.
Some thinks that jump out at me from the above is that frameworks are very popular and, similarly, prestation frameworks are also very popular. There must be a deep hatred of PowerPoint and Keynote among web developers! The other take away for me is how a very small project – such as chosen – can become hugely hugely popular.
We’ve just pushed a new release of ViMbAdmin – version 2.1. The main highlights are:
- it’s now possible to restrict access to a mailbox via either IMAP, POP3 or both. See this page on the wiki for more information.
- it’s our first release requiring a database migration. But it’s really really easy – see this page for those instructions.
As always, a live demo is available at:Â http://www.opensolutions.ie/vimbadmin/.
It’s been a busy few weeks:
- We launched TallyStick – a time tracking and billing tool – two weeks ago and have pushed some bug fixes and updates. So far so good!
- IXP Manager, an open sourceÂ web application to assist in the management of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)Â that we built over at INEX, got a complete UI refresh thanks to Twitter’s Bootstrap;
- Similarly, ourÂ open source email domain / mailbox / alias management tool called ViMbAdmin got a major version bump, lots of new features and a UI refresh also;
- We also just open sourced (BSD) our (admittedly small)Â Minify tool which makes minifying, bundling and versioning the manner JS and CSS files that make up websites these days a breeze. Check it out on GitHub:Â https://github.com/opensolutions/Minify.
Today, we’re pleased to announce the immediate availability of 2.0.6 which has a number of incremental fixes and improvements.
Just over a week ago, we released V2 of ViMbAdmin which was a complete UI refresh.
Thanks for all the feedback and bug reports since then.
Today, we’re pleased to announce the immediate availability of 2.0.6 which has a number of incremental fixes and improvements including:
- Domain is now ‘sticky’ when moving between mailboxes, aliases and logs making it much easier to browse a single domain;
- A cookie is now used to remember the page length for individual users;
- We now use grouped icons with tooltips rather than labelled buttons throughout;
- The horrible your IP address has changed messageÂ is gone.
As usual, a full change log is available hereÂ and the packaged release can be downloaded directly here.
We’ve put some time aside over the last week to do a major UI overhaul on ViMbAdmin – specifically incorporating Twitter’s superb Bootstrap framework. The before an after’s tell a lot about this.
Over a Open Solutions, we’ve put some time aside over the last week to do a major UI overhaul on ViMbAdmin – specifically incorporating Twitter’s superb Bootstrap framework. The before an after’s tell a lot about this. Here’s how it was:
And here’s the new improved look:
We’ve also closed a lot of bugs, improved the functionality and navigation and added a couple of small features.
Let us know what you think!
I have recently been converted from and SVN user to a Git user. You can read about myÂ road to DamascusÂ moment over in my personal blog.
As such I have converted my co-workers and we have migratedÂ ViMbAdminÂ toÂ GitHub. We feel that the project is in an early enough stage to not cause too much annoyance with the current user base. We do sincerely apologise for all and any inconvenience caused.
Do you want to continue with your SVN installation?
Feel free toÂ svn switchÂ your base from Google Code to the following which tracks our master (i.e. stable / production / release) branch:
Migrating to Git
Just follow the instructions at:
and skip the database setup. Just copy over yourÂ application/configs/application.iniÂ file to the new Git clone.
Using Official Packaged Releases?
No problem – you’ll now find new versions at:
…and I’m bloody delighted.Â
The straw finally came when Nick forced my hand for a project we wanted to release through our work in INEX. I was pushing for Google Code but he had his heart set on GitHub. Now, in fairness, GitHub has some SVN bindings but after some research, I decided to dive right in.
Now, there’s both a steep learning curve but also a complete change of mindset required from centralised source code management (SCM) with SVN to the distributed model of Git. In the end, most projects will decide on a canonical Git repository anyway which pushes you slightly back towards centralised but there’s still a world of aÂ difference.
So, what’s so good about Git? Well, lots. But first and foremost is it’s exceptionally powerful yet simple branching andÂ mergingÂ that just works. And works fast – remember, with Git everything is local.
One work flow that used to kill me in SVN was that you’d be implementing feature X but someone needed bug Y fixed immediately involving some of the same code. Getting just the fix for Y in was tough and complicated. And branching in SVN isn’t quick or simple. In Git, I branch from the main development branch for every new feature, bug fix, etc and then merge what I need between them and back into develop when they’re ready to be pushed back to the agreed canonical repository.
I’ve been so impressed with Git that I’ve moved an open source project we created in Open Solutions over to Github: ViMbAdmin. I’ve also forced the rest of my team in Open Solutions over to Git and migrated a number of customer projects already. And we’re reapingÂ productivityÂ rewards!
How we work Git for projects was taken from this excellent post which I would fully recommend:Â A successful Git branching model.
Useful Git Links: