As part of the restructuring of the way Pegasus Mail and Mercury are distributed and funded, the manual sets are now being made available free of charge to all users who would like them.
Current manuals for both and Pegasus Mail can now be retrieved from the download.
I should point out that the manuals still contain text indicating that they are licensed and should not be distributed - this is because I simply have not had the opportunity to amend and regenerate them. You may now use the manuals on the same terms as the software - all restrictions other than copyright have now been lifted on them.
At the end of January 2007, Microsoft will be introducing their next release of Windows, Windows Vista. Vista is a major revision of Windows, and it is likely that it is going to break or affect the vast majority of existing third-party Windows software (presumably by design). This page identifies known issues with Pegasus Mail, Mercury and Windows Vista as of January 3rd 2007. Note that none of the issues identified below is major, and we are actively working on fixes for them.
Pegasus Mail: For reasons not adequately explained, Windows Vista does not include a functional help system (WinHelp has been removed, and HTMLHelp has been crippled). This means that you will not be able to use the Pegasus Mail help system unless you download WinHelp from the official Microsoft site (we are forbidden to distribute or make it available ourselves). We are working on developing our own help system to work around this problem. Vista also places new restrictions on applications wishing to perform default system functions (in Pegasus Mail's case, acting as the default mail program). You will probably not be able to use Pegasus Mail as your default mail program for mailto: URLs under Vista until we produce registration code that complies with the new Vista rules. Finally, Windows now pops up a spurious and annoying warning any time you run an application that does not have a Microsoft Authenticode digital signature from a shared volume. Unfortunately, getting an Authenticode signature is an expensive and arduous process, but we will do so as soon as we can (note that this last issue is not specific to Vista - it will also occur on any Windows XP system where Internet Explorer 7 has been installed).
Mercury/32: Mercury/32 suffers from the same Microsoft-induced help problems under Vista as Pegasus Mail, but as noted above, we are working on a replacement help system to fix this. Aside from that, we are not currently aware of any other specific problems under Vista, unless you have chosen to install Mercury into the Windows "Program Files" directory tree (not the default for the installer). Testing is continuing on Mercury, however, and we will update you here with anything more we find.
Pegasus Mail v4.41 is now available for public distribution in four languages (English, German, French and Italian). Originally I had not intended there to be any further releases in the v4.4 family, moving instead to development of V5, but some compelling new capabilities have persuaded me to bring out this release, which may prove to be one of the more significant in quite some time. Please click here for more information on v4.41.
For Mercury/32 PH Server (MercuryH) and PopPass Server (MercuryW). We have recently been informed of "script-kiddie" exploits circulating in the wild that target these Mercury/32 modules, and although we have only been able to confirm the MercuryH exploit, we have prepared precautionary patches for both modules - all Mercury/32 sites that use either of these modules under Mercury/32 v4.01a, Mercury/32 v4.01b or any Mercury/32 v4.10 beta should consider it mandatory to download and install the appropriate patch on their systems.
As discontent with Microsoft's "business practices" grows, we have seen unprecedented interest in alternative solutions for operating systems and applications. As a natural consequence of this, I have received numerous, or maybe even innumerable requests for a Linux version of Pegasus Mail. As a corollary to these requests, I have had a lot of people suggest that I also move to an Open Source basis for maintaining the Pegasus Mail and Mercury source code.
In the past, I have taken a cautious "wait-and-see" approach to the idea of Open Source. I am now willing to accept that it is a valid model, and that it is producing some genuinely excellent packages (such as FireFox, of which I am inordinately fond). Ideologically, I believe that Open Source and I are a good match, and I would like to consider going that way.
There are still some major problems with the idea of going Open Source though: the most important is "How do I survive in an Open Source environment"? While Pegasus Mail and Mercury do not require a huge amount of money to develop and support, the fact remains that they *do* require a level of funding, and I am not entirely sure how this would work within an Open Source model. I feel it is significant that the majority of Open Source initiatives are either funded externally (Mozilla), or basically not funded at all (OpenLDAP, OpenSSL): it seems to me that while Open Source is an excellent technical solution to the problem of large-scale development using widely-spread teams, the area of Open Source business modeling is one that still has not been completely resolved.
The other major issue with Pegasus Mail is that it uses a proprietary third-party product as its core editor, and I would not be able to take that product with me into an Open Source environment. The same problems do not exist with Mercury, because I have written every line of the package myself, but with Pegasus Mail, the problem is significant.
So, there you have it: I am now favourably disposed to the idea of moving towards Open Source, but have to overcome some important issues before I go down that track. I am actively considering the issues and hope I can find workable solutions (such as a large, friendly, wealthy sponsor) in the not-too-distant future.
Hopefully this update to my position will reduce the amount of hate-mail I have received in the last three years from Open-Source zealots. While I understand the passion and admire the zeal of these people, I would suggest that a positive approach is always going to work better than trying to rip out my liver and feed it to the dogs. After all, this *is* my baby - I have been working on these programs and providing them free of charge for over fifteen years now, and I don't believe it's too much to ask if I expect a little basic human courtesy.
If you have suggestions and are willing to present them to me in a positive, encouraging manner, I will be happy to receive them.
David Harris Owner/Author, Pegasus Mail and Mercury Systems, April 20th 2005.
A v4.01b patch is now available for Mercury/32. This patch fixes some buffer overflow vulnerabilities and memory leaks in the MercuryI IMAP server, and extends the transaction level filtering capabilities of the MercuryS SMTP server. All sites running v4.01a should consider this a mandatory upgrade.