This is a short post to indicate where we stand with Mercury/32 at March 26 2007.
The next release of Mercury/32 will be v4.5 - the skip in version numbers indicates that a huge amount has gone on internally, but that it doesn't look that different. V4.5 has been almost entirely about reliability, scalability, performance and robustness: on the surface, not much has changed, but "under the hood" there have been thousand of changes and improvements. That said, there are some new features there as well:
- Disclaimers: a new filtering rule action makes it easy to insert text into any message. While intended mainly to allow sites to inject disclaimers into the mail sent by their users, it can also be used for many other purposes.
- Public folder delivery: Mercury can now deliver directly to Pegasus Mail public folders, making the facility vastly more useful
- Delivery status notifications: Mercury can now generate customizable progress notifications for messages that are delayed or being retried
- Mail Queue overhauled: The Mercury main mail queue has been totally overhauled and should now be both vastly more reliable and anything up to 100 times faster than before
- Spamhalter and Clamwall included: Lukas Gebauer's terrific Spamhalter Bayesian filter and Clamwall Antivirus integration modules are now a standard part of the program
- Many reliability improvements, especially to the mailing list editor, the MercuryI IMAP server and to error reporting in most modules
Starting with v4.5, Mercury will become a licensed product. We have spent a long time agonizing over this move, and exactly what it means: what we have come up with is essentially an honour system. As shipped, the program will have no restrictions or limitations, but will have an enlarged status bar indicating that it is unlicensed, and will inject a "Sent by an unlicensed copy of Mercury" header in all outgoing mail. Licenses will be free for individuals, families and charitable organizations. Businesses, government bodies and academic institutions will be obliged to purchase licenses based on the number of users they have. Once a license is installed, the enlarged status bar will return to normal and the outgoing mail header will be removed. These license terms represent a compromise between my personal desire to make Mercury totally free, and the reality of needing funds to live and continue development; the idea is to provide sufficient motivation for sites who are likely to pay for a license to do so, without placing overly onerous restrictions on those who cannot justify doing so.
Mercury/32 v4.5 is essentially ready for release now: I just have to finalize the licensing issues, and it will then be made available almost immediately.
-- David --