Talk:Post Office Protocol

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Clean up text[edit]

Suggest changing "have been thoroughly made obsolete" to "have been made thoroughly obsolete."

What the fuck is the point with the hash string instead of a clear text value as a password in the example. It just confuse users to belive that the stupid hash string you guys have written there is needed for pop3, and as far as i know that is not the case....


Answer: if you tried reading the rfc1939 instead of displaying your linguistic skills... you would see that the APOP protocol does indeed use hashes. However, it is also true that many older email servers such as sendmail did NOT properly support the APOP protocol, with the result that many/most? email clients are still configured to use the older plain text USER/PASS protocol which is covered in example two of this article. These days, most email servers do provide decent support for APOP but the transition took years and is still in progress. One does not easily or quickly make changes to such fundamental and dispersed infrastructure. Speaking as a programmer who has created an email server from scratch, I can vouch for the technical accuracy of everything that I read here on 2008-08-22 ErikFP (talk) 06:13, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

For consistency with most of the other internet protocols (IMAP, SMTP, IRC, etc.) where the real article has the spelled out name and the acronym is the redirect, I propose we move this article to Post Office Protocol (now the redirect) and redirect POP3 to this article. If there's no feedback in roughly a week, I'll post to wikipedia:requested moves. -- Rick Block 23:33, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

(from WP:RM)

POP3Post Office Protocol[edit]

  • No comments on week old proposal on talk:POP3. Reason to do this is consistency with other internet protocols, e.g. IMAP4, SMTP, IRC etc., where the acronym is the redirect and the spelled out name is the article. -- Rick Block 17:16, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    • If that's the standard used with such protocol acronyms, I would have no objection. —ExplorerCDT 17:26, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    • A further reason to move it is that the article encompasses protocols prior to version 3 Richard Taylor 02:07, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    • Support. SMTP, nntp and ftp all redirect to the full protocol name. http doesn't and smtp doesn't, but I don't think that's a reason to ignore the trend. The version number issue seals it, in my opinion.
      • http and smtp need to be fixed then ;-) Add whatever extra content is on their articles to the article with the acronym spelled out. —ExplorerCDT 07:17, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    • Support, particularly because versions other than POP3 are discussed. Jonathunder 17:07, 2004 Nov 30 (UTC)

IMAP and ISP[edit]

Why do ISP shy away from supporting IMAP? Is the reason technical or political?

Probably some combination of:
  • increased server-side storage requirements (especially for sizeable ISPs)
  • the complexity of the protocol itself, catalyzing buggy and/or incompatibly implementations
  • the complexity and sometimes poor performance of common client and server implementations, even when they do conform to the protocol
The latter two reasons are behind the creation of alternative protocols like SMAP and POP4, though they have yet to gain any significant traction. --Piet Delport 12:21, 23 February 2006 (UTC)


The bottom line is cost$ but as hardware prices and bandwidth continue to plummet, in circa 2008 support for IMAP appears fairly widespread. Another factor is the on-going evolution of email server software, it keeps improving. However there is still a knowledge gap, from my observations -- most end users are unaware of the difference in email services. Also, IMAP tends to be substantially slower especially from Outlook Express, so even when cost is no longer an issue for the ISP, performance is still an issue for the end user. POP4 still has not achieved any significant traction and is therefore unlikely to do so. ErikFP (talk) 06:55, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Other versions?[edit]

POP4?[edit]

Should someone put in a link to the Post office Protocol version 4? http://www.pop4.org/ the preceding unsigned comment is by Family Guy Guy (talk • contribs)

I think a little bit more than just a link would be appropriate. Be bold! -- Rick Block (talk) 21:00, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Done. I added a brief summary of the additional features. It seems that not much has happened with POP4 so far, but that does not mean that the potential doesn't exist for it to become adopted. --Thoric 20:09, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

POP2?[edit]

There's no mention of POP2 or 1. --WildKard84 06:31, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

The overview is far too long.[edit]

I came to this page just wanting to grab a quick read on what pop3 was, not to read a essay about it. It needs to be sectioned up.

History?[edit]

I am interested in knowing about the history of how POP3 came to be. Could someone please post about that? --Gary King 03:39, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

References missing[edit]

Hello. Some RFCs are mentioned which is good. I added a couple of "noreferences" tags to sections that seem to be lacking a source. It is fine with me to remove or change this tag. I am not a mail scientist, only a user, but I hope this helps. -Susanlesch 20:52, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

More info about APOP vs. TLS[edit]

Does it make sense to use APOP and SSL/TLS, together? Or is APOP obsolete with TLS? I wish the article would answer this question. --W-sky (talk) 15:50, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Comparison with IMAP[edit]

Would someone please rewrite the current "Comparison with IMAP" section into plain English so that a non-techie might easily understand the differences between POP and IMAP. Consider using Google Mail as a real world example. Gmail offers the choice of one or the other, I believe.

Bad formulation in intro[edit]

The last sentence of the intro currently reads "Like IMAP, POP3 is supported by most webmail services such as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail." However neither hotmail nor yahoo supports IMAP, I believe. Should it perhaps simply read "POP3 is supported by most webmail services such as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail."? Khhlevir (talk) 03:26, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Fewer Internet Service Providers support IMAP?[edit]

Probably not anymore, but I am not an expert. If this is no longer the case, please consider removing or revising. Cheers. —Prhartcom (talk) 16:21, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Likely still true for the simple reason that ISPs supporting IMAP usually provide POP too. That would make POP supporting ISPs roughly a superset of IMAP, resulting in POP more widely supported. However, I question the need to make the statement at all. The statement that it's more widely supported could be misinterpreted to mean that it's more popular too, and that doesn't necessarily follow. If big providers like Gmail, Outlook.com and Yahoo! mail support both and more users choose to use IMAP, the result still could be that POP has wider support but IMAP has wider use. The introductory statement would seem to cover the salient information:

Virtually all modern e-mail clients and servers support POP3, and it along with IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) are the two most prevalent Internet standard protocols for e-mail retrieval,[2] with many webmail service providers such as Gmail, Outlook.com and Yahoo! Mail also providing support for either IMAP or POP3 to allow mail to be downloaded.

My inclination would be to drop the claim as unimportant and misleading regardless of veracity, and instead simply continue to mention the widespread support of both protocols by many providers. Bhanafee (talk) 00:35, 23 July 2014 (UTC)