nPOPuk

Portable E-Mail

Page updated 10 December 2012

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Greg Chapman discovered nPOP on 2 November 2002. As a user of the Win32 version of the program he believed it deserved reasonable English documentation so he created the original version of this site a month later. He still has no knowledge of the other platforms for which the program is available and his own programming experience is limited to a fading memory of Z80 Assembler and DOS Batch files. Luckily volunteer programmers soon emerged who have further developed the application into today's nPOPuk. Thanks to them nPOPuk is now regarded by many as the premier multi-platform portable e-mail application.

The development of the first English language version of nPOP, based on Tomoaki Nakashima's v1.0.1 code, was started by Paul Holmes-Higgin.

Bruce Jackson, undertook further work to produce the "UK fix-1" version, with Greg Chapman providing much of the improved translations, from the "Japlish" of Tomoaki's code. Amy Millenson compiled the code for additional platforms.

Matthew Pattman then developed the UK fix-1 code to produce "nPOPw v1.0.1.4 Beta 2" which became the next version fully documented on this site..

Around February 2005, Tomoaki Nakashima released v1.0.2, which included much of the UK translations and other improvements to the code that had been completed by Bruce Jackson. Towards the end of the year a stream of releases were issued on an almost weekly basis, reaching a stable version at v1.0.7.

Early in 2006, Bruce started work on a new "UK Fix". This merged features of the original UK fix-1, Tomoaki's v1.0.7 code, and that from nPOPw v1.0.1.4 Beta2. This was released to subscribers to the old nPOPSupport mail list, for testing, as "nPOP 1.0.7 UK fix-1". Unfortunately, before that version was ready for release via this site, Tomoaki released v1.0.8 of his program.

At this point Bruce had other work to do but, by good fortune, a new volunteer programmer arrived on the scene. Geoffrey Coram managed to merge Tomoaki's v1.0.8 code with all that produced by Bruce Jackson, itself a merge of earlier official versions, Matthew's v1.0.1.4 beta2 and other developments of his own. He produced nPOP108uk4, released in August 2006

Once he'd started you just couldn't stop him! In October 2006 Geoffrey Coram came up with nPOP108uk5 that provided a long list of improvements, many not fully documented here as they were only pertinent to the various hand held platforms.

In January 2007 significant further enhancements were made, by Geoffrey, with the release of nPOPuk v2.0. (Confusingly, it was the first version to use the nPOPuk name!) Multiple Saveboxes meant that nPOPuk could truly begin to compete with mainstream e-mail programs, whilst retaining its unique portability.

This renamed version of nPOP used revised data structures to permit some of the new features. nPOPuk will read nPOP Mailboxes and convert the nPOP.ini file. (The intention is always to maintain this upgrade path.) However, it does mean that some Mailbox information may be lost if an older version of nPOP is later used to read the converted Mailboxes.

Before the end of the same month v2.04 was released. Its most significant additional feature was a command line option that enables it to be used by multiple users whilst keeping mail data private. It also helps those running nPOPuk from a flash memory device, by aiding portability.

v2.07 followed in July 2007. It was hoped that adopting MBOX as a file format for mail data would encourage users of other mail clients to test nPOPuk. Added to that was a worthwhile collection of improvements to the interface and functionality as well as further internal improvements to the coding of the program.

Version 2.08 followed in September 2007 and 2.09 on 15 January 2008. Version 2.10 was never released to the public, only being available to subscribers of the npopsupport mail list. Version 2.11 was released on 18 September 2008.

August 2009 saw the move of the site to a new server, managed by Glenn Linderman, one of the nPOPuk team's programmers. This move meant that more of the team were able to work on documenting the program. It had long been recognised that platforms other than Win32 needed better coverage and this change should help bring this about. By this point Geoffrey Coram now had been the team's lead programmer for over three years. He continues to work on keeping the program abreast of changing market trends.

It had long been recognised that the original "fit on a floppy" boast was an irrelevance in the current market, and with both GMail and other mail providers increasing security at their servers, nPOPuk needed integrated SSL facilities. Version 2.12 was released on 24 August 2009 with many updated features as a stopgap release while US legal obstacles concerning export of encryption technology were resolved. On 14 October 2009 v2.13 became the first version of nPOPuk to be released that had SSL facilities built-in. Version 2.14 was released on 24 March 2010 with a few minor changes, including an update to the SSL code.

Version 2.15 was only available to subscribers of the npopsupport mail list. Version 2.16 was released on 16 December 2010, including a "preview pane." A minor patch was released on 31 January 2012 as nPOPuk 2.16p2.

On 1 November 2012 version, 3.00 was released. The main feature of this release was improved UTF-8 support but it also included many minor program interface improvements and bug fixes. Unfortunately, some gaps in UTF-8 handling were discovered so, on 10 December 2012, version 3.01 was released to overcome these problems

Details of the features of each release can be found on the Changes page.

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