Enable duplicate deliveries

Since we started FastMail, our email server has used a system called “duplicate delivery suppression” to avoid mail loops.

Basically every email generated has a unique identifier in it’s header called the Message-Id. When an email is delivered to your account, we check if an email with the same Message-Id has already been delivered to the same folder and if so, we discard the message. This avoids an infinite loop problem if you accidentally setup forwarding between two systems to forward between each other.

Some people manage their email in a way this can cause problems however (eg cc themselves on a mailing list post, then they end up with a copy, and the copy being returned from the mailing list system is suppressed)

On the beta server at http://www.fastmail.fm/beta/, there’s no an extra per-folder option on the Options -> Folders screen that allows you to turn of duplicate delivery suppression on a per folder basis. In the vast majority of cases we recommend that people do NOT change this setting (one day you’ll accidentally setup an forwarding infinite loop and use up all your storage and bandwidth), but for those that do need it, it is now possible.

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Create website with file upload ability

The Files screen has allowed you to easily create Websites to share files with other people, including a photo gallery option to instantly turn a directory full of pictures into a easy to use and powerful photo gallery (example).

One thing that hasn’t been possible though is to allow other people to upload files to a directory. That’s now possible with the new Publish as “Files & Dir listing with upload” on the Websites screen. When you publish a directory in this mode, it displays the usual list of files in the directory, but also includes an area at the bottom to allow people to upload a file.

If you use this feature, there are currently a number of limitations you should be aware of:

  1. There’s no way to limit the amount or size of files people can upload. People will be able to upload files until your file storage area reaches it’s quota
  2. You can however password protect the website so that only people you give the password to will be able to upload
  3. Existing files in the directory cannot be deleted or overwritten, only new files can be uploaded
  4. You can allow uploads into a photo gallery by publishing the directory as two separate URLs. For instance you might publish a directory as a “Photo gallery” with no password to the URL http://photos.yourusername.fastmail.fm so everyone can see it, but also publish the same directory as a “Files & Dir listing with upload” to the URL http://upload.yourusername.fastmail.fm, which you might also password protect to limit who can upload photos
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Passwords with % in them weren’t working since certificate upgrade, fixed now

A while back we upgraded nginx, the frontend proxy software that accepts all Web, IMAP and POP connections and proxies them to the users correct backend server. At the time we upgraded, it appears we did restart the web portion of the software, but not the part that proxies the IMAP and POP connections, so it was running the old version of the software still.

When upgrading the SSL certificate yesterday, we restarted both the web and POP/IMAP parts of nginx. During the restart it used the new upgraded versions of the software. Unfortunately it turns out the new software had an incompatible change that meant that anyone using a % in their password would not have been able to login.

We’ve now fixed up the appropriate bits of software to make them compatible again so all logins should be working again.

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Expired certificate for mail.messagingengine.com

Due to mistake on our behalf, we forgot to install the latest SSL certificate we had for mail.messagingengine.com. The one that was installed expired on Nov 17 05:39:21 2007 GMT. About 2.5 hours after that, we noticed and updated the certificate with the latest one.

During the time the certificate was expired, there were no security issues using it, it just meant that most email software would have popped up an error dialog telling you that the certificate had expired, which is annoying, but it still left email accessible after accepting the certificate.

To avoid this happening in the future we’re going to setup our regularly checks process to retrieve the currently installed certificate and check it’s expiry date. If it’s less than 2 weeks in the future, we’ll make sure we’re emailed so we don’t forget to deal with it there and then.

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