downloading web based email

Preston Landers mithy at
Thu Aug 5 19:32:06 EDT 1999

In article <14249.55454.471036.787883 at>,
  skip at (Skip Montanaro) wrote:
>     Preston> I'm thinking of writing a Python program to download
email from
>     Preston> web-based services such as Yahoo mail, Deja, Hotmail, and
>     Preston> on, and deliever the mail in a format that standard unix
>     Preston> mailers can use.

> Presuming the services you're interested in support a standard mail
> protocol like POP or IMAP, you need look no further than Eric
> excellent fetchmail program:

I use fetchmail on a daily basis and I'd be overjoyed if it supported
these services.  It doesn't, because they don't use standard IMAP or
POP services.  They use only their HTML interface which is different for
each service.  They want you to look at their banner ads.  Have you ever
used a service like this?  Believe me, I'd use fetchmail if I could.

I've never looked at fetchmail's source, but I believe it to be in C,
and designed to handle a specific class of RFC compliant standard mail
systems.  It would take a major reengineering to make it work like I
want, and I don't feel like doing it in C.  So, unless anybody has any
other suggestions, I'll probably end up coding something that works
largely like fetchmail but is designed to parse results from HTTP based
email services like Hotmail.  Much like a Python program I've seen that
searches Deja News for you.

> If not, perhaps you can train fetchmail to use whatever transport they
> offer.

Thanks, but I think "training" fetchmail would involve a nearly from
scratch re-write (in C no less).  A new program in Python sounds much
more pleasant.

||  Preston Landers <mithy at>  ||
||          ||

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