Warning about TIG (lack of) support for some Horde webmail features

TIG provides and supports the GNU Horde webmail system for two main purposes:

  1. To provide a web interface for CSAIL IMAP email access for people in hotel rooms, borrowing a colleague's laptop or phone, using public Internet kiosks in airports, or in other situations where a full-fledged email client may not be available, and
  2. To provide an interface to the Sieve email filtering service on our mail server, so that people can set up filtering rules.

Item 1. is mainly a convenience to save people trouble when travelling, but item 2. (access to the filtering system) is something that can only be done safely via this webmail interface. Both of these purposes are things TIG has supported for some time.

The current version of Horde Groupware Webmail Edition is bundled with a number of additional applications, such as a calendar, rudimentary notepad and to-do list applications, and a bookmark manager. We have chosen not to disable those applications because (1) our users may find them interesting to experiment with, (2) they integrate to some extent with the email interface, and (3) it's easier for us to install and upgrade the software if we stick closer to the default configuration. However, these additional applications are not supported by TIG, and if you use them you do so at your own risk! Specifically:

  • If they break and lose your data (appointments, bookmarks, etc.) we probably will not be able to get it back for you.
  • Information entered in them may not be preserved across upgrades. (We will try to provide advance warning of upgrades, though.)
  • We may not even provide these applications in future versions of our webmail service. (For instance, if we switch to a different application to support webmail and filter configuration, we will try to migrate people's filter settings and make sure the new webmail service provides the same level of access to your email, but we probably will not make any effort to migrate calendars, to-do lists, bookmarks, and the like.)

So, you are welcome to play around with these applications, but you should not rely on them for anything mission-critical, and if you put any information you care about in them, you should make backups of it in some other form (e.g., by saving the HTML or PDF of your calendar pages, by copying your notes into files in your home directory, etc.).

If you have any questions about the implications of this policy, you can address them to help@csail.mit.edu?.

-- JaySekora - 22 Oct 2013

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Topic revision: 18 Dec 2017, JasonDorfman
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