Jan 4, 1999
David Hill, MD
QD-POP is a set of PERL CGI scripts which provide Web access to POP e-mail accounts. QD-POP runs on a Web server and provides a gateway to POP accounts which are then accessed with a Web browser by users anywhere in the world. The POP3 e-mail protocol commonly used througout the Internet is a poor solution for the nomadic computer user. QD-POP was written to provide multipoint, cross-platform compatible access to POP mail accounts using a simple Web browser.
Version 2.1 adds two new security features and a few minor patches.
The biggest changes visible to the user are the radio buttons which allows the selective use of the local browser's disk cache, and a "Logout" button which will close the browser window in which QD-POP was running. QD-POP does not provide any local storage of mail on the client machine.
The patches include better handling of email address with embedded "<" and ">" brackets, a patch to reduce the frequency of re-connection errors after deleting a message, and some minor cosmetic improvements.
Although several users had requested that QD-POP copy the body of a text into a reply-email, that feature proves to be very clumsy to implement in the state-less environment of CGI scripting. (Note that the server has absolutely no knowledge of you or your email after it send each page. Every button you press causes the QD-POP server to login to your POP machine again, execute the request, then logout.) In order to forward the body of a message, the user needs to manually copy and paste the selected portion of the text into the reply field.
The cache should be left disabled to prevent QD-POP pages from being written to disk. This prevents another individual from being able to simply open the cache pages to read your clear-text login name and password.
NOTE: This release of QD-POP is primarily intended to enhance your ability to keep your mail and password confidential, but there is no way to 'secure' an inherently open communication pathway such as http. These enhancements are provided to assist you, the user, with management of any confidential information that you choose to access.
Version 2.0 provided improved message handling, integrated sendmail capability and provided the ablity to delete messages from the pop server.
Advantages of QD-POP
Multi-point access without added licenses: As browsers are ubiquitous, quick POP mail access is most likely available from any point in an organization or institution which has implemented QD-POP.
Encryption If SSL is implemented on the Web server, QD-POP provides encrypted messages.
Buffering the public
The end user is buffered from e-mail protocols: QD-POP end users need not know about POP protocols if the Web administrator has set up a drop list of servers using the <OPTION> tag. Thus, the user is buffered from having to know anything about e-mail protocols. If they can use a browser, they can use QD-POP!
Warranty None. As the legal language so often says, "Use at your own risk."
System Requirements for v2.1:
* Http server which is CGI 1.1 compliant
* PERL 5.0
Please note-->QQ-POP is a CGI program and runs on a Web
server NOT a client workstation. It is accessed using
a standard Web browser from any desktop but the program
itself is running on the Web server. If you do not have
access to a Web server, provide this archive to your
local Web master for installation if they are so inclined :)
Where to get PERL 5.0:
Where to get PERL 5.0 for NT or Windows 95:
Preparing your Web server for QD-POP:
* Install PERL 5.0
* Create a cgi directory /cgi-shl/qdpop and make sure it
can run PERL cgi programs.
* Create a /qdpop as a directory under the Web root directory.
How to Install QD-POP:
1) Unzip qdpop21.zip in a temporary directory. Check here to see the "Files.htm" page.
2) Copy all .pl files into the newly created /cgi-shl/qdpop directory on your Web server
3) Modify the sendReply.pl file as described in Files.htm in order to define your local smtp server.
4) Copy POP3Client.pm into /cgi-shl/qdpop also.
OR see your PERL documentation for alternate placement of library files.
5) Create an html directory called /qdpop (.../Webserver/htmldocuments/qdpop)
Copy all .htm and .gif files into the /qdpop directory just created.
6) Establish link(s) from your home page(s), to /qdpop/qdpop.html as needed.
Making sure PERL installation works:
To test the PERL installation and the cgi processing,
we have included a very basic PERL routine which does
not rely on any non-standard modules. To ensure
that PERL is correctly installed and your Web server
correctly configured, copy printenv.pl into
the /cgi-shl/qdpop/ directory and run it from a browser:
The resulting Web page should have the CGI environment
variables for that session.
If your Web server returns an error 500, either
PERL is not installed correctly or the Web server
is not configured to run cgi scripts within the
cgi-shl directory. To check the PERL installation,
run printenv.pl from the server's command line.
Refer to the server's instruction manual on configuring
cgi directories and PERL. If you are using Windows NT,
make sure .pl files are associated with the perl.exe
interpreter in the c:\perl5\bin directory.
The CGI script could not be found. Make sure the scripts
are in the cgi-shl directory and that you are typing
the URL correctly. If you use cgi-bin rather than cgi-shl,
you will need to edit the qdpop.pl and qdpop.htm files to
reflect that change.
A Text Listing of the Source Code is returned:
The directory with the PERL scripts is set to return
HTML documents rather than run CGI scripts.
*IF USING WINDOWS 95*: Due to the DNS implementation on Windows 95, QD-POP will only
work correctly if the *IP* number of the POP server is entered in the
POP Server field.
* Windows NT 3.51 and Netscape FastTrack Server 2.01
* Windows NT 3.51 and Netscape Enterprise Server
* Windows NT 3.51 and WebSite 1.1/Pro
* Windows NT 4.0 and Netscape FastTrack Server 2.01
* Windows NT 4.0 and WebSite Pro
* Windows 95 and Netscape FastTrack Server 2.01
* Windows 95 and WebSite 1.1
SHOULD ALSO RUN ON
Since QD-POP is written in standard PERL 5.0, it should
run on the following systems with little or no
Note: If you implement QD-POP on your Web server, we would appreciate a link
or mention of us as original developers.
David B. Hill, MD
Michael Hogarth, MD
Jose Galvez, MD
Please provide feedback or report problems to:
UC Davis, Medical Informatics