Mercury/32 v4.8 Release Notes
Mercury/32 v4.80, August/September 2015
Version 4.8 was originally intended as a kind of "Version 5 dressed as version 4" release of
Mercury. It has several significant new features that were originally flagged as V5 features,
but because they are all quite fundamental, in the end I decided that it was fairer to release
them in a way that would allow current v4.x licensees to gain access to them without requiring
a new license. Over the course of its development, though, v4.8 has ended up taking on the
feature list of a major release in its own right.
OpenSSL All Mercury modules that support secure connections using
SSL/TLS now use the industry-standard OpenSSL libraries to do so. Using OpenSSL
means greater interoperability with other sites, and allows the use of fully-signed
certificates - indeed, Mercury even provides an easy, step-by-step generation
process to create the CSR requests needed to purchase or acquire such certificates
from online Certification Authorities.
TCP/IP overhaul The Mercury TCP/IP code, which is the core code that
interacts with the Internet, has been totally overhauled. The main benefit of this
comes with improved reliability and maintainability, which will make it easier to
update the program in future - but you may also notice Mercury handling connections
rather faster than in previous versions as well.
Completely rewritten help system Back in the days of Vista, Microsoft
ceased supporting the ageing but functional WinHelp system, but failed to replace
it with anything satisfactory (HTMLHelp, in particular, could not be used if the
help file was installed on a shared volume, as Mercury frequently is). I finally
completed my own help system in time to use it to host a completely reworked
Mercury help file for this release. The new help system is up-to-date, consistently
formatted, and much more usefully presented than the old version; it will also run
properly no matter where Mercury is installed, or on what version of Windows it is
running. The new system has a comprehensive table of contents and index, with free-text
searching planned for future releases.
SSL support in MercuryE The MercuryE SMTP client now has comprehensive
support for SSL connections in outgoing mail, and has an Access Control List that
allows you to fine-tune connections and SSL usage for specific servers and domains.
Direct-connect SSL support in MercuryS and MercuryP The MercuryS
SMTP server and MercuryP POP3 server now support direct-connect SSL, even though
direct-connect SSL is formally deprecated by the Internet Standards Body. With the
proliferation of low-quality cellphone mail clients, though, supporting direct-connect
SSL has become unavoidable. Direct-connect SSL is turned off by default in both
modules, but can be enabled in the 'SSL' settings page for each.
Mercury IMAP search rewritten The part of the Mercury IMAP server
that implements searching has been completely rewritten: it should now handle any
valid IMAP search expression (the old version had trouble with some operations) and
should do it noticeably faster than the old version did.
Mercury IMAP fixes and improvements The MercuryI IMAP server has
had numerous fixes and improvements made. Thunderbird users in particular should now
find it works much better for them.
DMARC support for mailing lists DMARC is a convention used by a
number of large sites, including Yahoo, which limits the hosts that can send mail for
e-mail addresses in their domains. This plays merry hell with mailing lists, without
providing any very good way of mitigating the problems. Mercury v4.8 does the best
it can it encounters DMARC-restricted addresses in mailing lists, but our advice to
you is the same as that of many other makers of mailing list management software -
for the best experience using a mailing list, tell your subscribers to subscribe
using an address that is NOT affected by DMARC.
Many, many bug fixes Behind the scenes there have been dozens of
corrections made. While many of these were exotic and seldom-encountered, the overall
effect is to improve the reliability and robustness of the program considerably.
As well as these features, Mercury now includes a commandline utility called
HS.EXE which can be used to locate messages matching almost any header-based
criteria very quickly and efficiently in directories containing large numbers of mail
messages, such as spam repositories.
The next release of Mercury will be the first actual Version 5 build, and our target for it
is late 2015.
To download Mercury/32 v4.80, please visit our downloads page.
[ Page modified 12 January 2015 | Content ©
David Harris ]