Blue HttpMail


Blue HttpMailProxy

Blue HttpMailProxy is an application that acts as a POP, IMAP and SMTP proxy to provide access to HTTPMail email servers (such as Hotmail, MSN, and Lycos).

Blue HttpMailProxy allows you to read mail from your HTTPMail account in a normal email client, removing the need to log-in via the web.

If you've been putting off ditching Outlook for Thunderbird because you like being able to check your Hotmail with the rest of your email accounts, Blue HttpMailProxy is the answer!

Blue HttpMail Library

Blue HttpMail is a library that connects to HTTPMail servers (such as and a proxy that allows POP3, IMAP and SMTP access to those servers.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

The time has come to lay Blue HttpMailProxy to rest.

There are a couple of reasons. First, due to a sad lack of hours in the day, I haven't been able to spend any time on the project for a while now. Second, the world doesn't need this project any more. Forum traffic is non-existent and downloads are down. Microsoft is finally disabling the WebDAV protocol that Blue relies on to access Hotmail (and other email services), and in its place is providing free POP3 access. I'm sure that other providers using WebDAV will soon follow suit, if they haven't already.

I hope that you've enjoyed using the software as much as I enjoyed helping to write and support it!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Blue HttpMailProxy 0.5.6 has been re-released. This release corrects a problem with the example configuration file that caused the application to crash on startup.

A new release is in the (very long) pipeline, with a few minor improvements and bug fixes, including one for the crash caused by the faulty configuration file. In the mean time, if anyone has found a bug or something that needs improving, pipe up in the forums!

On a different note, it seems that Hotmail support is still working. Maybe Microsoft have simply forgotten...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Blue HttpMailProxy 0.5.6 has been released. This release is mainly aimed at fixing some long-standing bugs. The source code can be downloaded here.

Version 0.5.6 contains fixes for bugs 1863528 and 1844380. The first bug caused problems when attempting to open multipart MIME messages through the IMAP proxy. In Thunderbird, this bug caused the display of a completely blank message window, because Thunderbird became so confused. The second bug caused the application to resend username and password details unnecessarily, which made most operations take longer than required.

There are also two new features! First, it is now possible to configure the SMTP proxy to automatically save a copy of every sent message in the HTTPMail sent items folder. (For information on configuring this option, see Docs/Setup.common file within the release.) Second, the IMAP proxy now supports the APPEND command, which allows copying messages onto a HTTPMail server. This feature can also be used to copy sent messages onto the server (if you configure your email client appropriately) but it also theoretically supports saving draft emails onto the HTTPMail server. (I say theoretically since this particular usage makes Thunderbird become upset currently...)

Apologies for the long wait, which was caused by the unavoidable intrusion of real life, but I hope you all enjoy the new release! I've also been pleased to see that the source code has been downloaded a few hundred times. Remember, if there's anything you think can be improved, just get on the forums!

Finally, a bit of unhappy news for Hotmail users. It looks like Microsoft are finally pulling the plug on WebDAV access to Hotmail, so Blue HttpMailProxy is about to be rendered useless for all of you folks. Hopefully some kind soul will successfully reverse engineer Hotmail's new DeltaSynch protocol before too long...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Blue HttpMailProxy 0.5.5 has been released. This release adds official support for POSIX platforms. The source code for version 0.5.5 can be downloaded here.

Version 0.5.5 is primarily a release for the addition of POSIX support. However, there is also an important bug fix and a new feature present in this version, as well as a selection of other minor changes and improvements.

After extensive testing on Linux, the POSIX-friendly code is ready for release. If you're running Unix, Linux, BSD or any of a host of other mostly POSIX-compatible operating systems, this is for you! As mentioned in the previous news post, you will need a 32-bit machine, a fairly recent version of g++ and a copy of SCons to build the code. Further instructions can be found within the source zip in the text file HttpMailProxy/Compiling.posix. If you encounter any trouble or have a requirement for a non-32-bit x86 build, please get over the forums and we'll see what we can work out. I can't make any promises, since I don't have appropriate hardware, but I'll try my best. Naturally, all hardware donations will be happily accepted. :)

A bug fix for a long-standing and obscure problem is also present in this release. The problem revolved around the case where a third party deleted messages (e.g. via the Hotmail web interface) from a folder that Blue HttpMailProxy was watching. In that case, the proxy used to become confused and it would sometimes return the wrong messages when the mail client made a request. Happily, this bug is now fixed.

Finally, support has been added for the IMAP SEARCH command, which means that a larger number of email clients (including the iPhone!) are now compatible with the IMAP functionality in Blue HttpMailProxy. Thanks go to Robert for bringing this up on the forums, and for his help in testing the functionality!

Enjoy the new release!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Blue HttpMailProxy 0.5.4 has been ported to POSIX platforms. The source code release can be downloaded here.

I have been testing on Ubuntu Feisty Fawn with Thunderbird 2.0 successfully. However, I encountered some problems with Thunderbird 1.5 (despite having no such problems with the same configuration on Windows) and Evolution seemed to just kill itself, so be warned. Any feedback would be welcome, so if you have something to say (or even a patch for a problem you have had), get over to the forums!

There are no formal instructions for building the code on platforms other than Windows, but it's pretty straightforward. You will need some platform that (roughly) adheres to the POSIX specification, a recent version of SCons (because I loathe make...) and more or less any version of g++ (I have tested under 3.4 and 4.1 successfully). Once you have all of those things, just run scons in the directory in the code distribution that contains the SConstruct file and both the debug and release versions should build. Once you are finished, grab the executable from HttpMailProxy/bin/release and a copy of HttpMailProxy/Data/config.xml, put them somewhere and try firing it up.

Information on the configuration file can be found in the file HttpMailProxy/Install.win32 (until I get around to tidying up) and command line options can be found by invoking the application with '--help' as an argument. Note that the service-related options are left over from the Windows version and do nothing on non-Windows builds.

Currently, only 32-bit x86 builds are supported (mainly because I do not have access to any other type of machine), so if you do try to build on another platform, you may have to get your hands dirty in the configuration headers. Also, I cannot be sure that the code will work happily on a 64-bit machine even if it does compile...

It's been a long time coming, so hopefully this will be useful to someone out there. It's certainly useful to me, since I'm using Linux more frequently nowadays, which is why the configuration tool that I mentioned previously was preempted. Either way, here it is, so enjoy!

News Archive

Older news items are archived here.

Blue HttpMail Library

What is HTTPMail?

HTTPMail is the method used by Outlook Express to connect to the free email service, Hotmail. This allows users to access their Hotmail accounts without actually logging into the Hotmail website. To the user, it seems very similar to an IMAP email server.

Behind the scenes, Outlook Express uses WebDAV to communicate with the Hotmail servers. WebDAV is a method of communication that sends XML over HTTP. It allows a client to query and manipulate items on the server. Through this, Outlook Express can display the user's folders and messages as well as basic message manipulation (creating folders, moving messages, etc.)

What is Blue HTTPMail?

Blue HttpMail is my attempt to create a C++ library that communicates with servers supporting the HTTPMail protocol. That library can then be used to easily access and manipulate the mail accounts on those servers.

Another part of this project is the POP3 and IMAP proxies. A proxy server that provides POP3 and IMAP access to the HTTPMail servers will be written using the Blue HTTPMail library. This will allow any email client that supports POP3 or IMAP to access the HTTPMail accounts as if they were normal email accounts.

While there are some projects available that already offer POP3 proxies for HTTPMail servers, I've yet to find one that fits my needs. I want a proxy that is written in a well designed and object oriented manner. It also has be be lightweight and fast. I've yet to come across one that fulfills either of those.

Blue HTTPMail is making use of the Blue - General Purpose C++ Library in its design and implementation.

What license is being used?

Blue HttpMail is being released under the zlib license. See the License file in the Blue HttpMail source code download for more information.


Blue HttpMailProxy

Version 0.5.6 is the latest version of the program for Windows. It is distributed as a zip file, which you should extract to wherever you prefer. Further instructions are included within the archive.

Older versions of the program can be found in the Files section on the SourceForge project page.

The source code for version 0.5.6 can be found here, as a zip file. The very latest source code can be found in the Subversion repository on the SourceForge project page.

Blue HttpMail Library

Version 0.04 is the latest source code distribution. This distribution does not include the core Blue libraries required for compilation.


API Documentation

The Blue HTTPMail source code is being commented in such a manner that allows an external documentation generator (doxygen, by Dimitri van Heesch) to generate the API documentation. The API documentation is available in two forms. It can be viewed online here (not yet) or the ZIP can be downloaded here (nothing available yet).

Helping Out


Contributions, whether they are code submissions, bug reports, feature requests, or even constructive critisism are very welcome. Please use the Blue HttpMail Sourceforge Project Page and join in the forum discussions, add a bug or whatever you'd like to do. Please help make Blue HTTPMail great for everyone!


The Blue HTTPMail project is very much in its infancy. While donations are not expected, they will certainly be appreciated! If you have extreme interest in Blue HTTPMail and would like to donate funds to the project, then visit the donation page.