This release is our first pre release of the next milestone. It has undergone dramatic internal improvement from the M3 release. Therefore early adopters should treat this "pre" release with more care than previous "pre" releases. This release includes (among other things) these major features:
- Virtual Hosts
- SMTP Relaying (via mail routes)
- TLS for POP
- numerous additions to the installer
The installation process now includes some post installation tasks that the administrator must complete. Moreover, some screens for enabling complex features may not be obvious. Therefore, we recommend that even users with prior JBMS experience view the installation walkthrough. While much of the documentation for this release is already updated, it will not be finished until the actual 1.0M4 milestone release.
For users who chose to use Microsoft Outlook, we now have instructions for setting up Outlook for use with JBoss Mail Server available on the wiki (common settings). For users using Mozilla's Thunderbird open source product, we also have updated instructions for setting up Thunderbird for use with JBoss Mail Server. While these are the most common mail clients we are willing to publish instructions for integrating other commonly available mail clients with JBMS, please offer suggestions in the JBoss Mail Server development forum.
Although the winter season saw a pause in development, adoption and interest has been steady in JBMS and we have now begun to attract contributors from competitive and complementary efforts. This is primarily due to the open nature of our community with its "do-ocratic" viewpoint where some projects have become increasingly stagnant due to their own social aspects. It can also be traced to the fact that going from small to large can be achieved faster than going from large to much larger. Still we would like to see more potential contributors live up to their potential.
As previously emphasized, user installation experience is a continued focus for the project. We think that we are already the easiest to install mail server on the UNIX platforms and positive feedback at JUGs have indicated that we are also doing well on the Windows platform. We would like to hear about your installation experience positive or negative in the JBoss Mail Server development forum as well as any suggestions you may have to improve it. A challenge in maintaining our progress in this area is offering a good set of features without overburdening the average administrator with settings that he/she will never need. Moreover, it is obvious that some tasks should be in the domain of post-installation administration. To this effect, I do think that M4-pre1 is a minor ease-of-installation regression over M3 in that there are more screens in the installer and creating mailboxes presently involves confronting the much-hated JBAS jmx console (you could also use the web console but then you loose the friendly CTRL-F key for all intents and purposes). Rest assured this issue is foremost on my mind. We are looking heavily into the area of administration experience. Although I anticipate that we are close to a "production" release (if not already there), I will be reluctant to stamp a release with the 1.0-final blessing until we have both webmail and an administration tool.
I hope to apply further performance optimizations over the next week. While most of our load testing was done before a crucial mailbox re-factoring, we expect some performance improvement. Still, we are aware of a number of places where there are opportunities for improvement (particularly in the new mailbox layer). However, my wife said "Ooooh...the mail runs much faster now." which probably means we did okay here :-).
For the M5 release (which will have a much shorter cycle) we will primarily focus on IMAP, but will of course be looking to improve the administrative/installation experience and hopefully see a sophisticated webmail begin to emerge. Please report problems and suggestions to the JBoss Mail Server forum.