Patrice Riemens on Mon, 7 Feb 2005 17:25:35 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> fwdfyi: [bytesforall_readers] Kabissa's www4mail server now permanently offline

Usual apps 4 X-post.
May be someone on this list knows how to salvage wwwxs4mail' sservice...

----- Forwarded message from George Lessard <> -----

Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2005 01:35:01 -0700
Subject: [bytesforall_readers] Kabissa's www4mail server now permanently offline

For many years Kabissa offered access to web pages for e-mail only 
users through our 'www4mail' server. It was much appreciated by many 
in the Internet community, and received thousands of requests a week. 
We enjoyed providing the service and have made many new friends 
around the world as a result, including www4mail's developers at the 
University of Trieste, Clement Onime and Enrique Canessa, and users 
of the service in Cuba and other Internet-remote places. We even 
received e-mail once from a person working on an oil platform in the 
ocean who was somehow able to use Kabissa's www4mail server to access 
information on the web.

We decided to take our www4mail server offline permanently for two 
reasons. The first is that the African civil society organizations we 
serve were not making much use of it, despite www4mail being very 
well promoted throughout the years on our Website and in the weekly 
Pambazuka News e-mail newsletter. We believe this is due to the fact 
that many organizations that are able to use the Internet do have web 
access, even if the amount of time they can spend online is limited. 
We are therefore focussing our efforts on helping organizations to 
make better use of the web access they do have, through our hosting 
services and training program. The other reason is that the Kabissa 
server has become more busy due to our increasing membership and the 
popularity of big mailing lists we host, in particular Pambazuka 
News, and we could no longer spare the server resources that were 
being taken up by people requesting large files (sometimes people 
requested whole linux distributions through Kabissa).

It was a great ride, and we are disappointed that it has come to an 
end. We look forward to seeing other www4mail servers coming up to 
fill the gap, and are always a willing partner on new innovative 
tools that will also help to make the Internet more useful for people 
in low-bandwidth parts of the world. We would be glad to hear from 
others also working towards this goal, and also answer any questions 
about the Kabissa experience with www4mail.

Below are some notes and further reading for those interested in this topic.

Sincerely yours,

Kabissa Team


1) www4mail is an open source, freely distributable perl program that 
runs on linux machines. For more information and to get a copy, go to . There is also a mailing list people can 
join that might want to get involved in developing www4mail:

2) Other www4mail servers remain active, including:

3) There's a www4mail "powered" portal called VITA-Connect that we 
developed with funding from infoDev but which was never
implemented - the platform is freely distributable open source 
available to anyone who wants to check it out:

4) Some more reading on the subject of www4mail:

www4mail: A Bit of Web-For-Email History (By Enrique Canessa, Clement Onime)

Email: A viable alternative to the web? (By Tobias Eigen)

PowerPoint presentations from Bellanet, Kabissa and the University of 
Trieste from the "Open Round Table on Developing Country Access to 
On-Line Scientific Publishing: Sustainable Alternatives"

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