Mastodon is a decentralized social media platform. It is similar to platforms like X, but instead of users connecting to servers run by one organization, users connect to one of hundreds of servers, which pass messages between themselves. Because of this topology, it is often referred to as “email for social media”. The usernames also help this, being the format Because of this, local retro-computing enthusiast Foone Turing posted that she wanted the metaphor to be made real, and to use Outlook Express 4 to browse it. I thought I could make it happen. I also happened to be looking for a tool to learn Rust with, and so MOP3 was born. It is a program that can speak POP3 and SMTP (two protocols used for receiving and sending email respectively) and translate those protocols to reading and posting to Mastodon. The project turned out great, and got more users than expected. The feature list came to include

  • Sending messages, not just receiving
  • Receiving media both inline and as attachments
  • Sending attachments
  • Unicode to ASCII conversion

More info on Github

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