- March 1st, 2007:
On the Pegasus Mail homepage http://www.pmail.com/ you can now find a link to the donation page.
- January 21st, 2007:
David Harris restored the home page at http://www.pmail.com/ and added a short message to you all.
It's up to you now
On January 3rd 2007, I announced that development of Pegasus Mail and Mercury would be ceasing
because of funding problems. The result was an absolute avalanche of mail, phone calls, faxes
and other communications wanting me to continue.
Let me say emphatically that it was never my desire to cease development, but maintaining and
supporting these programs is a full-time, expensive process, and I simply cannot do it without
sufficient ongoing reliable financial support.
In response to the torrent of messages, though, I have now decided to restart development and
distribution of both programs. To make this possible, it will be necessary to restructure the
way I fund them in some way that will attract an adequate and sustained level of financial
support. I and my test team are still working out the exact details of the changes we will
make, but in a nutshell, it is likely that Pegasus Mail will become "donationware", while
Mercury will become fully licensed based on numbers of mailboxes, with a certain base number
of mailboxes provided free of charge. Public discussion (on the Pegasus Mail and Mercury
mailing lists) will be solicited before any final decision is made.
Pegasus Mail and Mercury have served the Internet for seventeen years: it's now really up to
you, the community it serves, to decide whether it makes it to twenty years and beyond.
Please watch this space for further announcements.
Owner/Author Pegasus Mail and Mercury,
January 22nd 2007.
- January 20th, 2007:
This is just to inform you that David told us that he is willing to try a license program for a year, for both Mercury and Pegasus Mail, to see what the outcome will be. Currently he is working, together with the beta team, on the ins and outs. Watch this space for more information.
- January 8th, 2007:
David Harris updated the website at pmail.com with the following addendum:
I stress that this is purely a decision brought on by financial difficulty: if sponsors
could be found to provide modest ongoing funding, I would be happy to continue developing
the programs, and would even consider opening the source.
- January 7th, 2007:
David Harris wrote (in part):
I thought I would send you a short message to tell you that I am now
home and am as well as can be expected under the circumstances.
Mail to the support accounts on pmail.gen.nz has been established.
- January 6th, 2007:
The members of the support group received many e-mail messages with requests to be forwarded to David Harris. Currently we can not and will not do that. As he wrote, David needs some time to deal with such an important life change after 17 years. We will not influence that process in any way. Messages to the public lists at bama.ua.edu are archived and thus can be viewed later if David decides that he will do so. Please go that way.
We have seen many requests for the *promised* free manuals, although some support team members indeed have the latest versions, we decided not to distribute them at this moment. Perhaps on a later moment they will become available.
Latest beta versions.
Some people asked for making the latest beta versions public, like for the manuals, we will decide later what is possible and to what extend we are allowed to do so. David Harris is still the owner of the programs.
- January 3rd, 2007:
Some of David's closest friends have been in contact with him and it seems that he is doing relatively well.
- January 3rd, 2007:
Richard Stevenson, David's former Tech support assistent and still around in the Pegasus Mail world, posted the following message to the public:
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 2007 16:16:12 +1300
From: Richard Stevenson
Subject: Today's discussion
I haven't managed to do much productive work today; I found quite a
mailstorm in my inbox this morning and have spent quite some time dealing
with it. I'm glad to see that the discussion has become slightly less
heated and less inflammatory as the day has gone on.
I owe David much more than most of you: not only was Pegasus Mail the only
mail client I've ever been satisfied with in the Windows world, but he
gave me my first real job out of university; without him I do not know
what sort of career I would have had. I make my living on Unix systems
these days, but I still have clients who use Pegasus Mail and Mercury. I
haven't charged those clients for three or four years now; instead, I've
encouraged them to buy manuals and support. It's not income I could
easily afford to pass up, but it was the only way I've been able to give
It is naive (I'm trying to be nice here) to think that one message caused
David to pull the plug; that one message was most likely simply the final
straw. David, as a person, simply is not that fragile. Over the past ten
years, the number of people writing David just to say "Thank you" or to
take up support subscriptions or manual purchases has died off
dramatically. In place of that, there has been a rising tide of "you
should do this" or "you need to do that" or "we're switching to something
else because their resources and army of architects and programmers has
implemented $FEATURE that we need". More and more often, these messages
have been nastily, needlessly abusive. Perhaps it's people not thinking
before they fire one off, as we've seen happen today (fortunately, people
here have stepped back and taken stock). David has borne this with the
patience of a saint up until now, but he is human and the little things,
as any marriage counsellor will tell you, do add up to undermine the
relationship. We may bat them aside at the time, but the effect is
I would take issue with the claim that you'd get nothing new for the
licensed version of Mercury. David is not a magician, and has not come up
with some supernatural way to retrofit a licensing time-bomb to all
existing Mercury installations. That's just complete nonsense. There was
a new version of Mercury that David had been intending to release very
soon; one with many fixes and new functionality. That is what the
licensing would have given you, not that it matters - once upon a time,
people were grateful for an email system they didn't need to pay someone
tens of thousands of dollars for, or a degree in rocket science to install
and configure. Now, it may be too late.
What now? I don't know; it's not for me to say. I'm one of the guilty
majority who stood by silently, not offering any encouragement or payment
to David for his work. We've all known for years of the increasingly
fragile financial state of Pegasus Mail, and many or most of us have done
nothing to help. Unfortunately, there haven't been many good Samaritans
passing by to do what we should have done. I had meant to be more
gracious, but ultimately the demise of Pegasus Mail and Mercury is the
responsibility of all of us - the user community.
The best we can do now is offer David our belated encouragement, best
wishes, and hope for the future. We can hope for him to reverse his
decision, but in the end it is David's decision, and I hope we can all
accept his final decision with the grace David's years of service deserve.
I know I'll never do anything that has such a huge positive effect on as
many people as David's work has touched. He's a far better man than I,
and I wish him well.
- January 3rd, 2007
David Harris decided to pull the plug out of Pegasus Mail and Mercury, since his final message to the beta team, his e-mail service is (temporary) shut down.
Here is that message:
I have just updated the pmail.com web site with my last
announcement. I have terminated both products with immediate effect.
I do this with sadness - the knot in my stomach is so large at the
moment that I can barely type - but I suspect that once the emotional
trauma wears off, it will be replaced by a kind of weary relief. I will
probably never be able to describe just how horrible it has been to be
me for the last three or four years, and I certainly will not insult you
now by attempting to do so; suffice it to say that anything must be
better than this dubious existence.
I want to thank you all for your assistance, support and friendship over
many years - I have appreciated it in ways that I am sure you will
understand at an emotional level.
After I post this message, I will be shutting persephone down for an
indeterminite period while I try to work out whether I have a future. I
wish you all the very best, my friends, in whatever life offers you.
-- David --