Webgate: Vancouver Webpages' W3-by-mail Gateway

This document is located at http://vancouver-webpages.com/webgate/

Jan 2002 - Webgate Premium Service allows larger files to be downloaded, and files to be downloaded more often.

I can also send files on a CD-ROM for a fee (maximum 640Mb/disk) by airmail. A website may be placed on a disk using wget. Please enquire at gatemaster@vancouver-webpages.com.

Webgate has a new feature (May 2000). A new MAIL command has been added to make it easier to browse - clicking a link will send a new message to Webgate, without having to cut and paste the URL.

Webgate (mailto:webgate@vancouver-webpages.com) is Vancouver Webpages' web-by-mail gateway. It delivers one or more Web objects as MIME attachments to a mail message.

It is intended as a means for those with only email access to the Internet to retrieve a limited number of Web documents.

It is not intended as a means for well-connected people to circumvent corporate firewalls or logging systems (in order to retrieve adult material, for instance).

Connections are logged for administrative and security reasons. Webgate is located in Canada. Material illegal under Canadian law (such as child pornography) going to or from Canadian (or US) addresses may be reported to law enforcement if detected, although logs are not normally examined.


A command may be given as the subject, or in the body of the message. Multiple GET commands may be given, one on each line. The maximum object size is currently set to 200kb for text and 61kb for other types. The premium service has a 1Mb limit. (these limits may change from time to time and may not be accurate)
If a command is given in the body of the message, a continuation line may be used if the first line ends with a backslash, e.g.
get http://some.org/some/long/url/some\

Forms mailed from Netscape Navigator are also accepted, though currently only one command is understood. Returned HTML documents have a BASE tag prepended, which allows Navigator to resolve relative URLs. Thus, by using the right mouse button and clipsheet, one can follow a link by pasting the URL into the mail form.

Formats other than text/plain and text/html are MMencoded (Base64). Output normally appears as MIME attachments to a mail message. The Netscape Navigator mail tool will display HTML attachments with correct formatting, but inline images will not be available unless an HTTP connection exists.

May 2002 - an experimental version webgate2@vancouver-webpages.com will retrieve pages with inline images using multipart/related MIME attachments (see RFC 2557)

Other mail tools which can display HTML may work with Webgate. They may display pages inline, or as a separate attachment which must be opened in another window.

Retrieved pages will have no inline images. To get an image, obtain the URL of the image file by right-click or view-source and mail another request.

Retrieving a complete page complete with images may be done piece-by-piece saving each image and HTML frame into a local file, then editing the HTML source (typically deleting the BASE tag).

Due to limitations in some mail servers, to protect Webgate's server from excessive memory use, and to prevent Webgate from being used to send unsolicited email (spam), Webgate has a limit on pages retrieved. This limit changes from time to time. Currently there is a 750K limit for one item plus a limit of 50 items/hour plus a limit of 12Mb/hour.

Some mail systems impose a limit on the size of messages, or on how much mail a user can receive, or on how much mail can be in a users mailbox at one time. Also, some sites block Webgate mail for policy reasons, and some block mail where the ip address cannot be resolved - which currently applies to vancouver-webpages.com Some typical limits:

To submit a Web form using the HTTP GET method, fill in the form then click "Submit". Next, copy the complete URL from the location box (typically http://some.org/some-cgi/form?ans1=one&ans2=two) into the Webgate URL box and request it. The HTTP POST and PUT methods are not supported - the form contents are not encoded in a URL and so cannot be requested with Webgate.

To report problems, email gatemaster@Vancouver-Webpages.com

Thanks to Alain Jossart for suggestions, pointing out bugs, etc.

Other Gateways

Support for http,ftp, gopher, news (usenet), cookies, passwords, etc. Quota imposed (300/week). Agora gophermail
File splitting, Mac HQX format Others FTP servers

See also Mr. Cool

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