eZ components “Mail” to save the day

A few days ago I was asked to develop a simple script for a solidarity campaign. The idea is that people send their photos as attachements to some email. The script would download all images attached and insert a record for that in the database.

I got introduced to eZ components during my last visit to Norway to attend the eZ systems conference. I decided to give it a shot, and oh boy it’s just amazing, probably the cleanest and simplest API ever.

I managed to find the package “Mail”:

The components allows you construct Mail messages conforming to the RFCs. It has support for attachments, multipart messages and HTML mail. It also interfaces with SMTP to send the e-mail. Reading and parsing mail messages comes in version 1.1.

The package is well documented and includes many examples. Here’s the script I ended up writing (edited version):

[coolcode lang=”php”]
< ?php define( 'PHOTOS_DIR', 'email_photos/' ); define( 'FILE_PARSED_MAILS', '.fpm' ); require_once 'Base/src/base.php'; function __autoload( $className ) { ezcBase::autoload( $className ); } //get the list of emails that we alread processed $parsedEmailsIds = array(); $parsedEmailsIds = @unserialize( file_get_contents(FILE_PARSED_MAILS) ); if( 'array' != gettype($parsedEmailsIds) ){ $parsedEmailsIds = array(); } $pop3 = new ezcMailPop3Transport( 'mail.example.org' ); $pop3->authenticate( ‘username’, ‘password’ );

//get the list of emails from the server
$severEmailsIds = $pop3->listUniqueIdentifiers();
$emailsToFetch = array_diff($severEmailsIds, $parsedEmailsIds);
if( !count($emailsToFetch) ){
//no emails to get!

$set = $pop3->fetchAll(false, $emailsToFetch );
$parser = new ezcMailParser();
$parser->setTmpDir( ‘tmp/’ );
$mails = $parser->parseMail( $set );

foreach ( $mails as $mail )

//Get email parts
foreach( $mail->body->getParts() as $part ){
if( get_class($part) == ‘ezcMailFile’ ){

//get the destination file name after some cleanups
$fileName = nameToSafe( basename($part->fileName) );

//the new destintation filename, this function makes sure we get a unique file name everytime
$destFileName = PHOTOS_DIR . nameToSeq(PHOTOS_DIR,$fileName);

rename( $part->fileName, $destFileName );


//after we’re done, we need to update the file that stores the list of parsed emails
file_put_contents( FILE_PARSED_MAILS, serialize( $severEmailsIds ) );



I’m sure there’s a better way to get the new emails only, probably with var_export()

Note: The only problem I faced, which is VERY strange, is the ability to fetch a single email or list of emails. Surprisingly, the API didn’t provide such feature. I did an ugly hack to “Mail/transports/pop3/pop3_transport.php” to function fetchAll(), I should have created another function, but I was in a hurry. Here’s the modified version:

[coolcode lang=”php”]
* @throws ezcMailTransportException if the mail could not be retrieved.
* @param bool $deleteFromServer
* @param array $messages
* @return ezcMailParserSet
public function fetchAll( $deleteFromServer = false, $messages = null )
if( !isset($messages) ){
$message = $this->listMessages();
return new ezcMailPop3Set( $this->connection, array_keys( $messages ), $deleteFromServer );


[tags] package mail, mail body, solidarity campaign, mail messages, multipart messages, ez systems, attachements, edited version, fpm, rfcs, e mail, parsing, smtp, array, few days, attachments, email, norway, fi, images [/tags]

1 Comment

  1. You can actually fetch a single email, but it seems that it is currently only implemented for the mbox transport. However, we are currently working on adding this method to the pop transport as well, and to add a new function to get a set of mail messages (similar to limit/offset).

  2. Pingback: PHPDeveloper.org
  3. Been trying to get it to work for over two hours with no success. Not impressed at all!

  4. Been trying to get it to work for over two hours with no success. Not impressed at all!

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