The main idea is to allow a user to check his/her personal mail from afar
(not logged in thru his own account) via any old browser, after
him/her with a news of the day/login screen. Of course, I'd like to allow
replies, forwards, etc. and (optionally) leave the mail for later
via their POP client. That's it in a nutshell.
There is an alternative. At Cornell University we run a service called
"travellers' mail" that allows mail browsing from afar without the
customary POP downloading. Remote users use Telnet to access a restricted
Unix shell account that uses Pine as the shell. There is a corresponding
Traveller's Web service that lets one use Telnet to log into an account
using Lynx as the shell.
Pine supports public folders, which could contain general news.
A disadvantage of using WWW for this is that mail read on a computer where
one is a guest would remain in that machine's browser's disk cache unless
the user cleared the cache.
(New York State Water Resources Institute at Cornell University)