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Re: [Nmh-workers] Re: What is MH ?

From: Norman Shapiro
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Re: What is MH ?
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 11:40:25 -0800

Bill Wohler <address@hidden> writes:
>The +imap:folder proposals have a bad smell to me.
>So too does the custom filesystem suggestion. The user will have to
>install a filesystem, hope that it is compatible with his system, and
>mount it.
>We already have inc -host -user -apop +folder. It would be best to
>stick with that, adding an -imap flag. MH commands on the given folder
>would access the files via the IMAP server (by virtue of an .imap file
>that contains the IMAP info). Sub-folders (directories) and messages
>(files) would be cached versions from the server.
>Unfortunately, you wouldn't be able to use shell commands on the
>(uncached) directories and files since they are up on the server.
>That's the whole point of IMAP. If we want to view the directories
>(folders) and files (messages), then we need to just suck down all the
>mail from the IMAP server, treating it like a POP server. The user
>would have the choice: use the inc flag -truncate to suck down all the
>mail, or not to keep it on the server. By using aggressive caching, we
>might be able to give the illusion of a mounted filesystem.

I'm one of the two authors of the message that began MH. (Yeah, I'm still alive
:-)). I strongly agree with all the above, except that I don't know enough about
IMAP to have fully understood the traffic about it.

Certainly no program that claims to be a successor to MH, ought to have "pseudo"
folders and "pseudo" messages for which mhpath did not output the names of files
that look to the user and to his scripts like ordinary files.

Of course, there is no reason why anybody who wants to shouldn't use the nmh
sources to write such programs. But if he does, he shouldn't claim them to be a
successor to MH.

But if for some operating system(s) there were a way to mount a file system 
made remote files on an IMAP server look local, then nmh should certainly be 
to handle folders on such a file system, But this should require no changes in
nmh. No more than mh needed to be changed to accommodate NSF or SAMBA files,

    Norman Shapiro
    798 Barron Avenue
    Palo Alto CA 94306-3109
    (650) 565-8215

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