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Re: [Nmh-workers] imap support, and portability

From: Ken Hornstein
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] imap support, and portability
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 09:31:52 -0400

>Fuse is a major step forward for UNIX-like systems.  But Fuse can
>never be as portable as a conforming POSIX application.  MH has always
>been able to compile on anything even remotely resembling UNIX.  Tying
>it to a very implementation-specific API like this would negate nearly
>30 years of portability.
>The same goal can be achieved through a 'helper' application that
>proxies between the local MH and the remote IMAP store. Everything
>you need is in POSIX (i.e. the socket layer). It's more work to write,
>but it will build on a lot more platforms.

While I don't disagree with you, we have to face facts here.

The sad truth is that MH/nmh development effort has been ... well, I guess
the kindest way to say it is "lacking" lately.  And by "lately", you could
measure that timespan in years.  The basic problem is that we simply don't
have a large enough community of people who are willing to do the programming
that it would take to add the requested features to nmh.  I have seen it
countless times here: plenty of people here are interested in IMAP support
in nmh, but they lack the programming skill to implement it.  The people
who have such skill lack the time or interest to do so (there is a small
core of whiny diehards who continue to complain that you cannot implement
obscure nmh feature <x> when using IMAP; those people should be ignored).
I don't see this situation changing anytime soon.  Unless, Lyndon, _you_
are volunteering to implement IMAP for nmh the "right" way.  Are you?  No?
Didn't think so.

While I would agree that a FUSE-IMAP layer for nmh isn't exactly ideal,
it is at least a solution.  I think it should at least be documented; it
doesn't prevent anyone from doing a native IMAP implementation later,
in the unlikely event someone decides to do so.


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