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Re: [Nmh-workers] nmh in near, medium, and far-term

From: Jon Fairbairn
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] nmh in near, medium, and far-term
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2011 10:31:09 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1 (gnu/linux)

Paul Vixie <address@hidden> writes:

> dovecot is mapping a thing that does not change (IMAP UID) to another
> thing that does not change (message file name). therefore they never
> have to edit or rewrite this file. if MH used a text file then we would
> have to copy it to mumble.new with changes, and rename it back to
> mumble, every time a message's message number changed. this seems like
> it would be harder to implement, as well as slower, than a "berkeley db"
> thing (.dir and .pag files). ymmv.

I’ve never really liked the fact that mh messages files change
their names. For one thing, it makes archiving mail folders
relatively messy because (for a particular example) sortm
scrambles the relationship between filenames and contents. On
the other hand I really like the fact that mh stores messages in
plain files, with directories for folders.

Long ago, before mh I used an email system that stored email in
files with unique ids, which suggests a way to do this. Switch
to storing messages in (say) date-named accession order folders
with unique filenames (derived from the message-id, or simply
accession numbers) while the mh folders would contain symlinks
to these with numeric names as now. So (to continue the example)
sortm would not rename any message files, but just rearrange the

That solves the archive problem and means that there is
something that doesn’t change to map to IMAP numbers.

Jón Fairbairn                                 address@hidden

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