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Re: [Nmh-workers] IMAP, again

From: chad
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] IMAP, again
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2013 22:18:41 -0700

On 26 Oct 2013, at 20:05, Lyndon Nerenberg <address@hidden> wrote:
> On Oct 26, 2013, at 7:11 PM, Ken Hornstein <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> Beyond that, email messages are generally large (compared to calendar
>>> entries, anyway) collections of text. Changes to messages mostly involve
>>> small deltas to metadata.
>> Note that messages in IMAP are immutable; we don't have to worry about
>> changes to a message.
> And thanks for quoting that previous text.  I got a bit aggressive with the 
> delete key and lost the message I was going to reply to :-P

I think that we've got some cross-talk going on here; and it's probably my 
fault for jumping into a popular topic.  I was suggesting looking at git and 
notmuch for ideas and *perhaps* code for implementing something much farther 
away from nmh 1.5 than 1.6 or 1.7. I'd hope that the user commands would be 
compatible, but the internals (and especially the file-system layout) wouldn't 
necessarily match at all.  In that (highly theoretical) world, I explicitly 
don't care that nmh relies on the filesystem structure in some places and not 
others. For example, when I was talking about small deltas, I was imagining a 
design where the metadata that nmh accesses through the filesystem, sequences 
files, etc all move into the mail store - while remaining primarily plain text 
in a filesystem (hence git).

In similar fashion, since I'm not talking about implementing an IMAP server 
(did it once, mostly in perl: never again), I don't know why I'd care about the 
server's restrictions on file storage. Perhaps you're thinking about building a 
mail store that you share with an imap server? I dunno; I'm clearly not on the 
same page. :-)

It's been a long time since I learned or implemented a network protocol from an 
RPC, probably ~10 years. I'm not really qualified to debate whether or not MH 
can be simplified enough to map directly to a plain IMAP server, but ~12 years 
ago the answer really seemed to be `no'. At the same time, I make hourly use of 
macosx's Mail.app, ios' mail app, google web interface, and a 3rd-party ios 
mail client on 3+ devices across 7 imap accounts, 5 gmail and 2 others. It 
works, mostly - well enough to get by, but not well enough that I don't miss MH.

Thanks for letting me ramble, and especially thanks for keeping MH alive!

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