Posted Jun 17, 2004 20:03 UTC (Thu) by rfunk
In reply to: IMAP and Maildir
Parent article: The Grumpy Editor's guide to mail clients: introduction
Yes, IMAP is a protocol. It's a protocol that gives full and flexible
access to your mail, without needing to download it to a specific client.
That means you can use multiple different clients to access your mail.
Our Grumpy Editor said in the article that he...
wants to be able to manipulate mail from his desktop, over
a modem link, or running through mindterm on a Windows "email garden"
system in a remote place. It should be possible to do anything with email
- even things that the developer of the mail client might not have
thought of. It must be possible to make connections between the mail
client and the LWN site code. It should be possible to manipulate
messages and folders with shell scripts and programs without great pain.
The client should be a powerful tool for working with electronic mail,
but it should be just the beginning point, rather than the final
Well, the IMAP protocol allows all that and more, especially when backed
by Maildir mailboxes. IMAP facilitates making your mail program into a
tool rather than a mail destination. Perl and PHP have IMAP API
interfaces (I'm sure Python does too), making scripting easy. There are
many webmail interfaces (mostly written in PHP) that interface to the
mail using IMAP.
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