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IMAP and Maildir

IMAP and Maildir

Posted Jun 17, 2004 3:52 UTC (Thu) by rfunk (subscriber, #4054)
Parent article: The Grumpy Editor's guide to mail clients: introduction

I'd like to echo the opinion that IMAP is a big help in getting to your mail in whatever way is convenient at the time.

Also, the Maildir mailbox format has all the advantages of the mh mailbox format (starting with separate files per message), plus more (no locking). And it's supported by more clients -- it's not just for qmail anymore. Check it out.

(I wrote an overview of mailbox formats last month.)

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IMAP and Maildir

Posted Jun 17, 2004 7:29 UTC (Thu) by tzafrir (subscriber, #11501) [Link]

For more information/flames on the mh mailbox format:

The format itself is still supported by many programs. Notably the c-client library used by uw-imapd, pine and balsa. Another mailer is kmail.

BTW: imap is great for saving mail, but what about an addressbook? is ldap convinient enough?


Posted Jun 17, 2004 15:28 UTC (Thu) by rfunk (subscriber, #4054) [Link]

BTW: imap is great for saving mail, but what about an addressbook? is ldap convinient enough?

LDAP is a pain to set up, so I don't consider it convenient.

I think there's a way to store addressbook info in IMAP, but I haven't figure it out yet.


Posted Jun 17, 2004 21:12 UTC (Thu) by lakeland (subscriber, #1157) [Link]

Like you, I haven't got around to setting up LDAP because it seems too
much of a pain. Most people around here use kaddressbook with fish:// to
give easy remote access from anywhere. It seems to work pretty well.


fish:// addressbook

Posted Jun 18, 2004 17:26 UTC (Fri) by rfunk (subscriber, #4054) [Link]

When I use fish:// or sftp:// with kaddressbook (KDE 3.1), it lets me do
it but warns about multiple simultaneous access to remote addressbook
files being bad. I haven't had a chance to check whether that's changed
in KDE 3.2.

Address books and other prefs via IMAP

Posted Jun 22, 2004 13:34 UTC (Tue) by utoddl (subscriber, #1232) [Link]

IMAP is just for mail access. It isn't designed to do address books and store other preferences by itself. What your're looking for is IMSP. Quoting the abstract:
The Internet Message Support Protocol (IMSP) is designed to support the provision of mail in a medium to large scale operation. It is intended to be used as a companion to the IMAP4 protocol [IMAP4], providing services which are either outside the scope of mail access or which pertain to environments which must run more than one IMAP4 server in the same mail domain. The services that IMSP provides are extended mailbox management, configuration options, and address books.
IMSP was superceeded by ACAP in the mid to late '90s. There's a Cyrusoft Guide to IMSP and ACAP that you may want to look at.

IMAP and Maildir

Posted Jun 17, 2004 18:32 UTC (Thu) by cthulhu (guest, #4776) [Link]

Color me confused... I thought IMAP was protocol, not an application. Is
there some email client called IMAP? If so, please post a link...


Posted Jun 17, 2004 20:03 UTC (Thu) by rfunk (subscriber, #4054) [Link]

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 destination.

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.

IMAP and Maildir

Posted Jun 17, 2004 21:31 UTC (Thu) by lakeland (subscriber, #1157) [Link]

Right, IMAP is a protocol but it is a very flexible protocol which makes
our editor's requirements significantly easier.

I deliberately did not mention any applications in my post because it is
too easy to start a flame ware :-)

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