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IMAP and Maildir

IMAP and Maildir

Posted Jun 17, 2004 18:32 UTC (Thu) by cthulhu (guest, #4776)
In reply to: IMAP and Maildir by rfunk
Parent article: The Grumpy Editor's guide to mail clients: introduction

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


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IMAP

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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