Re: Some feature suggestions

chris atlee 13075 wrote:
> Sounds like you've got some excellent ideas here.  These are things I'd
> like to see:
> Threading is VERY important.  Another feature somebody else mentioned a
> while back was the ability to choose which threads from a
> newsgroup/mailing list to download and which to delete/ignore.

Yup.  Absolutely.  Although that's fairly sophisticated stuff (selective
downloading of threads), I definitely plan to do it for protocols which
support it (IMAP and NNTP).

> Treat newsgroups like mailing lists; messages come into your 'inbox' and
> are filtered accordingly (not all messages are necessarily downloaded, see
> above).

Hmm... Not sure I'd want that.  Could be an option, to send particular
newsgroups that route. In general, newsgroups are mailboxes, IMO.

> Smart filtering system: when you have a message open or selected you can
> click on a button to create a new filtering rule which has a bunch of the
> choices filled in based on information from the current message.

People on the list have heard my thoughts on filtering before :-) 
Basically, for people who store their mail remote - i.e. IMAP users -
then logically filtering should be done server-side.  My ISP (which is
my university) allows me sophisticated server-side filtering, the upshot
of which is that I'm unlikely to be working on clever client-side
filtering.  It would be great if someone would, though.

> That's about my wishlist.  If Balsa can have these as well as the things
> below, it will be one kick-ass mail/news client!  I'm interested in
> helping, but I'm not one for coding C (I prefer C++), but let me know if
> you need a module done or something!

Well, I'm only just grokking the code.  I'm not sure I like gtk very
much so far - the code is rather hard to read compared to, say, Java. 
Still, I'll get used to it.

> On another note, where can I find out more about the features of IMAP?
> Many on this list have commented that 'IMAP does this', 'IMAP does that',
> but I have little experience with anything other than POP.

The canonical reference is the RFCs, but I'll give you an overview. The
first major point of IMAP is that your mailboxes are stored remotely. 
(The 'master' copy, at least, is remote).  This makes good sense for
people who need to check their email from multiple locations - whether
that's from different computers in one computer room, or from points all
over the globe.  It makes less sense for people who only use one
computer - they'd be better off downloading and deleting all their mail
from the server, which can be done quite effectively with POP.

The second major difference is that IMAP 'understands' the structure of
emails.  This means that the email client can request various parts of
the email.  For example, the following are valid requests (although I'm
not using IMAP syntax)

Request all 'Subject' headers.
Request all 'Subject','From','In-Reply-To' and 'Message-ID' headers.
Request the sizes of the mails.
Request the first 1000 bytes of the body.
Request the 2nd attachment.
Request the 'structure' - how many attachments, what types they are.

IMAP also allows sophisticated synchronisation, because it assigns every
message in the mailbox a unique id (UID).  This means that even though
you log on from work and delete three messages, when you get home from
work, your home email program is not confused - it knows exactly which
messages vanished.

The implications of this last excite me most.  It means that for
example, you can have mailboxes in these three states: 'Copy-Local:
Always download all messages in this mailbox, and keep the local copies
synchronised' 'Copy-Headers: Just download headers' 'Remote-only: cache
no information about this mailbox, always check the server'

The first state here, at the cost of disk space, means that you can have
all the messages stored locally (so you can read them and browse them
while off-line) but also have them remote (so you can read them from
anywhere) and not risk the two copies getting out of sync.

IMAP also supports sophisticated server-side searching of messages, so
you can 'grep' through a mailbox for the word balsa (or whatever)
without downloading them all.

Well, that's the basics.  For specifics, consult RFC 2060.  These can be
downloaded from all over the place, including as a debian package
(doc-rfc).  Failing that, try starting at and hunting.


|  Jelibean aka  |         |  6 Evelyn Rd        |
|  Jules aka     |                               |  Richmond, Surrey   |
|  Julian Bean   |        |  TW9 2TF *UK*       |
|  War doesn't demonstrate who's right... just who's left.             |
|  When privacy is outlawed... only the outlaws have privacy.          |

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]