Re: beagle imap handling?


On Tue, 2006-05-02 at 10:29 -0400, Carlos Moffat wrote:
> On Tue, 2006-05-02 at 15:09 +0100, David Aveiro wrote:
> > Beagle could simultaneously index headers trough the mail client and
> > then the whole messages fetching them directly from the IMAP server and
> > in this way it would have an URI for easilly open found messages
> > directly in the mail client as it happens now.
> I use IMAP too, and all my email (headers + body) is being indexed. You
> just need to direct your email client to make a local copy of your
> email. I think that's preferable than having your email client and
> beagle access your remote email, especially from a slow connection.

I agree with this assessment.  Although jwz famously wrote "Every
program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which
cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can," I daresay this is not
a good domain for Beagle to do.

IMAP is notoriously difficult to implement.  It's impossible to "get
right."  The spec is so broad and nearly every feature is optional, so
no client *or* server implements it correctly.  And that's why no matter
what client you use, KMail, Evolution, Thunderbird, etc., the end-user
experience on IMAP sucks.  (Some suck less than others, and in different
ways, and more or less with different servers, but they all suck.)
Devoting substantial development time to get Beagle to suck and be
broken in still different ways doesn't seem like a good idea.

The clients generally do the best they can, though, and all three that I
mentioned before have many man-years invested in getting IMAP to work as
well as possible with the multitude of servers out there, and yet none
really exposes its IMAP interfaces very well to outside apps.  Beagle
*might* be able to use your configuration from these programs, such that
you didn't have to configure every server multiple times, but it's safe
to say that it'd be unable to replicate it's behavior exactly.

Anyway, I am ranting.  But this is why I like Gmail so much and can't
wait for Hula.  The point is, this is not a road I want to go down.

The obvious downside to having your mail program cache data locally is
that it uses some additional disk space, but if it's a true cache it
should be able to clean itself up from time to time.  Otherwise, it's
probably a bug in the mail reader.


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