Iljitsch van Beijnum wrote:
On 28-feb-04, at 3:06, Bruce Lilly wrote:
Ok, it seems we're not communicating. I assume the client would want to
have a local copy of all messages, you seem to assume that the client
wouldn't want to have local copies of any messages. Regardless, if you
use IMAP then the fact that MUA #1 has downloaded a message doesn't save
MUA #2 from having to download it too if the user wants to look at it.
With the caveat that "download" means "access via IMAP", which
may be on the same machine, yes. Note that use of IMAP in that
case avoids problems with simultaneous access by two MUAs, which
would otherwise require an agreed-upon locking mechanism
(likewise for simultaneous MUA and MTA access). Also in that
case, the messages are "local"; they're simply accessed via a
standard protocol designed for message access and used via a
loopback connection, rather than some OS-specific method.
Consider use of IMAP by a client as the messaging equivalent of
"write once, run anywhere".
What you're saying has no bearing on my objection that using a file per
message takes much, much more disk space than aggregating messages into
a smaller number of files.
Given the fact that a minimal message is on the order of 2 kB,
typical messages being larger, I don't believe that there's a
significant difference in overall disk space requirements.
Having to store binary data in text files as opposed to text in binary
files means that all access to all data, but especially binary data, is
If text is somehow transformed into binary data (e.g. compression,
encryption) it will necessarily be less efficient to access than
plain text. That's fine if it's the user's or administrator's
informed choice, but I wouldn't want to be constrained by a format
that either requires or prohibits such a conversion.
Why do you think so many websites specify the
user agent to be used for visiting them?
For exactly the reason I gave earlier -- because of non-standard
"extensions" and/or broken implementations. Many web sites are
able to use advanced standard HTML features yet specify that they
are W3C compliant and allow the viewer to "use any browser". I
gave HTML (and particularly CSS) an an example of interoperability
problems that exist despite a clear standard. Why do you suppose
that a standardized mailbox format would be any different? Do
you really believe that the parties responsible for the HTML/CSS
situation will say "sure, we'll support a standard mailbox format
with no incompatible extensions -- feel free to use any MUA
and/or MTA rather than the ones that are tied to our OS or our