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Filtering Infrastructure (was "Re: Who will write filtering scripts?")

1997-03-28 11:59:34
At 9:48 AM -0800 3/28/97, John Mani wrote:

Now that we have some activity in this mailing list, I'd like to hear ideas
and opinions about the infrastructure for filtering:

+ Who runs the filter ? Choices:
 1. The delivery agent at the time of delivery to one's
    INBOX ? How does the delivery agent have access to the user's folders ?
    Thru IMAP ? (which means that the delivery agent needs an open connection
    to the server all the time ... and the server may need to support shared
    read-write access to folders ..)
 2. The IMAP server ? So that the filtering happens when the INBOX is
selected ?
    Or should there be an extension to the server to start filtering ?

It seems to me filtering should be done during final delivery, before
placing the message in any mailbox.  This was the filter rules can file,
forward, trash, etc. the message before it has been delivered.  Which
software module actually runs the filter rules of course depends on the

+ Where/how is the filter installed ?
    The filter has to be installed in a user-preference repository. ACAP/LDAP
    seems to be the obvious way to setup/access the filter.

I think ACAP is the logical place to store the filter rules.  In many ways,
filter rules look like a subset of an address book, and so would probably
go in the user's options, perhaps in a new dataset, which would be defined
and agreed to for interoperability.

The user would store/update the filters using ACAP.

The server could access the filters also via ACAP, or via some back-end
protocol or common back-end between it an ACAP.  That is
implementation-dependent.  There is a need for close integration between
IMAP and ACAP in general, but there are several ways an implementation can
do this.  For interoperability, all implementations should be able to fall
back on using ACAP in the normal way, but may be able to use local
optimizations as well.