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Re: Internet Draft for flexible proxying of the mail protocols

2000-09-29 01:18:08
On 28 Sep 2000, Russ Allbery wrote:

We much prefer POP from the server side.  

We don't, but then we have permanently connected clients that keep 
probing for new mail at regular intervals. POP requires a password 
authentication for each probe, and a download of the entire mailbox to 
check for new messages. When the users set their probe interval 
ridiculously short (e.g. 1 minute), and leave several megabytes in their 
mailboxes, this hits the machine badly. We make a continuous effort to
educate the users to probe no more than every 5 minutes, and not to set
"leave mail on server", but people being what they are, this is a battle
that can never be entirely won.

IMAP, in contrast, because it keeps a session going throughout, and 
doesn't need to download the entire mailbox to find the list of 
messages, is much lighter on the server.

Of course, the users understandably want the features of IMAP so we're
getting pushed in that direction, but there will definitely be a price
corresponding to much higher server resources and administrative time
needed over POP.

So I would argue that that isn't always the case (at least for server 
resources). I realise, of course, that in a different scenario, the 
trade-offs are different.

Philip Hazel            University of Cambridge Computing Service,
ph10(_at_)cus(_dot_)cam(_dot_)ac(_dot_)uk      Cambridge, England. Phone: +44 
1223 334714.