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Re: compctl whitespace changes

On 2001-08-10 at 15:56 +0000, Bart Schaefer wrote:
> IMAP can use almost anything it likes as a hierarchy separator.  Don't
> make claims for the whole protocol based on the courier implementation.

I was going on the documentation, not the implementation.  But I can
well believe that they made overbroad claims.

> It is also notorious for taking assorted liberties with the protocol
> that most of the other IMAP server writers are unhappy about.

Ah.  Interesting.  I'd be grateful if you could provide me with
references for this in private email (since the closest that my googles
for it are returning are complaints about Outlook's implementation).

> I have a certain ambivalence about this, having worked on both email
> clients and IMAP servers.  If the file structure is being created by a
> local delivery agent for use by an IMAP server, then it's that server
> (or a local user agent designed to work with the same structure) that
> should interpret the folder names, not your shell.

The structure is chosen for the server functionality (under the mistaken
belief that it was standard -- thanks for the correction).  The box has
local accounts.  Remote IMAP/SSL is offered as well, if the user simply
creates ~/Maildir/; subfolders are made with maildirmake(1), procmail
delivers.  I tend to not use IMAP/SSL, so instead I just start mutt
directly on the folder name.  I have some mail go into those folders,
since I believe in eating your own dog-food and using the services

> Suppose Company.Management decides to change to the Cyrus server.  Then
> all your mail files will disappear and you'll have a database interface
> to deal with.  A lot of people use that, too -- probably a lot more than
> use Courier IMAP.  That's not, by itself, a reason.

I've not looked too closely at Cyrus, simply because it is a total black
box.  If it provides a tool to extract a list of folders and
sub-folders, my approach would have been to use compctl -K or -k.

Since I believed that the use of . as a folder hierarchy separator was
standard, I suggested it.  I now withdraw that suggestion.  Sorry for
the time-wasting.

> Nevertheless, if someone can actually find me a reasonable description of
> "Maildir++" (the description on the courier pages didn't say anything
> about hierarchy, for example) I'll think about how _mailboxes might be
> adjusted to cope with it.

 "Maildir++ adds a couple of things to a standard Maildir: folders and
  quotas" ....
It actually says something different about hierarchy to:
section "FOLDERS", fourth paragraph, which is what I was going on.

So the only thing that can be said is "there exist directories which
look like maildirs themselves, having their own {cur,new,tmp}/ sets,
whose name starts with a dot, inside the main directory".  That's
the only Maildir++ change which mutt might want to be aware of.  I had
thought that more systems than just Courier used Maildir++.
To a first approximation, security is always at odds with convenience. Security
is the business of denying access, so it can't help make things less convenient.
To improve security without materially compromising convenience requires
fundamental breakthroughs. -- Crispin Cowan

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