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Re: default mail client


On Sat, 23 Feb 2008 12:47:17 +0100, Nicolas Mailhot wrote

> You could do a lot of what imap offers just by standardising the MUA
> backends to maildir, but everybody talks about the UI and forgets the
> backend part (in fact it's quite surprising we managed to get good
> imap servers out since we insist on using last century's tech with
> mbox and sendmail as our defaults)

Well, my IMAP server has it's own storage system, so what sendmail and
mbox think about how mail should be handled does not concern me very much.

I think we agree that the normal use case these days is that there is
a remote mail server involved somewhere (be it POP or IMAP), in contrast
to a mail client reading local mail storage (like /var/spool/mail).
Yes, I know, some of you do that. But the majority does not. So any local
storage done by the mail client is basically a cache. Standardizing this
format to something makes it easier to change mail clients, for sure.

But I think the point can be made that if a remote server is involved
in a majority of cases, anyway, it may as well be IMAP, since that neatly
solves a bunch of problems (it also creates new ones, for example backup).
Changing mail clients is no longer a real problem, the new client will
see all your mail, read and unread, in your prefered folder structure.
Reading mail from multiple places (and even if we just talk about a mail
client on your home machine and webmail) is no longer a problem. Especially
the concurrent access problem can not be solved by any local storage format.

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