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To IMAP or not to IMAP

From: Jesse F. Hughes
Subject: To IMAP or not to IMAP
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2004 17:59:54 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.090017 (Oort Gnus v0.17) XEmacs/21.4 (Reasonable Discussion, linux)

Hey ho.

Some time ago, I switched from IMAP to nnml.  I like having all my
mail on my home computer, where (among other things) I can use
procmail and swish-e with nnir.

However, this means that when I am away from home, I have to ssh to
read my mail.  This isn't so convenient.

I've been thinking about setting up an imap server on my home machine,
so that when I'm away, I can still read my email with fairly little
overhead.  I think this means that each email folder will consist of a
single file rather than multiple files, like nnml uses, and this
probably means a change in nnir.  I hope it doesn't mean I have to
search using the imap engine.  I understand that's pretty slow.

We may assume that, almost all of the time I want to read my email
remotely, I'm using a personal laptop which can be kept in sync with
my home machine via unison.  So, if I update some database each
evening, I could have access to that same database on my laptop the
next day.  I also plan on using unison to keep my newsrc sync'ed
(though I've never used unison for this before, I think it will work
pretty well).

Of course, since I'm using unison, I *could* try to simply keep my
nnml folders sync'ed too, but I just worry that this solution is too
prone to problems.  Screwing up a mail folder doesn't sound too fun.  

I'd appreciate any advice from folks that have encountered similar
issues.  Is it worthwhile to set up an IMAP server?  What limitations
would that have?  What unforeseen benefits?

Thanks much.
Jesse F. Hughes
"And hey, if you're moping and miserable because mathematics tests you,
then maybe, if you think you're a mathematician, you might want to try
a different field." -- Another James S. Harris self-diagnosis.

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