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Re: To IMAP or not to IMAP

From: Ted Zlatanov
Subject: Re: To IMAP or not to IMAP
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 10:47:55 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.110003 (No Gnus v0.3) Emacs/21.3.50 (gnu/linux)

On Fri, 16 Jul 2004, wrote:

> Ted Zlatanov <> writes:
>> On Thu, 15 Jul 2004, wrote:
>>> I have this vague impression that nnml is more flexible and just
>>> plain nicer than nnimap, but I'm not sure how or why.
>> nnml is better for editing articles (`e' doesn't work in nnimap).  I
>> like that feature a lot and miss it now that I'm using only IMAP.
>> If you set up an IMAP server with a reasonable backend storage format
>> (Maildir!), you should be able to rsync back and forth while still
>> using IMAP.  You could even access the same mail store directly over
>> NFS - Maildir is very good for that.  
> I have an IMAP server that comes with Slackware.  How do I know
> whether its backend storage format is compatible with Maildir?

If you have not customized anything, chances are you are using mboxes.
I don't use Slackware so I can't help you more there, but setting up
Courier IMAP is a really easy task and it works great with Maildirs.
Then you need to tell your MTA to deliver to the Maildirs.  This is
either done with procmail for the MTAs that don't support Maildir, or
directly for the Maildir-capable MTAs.

> What can I do with nnmaildir that I can't with nnimap?  I guess
> editing, right?  Anything else?

Things you can do with Maildirs instead of IMAP:

grep, du, wc, etc. textutils
use Maildir-capable MUAs
backup on the file level (IMAP can be backed up on the folder/message level)
share over NFS

Note these are not nnmaildir over nnimap advantages, these are
outside of Gnus.  Inside Gnus the major difference is just the `e'
command AFAIK.

All these things are still possible if you *read* mail with IMAP, but
have access to the Maildir.  This is what I do, and it works great.


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