[Imap-protocol] IMAP MOVE extension
witold.krecicki at firma.o2.pl
Fri Jun 11 16:27:35 PDT 2010
Here is an open letter to Mark Crispin which includes all my thoughts about
the discussion that is happening here, I've included imap-protocol mailing
list here as it concerns everyone that took part in this discussion.
You believe that all IMAP operations should be atomic no matter what happens,
that even in case of fatal failure the server should respond in a consistent
manner so that there is mutual agreement over the state of mailboxes.
I really respect that.
If the computer located in the tail of A380 and controlling the whole
tailplane would not have state consistent with the state of the computer in
the cockpit - some lives could be lost.
But checking mail is not flying an airliner.
If the server detects a critical failure (eg. filesystem fault) it can always
break the connection, and user will at most be forced to click 'OK' on 'The
IMAP server unexpectedly closed the connection' message box. If the perfect
IMAP implementations would be run on a computer that has faulty RAM chip and
it would crash - it's ok, it's not its fault - then why it is its fault when
the HDD/FS fails (that is the only possibility that I can imagine in which
move fails in a way it cannot be recovered to the previous state, at least in
case of Maildir store)?
Putting the argument that '25 years of IMAP history would be undone' is just
pure nonsense. During those 25 years the Internet community grew over 1000
times (and ~3 times since RFC3501 was published). During those 25 years the
Web was born. During those 25 years the number of largest IMAP servers users
grew from at most few hundred users to over few million users.
25 years ago people were checking mails using text terminals, now they're
checking mails using their cell phones - both using IMAP protocol as the best
and actually only way to do it without consuming too much bandwidth and
What I'm saying is that it's not undoing the history, it's just simple
evolution that has to occur as the Internet and the way people access IMAP
servers changes. From what I've heard from people more experienced than me
'MOVE' command issue is coming up every 2-3 years - everytime with lots of
appreciation from community and a total contempt from You. Maybe it's finally
time to consider it as an useful feature?
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