[Imap-protocol] reporting/detecting expunged messages

Bill Shannon bill.shannon at sun.com
Tue Sep 12 14:10:06 PDT 2006

Lyndon Nerenberg wrote:

>> It's the difference between "good" and "correct". I'd start with

>> "correct" and work up to "good".



> I'd start with defining "good." The problem with a protocol as complex

> (some would say bloated) as IMAP is that -- from the client's

> perspective -- there is no one "right" way to use it. Different client

> implementations have different goals, and thus different demands of the

> server. In some cases it makes sense for the client to (say) talk to

> the server using a restricted feature set that, when examined without

> context, makes it look like the client is just a glorified POP engine.

Exactly, "good" is a value judgement, which makes it harder to define.

The spec should be very clear on what "correct" behavior is.

> And if you do ever manage to define "good" you then get to solve the

> problem of determining what constitutes "compliant" behaviour when faced

> with the n! permutations of extensions interacting with and without each

> other.


> This isn't going to happen in my lifetime.

Neither the spec nor the test suite need to be perfect to deliver great
value. I see a lot of basic functionality that's broken. A test suite
that tested those cases would make a huge difference. Specifying, and
testing, the esoteric corner cases can be done later.

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