[Imap-protocol] reporting/detecting expunged messages

Mark Crispin MRC at CAC.Washington.EDU
Tue Sep 12 14:36:43 PDT 2006

On Tue, 12 Sep 2006, Bill Shannon wrote:

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

The base spec supposedly is very clear on that point. Most of the
arguments are not about what is correct, but rather about what is good.

> 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.

Unfortunately, "the esoteric corner cases can be done later" covers a
great many sins. What is an "esoteric corner case" to some people is an
essential functionality to others.

Much of the problem comes from individuals who claim that IMAP is too
complicated to implement from the spec, and thus it is alright to look at
the examples and implement empirically to work with whatever server they
have access to (client implementors) or Outlook and Netscape (server

A common server defies the specification in multiple places; when the
violations are pointed out its author's answer is "yawn" or accusations of
FUD-spreading. There isn't much can be done in that case. If a test
suite was produced, such people would attack the motivations of the
authors of the test suite rather than fix the problems.

-- Mark --

Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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