[Imap-protocol] reporting/detecting expunged messages

Bill Shannon bill.shannon at sun.com
Tue Sep 12 15:09:31 PDT 2006

Mark Crispin wrote:

> 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.

I'm sure that's true on this mailing list, but the problems I deal
with day to day are about correctness.

>> 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.

A test suite that tested the consensus essential functionality would
find a great many server bugs and would be of great benefit to customers
evaluating and using IMAP servers.

> 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 implementors).


> 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.

I already don't even waste time debugging problems related to *that*
server, because they always turn out to be bugs in the server. A test
suite would allow customers to apply some pressure to the server vendor.

More information about the Imap-protocol mailing list