[Imap-protocol] SELECT/EXAMINE clarification of UNSEEN

Mark Crispin mrc+imap at panda.com
Wed Nov 16 13:53:20 PST 2011

On Wed, 16 Nov 2011, Dave Cridland wrote:

> What I am saying is that had you offered a (potentially more basic)

> IMAP service, but with an additional, well-designed extension to

> handle the extended abilities of your message store, that would have

> both enabled access, and in addition pushed the boundaries a bit (in,

> I might add, a very sensible direction).


The status quo is that presents an IMAP server that violates several of
the semantics of IMAP, and confuses the hell out of some clients that
expect GMail to obey those semantics; all in the name of confusing some
other clients in a (desirable?) way.

Then there are the (many) bugs, having nothing to do with message store
semantics, which remain unfixed. GMail's performance on Timo's compliance
test suite is mediocre at best.

The result is that the best thing to do with GMail is use fetchmail to
download the messages to the client, and then operate on them as local
files. That, coincidentally(?), is mostly equivalent to the internal
workings of the clients that GMail targets.

> Yes, but I don't see that the goal of providing reasonable service to

> existing tools is in conflict with pushing to improve those existing

> tools. And because Google is big, you can actually provide sufficient

> encouragement to do so.


Kludge towers and unfixed bugs don't help the world move forward. Correct
basic implementations, plus well-considered extensions, do.

-- Mark --

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.

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