[Dovecot] Bah! Outlook

bhayden at umn.edu bhayden at umn.edu
Fri Apr 18 02:37:33 EEST 2008

On Apr 17 2008, Jason Wohlford wrote:

>We'll I'll have to disagree with you there. I find Mail.app to be a  
>great little program. Mac OS X Server uses Cyrus and Postfix. I've  
>even gone command line to fine tune some spam settings. Now, you can  
>certainly dis-Apple for many other things, but Mail.app works to spec.

I don't pretend to know whether Mail.app conforms precisely to the IMAP 
spec (though I highly doubt it), but I do know that it has three raging 

1. It is almost as bad as Outlook in the arena of MIME mangling (this isn't 
really related to IMAP, just getting it out of the way).

2. It has a really nasty habit of working your actions on its local cache, 
and only periodically issuing streams of IMAP commands to the server. If 
the IMAP session gets interrupted for any reason, this results in chaos. 
It's pretty repulsive.

3. It, like Outlook and unlike Thunderbird, is... sub-optimal in its use of 
the "IMAP root" setting. Mail.app and Outlook will never access any space 
that does not begin with that prefix. What this means, is that if you're 
using a non-Maildir format (say, mbox, like the majority of the world still 
does), you have basically no hope as an administrator of physically 
separating storage--especially if your user accounts are used for anything 
other than mail. If you have mailboxes in, say, ~/mail, then your users 
need to use 'mail' as the "IMAP root" in order to avoid seeing whatever 
dotfiles, FTP space, web space, etc, may be in their home directories.

With that prefix set, Mail.app and Outlook both *ignore any namespaces that 
don't start with this prefix*. I can't stress enough how utterly moronic 
this is. The entire point of namespaces is to offer up other storage 
alongside the user's "default" space; implementing the NAMESPACE command 
and then filtering it based on where the user tells you to find the default 
storage is possibly the dumbest thing I've seen in many dumb years of 
e-mail client debugging. Yes, yes, you can use symlinks. For now, we do. 
And it's a limiting pain.

Frankly, I love most Apple apps, but for environments with any complexity 
Mail needs to be fixed or shot; it's just awful.


More information about the dovecot mailing list