[Dovecot] Thinking Outside the Box - Extending IMAP
marc at perkel.com
Sun May 13 16:55:59 EEST 2007
Here's some thoughts I'd like to throw out there. I know it's not
standard IMAP protocol but someone has to try new ideas first and I want
to see what people (Timo) think of this.
IMAP establishes a connection between the client and the server.
Wouldn't it be great if it could be a conduit to let custom Thunderbird
plugins talk to custom server application over the IMAP interface? For
example, personalized server settings. Suppose for example I want
Thunderbird to edit my server side white lists or black lists or any
other setting? Wouldn't it be nice if IMAP supported these changes? The
connection is made. It's a secure connection that's been authenticated.
Lets use it!
Here's my initial thoughts on this. Suppose we extended IMAP to include
an EXECUTE command as follows:
EXECUTE command parameter, parameter ....
On the server side is a config file that has the commands that execute
will allow and what programs they run. When the execute command is seen
by Dovecot then Dovecot runs the program in the list with the parameters
passed. For example, suppose there is a command to add a user to a
server side blacklist.
100 execute blacklist add joe at smith.com
Dovecot would open a two way connection to the server application
allowing the client to talk to any application that is configured and
can send and receive text. The connection persists until the server end
terminates or the client closes the connection.
With a tool like this one can write generic applications easily that
would greatly expand what email clients can do interacting with the
server. Not only can setting be changes but you could interact with
server side calendars, pick up voice messages from phone systems, run
any sort of groupware, all over a generic IMAP connection with this
100 EXECUTE calendar
100 list schedule today 8:00 10:00
100 8:00 make coffee
100 9:00 meeting with boss
100 9:30 Call Joe Blow at 415-555-1212
One thing I'd like to use it for is an outgoing SMTP connection to send
outgoing email over IMAP. A session might look like this:
999 EXECUTE smtp
999 220 darwin.ctyme.com ESMTP Exim 4.67 Sun, 13 May 2007 06:52:26 -0700
999 helo ctyme.com
999 250 darwin.ctyme.com Hello localhost [127.0.0.1]
999 mail from:marc at perkel.com
999 250 OK
999 rcpt to:dovecot at dovecot.org
999 250 Accepted
Who likes this idea?
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