Three Reasons IMAP Has Arrived

There are lots of reasons why I've been advocating for IMAP for more than ten years and I've often wondered why people didn't like it and didn't want it. Now, after all these years, IMAP has finally arrived and the question is "Why Now?" Here's why:
  1. The spam, virus, and phish problem.
  2. Handheld and other mobile devices that people want to use to access their email.
  3. Very cheap remotely hosted disk space.
All three of these have conspired to make people want their email remotely hosted and remotely managed. And at the moment, IMAP is the primary standard protocol for doing this.

Unfortunately, now that I've spent a lot of time trying to shoehorn my dream messaging system into IMAP, I've come to understand why people don't like the IMAP protocol. It sucks. It really really sucks. But, it's what we've got, it has arrived, and it is here to stay.
Hashtag: # [?]

Post & Read Comments (located elsewhere)



Post & Read Comments (located here)

I wholeheartedly agree. The protocol and many of the available lousy implementations are major drawbacks. With IMAP, I am also missing support for remote address books.


Well, I'd disagree that IMAP sucks. I do think that a substantial number of IMAP implementations suck, and I'd agree that there are a few minor problems that are outweighed heavily by IMAP's ubiquity.

You forgot to mention, incidentally, that the Lemonade effort within the IETF is extending IMAP (and Submission, ESMTP's profile for message submission) very heavily to deal with mobile devices and other environments.

Coming out of this work are not only the technical tricks to make IMAP substantially faster (and it's fast already), but to make IMAP support features to build more usable clients.

As for remote addressbooks, I've had them for the past couple of years on ACAP, and that works fine for me.


Post a Comment



Links to this page

Create a Link



Each item © Nancy McGough
Each comment © the author of the comment web site hosted by
deflexions powered by Delicious · reflexions powered by Blogger
More deflexions & reflexions, & feeds available via the sidebar top & bottom

[link] For bookmarks & links, please use this page's permalink [link]