[linux-elitists] e-mail scriptrollas

Aaron Lehmann aaronl@vitelus.com
Thu Sep 11 22:58:18 PDT 2003

On Thu, Sep 11, 2003 at 10:00:56PM -0700, Nick Moffitt wrote:
> 	So far there seem to be a few major mechanisms for managing
> e-mail for someone who spends time at more than one computer.  I shall
> name them the POP method, the IMAP method, the ssh method, the rsync
> method, and the MX method.

You forgot offlineimap, which is supposedly the best in many
circumstances, and sounds similar to what you want.

I have to make this decision soon since I'll have a dynamic IP in a
week. So far my favorite solution is SSH, but the two drawbacks are
the latency and fact that I would have to store PGP subkeys on a
remote machine. The downsides to using something like (offline)imap
are that I absolutely detest polling for mail (it seems wasteful and
naive - persistent server-driven connections please) and that with
straight imap/pop you basically have a choice between deleting mail on
the server and leaving mail on the server. The former inhibits remote
access, and the latter is a pain because you accumulate mail that you
don't want on the server, using up resources and also making SSH
mailreading a pain. offlineimap and other more intelligent imap tools
(and rsync) can perform synchronization, but again at a cost of
resources because they have to check all messages for modification. I
haven't tried offlineimap yet, but I imagine it's not the kind of
thing I'd want to run on a 5 minute cron job.

I'm spoiled enough to say that there really is no good solution for a
serious mail geek other than having your own MX on-site. This is why I
hate hell like firewalls, NATs, dynamic IPs, and port 25 restrictions.

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