Stephen Gran on 13 May 2005 02:09:29 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: [PLUG] POP and leave-on-server

On Thu, May 12, 2005 at 09:48:31PM -0400, Jeff Abrahamson said:
> In a private discussion, a flame war erupted concerning the "leave on
> server" option that many POP clients offer.  The other party
> maintained that mail should initially be left on the server in case
> something happens to the client.  He concluded that this was the
> reason for the feature.
> I opined that the feature was likely for use by those who ran more
> than one POP client but only wanted one personal mail store.  I was
> not able to justify this assertion, but suggested (with link to the
> rfc) that, since the protocol is stateful, it is unlikely to suffer
> from reliability problems that would cause one to loose mail by
> issuing DELE's after RETR's.
> Does anyone here know more of the history?  I imagine experience with
> earlier versions of POP might elucidate this, as web mail clients were
> not popular in the old days before the web.

The references I can find immediately on google suggest to me that you
are both correct, and IMAP came into regular use for both of these
reasons.  I see references that claim that mail is best handled on a
central server (backups, security, etc) and other references that are
talking about the problems of off-line management of mail for multiple
users/machines and a single account.

POP is unlikely to suffer from data loss, judging from the protocol
specification, so you are correct there.  I think it's mostly that POP
was around first, and there are a number of shortcomings in the
protocol, including but not limited to the ones you two mention, and
these shortcomings lead to IMAP.
|  Stephen Gran                  | O imitators, you slavish herd!   --     |
|             | Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace)       |
| |                                         |

Attachment: pgptashQdvpRo.pgp
Description: PGP signature

Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --
Announcements -
General Discussion  --