сряда, 16 януари 2008 г.

Mail client mumbo-jumbo (Evolution mumbo-jumbo part 2)

Probably everyone uses email these days. And probably everyone has a large volume of emails, like some GB, and uses his computer alone, or has a private account on the shared computer he uses.

Well, in a previous post I've told about my favourite email client Novell Evolution (previously Ximian evolution). Pity they broke it so much. However what I'm going to say is true for most if not every email client out there (even Outlook). With time and with large volumes of email messages their perfomance suffers, and by that suffers the performance of the whole computer system.
To overcome that i was using maildir/mailhash local storage, at the expense of disk space overhead. Storing all the mail in one single file is disk space effective to some extend but never cpu effective or time effective. When certain ammount ot email messages is accumulated every operation like move or delete becomes nerve breaker.
And they need twice as much free space on the hardrive as the whole volume of your messages. Filesystems vere not designed to easily traverse and eject randim number of bytes from  file, nor the appications are using smart ways to do it.( just a note - webmail is slow as it is, and you actually don't have any control over it).

Usualy I use my system for myself, but there are various other accounts also. I'm running Ubuntu now, but it doesn't matter. What I basicly did was install an imap server on the system - the choice was dovecot (small, light, has suport for maildir). After some  very basic setup with the text file in /etc it was up and running. I instructed it that users mailbxes will be within their home folder in subdirectory  - explained in the dovecot documentations. Then configure a new , imap account to 127.0.0.1 (you local server). Set a filter to the old account, the one pooling the mail via pop, to move every incoming message, to the inbox or whatever of the imap account. Woola, you  are ready. Moving messages, deleting, even searching and so on would be juct a blink away.
I also installed a webmail interface on the machine (Roundcube in my  case). It connects to the imap server and can display your inbox and oher folders. I can see whats in my email from every computer in the office, yet everthing remains on my computer.
The price was just about 30 mb more accupied memory for a mailbox of more than 10G with milion of messages and more than 100 subfolders. However disk I/O is greatly reduced and there is no wait.

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