why an SQL Database?

M. Fioretti mfioretti at nexaima.net
Sun Nov 25 09:36:20 UTC 2007

On Sat, Nov 24, 2007 19:06:26 PM -0700, Scott (angrykeyboarder)
(geekboy at angrykeyboarder.com) wrote:

> M. Fioretti spake thusly:
> > From what I've read, the only thing that comes close to this is some
> > kind of relational database which can build virtual folders on the
> > fly. Which in practice, means using dbmail ( http://www.dbmail.org/ )
> I wonder how all this would work with IMAP?

well, dbmail _is_ IMAP. More exactly, it looks to whatever email
client you happen to like in any moment as a standard IMAP
server. It's just that, instead of storing single messages in normal
files it puts them inside a PostGreSql or other database.

Note to the other poster who pointed out IMAP slowness: the fact that
IMAP is a client-server protocol doesn't mean that the server (and the
actual mailboxes) MUST be on a remote computer. Nobody prevents you
from running an IMAP server locally.

My plan/hope, at least, is to use my provider's remote IMAP server as
the receiver of all _new_ email (so it's always accessible even via
webmail etc...). But my intention is to add to this setup a _local_
IMAP server to store my email _archive_ . That is the (only) server
that should have query capabilities so advanced that probably nothing
short of RDBMS could handle them.

At least for me, the total number of messages in all my remote IMAP
_inboxes_ never exceeds ~100/150 messages and usually is about half
that number: I either archive or delete messages as soon as
possible. With so little messages I don't need search engines, I just
look at the message lists to find what I need, no matter how
complicated my "query" is. The problem is when I need to search into
~10 years worth of personal, work and mailing lists messages. That is
the only case where (for me, of course) the effort of importing all
those archives into some database looks more appealing every
month. But I'm still very interested in alternatives to dbmail or to
databases as such, of course.

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