Contacts and Calendars Standard

Filip Van Raemdonck mechanix at
Wed Jul 16 00:31:01 EEST 2003

On Tue, Jul 15, 2003 at 02:51:38PM -0400, Navindra Umanee wrote:
> Daniel Farrell <daniel at> wrote:
> > For mailboxes, I'm really not very interested in having this interact
> > with your local mailserver.  Let the MUA pull the mail from those other
> > locations and put it in the standard desktop location.  I'm talking a
> > local store so if you are in Gnome you open balsa or evolution and look
> > at your mail.  Then you log in under KDE and open KMail and you are
> > working with the same local mailboxes.
> Isn't there a defacto Unix location already?  ~/mail/ (possibly with
> ~/Mail/ symlinked to it)...

Actually the only case where I've ever seen ~/mail/ being used was when
I created new folders using IMP as a webmail frontend for some mail

I _have_ seen ~/Mail/, but only fairly recently, containing maildir boxes;
as I've also seen ~/Maildir/ and even more frequently but just as recently.
The canonical location is /var/{spool/,}mail/ though - which is mbox most
of the time (although I've also seen maildir used there once or twice).
Even in the above case where IMP created ~/mail/, the default location was
underneath /var.

> > Having investigated the mail formats some more I'd actually suggest UW
> > IMAP's mbx instead of plain mbox.  It seems to solve the problems mbox
> It's been said before, but I don't think you're going to be
> standardizing the location, let alone mailbox format any time soon...
> What's going to happen for people with existing procmail setups and so
> forth when they upgrade?

Procmail can handle at least mbox and maildir. And I think I can say that
I've seen enough different systems (see [1]) to be able to judge that
those two are what's used on the majority of mail systems.

Given that apparently the most commonly used mail applications (let's
leave Outlook out of the discussion for the moment ;) support these two, I
don't think it would be hard to demand support for them in any spec.

Remember, we are also not saying people will _have to_ convert. Only that
this is believed to be the best way to interoperate. And hopefully the
major DEs (and more importantly, their mail applications) will implement
the proposed spec.



[1] Having had accounts on HP-UX, SunOS, BSDi in multiple major versions,
    FreeBSD and multiple Linux distributions over the years

"For readers who have not been involved in balanced tree implementations,
 algorithms of this class are notorious for being much more work to implement
 than one would expect from their description."

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