Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mailbox Names via IMAP

Bron Gondwana:

So IMAP supports arbitrary hierarchy separators. In practice only / and . appear to be common, though I’m sure there are still systems out there using \ which brings its own special hell in C-like programming languages which use \ as an escape character (as anybody who’s ever programmed for Windows will know).

Some operating systems use case significant file systems, others don’t. So on some systems, README.TXT and Readme.txt are the same file, but on others they aren’t. Of course IMAP chose to leave case sensitivity up to the implementation... sort of.


I spent a lot of time workshopping our options, and in the end the RFC requirement that ALLCAPS INBOX had to match LIST and the fact that every other server always returns it as INBOX in that case convinced me that the folders really had to be subfolders of ALLCAPS INBOX, rather than using Inbox as the name. Also, any other spelling of INBOX needed to not be allowed at the top level, because of the case insensivity rule.

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