On Thu, 2007-06-07 at 08:25 +0200, Gilles Dartiguelongue wrote:
> Le jeudi 07 juin 2007 à 01:53 +0300, Philip Van Hoof a écrit :
> > Without immediately writing to disk work, the download by itself will
> > consume around 120 MB of RAM, and will most likely fail due to network
> > timeouts and other such problems (it'll take a while, since Evolution
> > fetches a ridiculous large amount of headers for each message for
> > building its summary).
> > 
> isn't the imap-features plugin's goal to reduce/customize the amount of
> downloaded headers ? Or is it that it's still not enough ?

It improves the situation by setting your url-string to have the
"basic_headers" option. In the imap code of Camel, it will then ask for
less headers (but still way too much).

A major improvement it certainly isn't.

The best way is to ask for the ENVELOPE and the remaining info using the
normal BODY.PEEK method. It should be possible to specify per folder
which of the headers are to be fetched, to make it really efficient.

The imap4 implementation seems to have an ENVELOPE parser, so I guess
either it does it already or it will use ENVELOPE in future.

For a mobile device, that works over GPRS, you for example are usually
not interested (not at all) in the mailinglist specific headers.

It would also be possible to do it in multiple passes. For example get a
modest list of headers, and after that get more and more.

In any case, none of the current Evolution code implements consuming the
CONDSTORE capabilities of some modern IMAP servers (like MBox and

CONDSTORE is really going to make an enormous difference in bandwidth
consumption with large folders. That's because you only need to fetch
the flags of the changed messages to synchronise flags.

Note that Tinymail's camel-lite implements all the needed solutions to
this bandwidth consumption problem. And that its code is, although a lot
of work because the Evolution maintainers didn't seem interested at the
time it was happening, definitely portable to upstream.

Its implementation include solutions for the headers, it immediately
saves the headers to disk and unlike Evolution's Camel it can resume
partial summary downloads, it wont peek memory allocation during
downloading, it implements Push E-mail using IMAP IDLE and it implements

Although I'm definitely not satisfied with any of either Camel nor
camel-lite's IMAP code. The thing is that I'd much prefer a client-side
implementation that does proper pipelining. For example Infotrope,
Telomer and Polymer does this on an experimental basis (Infotrope is the

ps. In my opinion is also the imap4 project getting the majority of its
design wrong. Although it looks better than the "imap" one, it's not the
best way to use an IMAP server. If a project is going to write an IMAP
client implementation 'today': they better do it right. A lot is
changing in IMAP today (Lemonade, MORG, etc). It's important to get it
right this time (the vast majority of E-mail clients totally suck at how
they use the IMAP server, including Evolution indeed).

Philip Van Hoof, software developer
home: me at pvanhoof dot be 
gnome: pvanhoof at gnome dot org 

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