On Aug 2, 2018, at 2:57 AM, Pietro Cerutti <g...@gahr.ch> wrote:
> The fundamental difference between email and web content, is that emails are 
> delivered to me

Only if you run your own SMTP server.  

The vast majority of mail users *do* go out and specifically pull emails, 
either via IMAP or by visiting a web mail interface of some kind.

> and once they are, they are mine.

If you want a copy of all of the Fossil Forum traffic, you can just sync the 
forum repo.  If you do it on the same schedule your mail client polls its IMAP 
server or whatever, then you have the data just as quickly.

Unlike most web forums, Fossil’s Merkle tree based storage mechanism means it’s 
very difficult to delete forum traffic from the server side before you get a 
copy.  IMAP doesn’t give you that: someone who can get to your mail server can 
delete mail traffic before it’s delivered to you.  Some people even call this a 
feature, calling it aggressive server-side spam filtering.

With Fossil forums, once you’ve sync’d the current content, nothing the server 
can do will make your local Fossil instance delete it.  In that respect, it is 
just as strong as IMAP.

> I can store them, move them around

You can store and move the Fossil forums repo around, too.

> modify them as I like to apply tags and labels

You can’t rewrite Fossil forum message content, but then I suspect you aren’t 
doing that to delivered mailing list traffic, either.

As for labeling and such, Fossil is DBMS-backed, with a flexible web front end. 
 The main limit on what you can make it do as far as mark-up and presentation 
of stored data goes is will and skill.

> They are easy to access (IMAP) from many different places and different 
> devices

Fossil can do that, too.  That’s a large part of what it means for something to 
be a DVCS.

> easy to search

Fossil forums are backed by the SQLite FTS feature.

> and standard.

SQL and RSS are standards, too. 

Unlike with most web forum software, Fossil forums will allow you to pull your 
raw data back out at will.

You could even build a Fossil forums to IMAP gateway, if you wanted.

> the location where I go and pull might change over time

I’m not quite sure what you mean here, so please confirm my guess: you mean 
that with mailing lists, you can unsubscribe with one email address and 
subscribe with another?

One big reason you might do that is because your old email address has been 
overrun by spam, which is a large reason why this feature is being added to 
Fossil in the first place: with Fossil forums, there is no publicly-visible 
email address for the spammers to harvest.

If instead you’re just observing that you change mail providers over time for 
other reasons, Fossil likewise doesn’t care which ISP you log into your account 
from to pull the data or post messages.

With auto-registration, Fossil will let you have multiple identities on the 
forum server, either serially or concurrently.

> And content itself might change over time (although this doesn't often happen 
> in fossil).

Once a mailing list message is sent to your SMTP server, it is difficult for 
someone to change it, except in cases like my aggressive server-side filtering 
example above.

Fossil falls on both sides of that line.

On the one side of the line, it allows a posted message to be edited, just like 
a Fossil wiki article: the original version is always available, but mistakes 
can be fixed in the window between someone posting a message and others viewing 
it, reducing needless followup posts, confusion, and (yes!) loss of face.

On the other, Fossil’s strong Merkle tree design means that it takes 
cooperative effort from all parties to actually modify or remove data from the 
repository.  The edits I just spoke of don’t actually change old content, the 
new content is just substituted for the old content at the UI level only.

> Devise a mechanism to allow replying to such an email and sync it with the 
> forum

…and now you’ve got spammers again, which defeats a large part of the purpose 
of creating this new feature set.
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