Re: [Evolution-hackers] Is it worth customizing the IMAP headers to fetch?

2012-12-20 Thread Matthew Barnes
On Sat, 2012-12-15 at 13:32 -0500, Matthew Barnes wrote:
 I'm debating whether or not to support the imap-features Evolution
 plugin in IMAPX or just throw out the plugin at the same time we throw
 out the legacy IMAP backend.  The plugin currently only works with the
 legacy IMAP backend.

Just to follow up, in the interest of decommissioning the legacy IMAP
backend in time for 3.8, I've decided not to support the imap-features
plugin in IMAPX.  The plugin will be removed along with the legacy IMAP
backend, and for the time being we'll continue downloading all headers.

Shortening the download time by minimizing the headers is a worthwhile
goal, but I think we first need to better utilize server-side searches.

I'm already working on server-side BODY searches for IMAPX, but I also
think we should utilize server-side HEADER searches.  Then the success
of a search/filter rule that specifies a particular header is decoupled
from the set of headers we choose to cache.  (This can be optimized in
various ways obviously, but the point is to not _depend_ on our cache
for correct results.  Let the server do the heavy lifting.)

Maybe we can do something along these lines for 3.10...

Matthew Barnes

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Re: [Evolution-hackers] Is it worth customizing the IMAP headers to fetch?

2012-12-16 Thread Sankar P
 My intuition tells me the vast majority of users won't care or even
 understand what these options do, and those that do tinker with them
 probably won't notice any significant difference in download times.
 
 Implementing this in IMAPX is no problem, in fact I almost have it done.
 But I'm pausing now to question whether we SHOULD do this.

I believe, we should.

I have not worked on Evolution in a long time. But when the initial version of 
the patch was made to get only few headers, the performance improvement was 
unbelievably high. See: 
http://psankar.blogspot.in/2006/05/imap-performance.html (please scroll in that 
page to the see the stats (blogger template change regressions))

Since we fetched only minimal headers (after the patch), some filters setup 
using some non-fetched headers were broken and as a result this plugin was made 
iirc.

So, my points are: a) We should fetch only minimal headers initially b) we 
should retain ability to fetch custom headers by being configurable c) We 
should tweak things to be in a more user-friendly way (as you mentioned in the 
last mail), instead of it being a plugin etc.

Thanks.

Sankar
http://psankar.blogspot.com 

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Re: [Evolution-hackers] Is it worth customizing the IMAP headers to fetch?

2012-12-15 Thread David Woodhouse
On Sat, 2012-12-15 at 13:32 -0500, Matthew Barnes wrote:
 Currently IMAPX just fetches all headers using RFC822.HEADER.
 
 Supporting the plugin would change this to use:
 
BODY.PEEK ([HEADERS | predefined-header-list [custom-header-list])
 
 depending on the plugin options selected (see attached screenshot).
 
 I'm skeptical about the real benefit of this, but I lack expertise in
 IMAP and particularly the IMAPX backend to make an informed judgment.

It's basically about download time/bandwidth. If you fetch *all* the
headers, that causes a fair amount of network traffic that isn't
strictly necessary.

 My intuition tells me the vast majority of users won't care or even
 understand what these options do, and those that do tinker with them
 probably won't notice any significant difference in download times.

My intuition is the same... although we could probably run a quick check
on our own mail stores and see the full size of *all* headers vs. the
size of the interesting headers that Evolution actually uses for
filtering, etc.

The interesting use case, perhaps, is the first run of Evolution on a
new mail store. That's when the full vs. targeted header fetch is going
to be most noticeable. 

But even if we conclude that the more specific fetch is worthwhile, I'm
still not convinced that a separate UI for *choosing* those headers is
at all sane. If the user sets up filters which *look* at a given header,
then we damn well ought to fetch that header automatically. The user
shouldn't be forced to go and find a separate plugin to make their
filter actually work. Or do I misunderstand how this works?

-- 
dwmw2



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Re: [Evolution-hackers] Is it worth customizing the IMAP headers to fetch?

2012-12-15 Thread Matthew Barnes
On Sat, 2012-12-15 at 19:00 +, David Woodhouse wrote:
 The interesting use case, perhaps, is the first run of Evolution on a
 new mail store. That's when the full vs. targeted header fetch is going
 to be most noticeable. 

Right, and since we don't even present these IMAP header options in the
account setup wizard, the user doesn't even have a chance to monkey with
them until the initial fetch begins.  You have to wander back into the
account settings to see that page, and by then your headers are probably
all fetched.


 But even if we conclude that the more specific fetch is worthwhile, I'm
 still not convinced that a separate UI for *choosing* those headers is
 at all sane. If the user sets up filters which *look* at a given header,
 then we damn well ought to fetch that header automatically. The user
 shouldn't be forced to go and find a separate plugin to make their
 filter actually work. Or do I misunderstand how this works?

No you're right, I think that's the sole purpose of the Custom Headers
section.

What I'm taking away is there may be value in fetching specific headers,
but not in it's present form.  So I'm inclined to drop the plugin, but
leave open the possibility of doing this kind of thing more smartly
behind the scenes.

Thanks for the feedback.

Matthew Barnes

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Re: [Evolution-hackers] Is it worth customizing the IMAP headers to fetch?

2012-12-15 Thread David Woodhouse
On Sat, 2012-12-15 at 17:15 -0500, Matthew Barnes wrote:
 
  But even if we conclude that the more specific fetch is worthwhile, I'm
  still not convinced that a separate UI for *choosing* those headers is
  at all sane. If the user sets up filters which *look* at a given header,
  then we damn well ought to fetch that header automatically. The user
  shouldn't be forced to go and find a separate plugin to make their
  filter actually work. Or do I misunderstand how this works?
 
 No you're right, I think that's the sole purpose of the Custom Headers
 section.

Note that there's a difference between filters which apply to new
messages (and hence should be able to operate on the currently-relevant
set of headers), and searches which apply to *old* messages too —
messages which may have been downloaded before the user ever *asked* us
to search on their X-Esoteric-Foo: header.

But that's why the IMAP SEARCH command exists... we should make better
use of it.

-- 
dwmw2



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