Suggestions please for what POP or IMAP servers to use

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at
Fri Dec 14 20:44:20 PST 2007

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-freebsd-questions at
> [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at]On Behalf Of Andrew Falanga
> Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 7:35 PM
> To: Ted Mittelstaedt
> Cc: Rob; FreeBSD Questions
> Subject: Re: Suggestions please for what POP or IMAP servers to use
> On Dec 13, 2007 10:06 PM, Ted Mittelstaedt <tedm at> wrote:
> > > The developer is very adamant about writing dovecot strictly to
> > > the letter of the IMAP specification.  He's also discovered many
> > > of the popular clients have bugs, and are unable to work (or at
> > > least have issues) with an IMAP server that goes purely by the rules.
> > >
> > > He refused to "break" his software to work around bugs on the
> > > client side, but ultimately compromised by writing in
> > > work-arounds that you can enable in the config file.  You can
> > > enable them all if you like.
> > >
> >
> > Which is a really dumb attitude since the dovecot developer was
> > not the author of the IMAP standard and probably was in diapers
> > when the standard was first written:
> I agree with your sentiment that, "who can use a server that no client can
> connect to?"  However, that being said, why write a standard you don't
> intend to adhere too?  It's a crying shame that folks write standards for
> things like IMAP and e-mail client providers don't follow them.  I wished
> more people were like this fellow who writes Dovecot!  If more people were
> strict about server interfaces, then perhaps more vendors would
> write their
> code to the standard instead of those who write the standards
> enabling poor
> compliance by "dumbing" down their servers.

It's a chicken and egg problem.

There's nothing wrong with writing an extremely strict standard.
The issue is the implementation.

If your server implementation is so strict that most clients have
difficulty, then users will find something else and your standard
will end up on the dustbin.

It's better to start out with a strict standard and a forgiving
server implementation, then as it falls into mainstream use, work
with the client developers to correct their stuff.

We don't want to end up like Microsoft - which writes very lax
and contradictory standards, then makes up strict implementations.
Then every new release of their stuff breaks things.

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