IO slaves capabilities (Was: Re: Moving pop, imap and smtp koslaves from kdebase to kdepim)

Bo Thorsen bo at
Thu Jan 8 10:38:08 GMT 2004

On Thursday 08 January 2004 10:25, Matthias Welwarsky wrote:
> On Thursday 08 January 2004 09:54, Ralf Habacker wrote:
> > In the last case I vote for puting pop3, nntp into kdepim and leave
> > smtp in kdebase or better put into kdelibs, because in kdelibs it
> > would help enterprise application writer writing admin tools with
> > email notification support.  Think about a new knotify feature
> > sending email notifications, which will not be possible it kio_smtp
> > is in kdebase.
> I'd vote for killing the pop3/imap/nntp/smtp ioslaves alltogether.
> There's not much sense to have them as ioslaves anyway. When they were
> "invented", everybody was simply drunk of the possibilities of the
> ioslave architecture, but honestly, ioslaves for anything that's not a
> filesystem is going to break sooner or later, because the filesystem
> paradigma which the ioslaves implement just won't fit.
> The ioslave architecture by design is an abstraction. If you abstract,
> you can choose to either lose the special properties of the underlying
> technology or to bloat the interface. KDE chose to keep the interface
> but to bend it until it fits. This makes it really, really ugly.

You're partly right, but not completely. I can't say anything about the 
other three, but for IMAP it's not such a bad fit. An IMAP server treats 
the mails as files, and everything the protocol does is to give 
possibilities for treating these files.

The point where you are right is that there are things you can't do with 
IMAP - such as changing a file. And there are things the IMAP protocol 
can do that the slaves can't - such as interleaving uploads which would 
be in immense speedup in KMail IMAP uploads to have.

It's not a 1-1 fit, but it's also not too bad. I personally would agree 
with you on IMAP and really like to see KMail use a real IMAP 
implementation, but it's such a big job to do that I don't see it 
happening anytime soon.

> So please, make this uglyness go away with KDE4. For 3.3, stop using
> them, for 3.2, you're into deep shit already. I don't think moving the
> ioslaves to kdepim is a good idea, perhaps you can postpone kdepim and
> release it together with an updated kdebase package.

So I take it you're volunteering to work on this? I can assure you that if 
you can move the IMAP code from the slave to a native usage in KMail, 
I'll be happy to accept the patch. But if no one steps up and offers to 
do it, it's not going to happen.

Should it ever happen, the slave is still cool for debugging IMAP stuff. I 
open my IMAP folders with konqueror all the time for this. (Note that 
this isn't a reason for the slave to stay in base, since it can't be used 
for anything but debugging.)
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