Cyrus WebMail

Ken Murchison murch at
Thu Dec 1 11:01:27 EST 2005

Cyrus Daboo wrote:
> Hi Ken,
> --On December 1, 2005 9:20:09 AM -0500 Ken Murchison 
> <murch at> wrote:
>>> The other thing that gmail and Zimbra offer, seems to me, is seamless
>>> searching across folders. Not sure how/if Cyrus could deal with that
>>> since seems to me to be largely a client issue.
>> There has been (still is?) discussion of an MSEARCH command which does
>> searching across folders.  The undocumented SCAN command which is used by
>> Pine and UW IMAP is a LIST variant which will search or a string and
>> return the mailboxes (NOT messages) in which the string occurs.  This can
>> help a client narrow its focus for the necessary SEARCHes.  I have a
>> working patch to add SCAN to Cyrus which I may get back to.
> Searching across multiple folders is only one half of the problem. The 
> other problem is presenting a view of the search results in an efficient 
> manner, given that the results may span multiple mailboxes. 
> Unfortunately IMAP's selected state behaviour (which means only one 
> mailbox can be open at a time on one connection) makes this really hard 
> to do.
> One option that comes to mind is to create a 'virtual folder' extension 
> that allows specific messages from multiple mailboxes to be collected 
> together into a single 'mailbox' view such that operations on messages 
> in that 'mailbox' affect the message state in the message's actual 
> mailbox. The 'virtual folder' could then be 'populated' via an MSEARCH 
> command. To avoid the problems encountered in the abortive IMAP VIEW 
> extension we would restrict the 'virtual folders' to a static behaviour 
> - i.e. the set of messages in the virtual folder does not automatically 
> update if the original MSEARCH results were to change as a result of 
> someone else changing message state.

Right.  We'll see what the LEMONADE folks (which [un]fortunately 
includes us) come up with in this area.

Kenneth Murchison
Systems Programmer
Carnegie Mellon University

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