[MlMt] Downloading only a portion of a mailbox?

Bill Cole mmlist-20120120 at billmail.scconsult.com
Mon Mar 8 22:28:56 EST 2021

On 8 Mar 2021, at 20:46, Jim Fenton wrote:

> I would like to use Mailmate to access the IETF mail archive that is 
> made available via IMAP.

That failed miserably for me when I tried it with MM, a few releases 
ago. MM isn't happy with a read-only server.

> Some of the mailing lists (folders) there are enormous. Is there a way 
> to add this server and subscribe to folders with Mailmate only 
> accessing the latest, say, 5000 messages per folder?

No. People have asked about this repeatedly, but I do not recall Benny 
ever providing such a hidden feature, although I think he has engaged on 
the topic...

I think Thunderbird is the only general-purpose mail client that tries 
to manage a partial cache intelligently. When last I checked, it did so 
poorly, but that was years ago.

> On a related topic, how much of the mail do I end up storing locally?

All of it, in a file-per-message directory tree, plus an index that is 
about 30% as large as the message store itself.

That's the price of searching multiple gigabytes and hundreds of 
thousands of message on arbitrary headers and content in a handful  of 

> Is it just the headers, plus message bodies for messages I read, or 
> does it pull everything down for me to read potentially offline? In 
> this situation, I’m happy to sacrifice the offline capability to 
> save time and space.

Storage is cheap. The time spent to download messages is a one-time 
cost, traded for the time you would otherwise spend looking for mail 
based on a limited subset of headers

That means that MM isn't ideal for how everyone works with email.

Bill Cole
bill at scconsult.com or billcole at apache.org
(AKA @grumpybozo and many *@billmail.scconsult.com addresses)
Not Currently Available For Hire

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