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1. Internet Email > 1.2. Mailstore

Mailstore

The mailstore is the place where messages live between the time that qmail or another MTA delivers them and the user picks them up. Often, it’s also the place where the user saves messages after reading them.

I divide mailstores into two varieties: transparent and opaque. A transparent mailstore is one that an MUA can directly access as files, while an opaque one requires a network protocol to access. (As you might expect, there’s considerable overlap between the two, with an MUA running on the system where the mail is stored using a user’s mailstore as transparent and one running on a PC elsewhere using the same mailstore as opaque.)

A mailstore has several jobs beyond receiving messages. It must:

  • Maintain a little per-message status information, such as whether a message is read, answered, or deleted


  

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