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Status update, March 2023

Hi all!

In the past week or so I’ve focused on a NPotM: go-imap, an IMAP library for Go. “But Simon, a New Project of the Month is supposed to be new!” Right, right, the NPotM is a lie… But only a half-lie: I’m rewriting it from scratch. go-imap was one of the first Go projects I’ve written, and I couldn’t recite the IMAP4rev1 RFC by heart at the time. This is just a roundabout way to say that mistakes were made. IMAP extensions — a lot of which provide important functionality — were designed to be implemented out-of-tree in separate Go modules. However many extensions change the behavior of existing commands, so trying to design a modular system is a fool’s errand which only results in a more complicated API. Go channels were (ab)overused in the public API. The internals were not designed with goroutine safety in mind, so races were ducktaped after the fact. It’s not possible to run multiple IMAP commands concurrently: each time a command is sent, the caller gets to twiddle their thumbs until the reply comes back before sending a new one, paying the full price of the roundtrip. The parser has a weird intermediate representation based on interface{} Go values. Many functions and types are exported in the public API but really shouldn’t be.

For all of these reasons, I’ve decided to start from scratch rather than trying to incrementally improve the library. This turned out to be a good decision: in one week, I had a working client which has less bugs and more features than go-imap v1. I based my work on the newer IMAP4rev2 RFC, which provides a better base feature set than IMAP4rev1. I’ve ported alps to the new API to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I still need to write the server part and tests.

In IRC news, the soju database message store submitted by delthas has finally been merged. Now, the message history can be stored in the database rather than in plain-text files. This enables features such as full-text search and retaining IRCv3 message tags. The goguma mobile client now has a gallery view for images, supports replies via the reply client tag (in a non-intrusive fashion), and scrolls to the unread indicator when a conversation is opened.

As usual, I worked on many other smaller tasks in other projects. The wlroots output layers have been merged, but are still opt-in and require compositor support. lists.sr.ht now uses go-emailthreads to display replies in the patch view. hut pages publish can now take a directory as input, and will generate the tarball on-the-fly. There are many other tiny improvements I could mention, but it’d get boring, let’s wrap up this status update. See you next month!


Questions, comments? Please use my public inbox by sending a plain-text email to ~emersion/public-inbox@lists.sr.ht.

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