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RFC: ITP: prayer -- fast IMAP-based web mail system with few dependencies



I have dug even deeper in the source code of Prayer, added IPv6 support, got a 
reply from upstream maintainer David Carter, and thought about it. The 
question is: Will the (additional) effort needed to produce and maintain a 
Debian package of good enough quality be worth it, considering the following?

1. Prayer is geared towards large-scale, perhaps even *very* large-scale 
installations. It offers speed and low resource usage at the expense of 
flexibility. Most admins probably will want to use an Apache-based package, 
such as Squirrelmail.

1a. About the flexibility: Changing the appearance is rather hard and, except 
for some colours, requires recompilation. Prayer produces HTML4 Transitional, 
full of <BODY color=... bgcolor=... >, <FONT> etc. It should preferably be 
changed to use CSS.

2. Support for other character sets than ISO-8859-1 is non-existant. 
Conversion of various mail text to UTF-8 has to be added.

3. Prayer isn't prepared for l10n. All UI strings have to be gone through and 
wrapped in gettext calls.

4. The code is a bit messy in the sense that there are many almost-similar 
variants of the same functions. It would do well with some restructuring.

5. At least minimal man pages have to be written.

6. And last but not least, Prayer is practically dead upstream. David Carter 
says that the purpose of Prayer was to fit on top of UW-based mail systems 
which really weren't designed to run Webmail. Now, after 5 years, they don't 
need it anymore. No more releases are planned.

To all this there is the problem with combined folders/directories already 
mentioned.

Comments are welcome, especially from the original requester. How many do you 
think will find Prayer useful?

(It's not that I want to give up, but it's a bit silly to maintain a package 
nobody uses.)

-- 
Magnus Holmgren        holmgren@lysator.liu.se
                       (No Cc of list mail needed, thanks)

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