What's the state of client management of server-side mail filters?
For my personal email account, I use procmail on the server side to do
my mail filtering (ie, send obvious spam right into Trash, put suspected
spam into a "ProbableSpam" box, etc). So, whenever I want to change my
mail filtering, I have to ssh into the server to do it, which is enough
of an inconvenience such that I tend to put it off for days or weeks.
Any respectable mail *client* these days supports mail filtering,
providing a simple interface, but they do it at the time that they
*download* the message (or, at least, the headers). Another problem with
it is that, if you have multiple places from whence you check your mail,
then you'll have to maintain multiple sets of filter rules and keep them
all in sync.
The solution that is staring the problem in the face is to have a
standardized way for *clients* to edit the filter settings on the
*server*. This isn't unlike the advantage of IMAP over POP. Where POP
would cause problems when people would try to download and/or delete
mail with multiple client PC's, IMAP kept the server ultimately in
charge of the mail, and the clients (no matter how many you used from
different places) had to make the changes through the server.
It seems to me that having the same model for mail *filter* control (ie,
where the server is ultimately in charge and the clients merely provide
a friendly UI for dealing with it) would really put an end to countless
filter-config headaches. And there has been *such* a need for something
like this, that I would think that *somebody* out there with some real
clout (like Google or Microsoft or Mozilla) would have proposed a viable
solution and that the developers of qmail, courier, procmail, exim,
Thunderbird, etc... would all be working on getting this capability into
their products by now.
So, I guess the question is: Does anybody know of an initiative like this?