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if your tagline is "For geek and non-geek users." then you probably should not be depending on users to open a shell and type commands there to access their emails.

For this to be remotely useful for non-geeks, try adding a small IMAP server so people can access the mails through their mail clients. Having to re-upload all mail back to a (presumably new) gmail account will take ages and accessing the mails locally is not really helpful these days with mime encoding and HTML email.

On a related note: If you have a small box with a PTR record laying around somewhere, you can use my setup described at http://pilif.github.com/2011/02/how-i-back-up-gmail/ to route all incoming and outgoing mail through a mail server you own as it moves to and from gmail.

If you ever lose your google account or its data, all mails will be on your small box in convenient maildir format, ready to be served over IMAP.




Thanks for the comment. Yeah the "for geek and non-geek" is a bit premature. I would like to create a gui for the tool that will be for non geek. Regarding your second points, currently Gmvault is a tool to backup your Gmail account and restore it into a Gmail account preserving labels and unread emails, etc. The Gmail web interface I think is the premiere interface for Gmail and with Gmvault, I want to offer to users a "safety belt for Gmail" (backup and incremental backup) and allow them to restore all your emails as they were in the Gmail web interface.


I really hate being called a geek. I associate it with bullying and social exclusion. It may be OK to be a geek in Silicon Valley, but that's not true everywhere.

If you bring that line back, please replace it with 'For techies and non-techies' or similar.


> try adding a small IMAP server so people can access the mails through their mail clients. Having to re-upload all mail back to a (presumably new) gmail account will take ages and accessing the mails locally is not really helpful these days with mime encoding and HTML email.

One of the stated purposes of this tool is to "liberate your emails" by letting you keep local copies of every e-mail you send and receive. If you need to use a third-party IMAP server to keep a backup of your e-mails, how does that liberate you? Now you're dependent on two online services instead of one.

Reading locally stored e-mails would be a problem for non-geeks, though. But I think the right way to solve that problem would be to offer a program to read those e-mails, or even better, a plugin to a popular mail client (such as Thunderbird) so that the e-mails can be accessed through the mail client. Depending on the "cloud" just detracts from the stated purpose of this tool.


I wasn't talking about a third party IMAP server. I was talking about adding an IMAP darmon right in the backup application itself.

That way, if your google account goes away (I guess we all agree that administrative account lockout is way more likely than google actually losing data) and you need an email RIGHT NOW, you would just configure any imap client to use the daemon provided by the backup application (localhost:143)

Or it could bundle some web based mail client and then open a browser.

It's impractical to reupload the whole backup to gmail before being able to access your mail.


Thanks for the clarification, it seems that I misunderstood your comment. A local IMAP server would fit right into my suggestion of mail client integration, without the headache of writing a plugin.

But now you've got a background process running on a privileged port, yikes! (It's got to be a daemon that starts automatically, because "non-geeks" will not understand why they have to start another program before accessing their mail in Thunderbird.)


Better option (IMNSHO), if someone wants to read the email they don't REALLY care if it's as an email. So a reader application that parses the DL'd file so that you can do rudimentary search, find what you want, and then copy/paste as necessary.


You could still be running on an unprivileged port and bundle a preconfigured thunderbird. Or you run on an unprivileged port and bundle some webmail solution (the localhost:143 was just for illustration)


> Now you're dependent on two online services instead of one.

I think you're misunderstanding pilif's comment. That "small IMAP server" would run locally on your box, which gets you to the goal of having any standard mail client read the archive.




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