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Re: IMAP interface to Mathematica

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  • Subject: [mg61708] Re: IMAP interface to Mathematica
  • From: "Steven T. Hatton" <hattons at>
  • Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 05:01:33 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <djn8lc$l3n$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Yves Papegay wrote:

> Has anyone around some experience in using Mathematica for connecting to
> an IMAP mail server and for automatic processing of mails ?
> I plan/need to work on it and I would like to avoid unnecessary effort.
> Thanks,
> Yves

If I were you, I would break the problem down into separate pieces. 
Mathematica (IMO) should know nothing about email, per se.  It should
simply know how to handle a request to process a particular type of data. 
There are plenty of tool kits for creating IMAP clients which you can use
to create the IMAP side of the interface.  Figure out what you want
Mathematica to do with the data, and how to provide the data to Mathematica
in a friendly form (strip off all the header unnecessary header stuff
(unless that's what you are processing) and send just the body, or relevant
part of the body to Mathematica.  I'm sure there are tools which can take a
typical mail message and represent it as an object (C++, or lesser). That
should enable you to grab only what you need from the message without doing
a lot of your own coding.  

I will note that this situation provides anticdotal evidence supporting

Zawinski's Law

    ?Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs
which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.? Coined by Jamie
Zawinski (who called it the ?Law of Software Envelopment?) to express his
belief that all truly useful programs experience pressure to evolve into
toolkits and application platforms (the mailer thing, he says, is just a
side effect of that). It is commonly cited, though with widely varying
degrees of accuracy.
"Philosophy is written in this grand book, The Universe. ... But the book
cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language...
in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics, ...;
without which wanders about in a dark labyrinth."   The Lion of Gaul

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