Sometimes a person talking with you lets you see the things in a different way, find new paths.
It has just happened with a project that I’ve been working on for the last three months and had become so complex that after publishing the website, I decided not to promote it: db.email.
At the end of a December I sent the link to a US i.t. service provider that replied: “I looked at db.email and I am favorably impressed. Your service might be something that would be good for our clients. We work with small law firms in the US and Canada. Law firms are required to keep copies of emails for five years or more. They can receive court orders requiring a “legal hold” on documents and emails. In that case they need to prove that they have copies that have not been changed or deleted.”
I’ve been amused by this answer. Thinking on how to provide the requested proves, it came out that an index file of all the archived messages seemed to be the easier way. Looking for a technical solution, I’ve found that someone else had already experienced the same issue and published a little script to get it: How to export a Maildir email inbox as a CSV file.
This is a good starting point, that takes to a further step: once that the customers have the index of the archived messages, there is no need to provide a webmail client, it’s enough to give them the possibility to retrieve the messages by the “message ID” unique value.
Avoiding the webmail simplifies a lot the “db.email” service, making it more reliable and much easier to setup and manage. All the project becomes lighter and I’ve regained confidence that this is something worth to spread.
Here’s the final quote that explains “kiss technology”, the subject of this post:
“If you keep it simple and stupid, which is basically what low expectations are in a way, you will automatically do things.”
– “Definitely Not Trying to Fit In” with Tobias van Schneider
Let’s do things and see what the next step is.