[notmuch] Potential problem using Git for mail (was: Idea for storing tags)

martin f krafft madduck at madduck.net
Mon Jan 11 20:51:53 PST 2010

also sprach Scott Robinson <scott at quadhome.com> [2010.01.12.1644 +1300]:
> Then the whole structure is controlled via git.
> Conflict-resolution and sync comes for free.

I've just had a good think about this, also because the idea of
abandoning IMAP and using Git has been around for a while and
I have not really wrapped my head around it.

If the MDA delivers to Git, then potentially, you might get into
a situation where you cannot write your own changes back to the
repo. This is also a DoS scenario: I'll just keep sending you
e-mail, and if I manage to pass your mail filters, I'll basically
commit to your mail repository at regular intervals. Say those are
5 seconds. In order for you to write updates to the repo, e.g. to
update tags, then you would need to pull, rebase, and push all
within 5 seconds, for otherwise you'd try to push non-fast-forwards.

This a bit unrealistic, surely, but there's a real annoyance in it:
you'd have to pull/rebase/push until a push succeeds — until you
found a time window between pull and push during which the MDA
didn't write to the repo. This might take a long time. If this
happens in the background by Cron, it's not a real concern, but if
this becomes a UI issue, I wouldn't know how to handle it.

martin | http://madduck.net/ | http://two.sentenc.es/
don't hate yourself in the morning -- sleep till noon.
spamtraps: madduck.bogus at madduck.net
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